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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated Dec 2020)
Thanks wrxtasy for this thread! Because of your recommendation i bought a Odroid C2 with eMMC and MINIX NEO A2 Lite RF remote, installed LibreELEC and really couldn't be happier!


Suggestion: A Google Sheet document with all the popular boxes and their different kodi software solutions (e.g. LibreELEC or Android/KODI or Android/SPMC) and the features they support (24p, audio passthrough, Netflix 4k/HDR, Amazon 4k/HDR, 3D etc.). This way everyone would get a super quick overview of the current situation and could filter for the features he needs.

Could be editable by a few official reviewers of this board to keep the document up to date when new reviews arrive.
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Wonderful thread, and very helpful.

I see from a few posts that some users have opted to buy a Vero 4k, which I am leaning toward myself and was wondering would they mind sharing their experiences.

I know the Vero doesn't do HDR, but will it still play files with HDR even if the effects are not seen?
2160p HEVC x265 10bit [email protected] files play OK?
Any frameskipping problems, or anything like that.

Are they happy with their purchase. I know Sam offers fantastic support for this box and would be a definite plus.

Please excuse any silly or obvious questions as I am new to modern media boxes, as I have been using a wdtv player for what seems like forever.

Many Thanks
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Is there any suggestions for a good versatile Kodi box which can play live tv and do timeshifting using a clear qam tuner?
From reading the prior posts it sounds like it would be one of the following but maybe I'm wrong.

Intel Hardware including the Chromebox
ODROID C2 (using eMMC Flash storage)
Vero 4K running OSMC Kodi

Would I be able to use the same box as both the backend and frontend or would it not be powerful enough?

Also, let me know if I'm wrong but it sounds like the Vero 4k and Odriod C2 can basically play the same video formats. How does that compare to the chromebox?

Thanks in advance for any info/advice you can provide.
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Wink 
Hi! I'm new to TV box and am thinking about getting one. After doing some readings I have streamlined to the following models that suit my budget:
1) Minix Neo U9-H
2) Himedia Q10 Pro
3) Zidoo X9S

Can someone advise me which model is best suitable for beginners?

Thank you.
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@ultravid: what do you want to do with it? I have a Q10 Pro, do you really want to stick a HDD inside it? Because Q5 Pro is more like the Zidoo X9S or like the Minix. None of them can stream Netflix and the likes in HD or fullHD because of DRM.
Gadget enthusiast
Kodi player on an oDroid N2 with CoreElec
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@ultravid,

Beginners = Android TV because devices running the Android TV interface are really easy to use with simple, integrated Wireless Voice remote controls and run Apps actually built for easy use on a TV screen.
Hint: you can Voice search a SPMC/Kodi media library with Android TV devices.

All those boxes boxes you have chosen use a tablet touchscreen Android interface = not suitable for beginners and non-techheads as you need to use a Wireless Air Mouse or Touchpad keyboard to even used Android Tablet Apps properly. Basically Android Apps with a very sensitive mouse pointer on a TV screen are a PITA to use compared to Android TV.

The Q10 Pro or Zidoo do not even come with an Wireless Air Mouse or touchpad keyboard. That will be extra $$$ and even then the aftermarket remote you purchase will not be properly integrated completely into the system like you would get with the MINIX U9 and its NEO A3 Wireless remote.

Plus the Q10 or Zidoo do not even run a standard install of Kodi Krypton out of the box, which adds another layer of difficulties for a bunch of people, particularly in-experienced users. They are targeted 3D devices if you are really, really serious about 1080p 3D, and even then various Intel Machines apparently output superior 3D.

OR

If you just want Kodi seriously consider either an OSMC device or one running LibreELEC Kodi Krypton only. The most complete packaged devices, with nice Wireless remotes out there are the Vero 4K or the MINIX U1(dual boot - Android / LibreELEC)
These AMLogic Chipset OSMC / LibreELEC devices will run Kodi better than any Android device out there, simply because they are actually highly optimised for Kodi.

I can no longer use Infra Red only remotes on various platforms in 2017. Wireless remotes are far superior for ease of use and media player responsiveness.



(2017-06-09, 01:35)Pepe999 Wrote: Is there any suggestions for a good versatile Kodi box which can play live tv and do timeshifting using a clear qam tuner?
@noggin our resident TV engineer would be the man that would know about clear QAM Tuners.
At a guess I would say yes to Chromebox - no idea about the other AMlogic Chipset boxes you mentioned with such tuners.

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(2017-06-14, 10:09)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2017-06-09, 01:35)Pepe999 Wrote: Is there any suggestions for a good versatile Kodi box which can play live tv and do timeshifting using a clear qam tuner?
@noggin our resident TV engineer would be the man that would know about clear QAM Tuners.
At a guess I would say yes to Chromebox - no idea about the other AMlogic Chipset boxes you mentioned with such tuners.

TV ENGINEER?!?!

Android is notoriously bad for DVB tuner handling - so if you want to run Android on your viewing platform, best bet is to build a TV Headend or similar back-end on a Linux platform (Raspberry Pi for instance is fine for a single tuner set-up). Check out the ATSC list here https://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/ATSC_USB_devices for Linux supported devices (it has a QAM column as well 8VSB) and look for one supported.

If you go for a LibreElec you can run Kodi and TV Headend+USB tuner on a single box, but then your platform will dictate how recent a kernel is supported, as some drivers are in newer kernels only.

I'm in Europe so know more about DVB stuff - but the TV Headend forum at www.tvheadend.org has some ATSC users - though because Clear QAM is disappearing in the US (as Cable Co.s migrate to encrypting everything) most people there are using 8VSB (i.e. antenna OTA ) rather than Clear QAM (i.e. cable)
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(2017-06-14, 17:00)noggin Wrote: TV ENGINEER?!?!
My book of Synonyms was misplaced. I was looking for A/V Egg Head ! Wink

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(2017-06-14, 10:09)wrxtasy Wrote: @ultravid,

OR

If you just want Kodi seriously consider either an OSMC device or one running LibreELEC Kodi Krypton only. The most complete packaged devices, with nice Wireless remotes out there are the Vero 4K or the MINIX U1(dual boot - Android / LibreELEC)
These AMLogic Chipset OSMC / LibreELEC devices will run Kodi better than any Android device out there, simply because they are actually highly optimised for Kodi.

I can no longer use Infra Red only remotes on various platforms in 2017. Wireless remotes are far superior for ease of use and media player responsiveness.

And wetek hub/play 2 (dual boot - android / libreelec) with neo A3 wireless remote, works fine?

Enviado do meu ALE-L21 através de Tapatalk
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@tmihai20: What I want are basically streaming some common mainstream TV channels and also Kodi. And yes, I wish to download movies and I found Q10's option to have a harddisk installed is quite flexible.

Or do you have any models that you can suggest to me?
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(2017-06-15, 05:04)ultravid Wrote: @tmihai20: What I want are basically streaming some common mainstream TV channels and also Kodi. And yes, I wish to download movies and I found Q10's option to have a harddisk installed is quite flexible.

Or do you have any models that you can suggest to me?

Q10 Pro or Zidoo X10 are just as good as long as you do not want Netflix, HBO Go or Amazon Prime in HD or fullHD. Zidoo X10 can have an internal HDD as well. I am pretty satisfied with my Q10 Pro, even with the buggy firmware that I chose not to install it. I even used it as a NAS for a few months. I read that Zidoo X10 has better support and that there are a little more features than on Q10 Pro.
Gadget enthusiast
Kodi player on an oDroid N2 with CoreElec
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@wrxtasy: Thanks for the advise, Will do some research on Minix U1 .

It seems to me as someone prefers air mouse, Minix is definitely your choice out of the 3 models that I mentioned. However, assuming that all 3 work fine with air (wireless) device, what would be your pick?
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(2017-06-15, 09:07)tmihai20 Wrote: Q10 Pro or Zidoo X10 are just as good as long as you do not want Netflix, HBO Go or Amazon Prime in HD or fullHD. Zidoo X10 can have an internal HDD as well. I am pretty satisfied with my Q10 Pro, even with the buggy firmware that I chose not to install it. I even used it as a NAS for a few months. I read that Zidoo X10 has better support and that there are a little more features than on Q10 Pro.

Thanks and will seriously look into Zidoo X10
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(2017-06-15, 09:14)ultravid Wrote: @wrxtasy: Thanks for the advise, Will do some research on Minix U1 .

It seems to me as someone prefers air mouse, Minix is definitely your choice out of the 3 models that I mentioned. However, assuming that all 3 work fine with air (wireless) device, what would be your pick?
Kodi only Plug n Play = Vero 4K - comes with everything ready to go.

A Bit of Android Lollipop & run LibreELEC Kodi from an external micro SDHC card = MINIX U1 - I do like its A2 Lite Wireless remote.

Unofficial Android TV or straight up Android Marshmallow that you can very easily dual boot into LibreELEC Kodi just by using the Infra Red remote's power button = Play2
LibreELEC is easily installed to an external SD card and it autoupdates because the Play2 is a LibreELEC reference device.

Plus with the Play2 you also get proper HDCP, DRM & Netflix approval for copy protected DRM video Streaming Apps.
It really is a pretty flexible device so you can choose what OS suits best.
A MINIX A2 or A3 Lite remote would complement the Play2 nicely.
The A3 lite has Voice search that could possibly be added to the Play2's Android Firmware. Voice search may work out of the box. I really do not know.

Kodi, Vero or LibreELEC do not need Air Mouse Functionality at all to use properly.



Be aware the Zidoo X9S does not run a native version of Kodi that you install direct from the Playstore.
To use the box's A/V features properly they distribute a Kodi fork (version) called ZDMC that then calls external media player software.
As such Zidoo is responsible for any such ZDMC support, on their own forums.

And they are also responsible for any ZDMC updates and bug fixes. There is no guarantee that when new Spec Zidoo Hardware comes out ongoing support will continue for years to come.

The Q10 Pro also uses a Wrapper and does not run Kodi natively either. Kodi is only a front end for external media player software.

Please be aware of the risks once you branch out from the Android Kodi eco system and being able to directly install and run Kodi from the Playstore.

Personally I don't much like devices that need special versions or quasimodo Wrappers and external media player Software just to simply use Kodi - once you start adding too many variables and workarounds it frankly turns into a bit of a nightmare for a beginner.

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I watch a lot of Animi, but some of the series are in h.264 10bit and after reading many many websites that say it will never be supported/ hardware decoded by mainstream manufactures, so software is my only choice, 1080p h.264 10bit is extremely juddery on my Amlogic S905X 2GB tv box so i was looking at getting an more powerful version, The new Amlogic S912 seemed the way to go as it has a Octo 8 core`s over the S905X Quad 4 cores.

But according to benchmark comparisons between the S905 and S912 the S912 only scores noticibly higher in 3D processing which is gaming, But not in 2D video, So how can 8 cpu cores only score approx the same as 4 cpu cores, it`s seems strange to me, So the S912 will not software decode H.264 10bit any smoother than an S905 ??

http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/09/19/a...omparison/

Thanks

John.
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