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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated March 2020)
Video 
(2017-05-12, 20:37)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2017-05-12, 19:26)m.r.f. Wrote: I see, to get 24-bit/192kHz bit perfect playback is with AML S905 LibreELEC or Vero 4K running OSMC.
But they no have Netflix.
To have everything, only intel HTPC (barebone, NUC) running windows 10.
Not quite - the S905 WeTek Hub with Android Marshmallow Firmware can do reliable 1080p/4K Netflix using the stock standard - Android TV - Netflix App, and then easily Dual Boot into LibreELEC.

There is also a pretty nice unofficial Android TV ROM about to be released for it. Add a Wireless MINIX remote and you have a flexible little device for casual Android use. I'm even getting 5.1 DD Android TV Netflix Audio on a connected DD only Audio system - something the Xiaomi Mi Box or nVIDIA Shield cannot even do.

LibreELEC happily runs at speed on less than 1GB of RAM - even for High Bitrate 4K streaming. Smile

TIP: AMLogic LibreELEC runs faster from Samsung EVO or Sandisk Class 10 U1 microSDHC cards vs other brands.
I'm waiting for the android 6 for wetek play 2.
And see if the mede8er does something.

Wetek hub in LibreELEC, netflix 720p.
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Receiving a Miniix U1 Neo soon and wondering if XNBC will work with sites like Fusion or am i better installing LibreELEC?
I need to have tv catch up apps installed also and need the box setup to be easy for my wife to use.
I believe LibreELEC can be installed on the sd card but unsure if it will operate in conjunction with Android apps or does will it run seperate?
I am very new to Android and have alot to learn so any advice would be great.
Thanks
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Please read Kodi forum rules regarding discussion of Banned Kodi Addons & Repo's (same rules apply on LibreELEC forums too):

Official:Forum_rules/Banned_add-ons (wiki)

LibreELEC will be setup to dual boot if it is run from an external SD Card (see Kodi Power Menu - reboot to internal)

All further Android / LibreELEC setup help to be done over in the Kodi Android Subforum / LibreELEC forums please. This is a Hardware thread.

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(2017-05-13, 16:12)tolentino Wrote: I couldn't find the specific answer for my case on the main post. Sorry if I missed it.
But I would like to replace a Win7 desktop (miniATX) taking a lot of room in my tv center. I currently use it for Kodi mainly. It works perfectly. Size is the main problem and the HW is now beginning to present some weird issues (it's an Athlon II on a lot of old HW...I think about 8 years old).
I tried a Chinese android box and all the issues with sound were present. As far as I can understand, that is not a good option because I need OPTICAL sound output for my home theater. My ASUS MB in the desktop has an optical out in it!! =)
So, which Intel box would be an option? I checked two reviews here and both boxes didn't have an optical out...
Thank you.
Optical out can be easily achieved with an external usb audio card.
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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Hi there!
I'm new in this forum although I use Kodi for many years now. First on a Windows PC, the last years on Amazon's Fire TV II. I like Kodi a lot and it fulfills all my requirements. So far so good, but since more and more movies come along with Dolby Atmos, or DTS X I feel a bit trapped. I read a lot the last few days, here and in other fora and the message I got is that Android and HD-Audio/Video reproduction do not go along in a smooth way, thanks to vendors like Amazon who are obviously not willing to support anything beside their own streaming content. So I decided to keep the Fire TV for Amazon Prime and Netflix only, but will use Kodi for my hundreds of movies on a different platform. The question is which one. Recently I found this thread, but I'm a bit lost with 109 pages packed with information and products I do not even know the name.
So I hope for mercy that I didn't read the whole thread and some helpful hints to chose the right product. My requirements are stability, 4k Video, passthrough of Dolby Atmos and DTS X and the possibility to operate the whole thing via RC, or iPad. And I don't want Android anymore.
I hope for some recommendations and support. Many thanks in advance and
Kind regards!
G
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Hi,

Follow this link, it's all explained and the boxes will give you what you want.

AMLogic S905(x) - LibreELEC / OSMC - Kodi Krypton - 4K Options

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Thanks a lot!
Exactly what I need. I was already thinking about the Vero 4K. Looks good, sounds good.
CU
G
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Almost 110 pages, read page 1 many times over & cant still wrap my head around it..

I want a box that can pump out 4K, HDR, 5.1, HD audio.... from kodi addons. Having Netflix, etc. is. Bonus but not required, I use my PS4 Pro for that stuff.

2 boxes I seem to drift to are Shield or Vero?

Shield website even says 4KHDR, but are they referring to 4KHDR via Netflix Amazon only? Or thru Kodi also?

Vero website only mentions 4K (HDR not mentioned), also from I gather, is a Kodi only box?
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Android Kodi / SPMC & Android TV only - Netflix & Amazon will have HDR support.

Yes HDR is confusing. HDR10 is not properly implemented at all in OSMC or LibreELEC Kodi - those being Kodi only implementations.
There is no way to turn on Deep Color Mode support for example, and there is no 10bit output, even if you are running on HDR capable Hardware.

You have to use the Android OS (Marshmallow onwards I believe) which has such Android options and capabilities - and you also use Kodi's (or SPMC's) Mediacodec (Surface) mode.

There was some pretty detailed SPMC / HDR10 testing and reporting done over HERE recently, and that was just using a generic AMLogic - Mini m8sII - S905X Android Marshmallow box.

You should also read this warning, as Mediacodec (Surface) comes with some limitations - particularly for the nVIDIA Shield:

https://github.com/koying/SPMC/wiki/Reco...ith-4K-GUI

Quote:Note: with SPMC 16.6, you must disable MediaCodec (Surface) to use upscaling or deinterlacing. However, if you disable MediaCodec (Surface), then HDR content will not be displayed in HDR.

The question for you then becomes how much do you value 4K HDR video output over everyday 1080p > 4K video upscaling picture quality ?

Resolution switching in Android has to be done manually, this can become a PITA if you have mixed 720/1080p/4K content and use SPMC / Kodi. There is no Lancos3-optimised upscaling options in Android Kodi Krypton.

4K TV's with their superior Hardware produce sharper picture outputs when upscaling any video content below 4K vs virtually all media players on the market.

The Android 4K HDR boxes will obviously give you 4K HDR, the Vero 4K / OSMC or LibreELEC Boxes (no HDR support) will give you higher quality, seamless 1080p > 4K video upscaling due to its ability to Auto Resolution switch a 4K TV to the proper required video output resolution, plus proper High Quality deinterlacing for Kodi PVR use.

Those are the choices. Pick what is most important to you.

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(2017-05-16, 07:01)wrxtasy Wrote: Android Kodi / SPMC & Android TV only - Netflix & Amazon will have HDR support.

Yes HDR is confusing. HDR10 is not properly implemented at all in OSMC or LibreELEC Kodi - those being Kodi only implementations.
There is no way to turn on Deep Color Mode support for example, and there is no 10bit output, even if you are running on HDR capable Hardware.

You have to use the Android OS (Marshmallow onwards I believe) which has such Android options and capabilities - and you also use Kodi's (or SPMC's) Mediacodec (Surface) mode.

There was some pretty detailed SPMC / HDR10 testing and reporting done over HERE recently, and that was just using a generic AMLogic - Mini m8sII - S905X Android Marshmallow box.

You should also read this warning, as Mediacodec (Surface) comes with some limitations - particularly for the nVIDIA Shield:

https://github.com/koying/SPMC/wiki/Reco...ith-4K-GUI

Quote:Note: with SPMC 16.6, you must disable MediaCodec (Surface) to use upscaling or deinterlacing. However, if you disable MediaCodec (Surface), then HDR content will not be displayed in HDR.

The question for you then becomes how much do you value 4K HDR video output over everyday 1080p > 4K video upscaling picture quality ?

Resolution switching in Android has to be done manually, this can become a PITA if you have mixed 720/1080p/4K content and use SPMC / Kodi. There is no Lancos3-optimised upscaling options in Android Kodi Krypton.

4K TV's with their superior Hardware produce sharper picture outputs when upscaling any video content below 4K vs virtually all media players on the market.

The Android 4K HDR boxes will obviously give you 4K HDR, the Vero 4K / OSMC or LibreELEC Boxes (no HDR support) will give you higher quality, seamless 1080p > 4K video upscaling due to its ability to Auto Resolution switch a 4K TV to the proper required video output resolution, plus proper High Quality deinterlacing for Kodi PVR use.

Those are the choices. Pick what is most important to you.


Excellent response, really helps clear things up for me. I'm Attempting to future proof a kodi box purchase is why I wanted clarity.

I have only ever ran Kodi on a macmini, never noticed any resolution switching issues on the 1080 TV the Mac is connected too. From what you explained that is an android only issue. Could a future Android OS release fix that?

My bedroom TV is a 4K Roku OS (no HDR), So for now HDR isn't a 'need'.
Hoping a future FW release for Vero could better support kodi HDR, because I want to upgrade my main living room 1080TV with an HDR 4K set next.
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Are the only devices that RELIABLY run Blu-Ray menus of the PowerDVD / Windows variety? I have two Android TV boxes (X9S and Q10 Pro) and the Blu-ray menu support is kludgy at best.So then I bought this Kaby Lake Beebox-S and there are so many bugs with HDMI, 3D ... it's unusable right now except to get Netflix HD.
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UHD HDR Blurays are uncrackable.
Unless you are heavily invested in providing you own properly encoded HDR content or getting HDR Netflix or Amazon Video from a nVIDIA Shield or similar HDR capable hardware then IMHO it's not worth hitching your media player to the HDR bandwagon.

4K, up scaling and HDR using Android has not been very well implemented if you also want to use a media player for everything else Kodi provides without continually, manually changing Android and Kodi settings.

Even then if you want decent quality 1080p > 4K upscaling on Hardware that is also 4K HDR capable from the likes of Netflix and Amazon, you would actually get superior picture outputs by using those Apps on the 4K HDR TV when you then revert back to streaming normal 1080p DRM content.
The 4K TV in this scenario would be outputting superior quality upscaling, compared to an external media player and you would not have to fiddle about with settings.

If 4K Android media players sellers were serious about high quality picture outputs on 4K TV's they would implement Android App - Auto video resolution switching !
The only Android guys trying this are Amazon with the (non HDR) 4K FireTV2.

The overarching factor at play here is trying to do everything on the one device, which can become a PITA trying to remember settings and implement work arounds to try and get everything to play nice and produce high quality picture outputs on large 4K TV's. This is commonly where the wheels fall off and people end up stuck in the hole called "frustration !" That is found down in the valley of "disappointments !" Wink

There are a bunch of people now that want to dip their toes in the Kodi 4K HDR, HEVC waters without getting burnt. They are simply buying cheap AML S905X Android HDR capable hardware to play around with and running Dual Boot Android / LibreELEC setups. HDR and Android is soon forgotten about then too and LibreELEC Kodi becomes their main media player OS Smile

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(2017-05-17, 03:52)wrxtasy Wrote: UHD HDR Blurays are uncrackable.
Unless you are heavily invested in providing you own properly encoded HDR content or getting HDR Netflix or Amazon Video from a nVIDIA Shield or similar HDR capable hardware then IMHO it's not worth hitching your media player to the HDR bandwagon.

4K, up scaling and HDR using Android has not been very well implemented if you also want to use a media player for everything else Kodi provides without continually, manually changing Android and Kodi settings.

Even then if you want decent quality 1080p > 4K upscaling on Hardware that is also 4K HDR capable from the likes of Netflix and Amazon, you would actually get superior picture outputs by using those Apps on the 4K HDR TV when you then revert back to streaming normal 1080p DRM content.
The 4K TV in this scenario would be outputting superior quality upscaling, compared to an external media player and you would not have to fiddle about with settings.

If 4K Android media players sellers were serious about high quality picture outputs on 4K TV's they would implement Android App - Auto video resolution switching !
The only Android guys trying this are Amazon with the (non HDR) 4K FireTV2.

The overarching factor at play here is trying to do everything on the one device, which can become a PITA trying to remember settings and implement work arounds to try and get everything to play nice and produce high quality picture outputs on large 4K TV's. This is commonly where the wheels fall off and people end up stuck in the hole called "frustration !" That is found down in the valley of "disappointments !" Wink

There are a bunch of people now that want to dip their toes in the Kodi 4K HDR, HEVC waters without getting burnt. They are simply buying cheap AML S905X Android HDR capable hardware to play around with and running Dual Boot Android / LibreELEC setups. HDR and Android is soon forgotten about then too and LibreELEC Kodi becomes their main media player OS Smile

I'm def leaning to Vero 4K now, plug n play! My next dilemma would be finding a way to have my ipvanish work on it. Currently the VPN simply runs on the Mac. Any links that explain how to install VPN on OSMC box? Google didn't help me. Doesn't seem like Vero4K has implemented a easy to setup VPN GUI.
Update- registered on the OSMC forum & the owner explained he is working on a VPN update. I just bought a Vero 4k Smile
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Can't really read all tons of posts here but I am here to simply ask anyone "What is the best android box that can actually run 10bit HEVC video smoothly regardless of format type?"
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Please define "Best" as it relates to you ?

Do you want 10bit decoding and correct 10bit video output to a modern 10bit display ?

Or do you want 10bit video dithered and output as 8bit because you don't have a HDR10 TV and just a normal, regular 8bit TV?

If it just 10bit HEVC decode you want with smooth video playback, then any of the AMLogic S905/S905X OSMC / LibreELEC Kodi boxes will give you what you want with minimal problems of Android getting in the way and complicating matters. See the previous two pages for details of such boxes.

Do you even need Android or just want a no fuss Kodi box ?

Because Android is not going to give you seamless 1080p <<-->>2160p Auto resolution switching if you have a standard 4K TV and mixed 10bit 1080p / 2160p(4K) HEVC video content. Manually selecting, and fiddling about with Android settings to get optimal upscaling picture outputs for a 4K TV soon becomes a PITA after a while.

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