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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated Dec 2020)
(2017-03-15, 09:58)WeldSpark Wrote: I have read the guide (Post 1) but I still can't decide. It's not a easy call.

Work out what Audio and Video content you are going to consume and if you need any HD/4K HDR Android Streaming Apps.

That narrow the field considerably.

Kodi only media player - LibreELEC on a AMLogic S905 will have most bases covered.

Otherwise the Intel "Lake" series of devices should be looked at for LibreELEC Hardware HEVC(H265) decoding.

Reply
Okey, thank you. Then I will look for a Intel "Lake" box, the only thing I miss with my Asrock 330 is h265 decoding or should I wait for the new AMD Razor cpu's?

Maybe intel CPU's have better support?
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Hi Buddy,

Need little bit you're help.

I have sony 1080p 43inch w95d tv.it is trilumnous display tv . watching on this tv will be very awesome.
But this tv is in my hometown,where no Internet net is available.
So thrice in a month i will travel from my work station to my home and handover my hard disk to my family,it will have all my downloaded movies (from torrent/YouTube)but now days in torrent I am seeing very good clarity with hevc 10 bit formated videos which vary size from (2 to 12gb) size.

But this is type of files (formats hevc and h265) files are unable to play in my tv..

I am looking for some future proof without any issues (my family is not educated) running android box,which can play all the latest format files and easy to operate.

Can u suggest any good android box.
So for me no priority of kodi,my aim is whatever the content i will download from torrent and some other sites it should play without any issues.

Can minix neo u1 will be good player or any other please suggest based upon my situation.

Sent from my SM-N9208
Reply
(2017-03-15, 20:55)zameer044 Wrote: Hi Buddy,

Need little bit you're help.

I have sony 1080p 43inch w95d tv.it is trilumnous display tv . watching on this tv will be very awesome.
But this tv is in my hometown,where no Internet net is available.
So thrice in a month i will travel from my work station to my home and handover my hard disk to my family,it will have all my downloaded movies (from torrent/YouTube)but now days in torrent I am seeing very good clarity with hevc 10 bit formated videos which vary size from (2 to 12gb) size.

But this is type of files (formats hevc and h265) files are unable to play in my tv..

I am looking for some future proof without any issues (my family is not educated) running android box,which can play all the latest format files and easy to operate.

Can u suggest any good android box.
So for me no priority of kodi,my aim is whatever the content i will download from torrent and some other sites it should play without any issues.

Can minix neo u1 will be good player or any other please suggest based upon my situation.

Sent from my SM-N9208 (typie typie)
And forget to mention mine is 3dtv.So I will play 3d files also.

Sent from my SM-N9208
Reply
So, I read through this thread along with a number of others. I've also done reading at other communities and done some googling. I guess I'm just sort of floundering with paralysis by analysis right now. There's so much information about Kodi, the different hardware options, the different types of output, the different addons, etc, etc, etc, etc, that it has left me more confused than when I started. I guess I'm here in hopes of some guidance so I can get back to researching and deciding.

Content desired: I would like the following in HD if possible (4K would be amazing, but unlikely, I assume.)
  1. Live sports - specifically, NFL, UFC, NHL, MLB, Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes
  2. Non-Live TV - I'm sure I can find anything I want in this realm, so I'll skip it.
  3. Live TV shows - Game of Thrones, HGTV (SO watches this channel almost 100% of the time if she's by herself,) Olympics, World Cup, New Years Eve coverage

My setup:
  • I currently have a small crappy TV, but will be investing in a mid/high end LED 65" 4K (most likely HDR capable) set shortly
  • I also will invest in a soundbar, or maybe two speakers, but probably not a surround system, unless I find one for unexpectedly cheap
  • I have Netflix and will continue that subscription unless it's silly to do so - I'd like to have it provide the highest quality available when I get the 4K set

Usage needs:
  1. I can handle some technical setup - my tech capacity and ability is intermediate (ex: I've been rooting, romming, and heavily modifying/customizing my Android phones since the days of the DroidX, which game out shortly after the OG Droid - prior to this, I played around a lot trying to optimize my windows machines)
  2. I need the final product to be simple to use - my S/O who has minimal tech skills or desire to mess with things needs to be able to use the interface and find what she wants easily. I'd like a solution simple enough to setup for my parents as well.
  3. Low maintenance after initial setup. I don't mind doing manual updates and maintenance now and then, but from using custom ROMs on my Android phones, I've learned that I prefer not to keep going back and overhauling, or reworking everything on a monthly, quarterly or even semi-annual basis.
  4. Low lag - I hate slow scrolling
  5. Future proof (as much as possible at least.)

Most likely hardware choices: After reading, it seems like these are the most likely candidates to achieve what I want
  • Xiaomi Mi Box (very attractive price, apparently simple usage and low maintenance)
  • Amazon Fire TV 2 (attractive price, seems perhaps a bit more hacking-restrictive, might do a couple things better than the Mi Box)
  • nVIDIA Shield (less attractive price, more powerful than the previous two, and may handle 4K stuff better - also might be only option for HDR?)
  • custom-build windows computer - essentially this would be a full fledged desktop build with unusual components like particular graphics cards, an IR receiver, and specific chipsets that will handle the different sorts of video / output -- this might be outside my technical ability, as I've never built a computer before

Questions:
  1. If you were in my position, what would you do?
  2. Are there any parts of my wishlist above that are simply unachievable?
  3. What considerations am I overlooking based on what I've written?
  4. What are the most important things I need to read up on still to make my decision?
  5. Any other guidance or suggestions?
Reply
(2017-03-16, 20:20)kwest12 Wrote: So, I read through this thread along with a number of others. I've also done reading at other communities and done some googling. I guess I'm just sort of floundering with paralysis by analysis right now. There's so much information about Kodi, the different hardware options, the different types of output, the different addons, etc, etc, etc, etc, that it has left me more confused than when I started. I guess I'm here in hopes of some guidance so I can get back to researching and deciding.

Content desired: I would like the following in HD if possible (4K would be amazing, but unlikely, I assume.)
  1. Live sports - specifically, NFL, UFC, NHL, MLB, Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes
  2. Non-Live TV - I'm sure I can find anything I want in this realm, so I'll skip it.
  3. Live TV shows - Game of Thrones, HGTV (SO watches this channel almost 100% of the time if she's by herself,) Olympics, World Cup, New Years Eve coverage

My setup:
  • I currently have a small crappy TV, but will be investing in a mid/high end LED 65" 4K (most likely HDR capable) set shortly
  • I also will invest in a soundbar, or maybe two speakers, but probably not a surround system, unless I find one for unexpectedly cheap
  • I have Netflix and will continue that subscription unless it's silly to do so - I'd like to have it provide the highest quality available when I get the 4K set

Usage needs:
  1. I can handle some technical setup - my tech capacity and ability is intermediate (ex: I've been rooting, romming, and heavily modifying/customizing my Android phones since the days of the DroidX, which game out shortly after the OG Droid - prior to this, I played around a lot trying to optimize my windows machines)
  2. I need the final product to be simple to use - my S/O who has minimal tech skills or desire to mess with things needs to be able to use the interface and find what she wants easily. I'd like a solution simple enough to setup for my parents as well.
  3. Low maintenance after initial setup. I don't mind doing manual updates and maintenance now and then, but from using custom ROMs on my Android phones, I've learned that I prefer not to keep going back and overhauling, or reworking everything on a monthly, quarterly or even semi-annual basis.
  4. Low lag - I hate slow scrolling
  5. Future proof (as much as possible at least.)

Most likely hardware choices: After reading, it seems like these are the most likely candidates to achieve what I want
  • Xiaomi Mi Box (very attractive price, apparently simple usage and low maintenance)
  • Amazon Fire TV 2 (attractive price, seems perhaps a bit more hacking-restrictive, might do a couple things better than the Mi Box)
  • nVIDIA Shield (less attractive price, more powerful than the previous two, and may handle 4K stuff better - also might be only option for HDR?)
  • custom-build windows computer - essentially this would be a full fledged desktop build with unusual components like particular graphics cards, an IR receiver, and specific chipsets that will handle the different sorts of video / output -- this might be outside my technical ability, as I've never built a computer before

Questions:
  1. If you were in my position, what would you do?
  2. Are there any parts of my wishlist above that are simply unachievable?
  3. What considerations am I overlooking based on what I've written?
  4. What are the most important things I need to read up on still to make my decision?
  5. Any other guidance or suggestions?

I'm not going to claim to be an expert (far from it), but I've owned the following devices to use for Kodi since 2007/2008 (in order):

- Custom built HTPC with Windows (high end specs for the time)
- Small off-the-shelf ITX computer with Windows (Intel Atom powered)
- 2 rooted FireTV's
- 1 rooted FireStick
- Custom built HTPC with LibreELEC (same computer as above, just ditched Windows for OpenELEC, then LibreELEC)
- Small off-the-shelf ITX computer with LibreELEC (same situation as above)
- Nvidia Shield

I was in a similar situation as you in regards to needing a high WAF, and the only boxes that my wife didn't constantly complain to me about (and subsequently I would need to tinker with) were the boxes with LibreELEC and the Shield. She now uses the Shield on a daily basis without any trouble, and in the rare event that something goes wrong, the interface is simple enough that she can reboot the box herself, and that 99% of the time fixes the problem.

My advice to you would be to stay away from Windows if you don't a) want to tinker and b) want a high WAF.

In regards to which LibreELEC box to get, I couldn't help you with that, but I can't recommend the Shield enough. Works great with my new 4k OLED TV, and have been using it since 2015 with almost 0 problems.
Reply
Thanks for the detailed response, @feerlessleadr. I'd say it sounds like you're pretty much an expert at this point tbh.

If you were able to get the custom HTPCs running LibreELEC to work nearly as seamlessly as the shield, I may at least consider that, and try to set up a machine that will dual boot LibreELEC and windows (just googled it and found this guide, actually: https://forum.libreelec.tv/thread-15.html)

I've never screwed around with building my own rig or with Linux, but I can read and follow guides well enough that I may give it a shot. I assume the biggest hurdle will probably be figuring out hardware that will work properly together, play nicely with both Widows and Linux/LibreELEC, and will have the proper specs to push the proper resolutions/frame rates for the various apps/programs.

Just writing that is making my head spin a bit, because that does mean a huge amount of time researching and tinkering, but once things are setup, is it pretty much set and forget, or no?

I've always had this idea that I'd like to be able to hookup a desktop rig and use my 65" tv as a monitor, and then use the same rig to watch movies and tv.

Anyway, thanks again.

PS. Can anyone address the content desired section of my write-up? I'm a bit concerned about whether I'll be able to get the live stuff I mentioned.
Reply
Kodi does not supply content, nor does the foundation support pirated content.

A lot of what you ask for can probably only be supplied by pirate streaming services, although there are some addons for some paid sports streams if you look in the video addons section of the forum.

However if you are looking to get cable TV without paying for it, you are in the wrong place.
If I have helped you or increased your knowledge, click the 'thumbs up' button to give thanks :) (People with less than 20 posts won't see the "thumbs up" button.)
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[I'm not going to claim to be an expert (far from it), but I've owned the following devices to use for Kodi since 2007/2008 (in order):

- Custom built HTPC with Windows (high end specs for the time)
- Small off-the-shelf ITX computer with Windows (Intel Atom powered)
- 2 rooted FireTV's
- 1 rooted FireStick
- Custom built HTPC with LibreELEC (same computer as above, just ditched Windows for OpenELEC, then LibreELEC)
- Small off-the-shelf ITX computer with LibreELEC (same situation as above)
- Nvidia Shield

I was in a similar situation as you in regards to needing a high WAF, and the only boxes that my wife didn't constantly complain to me about (and subsequently I would need to tinker with) were the boxes with LibreELEC and the Shield. She now uses the Shield on a daily basis without any trouble, and in the rare event that something goes wrong, the interface is simple enough that she can reboot the box herself, and that 99% of the time fixes the problem.

My advice to you would be to stay away from Windows if you don't a) want to tinker and b) want a high WAF.

In regards to which LibreELEC box to get, I couldn't help you with that, but I can't recommend the Shield enough. Works great with my new 4k OLED TV, and have been using it since 2015 with almost 0 problems.

[/quote][/color]


Hi, @feerlessleadr

Why you cannot recommend enough the Nvidia Shield?
I also want something simple to mount and enjoy. Nowadays I prefer to buy o good phone with proper support for firmware, rather having to install every time new custom roms with the permissive that a miracle will happen.
But, in my case I am interested in Android and libreelec dual boot. I also tried to find a NAS capable of installing libreelec or kodi, but had no success
Reply
CPU's are virtually irrelevant - when ARM based Chipset media players can hardware decode everything using powerful inbuilt VPU's.

Individual Android App choices need to be researched by users themselves - this is a Kodi forum - we are not going to do that work for you !

For 3D - well read Post #1 - the listed devices are all there and then ask questions in the individual Hardware threads about exactly what is needed particularly for 3D MVC or ISO support. Be aware the Q5/10 Pro and Zidoo's do not have the necessary DRM and Netflix approvals for paid HD / 4K streaming. This included HBO, Amazon etc...

Easiest to use Android devices that actually get decent Firmware support - Shield and the Mi Box.

4K HDR content - the nVIDIA Shield as it can use HDR Netflix and Amazon Apps.

Best Kodi only devices - LibreELEC Hardware.

Best budget Krypton - 4K HEVC (H265) / HD Audio devices - the LibreELEC S905 & S905x family, as everything is Hardware decoded in a very competent, silent, power efficient HDMI-CEC compatible package. These cheap devices are recommended till HDR and Dolbyvision is fully bedded down and more HDR or DV content is actually available.
Expensive Kodi devices are frankly useless if you cannot feed them Video content to actually use their Hardware capabilities. There is always cheaper hardware just over the horizon.

I would not rely on Kodi Krypton for Live TV when using any Android device. You can however use the Live Channels - Android TV App on the Mi Box and the Shield - and that works a lot more reliably for OTA TV Streaming.

LibreELEC Kodi Krypton only for PVR Client - interlaced Live TV reliability.

Self built Intel HTPC's are expensive for Kodi only (non 3D) use - HDMI 2.0 - still is not reliable on the Intel "Lake" series hardware either due to using a patched together Displayport - HDMI 2.0 implementation. I'm not even sure if HDMI-CEC is working properly. I seriously doubt it is as good as free PulseEight HDMI-CEC support we see on LibreELEC RPi and AML S905 platforms.

Intel does not have a monopoly in the media player space - in fact they are lagging, far behind. Now we have powerful, cheap ARM Chipsets available with half decent Firmware for (non 3D) media player usage only.

Mainline / Modern - Linux Kernel testing is about to commence for AML S905 LibreELEC devices too. I expect an explosion of projects once that is bedded down simply due to the fantastic bang for the buck.



Personally I would leave Android devices for Android Apps only, which is what they are very good for. And use LibreELEC Kodi for reliable, always on 24/7, appliance like - no nonsense seamless Kodi use only. Use the strengths of both OS platforms without too many compromises.
Trying to do it all on one box is where demanding Kodi users come unstuck.

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Hello wrxtasy

I want to give Libreelec a chance, for an older relative, so for him I'm going to opt for a S905 or S905X box that is cheap, because I do not know if he'll just use it.

Would one of these two suffice?
Nexbox A95X - S905 - 1GB RAM + 8GB ROM
TX3 PRO - S905X - 1GB RAM + 8GB ROM
Some better than another? Or similar in price? For this use, exclusive Libreelec.

Thanks
Reply
Hard to say as even the same named boxes can come with slightly different internal componentry. Probably look on the LibreELEC AML Sub-forums and see what everyone is using.

For non tech users, I would get a AML S905(x) box with the simplest looking remote control with not too many tiny buttons - one that has decent Infra Red remote sensitivity.

Reply
(2017-03-17, 11:30)wrxtasy Wrote: Hard to say as even the same named boxes can come with slightly different internal componentry. Probably look on the LibreELEC AML Sub-forums and see what everyone is using.

For non tech users, I would get a AML S905(x) box with the simplest looking remote control with not too many tiny buttons - one that has decent Infra Red remote sensitivity.

Better s905x than s905 for these cases?

With so much mark I also fart the truth, look at these proque found these models cited in the forum of libreelec, but with little information.
Thanks
Reply
(2017-03-17, 11:30)wrxtasy Wrote: Hard to say as even the same named boxes can come with slightly different internal componentry. Probably look on the LibreELEC AML Sub-forums and see what everyone is using.

For non tech users, I would get a AML S905(x) box with the simplest looking remote control with not too many tiny buttons - one that has decent Infra Red remote sensitivity.
Hi wrxtasy,

I am following your replys,Just to ask one question,then Minix Neo U1 will be best options as this S905 based chip box?with good and stable firmware

Sent from my SM-N9208
Reply
Without trying to sound to Bias - the reference AML S905 Hardware LibreELEC development device - the ODROID C2 gets best bits. Particularly when it comes to HDMI-CEC OFF / ON control. Because from a developer perspective we get to mod. its U-Boot - open sourced code.
Plus we get to Overclock its CPU/RAM Safely. Only S905 device that has been tested properly that we can do this Safely too. Dirty great big heatsinks help !

The S905 MINIX NEO U1 will come with great (now mature) AML Android Lollipop Firmware for Kodi Jarvis usage, all in a quality Hardware package. Far far better MIMO AC WiFi than generic AML S905(x) boxes.
Unsure how well it runs when using Android Kodi Krypton. But having said that it's AML S905 will also run LibreELEC Kodi Krypton nicely indeed from a SD card - so you have flexibility and a fallback option there. ;-)

@LauraS, S905's come with GigaE Ethernet - S905x's - 100Megabit only which is still fine for 4K streaming. S905x can do 10bit HDR video output - not much HDR content about tho. I don't consider HDR that important just yet.
As I said easiest to use remotes make a big difference to non tech users.

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