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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated Dec 2020)
(2016-10-09, 00:56)nickr Wrote: If wrxtasy says s912 should be avoided, I would accept his word. There are many s905 we'll supported boxes that work with LibreELEC.
It's not only me warning about AMLogic S912 boxes. There are now numerous users having issues with basic 5.1 AC3 / DTS Audio. This tells me the Firmware is not up to standard. Read hdmkv's review too.

Users can make up their own minds about what actual Audio and Video requirements they need out of a cheap AMLogic Android box. Some are quite happy with 60Hz only video playback and the resulting 3:2 pull down video judder and 2.0 PCM audio only. If that is all they need to be happy, I'm not going to argue.

But boxes that give black screens if a device refresh switches to say 23.976fps (29.97 / 59.94 as well) at the start of video playback and also cannot do basic 5.1 Audio passthrough are not recommended on these forums as a competent Kodi media player.

We have higher audio and video playback standards here on the Kodi forum than you will find elsewhere.

AMLogic S905 boxes running LibeELEC Kodi are far far better Kodi media players than using Android Kodi.
Why, well it's because the AML LibreELEC developers actually take care with the underlying Linux Kernel and drivers and patch Kodi extensively to maximize the AMLogic Hardware.
And the results you end up with are one the best Kodi media players going around where virtually everything just "works". If you get the right device.

I've already given a number of links to AMLogic and LibreELEC threads and Sub Forums. Uses need to follow those Links and ask actual end users what AMLogic LE devices work properly and are recommended. There are just too many to list.

My daily use LibreELEC S905 device the ODROID C2 is linked down below:
V
V

Thx for the recommendations and explanation guys.
So few stuff im having an issue with, ODROID C2 is pretty old [Feb 16] and maybe a new one will be out soon?
[btw whats ODROID-XU4? is that even supported for the same use? its 74$ and specs looks great]

WeTek play2 is out of stock and the company itself cant reply on when its going to be in stock
WeTek hub IS in stock but only 1GB of RAM, how will that effect streaming/browsing or playing files from the SDcard? I dont mind about the remote because i will get the T3 remote [thx Jeffers24]
How diffrent is the use of Kodi and the system in general between having OpenELEC or LibreELEC Vs what it comes with?
Is that like comparing a custom rom to a bloated default one?
read all the reviews and noticed there is some support to Beelink Mini MX with OpenELEC over the GT1 version
Also I found this "LibreElec (kszaq) is not that far away - on this Beelink MiniMXIII II box, one of the outstanding issues is getting source code for the wifi driver - but the LIbreElec as is already, will run with either Ethernet or USB stick and audio issues are well on their way to final resolution." Is there a list of all supported LibreElec devices?
No idea about a new C2, HardKernel may be shipping Revision C S905's. I don't know.
Don't know much about XU4. And from a LE developers perspective that is not a good thing for Kodi. More of a Linux machine I think.

1GB Hub plays up to 4K 10bit HEVC files nicely indeed with comprehensive HD / PCM Audio support all sorted out from a SD card. Samsung EVO (+) or Sandisk Class 10 mSD cards recommended.
Ethernet should be used if streaming 4K video on Any device. WiFi is not reliable enough. Have a look on the WeTek Hub LE forums for any outstanding issues.

Official LibreELEC supported devices, straight from the master code source: (Generic = Intel)
https://github.com/LibreELEC/LibreELEC.t...r/projects

OpenELEC is dead-er than a dead Dodo's Donger !
Virtually all the original OpenELEC developers have move to LibreELEC, and that is going to be around for a long time.

As I've already said too many flavours of budget S905 Android boxes to know what works and what does not. You are better off asking the users in the already existing Budget AMLogic boxes thread here on the forum for known working LE combos if heading down that path. I know the C2 works.

Golden Rule of ALL Kodi boxes over all else. Buy something Popular, which means it gets well supported.
That is unless you want to get your hands real dirty with a DIY project.

If new users just look at Tech Specs only, you are very likely to run into lots trouble with an unsupported device. Don't get suckered by slick marketing.

[ wrxtasy EDIT: ]

@Vitalero,
post transferred over HERE to a more appropriate thread.
(2016-10-07, 19:23)hdmkv Wrote: As you don't need 3D, but do want 4K + Netflix = nVidia Shield, followed by Mi Box (out today) maybe as a budget option. Latter hasn't been well vetted yet though, so I'd wait.

And, forget "jukeboxes" Smile ... Kodi scans your movie and TV shows and provides a far better, slicker, customizable front-end that Cloud Media, Dune, etc.

Thanks for your prompt reply !
Got a tip on another forum, telling me to just use my Xbox One S with the Plex app and forget about other devices.
Would that be an option ?
What would I gain by having also the Nvidia Shield ? (will not play with it)

I do need some storage to put those files on and have to get a NAS either way.

Maybe the best solution is to get a QNAP TS-251+ and connect it directly to my new TV.
It comes with Kodi and should fulfill all my needs.

Please give me some advice Smile
Running into a road block, been combing threads here for few weeks. Decided the Wetek Core is probably a good choice. Important buying points,XBMC, HD Audio - Dolby/DTS 5.1 support, Kodi and playback of as many video file types as possible, and ongoing support and DRM support is a plus (though not sure its mandatory). Price not so much an issue, though nvidia seems a bit pricey as I dont really care about gaming on this. I cant seem to find a retailer with any Wetek Core in stock, preferably in the US. Though I dont mind waiting for overseas shipping if necessary. I was considering other units, such as minix U1. Does any know of a retailer where I could find a Wetek core, not even available on their website. Or should I fail over to the Minix U1, im guessing no DRM, not sure what else id be lacking if anything.

Thanks.
I cannot make up your mind for you, but you might want to have a casual look over in the WeTek Play2 thread for what is possible when a talented Android developer, using Open Source Android code, gets interested in a DVB-TV / DRM / Dual Boot - ATV OS / LibreELEC capable device.

I recommend Android Kodi devices that:
a) are popular with ongoing Firmware support
b) have a help support network, so you can actually get someone to help with any problems. Even if you pay a bit more.
c) have strong developer community support, both here in the Kodi forums and the individual device seller forums.

Notice how I mention Support a lot. If you want relatively minimal ongoing headaches, this is the Key with any Android Kodi devices.

Be aware all AMLogic S8xx platforms are only 8bit HEVC decoding capable, plus AMLogic themselves are not planning to release a Android Marshmallow SDK for this older S8xx chipset either.
Also be aware, based on their previous track record, MINIX are not in the habit of upgrading Android Firmware to new Android OS version releases. They tend to stick with whatever flavour of Android their devices originally ship with.

In the end it depends on what individuals want and what new benefits each new Android OS releases brings.

Hi Guys,

I've long been a user of xbmc, original xbox modder.... used to solder the 29 wire Enigmahs myself. Got old and wanted something easier and was happily using a Xtreamer Ultra 2 Deluxe until the box died on the weekend. The hardware on the ultra 2 was fantastic, so too the Openelec support early on.

I've always wanted a fanless option and gave up on Google TV after buying the Logitech Review and Sony GS7 thinking it would and never did support dts audio playback. This isn't a must option though preferred.

I've since skimmed over this thread and others and saw the Wetek Core looked promising though it doesn't appear to match the same capability I had with the Ultra 2. DTS-HD and flac audio playback are thing's I can't do without. If anyone has any suggestions please advise. I stream from a Synology NAS and need something that can do the heavy work with the video and audio playback.

The Minix U-8H was another I saw though I read it doesn't do flac audio playback. The internet streaming and 4K would be nice though I'd settle for a solid media player that can do everything that I had with Ultra U2. Any suggestions?

Cheers,
R

Edit. Looking into LibreELEC , read the devs from openelec have moved onto this. These guys & girls really made the Ultra 2 what it was, the xtreamer support was terrible but the openelec guys were nothing short of brilliant.
(2016-10-13, 09:04)racer_ Wrote: Hi Guys,

I've long been a user of xbmc, original xbox modder.... used to solder the 29 wire Enigmahs myself. Got old and wanted something easier and was happily using a Xtreamer Ultra 2 Deluxe until the box died on the weekend. The hardware on the ultra 2 was fantastic, so too the Openelec support early on.

I've always wanted a fanless option and gave up on Google TV after buying the Logitech Review and Sony GS7 thinking it would and never did support dts audio playback. This isn't a must option though preferred.

I've since skimmed over this thread and others and saw the Wetek Core looked promising though it doesn't appear to match the same capability I had with the Ultra 2. DTS-HD and flac audio playback are thing's I can't do without. If anyone has any suggestions please advise. I stream from a Synology NAS and need something that can do the heavy work with the video and audio playback.

The Minix U-8H was another I saw though I read it doesn't do flac audio playback. The internet streaming and 4K would be nice though I'd settle for a solid media player that can do everything that I had with Ultra U2. Any suggestions?

Cheers,
R

Edit. Looking into LibreELEC , read the devs from openelec have moved onto this. These guys & girls really made the Ultra 2 what it was, the xtreamer support was terrible but the openelec guys were nothing short of brilliant.

I would make sure if you are planning on running Android OS you get a box with at least Android 5.x.x, if you want to run the 'very' soon to be released stable Kodi 17.x
@racer_

Requirements: HD-Audio, and I'm assuming 24bit/192kHz FLAC. 4K with a bit of Internet streaming - Is this HD Netflix you need ?

If you need ultimate FLAC Audio quality output - Android is ruled out, otherwise the nVIDIA Shield would be a very good choice.
See this Hi-Res Audio thread for Android Audio limitations info:
http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=287430

Normally you would go with the bullet proof ASUS Chromebox and LibreELEC, but no 4K and no 10bit HEVC Hardware decoding may be limiting for you. However comprehensive Audio support will be very good with LibreELEC on Intel. I'm unsure of the status of any new Intel Hardware with 4K and HDMI 2.0 with 10bit HEVC hardware decoding support.

Believe it or not, for 4K, HDMI 2.0 and quality Audio output, a AMLogic LibreELEC box with a S905 moves to the front of the queue.
Run LibreELEC on a S905 and the whole world opens up for HD Audio, FLAC, Multichannel PCM and up to 2160p 10bit HEVC video support.
You also get comprehensive HDMI-CEC control.
Beware no FLAC or HD Audio support on older AMLogic S8xx devices running OpenELEC / LibreELEC.
Bang for the buck these AML S905's are now clear winners.

If you want to get your hands nice and dirty with some DIY S905 box, head over to the LibreELEC forums, AMLogic section:
https://forum.libreelec.tv/forum-38.html

Dual boot Android and LibreELEC Jarvis on a S905 = WeTek Hub, Play2

Pure LibreELEC Kodi Jarvis, on the fastest (when tweaked) S905 box around = ODROID C2
Any spare IR remote can be reprogrammed to use with the C2 pretty easily using Lirc.

For serious Kodi use on these LibreELEC S905's, you should target ones with 2GB RAM and eMMC storage.

I personally use and develop LibreELEC for the Hub, Play2 and ODROID C2. My favourite Pure Kodi device is the C2 as its a bit nippier due to recent CPU and RAM speedup tweaks, the Play2 is pretty nice too, especially with the soon to be released Android TV OS image.

Note: one word of warning. Don't expect all manner of external USB Peripherals to work straight out of the box with any AMLogic device as they run a relatively older Linux based Kernel and drivers vs Intel or RPi devices.

Plz suggest me a box that upscale 2k to 4K & support bd iso, 3D iso, audio format like Dolby atmos, dts ma and true HD. My only concern is to watch movies with good upscaling.
(2016-10-13, 10:57)Bhupinder Wrote: Plz suggest me a box that upscale 2k to 4K & support bd iso, 3D iso, audio format like Dolby atmos, dts ma and true HD. My only concern is to watch movies with good upscaling.

Cheap boxes will never have a good upscaling algorithm, and you will have less artefacts (better results) with Native 1080p.

Please note that upscaling can’t add more detail than is already present, you can see artifacts in fast moving videos, having trouble with ringing artifact, which appears as a ‘ghost’ or further outline around objects and Blurring or distortion.

Heres a technical explanation from red.com
TVs have better upscaling algorithm than source players, that means IMO dont choose a player due of their upscaling.

If you have a 4K display the best option is to get a 4K player and play with their native Resolution.
Anthem MRX310 | XTZ 93.23 DIY 5.1 (Seas Jantzen Mundorf) | DXD808 | Oppo 103D | LG OLED 55EC930V | Nvidia Shield | ATV3





(2016-10-13, 05:43)wrxtasy Wrote: I cannot make up your mind for you, but you might want to have a casual look over in the WeTek Play2 thread for what is possible when a talented Android developer, using Open Source Android code, gets interested in a DVB-TV / DRM / Dual Boot - ATV OS / LibreELEC capable device.

I recommend Android Kodi devices that:
a) are popular with ongoing Firmware support
b) have a help support network, so you can actually get someone to help with any problems. Even if you pay a bit more.
c) have strong developer community support, both here in the Kodi forums and the individual device seller forums.

Notice how I mention Support a lot. If you want relatively minimal ongoing headaches, this is the Key with any Android Kodi devices.

Be aware all AMLogic S8xx platforms are only 8bit HEVC decoding capable, plus AMLogic themselves are not planning to release a Android Marshmallow SDK for this older S8xx chipset either.
Also be aware, based on their previous track record, MINIX are not in the habit of upgrading Android Firmware to new Android OS version releases. They tend to stick with whatever flavour of Android their devices originally ship with.

In the end it depends on what individuals want and what new benefits each new Android OS releases brings.

Wrxtasy
I have been following your posts for awhile now, thanks for all your support on this forum. Many new people benefit from your time and knowledge. I decided to go with the Minix U1 today since it was easily available from Amazon a source im comfortable with in making returns, if needed. But due to the reviews here and your posts I thought this was in the right price range and had the features im most interested in. Plenty of reviews praising the units ability to handle video formats without stutter and plenty of HD audio support.

Im expecting to enjoy the unit and begin my learning of Kodi and tweaking things. Thanks for your reply!
(2016-10-13, 10:43)wrxtasy Wrote: @racer_

Requirements: HD-Audio, and I'm assuming 24bit/192kHz FLAC. 4K with a bit of Internet streaming - Is this HD Netflix you need ?

If you need ultimate FLAC Audio quality output - Android is ruled out, otherwise the nVIDIA Shield would be a very good choice.
See this Hi-Res Audio thread for Android Audio limitations info:
http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=287430

Normally you would go with the bullet proof ASUS Chromebox and LibreELEC, but no 4K and no 10bit HEVC Hardware decoding may be limiting for you. However comprehensive Audio support will be very good with LibreELEC on Intel. I'm unsure of the status of any new Intel Hardware with 4K and HDMI 2.0 with 10bit HEVC hardware decoding support.

Believe it or not, for 4K, HDMI 2.0 and quality Audio output, a AMLogic LibreELEC box with a S905 moves to the front of the queue.
Run LibreELEC on a S905 and the whole world opens up for HD Audio, FLAC, Multichannel PCM and up to 2160p 10bit HEVC video support.
You also get comprehensive HDMI-CEC control.
Beware no FLAC or HD Audio support on older AMLogic S8xx devices running OpenELEC / LibreELEC.
Bang for the buck these AML S905's are now clear winners.

If you want to get your hands nice and dirty with some DIY S905 box, head over to the LibreELEC forums, AMLogic section:
https://forum.libreelec.tv/forum-38.html

Dual boot Android and LibreELEC Jarvis on a S905 = WeTek Hub, Play2

Pure LibreELEC Kodi Jarvis, on the fastest (when tweaked) S905 box around = ODROID C2
Any spare IR remote can be reprogrammed to use with the C2 pretty easily using Lirc.

For serious Kodi use on these LibreELEC S905's, you should target ones with 2GB RAM and eMMC storage.

I personally use and develop LibreELEC for the Hub, Play2 and ODROID C2. My favourite Pure Kodi device is the C2 as its a bit nippier due to recent CPU and RAM speedup tweaks, the Play2 is pretty nice too, especially with the soon to be released Android TV OS image.

Note: one word of warning. Don't expect all manner of external USB Peripherals to work straight out of the box with any AMLogic device as they run a relatively older Linux based Kernel and drivers vs Intel or RPi devices.


Firstly, thankyou wrxtasy for all the great info you posted here. I've had a look at some of the suggestions you made above. The Wetek Play 2 & Odroid C2 look to be the most logical...preference at this stage is the C2 due to price and the custom features of the platform.

I've had a look at Ameridroid and hardkernal and considering the purchase now. Before I fully commit do I need anything more than listed below to get going?

I see the eMMC modules in various colours which appear to be platform specific, black - android, red - linux etc. I was looking at the 8Gb Black Android eMMC add on, can go larger if recommended. Is this all I would need to combine with the C2 (+case and powers supply) to get started? Anything else you would consider adding tot he buy list? Assumptions include, writing to eMMC via Windows libre app via USB connection etc. Also would this combination support dual boot Android or will libreELEC overwrite everything pre loaded?

The dual support feature would be nice if I could get the android play store benefits, browser etc though not a deal breaker if it's not supported. I could always get a second unit down the road if I ever get Netflix. Is there any limitations on playback with the android build for C2? I heard of some streaming (Netflix and youtube) only allowing HD streams from certified devices (Hello Play 2). I don't do a lot of IP steaming so not too worried if standard def is all you get I'll likely just go with a single unit for libre - Kodi and see how I go from there.

I also have an old and still awesome Logitech Harmony One that I use for managing all my hifi. Shouldn't be too hard to find a compatible device that I can program. It's getting a little old though, the rubber on the back is literally falling off the plastic from age, the Bluetooth with Peel Smart remote might eventually be the successor should the one die and I see there's C2 BT modules available. I might just add that to the list for testing purposes. Would be nice to have the controls on the phone available as a fallback.

Thanks again for replying and setting me on the right course.

Cheers,
R
Hi, yes That is all you need for Ethernet connected C2. Unless you have a massive video Library, 8GB eMMC will be fine. The C2 eMMC's have either Red or Green little squares on them. Write speeds for 16GB Samsung eMMC look to be quicker when consulting This chart

No dual boot with C2 at the moment. LE will overwrite everything.
Android on the C2 is no where near as nice as it is on the Play2, especially with the nice user constructed Android TV OS image coming. No 1080p DRM on C2. 1080p DRM on AMLogic WeTek and Mi Boxes only.

A Harmony One remote can be programmed as an ODROID C1, with the Online Harmony Software, and it will work out of the box with the C2. Programmed as a MCE will also work out of the box.

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