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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated Nov. 2018)
Hi all,

I have a NUC Celeron running LIBREelec. It has been my trusty device for about 5 years now. But recently it's become a bit sluggish. So what would be the next step for me regards Kodi? 

-My price range is around £150. possible stretch to £200 but don't really want to.

-I mostly run my own blu-ray rips from my HDD linked to my router but also stream some BBC IpLAYER ETC and use spotify / youtube.

-I'd ideally like to have it boot straight to kodi as I'm not interested in other addons really. But I guess it's not a deal breaker.

-I don't have a 4k tv at the moment, but if it really takes off I may buy one so futureproofing may be a consideration but again, is not a dealbreaker.

Thanks
OSMC Vero 4K, Intel NUC Celeron 847, Raspberry Pi3 LibreELEC. Amazon Fire TV
Sony 5.1 Surround sound
Panasonic 50EX750B
Reply
If in the UK I would rather use a nice blingy App for BBC iPlayer viewing vs what a Kodi Addon offers and Apple have a pretty decent one for the recently released Apple TV 4K

Apple TV UK Apps availability and integration (click)
https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT208083#uk

The ATV 4K will also give you properly supported 25fps / 50Hz frame rate matching for smooth video playback in the UK.
Youtube yes, however there is no Spotify, it can be streamed using Apple's Airplay, but then you need an iPhone/iPad too.
For Kodi (Jarvis) you use the MrMC App. Infuse App is really slick too and damn easy to use.

NVIDIA Shield ?
That will also do what you want but has no frame rate matching for 25fps / 50Hz unless you use Kodi with refresh switching activated.
It might be able to boot straight into Kodi and also the has the Spotify & YouTube Apps.

Best bang for the buck for Kodi only, from Post #1

Q. I basically want a HD Audio capable (inc. Atmos & DTS:X) 4K HDR Kodi media player that just works with minimal hassles ?
(devices must have working auto refresh & auto 1080p / 4K resolution switching and correct colorspace output after auto resolution switching)
  • AMLogic S905X, S905D and S912 devices running DIY LibreELEC Kodi Krypton or Plug N Play - OSMC Kodi Krypton on the Vero 4K
  • Some AML S905D or S912 devices like the MINIX U9-H also have Gigabit LAN. WiFi is NOT recommended for high bitrate 4K video streaming.
  • The combos mentioned above can also do decent HDR > SDR conversion for 4K non-HDR video output to a 10bit non-HDR 4K TV.
  • There is no need to continually fiddle with Operating System or Kodi settings for optimal 1080p / 4K HDR picture outputs once initial device setup is complete.
  • Yes these cheap AMLogic devices are better than both the more expensive Intel "Lake" NUC's and the NVIDIA Shield for auto, mixed 1080p / 4K HDR Kodi Krypton.

Reply
Thanks. Apple is out for me. I have no apple devices, so can't cast music etc

I've always stayed away from android boxes but if you say they can do what I want,maybe they are worth exploring. Is this going to be comfortable for me? I forgot to say I have a 5.1 surround sound system.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Android-Marshma...B06WGNY9L2
OSMC Vero 4K, Intel NUC Celeron 847, Raspberry Pi3 LibreELEC. Amazon Fire TV
Sony 5.1 Surround sound
Panasonic 50EX750B
Reply
(2018-01-24, 22:55)smallclone Wrote: Thanks. Apple is out for me. I have no apple devices, so can't cast music etc

I've always stayed away from android boxes but if you say they can do what I want,maybe they are worth exploring. Is this going to be comfortable for me? I forgot to say I have a 5.1 surround sound system.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Android-Marshma...B06WGNY9L2
The Minix is Android 6, my experience with Minix is that they will not provide an OS upgrade to Android 7, I would go for an Android 7 box.

If you want to proceed with the U9 I would go for this combination as it comes with a much better remote:- https://www.amazon.co.uk/MINIX-Octa-Core...PT6QNTGWQF there may be better priced deals online, this link was for illustration
Reply
(2018-01-24, 22:55)smallclone Wrote: I've always stayed away from android boxes but if you say they can do what I want,maybe they are worth exploring. Is this going to be comfortable for me? I forgot to say I have a 5.1 surround sound system.
I'm not suggesting those cheap AMLogic boxes be used for Kodi, but be used to install LibreELEC Kodi Krypton instead. A combo like a AML S912 MINIX U9, that is high quality hardware running LE makes a terrific futureproofed 4K combo.

If you don't fancy DIY, then the UK sourced Linux box the Vero 4K is another good option. That is Plug N Play and boots directly into OSMC Kodi:

https://www.avforums.com/review/osmc-ver...view.13857

Reply
Hey wrxtasy,

On the OP you crossed out the problem of 7th gen NUCs with HD codec passthrough over HDMI Is this now fixed in LibreElec 8 (or 9) or just Windows?

THX
Garry
Reply
(2018-01-25, 08:03)HomerJau Wrote: On the OP you crossed out the problem of 7th gen NUCs with HD codec passthrough over HDMI Is this now fixed in LibreElec 8 (or 9) or just Windows?
The upstream issue is resolved by Intel but we elected to not apply the patches to the 4.11 kernel used in LE 8.0 releases because while it solved the issue for newer NUC models, they also caused stability issues with older NUC generations. The issue is fully resolved in current pre-Alpha versions of the future LE 9.0 release (e.g. milhouse builds) which are based on a 4.14 kernel.
Reply
Thanks for the quick reply (and the Good news!)
Reply
Hi,
thanks for this really great post. It helped me a lot.
I bought the minix u9-h and installed LibreElec successfully. If I want to stream Amazon Prime in 4K I would need to switch to Android because the Kodinerds addon isn't capable of streaming 4K, correct? I can't find any information on that :/
Reply
Correct.
Excluding the AML S905Z FireTV gen 3 - there is no reliable Amazon 1080p or 4K video streaming capabilities (at all) on any AMLogic boxes, no matter if they are running an Android OS or LibreELEC Kodi.

Regardless even 720p Software decoded DRM video streaming such as that found in Kodi Leia will not work properly on AMLogic S912 devices running LE Leia due to THIS (click)

Basically you need a device on the Amazon Video Apps streaming "Whitelist" ie. NVIDIA Shield, Apple TV's or naturally Amazon FireTV hardware.

Reply
(2018-01-25, 02:47)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2018-01-24, 22:55)smallclone Wrote: I've always stayed away from android boxes but if you say they can do what I want,maybe they are worth exploring. Is this going to be comfortable for me? I forgot to say I have a 5.1 surround sound system.
I'm not suggesting those cheap AMLogic boxes be used for Kodi, but be used to install LibreELEC Kodi Krypton instead. A combo like a AML S912 MINIX U9, that is high quality hardware running LE makes a terrific futureproofed 4K combo.

If you don't fancy DIY, then the UK sourced Linux box the Vero 4K is another good option. That is Plug N Play and boots directly into OSMC Kodi:

https://www.avforums.com/review/osmc-ver...view.13857  
 Thanks for this..........that Vero 4k - running OSMC - It says that you can choose between 2 skins, so my question is - Is OSMC not customizable? Is it a "build" type OS that you can't unlock?

I'm not familiar with OSMC at all, sorry - i assume it's easy to run, customizeable and you can upgrade easily to new versions?
OSMC Vero 4K, Intel NUC Celeron 847, Raspberry Pi3 LibreELEC. Amazon Fire TV
Sony 5.1 Surround sound
Panasonic 50EX750B
Reply
OSMC (wiki)

Quote:OSMC (short for Open Source Media Center) is a Linux distribution based on Debian that brings Kodi to a variety of devices.
By Kodi they mean the full blown Kodi with all the bells and whistles, meaning Addons, different Skins etc. that is all fully configurable.

Think of OSMC as a Linux Operating System that runs Kodi. Just as LibreELEC is a very minimal Linux OS that also runs Kodi.

Vero 4K = Unpack, Plug in, Power up and boot straight into OSMC Kodi. That is it. Wink

Reply
Damn, I'm excited about Vero 4k. It looks like an absolute 100% winner for my needs. One question:

It mentions you can use a different remote if needs be. I have one of these that I'm very used to, as I like to configure my own buttons . Would I be able to use it?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hama-00052451-M...ows+remote

thanks
OSMC Vero 4K, Intel NUC Celeron 847, Raspberry Pi3 LibreELEC. Amazon Fire TV
Sony 5.1 Surround sound
Panasonic 50EX750B
Reply
The Hama remote is popular with OSMC users.
It will work without issue.
Reply
I looked through the posts at the start of the thread but didn't see info about my main question. Specifically, are there any cheap (less than $50) Android TV boxes that can handle external 4TB HDDs? My needs are the following:
  • box should connect to powered external 4TB NTFS hard drives via USB
  • I'll be playing 1080p video from those drives and wont be getting a 4k TV anytime soon
  • h265 hardware support would be nice but not necessary
  • no need to support surround sound, I'll just be using my TV's speakers
Thanks for any help you can offer.
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