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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated Dec 2020)
(2016-12-07, 14:47)tododo Wrote: Hi all
Looking for a bit of advise
A collegaue at work is considering getting some sort of Kodi box

His main requirement is probably for it to be easy to use and Wife / Kids Friendly and to have an ethernet port preferably

I would guess he would not want to be updating things or playing with it much at all - so plug in forget would be ideal

Hes a bit short cash wise but has been looking around the £50-£60 mark
Ive advised maybe try the Tonbox or Q-Box (Android Boxes) but I understand these all have various stability issues of some sort and it is recommened to put openelec on them instead??

Please correct if Im wrong
Ive never used one of these boxes......we dont want one of these rip off fully loaded boxes either btw we want something we can load on and configure ourselves

Install Openelec doesnt sound like something he would be able to do say if a new version comes out quite often

Im thinking that the Amazon Fire Box is probably best for his needs as it seems to be the best of both worlds - although that is pushing the price up a touch

Are there any other recommendations - the Nvidia Sheild would be overkill really

Thanks all
Yes Wife / Kids Friendly device with an Easy to use interface:
  • Amazon FireTV2, you sideload Kodi on to this device. There are guides available. Or you Purchase MrMC (Kodi AFTV version) from Amazon Store.
  • Xiaomi Mi Box, download SPMC (Android TV specific version of Kodi) or Kodi itself from the built in Google Play Store
Android TV on the Mi Box

The Kids will have fun with both of these devices playing with Voice Search features.
The Xiaomi Mi Box is WiFi only, but it is more than capable with a decent 5GHz Home WiFi Network. AXIS Chipset USB2 > Ethernet Adapters work as well.

In the UK these guys sell the proper Android TV - Mi Boxes:
https://www.thesolutionshop.co.uk/product/mi-box/

BTW. Thanks for taking the time reading about the Harm "Fully Loaded" boxes do to the Kodi project.
We wish there were more users like you ! Smile

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(2016-12-07, 01:22)Dan50 Wrote: Are you from Europe?

No - Canada

(2016-12-07, 03:46)wrxtasy Wrote: No DTS-HD MA / HD Audio Passthrough available on the Mi Box, follow the link below (from Post #1)

Q. I'm a Newbie on a $100 budget using a 1080p TV, I do not need HD Audio and have no audio/video receiver (AVR).
I just want to plug in and power up, and run Kodi with minimal fuss. I don't care about anything else ?
  • Xiaomi Mi Box, mini review HERE
  • WeTek Hub
  • Which device is better for use as a Kodi media player, well read this and make up your own mind.

I have an AVR (and want to maximize its use) and want HD audio - so Mi Box is out then

Appreciate the comparable between Mi Box and Wetek Hub

Are my choices reduced to this, if so, that's great... if not - that's okay too, what are they?
- Wetek Hub
- Wetek Core - likely out
- Nvidia Shield - likely out as Nvidia Shield is out of stock - if and when Nvidia Shield 2 comes out (i dont know)

@wrxtasy, I read one of your post on another forum

Hub improvements compared to the Core:
- 10 bit Hardware HEVC decoding (better VPU)
- 2160p video at 50/60Hz over HDMI 2.0
- AC WiFi with a more sensitive External Antenna
- eMMC Flash Storage results in a slightly faster device.
- Comprehensive Kodi HD Audio Output now supported in LibreELEC Kodi as well.
- IR extender cord and proper Worldwide power plug adapters + RS232 / serial cable
- Excellent quality, solid metal/plastic case for heat dissipation.
- A tiny device that just looks cool. Smile

Core superiorities:
- A far far better Air Mouse - RF remote control, especially when using Android. I hate the Hub's IR one.
- 2 USB 2.0 ports vs 1 on the Hub
- S/PDIF optical output
- 2GB RAM
- the modded Android TV Netflix App runs properly, crashes on the Hub. (Fixed with Hub Firmware v1.02)
- more powerful GPU in the Core for 3D gaming.


Does it still stand that Hub > Core?
-i dont care if the remote control has airmouse or not - i will likely get a 3rd keyboard/track pad - or simple use my harmony remote
-dont care for gaming
-dont need optical out, using HDMI to AVR

Audio is important for me, ranking order more than Netflix HD

Is the Wetek Hub the right choice then? (accepting that Nvidia Shield is not available)
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I was using my 1080p HTPC (windows based device with afedchin 3D MVC build on it), but when i upgraded to a 4K projector i started looking at additional options.

I purchased the nVidia Shield and started using the SPMC Kodi fork. This gave me a 4K build. However, I've realised that the nVidia Shield even though its 4K its not as good as the picture quality i was receiving from my Windows HTPC machine earlier. Also the issue of not being able to play 3D ISO files from the nVidia Shield was an issue!!!

So i started searching further and from the 3D player thread on this forum, i decided to go with the Zidoo X9S device, this does everything as i wanted it to, ie. 4K playback, superb picture quality (using external zidoo video player only), 3D playback through ISO files also, even gives me Bluray menus on ISO files!!! So sounds perfect right? Nope it wasn't!!

Im having many issues, the in built ZDMC (Kodi) video player is complete shambles, out of sync audio, very slow etc... So i have to completely rely on using the external video player, which works well but then has issues when you only watch half complete files, it doesn't sync this back with Kodi (ZDMC), and always marks the files are Watched!
Also the external subtitles in this Zidoo player is a complete mess at the moment, with faulty fonts being used for subtitle characters. Also coming from using the nVidia Shield, the Zidoo device is painfully slow and laggy, perhaps because the remote is absolute trash, while the nVidia Shields remote is phenomenal and works very smoothly!

Don't get me wrong the picture quality in the Zidoo video Player is really top notch, the best I've seen but I'm thinking of returning the Zidoo device because of the other minor issues that would make daily usage a huge pain, but if i do return it, i just don't know what else to do?!?

Any tips? I can continue to use my HTPC with the afedchin MVC build on it, but my HTPC windows 10 machine, seems to only allow output at max 1080p and not 4K?! Also aren't 3D files anyway limited to 1080p? Is there any benefit of playing 1080p files on a 4K device output? As all my Bluray files are 1080p anyway.


Whats your suggestion to this please?
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(2016-12-07, 15:29)PTMD Wrote: Are my choices reduced to this, if so, that's great... if not - that's okay too, what are they?
- Wetek Hub
- Wetek Core - likely out
- Nvidia Shield - likely out as Nvidia Shield is out of stock - if and when Nvidia Shield 2 comes out (i dont know)

Does it still stand that Hub > Core?
-i dont care if the remote control has airmouse or not - i will likely get a 3rd keyboard/track pad - or simple use my harmony remote
-dont care for gaming
-dont need optical out, using HDMI to AVR

Audio is important for me, ranking order more than Netflix HD

Is the Wetek Hub the right choice then? (accepting that Nvidia Shield is not available)
Ultimately the nVIDIA Shield is the choice if sticking with an Android TV OS platform. I naturally runs rings around everything else Android.
You get what you pay for.
CES 2017 is January 5th - I'm strongly speculating there will be a nVIDIA announcement then on a refreshed Shield.

The AML S905 Hub is more than up to the task of running Kodi with HD Audio Output. And if you use a Wireless remote / keyboard, even better.
The beauty is that if you have issues with either OS you just Dual Boot and use the other. You can also flash an Unofficial Android TV OS ROM to the Hub and that works well with Dual Boot. Its all about choice.

A bunch of development work is yet to come to WeTek devices, both for the minor Kodi memory leak issue in LibreELEC (has been identified) and on the Android Side of the equation. (Hint) Wink

The other official AMLogic LibreELEC supported Hardware platform is the 2GB S905 ODROID C2. That runs pure Kodi very nicely as well. Smile

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thanx - should i be concerned with 1gb ram?

I think i will get the Wetek Hub - even if i wait til Jan. 2017 - the price of the Shield will still be high - why would they drop the price point
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(2016-12-07, 15:33)KILLERNADS Wrote: Is there any benefit of playing 1080p files on a 4K device output? As all my Bluray files are 1080p anyway.
I can think of one - 1080p video output to a 4K TV usually results in better quality video Upscaling due to superior Hardware used in the TV itself. Particularly for modern, Brand name TV's.

I see a lot of reports of picture quality / color output on the Shield, so I ask - these people that are complaining - do they calibrate their TV's properly in the first place ?

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(2016-12-07, 16:16)PTMD Wrote: thanx - should i be concerned with 1gb ram?
If you are a Power Kodi user with thousands upon thousands of scraped media files, more RAM and bigger Storage is always better. Kodi data can always be kept on external USB storage anyway if there is an issue when using Android.

The Android OS runs better with more RAM as there is less low level memory management and garbage collection going on.

LibreELEC does not generally need so much RAM, and you can use whatever sized microSDHC card you need. Samsung EVO(+) or Sandisk UHS-1 Class 10 recommended.

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(2016-12-07, 16:17)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2016-12-07, 15:33)KILLERNADS Wrote: Is there any benefit of playing 1080p files on a 4K device output? As all my Bluray files are 1080p anyway.
I can think of one - 1080p video output to a 4K TV usually results in better quality video Upscaling due to superior Hardware used in the TV itself. Particularly for modern, Brand name TV's.

I see a lot of reports of picture quality / color output on the Shield, so I ask - these people that are complaining - do they calibrate their TV's properly in the first place ?

So do you mean that it is better for me to use the windows HTPC Kodi resolution set to 1080p instead of 4K? Then either let my Arcam AVR550 or the Epson LS10000 projector do the upscale to 4K?

So is that the same with the nVidia Shield? Do you recommend that i would get better picture quality if i change the Shield to output 1080p only and then use my projector or AVR to do the upscale?

In all fairness it is not the picture quality that is not as good, it is the colours, they are not as good on the nVidia Shield as say my Intel based HTPC machine or even the Zidoo X9S, colours on those device seem better. But its weird cause if i change the resolution of my shield to be 4K @ 24hz i can then select RGB color scheme instead of the Component color scheme that is auto-selected when picking the recommended resolution of [email protected]

I can't talk about others but my home cinema has been calibrated professionally with all the tools required via a company. To be fair though he calibrated the picture when viewing a bluray in a bluray player and not using Kodi directly.
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I was talking TV's only. Not sure about general upscaling capabilities of Projectors.

So the question is then, is it not possible to Lock the Shield to a 1080p Resolution when playing [email protected] content so it does not autoswitch to [email protected] every time.
I know with AMLogic this 1080p > 2160p Resolution change does not happen unless your watching 2160p content. And then it only happens using LibreELEC only. Not Android.

Can you not Turn OFF in Android settings > Auto Switch to Best Resolution to stop this ?

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(2016-12-07, 16:25)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2016-12-07, 16:16)PTMD Wrote: thanx - should i be concerned with 1gb ram?
If you are a Power Kodi user with thousands upon thousands of scraped media files, more RAM and bigger Storage is always better. Kodi data can always be kept on external USB storage anyway if there is an issue when using Android.

The Android OS runs better with more RAM as there is less low level memory management and garbage collection going on.

LibreELEC does not generally need so much RAM, and you can use whatever sized microSDHC card you need. Samsung EVO(+) or Sandisk UHS-1 Class 10 recommended.

definitely not a Power user.... all my files are on my HTPC which is connected to a network. The wetek hub would access these files over the network

I would not be saving items on the hub
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(2016-12-07, 17:38)wrxtasy Wrote: I was talking TV's only. Not sure about general upscaling capabilities of Projectors.

So the question is then, is it not possible to Lock the Shield to a 1080p Resolution when playing [email protected] content so it does not autoswitch to [email protected] every time.
I know with AMLogic this 1080p > 2160p Resolution change does not happen unless your watching 2160p content. And then it only happens using LibreELEC only. Not Android.

Can you not Turn OFF in Android settings > Auto Switch to Best Resolution to stop this ?

So even if i choose another resolution (such as [email protected] or 1080p) apart from the recommended or auto [email protected], when I'm done watching a film in Kodi (SPMC in this case), after the film or show has finished the resolution of the box always seems to switch back to the default [email protected]!!!

Im guessing maybe i somehow need to lock Kodi from switching? At the moment i have in the settings turned on match FPS on Start/Stop of video and also always sync to display is turned OFF.

Also if i choose the wrong fps value, can this cause issues with lip syncing being off by a few microseconds? or can fps/hz not cause this?

One other thing, if i do lock to 1080p resolution like you suggest then i have a problem with Netflix as it won't display 4K content Sad
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Well, @PTMD, I'm in a similar situation, If you lived in Europe, I would know a couple of places where you could buy a Shield.

I have no problem spending some money for a great box, however I must say that , If I could save some money and buy a great product for a little less money , I would be happier.

I think that the shield is a great option right now( if not the best , for a box under 200€) , I've looked at zidoos, Himedia , but the thing is , for more 40-50€, I get the Shield , with no comparison possible.( Netflix 4k, smoother images, good support and a great Jhardware/software behind ) . It scores at least 3 times more than those I've mentioned above , on Antutu, and has a higher score on the other bench tests.

Here is a comparison(side by side ) video of a Shield vs a Mi box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCdOfhQTsWY .

I just haven't bought one yet because I think there's a strong possibility for a shield 2 announcement , or at least, a price drop.

P.S: Besides Shield, I would go for a minix U1( or wait for the new U9 with HDR). The price difference between the nvidia and minix shouldn't be much.

Regards
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still U$299 vs C$130 (U$90)

seems a no brainer - worst case, i bring my HTPC to the second larger screen and use my new hub on the smaller screen
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(2016-12-07, 15:29)PTMD Wrote: - Nvidia Shield - likely out as Nvidia Shield is out of stock - if and when Nvidia Shield 2 comes out (i dont know)

New Nvidia shield will be presented in CES 2017, source https://www.slashgear.com/nvidia-shield-...-06466583/
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Hi - I've been running XBMC/KODI on a Core 2 Quad (Q8300) Quad-Core 2.5GHz based system with 16GB ram and SSD OS (Ubuntu), a few 2TB content discs, and VDPAU capable video card. HDMI out to my AVR, then to a 1080P tv.

Everything has been perfect for several years, since 2010 actually, and continues to be perfect, but I'm considering upgrading to a 4K TV in the near future. My video card, a GIGABYTE GV-N220OC-1GI GT220, I don't believe will support 4K.

I'm wondering if I can just upgrade the video card on this old hardware, and if so what video card is recommended.

I'm also considering building a completely separate box to replace this 7 year old workhorse. When it comes to Kodi I don't have any specific budget ... I use it to host VMs for side projects and other work so I have no problem sinking substantial funds into a build. But ... would it get me much more than I have today with a more current video card?

Thanks for any opinions!
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