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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated March 2020)
Hi all, 

Lots of great info in here. Thanks for that. I'm kinda lost with my requirement and which box can do them. For what it's worth I think the Vero 4K is my only option but the lack of gigabit ethernet scares me. 

Here's what I'm looking to do

- 1080p mostly
- 4K occasionnaly
- Atmos all the time when watching 1080p. Can the Vero 4K take a 4K HDR mkv file and downscale it to 1080p SDR while maintaining the Atmos soundtrack ?
- I have a Nas with gigabit internet and everything is stored on it. 
- Not a fan of Android, so booting to Kodi is a must (SPMC, OSMC, MrMC, or whatever)
- Control without line of Sight so Bluetooth, Wifi or RF required. I can control with my phone if thats the only thing that doesn't work with the box
- Curently using Madnox Skin and would like to keep it but willing to change if thats a deal breaker.

I have a dedicated Hometheater with a 1080p projector and Atmos setup and a 4K tv with a 2.0 setup. I'd like to move the box around when I want to watch 4k on the tv but I want to keep atmos in the theater. 


Am I ok thinking that the Vero 4k is my only option ? 

thanks for clearing this up for me :-)


 
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The Vero 4K has HDR -> SDR capabilities. There isn't a defined spec in how to achieve  this however; so we're planning to make some presets available via Kodi.

For now, we've been busy getting HDR in to better shape alone.

The Atmos track would be bitstreamed and is not dependent on the video resolution output.
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Hi,

I'm planning on updating my old WDTV player for a Vero 4k or a Minix U9 with LibreELEC soon.

I have several external HDD drives with my movies stored on them and with the WD device I just plug the HDD into the USB and play.

My question is:

Are there any problems playing 4k HDR content (bluray remuxes/mkv etc) the same way? I do know I would need a powered USB hub or a self powered USB HDD.

Thanks.
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I can only answer for the Vero 4K.
If you attach a USB hard drive you will have no issues. They are automatically mounted.
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(2018-04-30, 04:12)Chevy111 Wrote: I have several external HDD drives with my movies stored on them and with the WD device I just plug the HDD into the USB and play.

My question is:

Are there any problems playing 4k HDR content (bluray remuxes/mkv etc) the same way? I do know I would need a powered USB hub or a self powered USB HDD.

Thanks.
You are correct about power requirements.

AMLogic and RPi's, Vero's etc - than use low powered mobile based ARM chipsets can generally only support one 2.5" directly connected hard drive because they simply cannot supply enough USB power. They are not desktop PC.
If you want to use more than one 2.5" HDD reliably at the same time an externally powered USB Hub is required.

3.5" HDD's that are self powered have no issues.

(Excluding 1080p 3D) - the AMLogic S905X, S905D & S912 boxes running OSMC or LibreELEC Kodi Krypton can playback anything you throw at them. If you need software decoded 1080p 10bit H264 aka Hi10P Anime support buy a S912 powered device. It has more CPU ponies vs the rest.

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(2018-04-29, 08:58)wisdomtooth Wrote:
Quote:You buy a media player based on audio and video (SDR / HDR) and App features you want working at this very moment. Not on what software it runs.
Right! Exactly my point. But you seem to be taking the shipped firmware into account, rather than presuming the user will simply upgrade it to the latest — right?

Look, I'm not trying to correct you — I'm replacing my 5-yr old HTPC that died, and have just arrived at the Android box scene. So far what I've understood is that the Amlogic boxes are fine, but only if they're running Android 7+ — is that right?

These guys say:

M8 family (M805): Obsolete
S8 Family (S805): Obsolete
S905: Good low-end processor
S912: Slightly better performance compared to the S905 and a good low-to-mid range CPU.
RK3328: Good low-to-mid range.
RK3399: High Performance
NVIDIA Tegra X1: High Performance

Do you agree? You seem to say S905/S912 are just as good if running Android 7+ with LibreELEC, no?

It is completely pointless comparing hardware because they all come with App and audio and video limitations regardless of their performance or the Operating System or Firmware used.
It is exactly why you need to list your Audio, Video and App requirements first, because we know what works on various platforms and what does not.

If you are NOT buying a number crunching PC, CPU performance really is the last thing to consider because most modern ARM chipset based media players can hardware decode everything using their co-processor GPU's / VPU's - IF using the right Operating system and bug busted media playback software.

I do not recommend Android Kodi Krypton for demanding mixed SDR and 4K HDR usage, and that doubly applies if you need OTA TV - Kodi PVR deinterlacing support.

The Android capable Zidoo X9S and HiMedia Q5/10 Pro comes close but they run external media player software for 4K HDR video playback.
Strictly speaking they are not pure (4K HDR) Kodi media players.

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Thanks wrxtasy for the prompt reply.

I'm looking forward to my foray into Kodi territory, can't wait.
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Awesome, thanks Sam.
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Hi guys, after reading through so many threads and nearly all pages on this one, i am stuck with my decision of the "best" (for me), Kodi Box.
Right now I am running Kodi on a Intel NUC 4-Core with Kodibuntu and an 10-port USB Hub, with 10 plugged in 2,5 inch USB-Harddrives in the range from 2-4TB.
This setup works fine but for personal reasons i want to sell it and buy one of the new boxes with Hardware x265 decoding, UHD and HDR, etc..

So right now I am stuck with the decision which Box to buy. I was down to a RK3399 Box but after reading this http://hometheatrelife.com/rk3399-vs-s912/, I am not shure anymore if I want the Box with an RK3399 because it lacks HDR support. Not shure if true, but if, I was also looking at a S912 box.

The biggest feature it must support my USB-HUB with all the Harddrives being able to mount and read. Even the 4TB drives, most of which have my backed up x265 content and Music Library in FLAC format. And, of course, it must support DTS and DTS-HD output or passthrough to my Receiver.

Maybe you have a recomendation or comment on my choices and if my USB setup would work?

RK3399
https://www.amazon.de/dp/B07C7KBJMX

S912
https://www.amazon.de/dp/B06XHG7TMY
https://www.amazon.de/dp/B075R4WRXF
https://www.amazon.de/dp/B06WV9T85Q

One more thing. The Box also should be able into another OS like LibreElec.
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If you want Kodi on a media player - it's LibreELEC I will be talking about in the following text....

The RK3399 boxes are not close to being stable & ready for prime time demanding Kodi usage yet - especially not Kodi Krypton and definitely not for HDR or anything to do with 1080p TV / DVD deinterlacing. I doubt hardware deinterlacing will ever work. They are very much a WIP.

That leaves the pretty snappy AML S912 which will do nearly everything you need audio and video wise. If the USB Hub is externally self powered I would see no problems with Multiple HDD's and LibreELEC.

The pick of the devices is the MINIX U9-H simply due to the quality of the hardware, it has the best thermal heat management out of all the AMLogic boxes.
Use a Wireless MINIX A2 lite mini keyboard remote with it, the included IR one is rubbish and highly directional - just like all IR remotes on AMLogic boxes. The newer MINIX A3 lite remote has wake from sleep issues.

Be aware you will not get losless 24bit FLAC > 24 bit LPCM audio out of any AMLogic hardware, it will be 16bit LPCM only.

BTW: LibreELEC running on the AML S912 can do up to 11Mbps 1080p 10bit H264 aka Anime - CPU software decoding (I've personally tested it)

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(2018-05-05, 12:25)wrxtasy Wrote: If you want Kodi on a media player - it's LibreELEC I will be talking about in the following text....

The RK3399 boxes are not close to being stable & ready for prime time demanding Kodi usage yet - especially not Kodi Krypton and definitely not for HDR or anything to do with 1080p TV / DVD deinterlacing. I doubt hardware deinterlacing will ever work. They are very much a WIP.

That leaves the pretty snappy AML S912 which will do nearly everything you need audio and video wise. If the USB Hub is externally self powered I would see no problems with Multiple HDD's and LibreELEC.

The pick of the devices is the MINIX U9-H simply due to the quality of the hardware, it has the best thermal heat management out of all the AMLogic boxes.
Use a Wireless MINIX A2 lite mini keyboard remote with it, the included IR one is rubbish and highly directional - just like all IR remotes on AMLogic boxes. The newer MINIX A3 lite remote has wake from sleep issues.

Be aware you will not get losless 24bit FLAC > 24 bit LPCM audio out of any AMLogic hardware, it will be 16bit LPCM only.

BTW: LibreELEC running on the AML S912 can do up to 11Mbps 1080p 10bit H264 aka Anime - CPU software decoding (I've personally tested it)
 So its downsampled automatically or doesn´t play the files at all?
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Hi, I was looking for some advice and look like I have come to the right place. 

I am looking for a Android box that will run Kodi, but also allow me to run android games, and emulators of older consoles. I am familiar with Kodi as I run it on my mac, and also my Android phone (A xiaomi red note 4). 

My budget is low, the lower, the better. I'm in the UK, so ideally would like to buy it from here online so it doesn't take too long to arrive, although I have used gearbest and fast tech plenty of times in the past for bargains from China. 

All of my TV's are only 1080P, as I didn't feel the need to upgrade to 4K as I sit quite far from the screen, so even SD looks OK. I will upgrade to 4K eventually, but probably not until these TV's break. 

So, could you recommend me a few models? I was looking at a Xiaomi box which was just £60 here in the UK, but worried this wouldn't be enough for my needs. The gaming will only be occasionally, with the PSX being the most demanding console I will run, mostly 16 and 8 bit games though. 

Thanks for your help, Conan.
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I've had a look round, and the TX3 mini seems quite good, with the same processor and GPU as the Xiaomi mi box. Also includes an ethernet port, is this good enough for Kodi streaming?
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EDIT: I ended up going for a t95z plus. It was only £48, had a newer processor than the other two with better performance, should be here sometime next week. I hope I made a reasonable choice, I'm not expecting anything amazing, but something watchable as I have wanted a dedicated box for a while.
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I've been reading this and other threads and trying to absorb as much info as possible, but I figured I would still ask for advice instead of having regrets later. I'm looking to move on from my old i5 Intel NUC. I need proper HDMI 2.0a (at least) support and even though I bought one of those powered adapters for the DP I could never get 4k at 60 fps. I'm running Windows 10 and I'm tired of the resolution switching to 1024 x 768 every time I switch inputs. I do like running Aeon Mq7, but if I have to sacrifice it for superior video performance, then so be it. Here's the list of my requirements:

- At least HDMI 2.0a and HDR10 support.
- Support for 2160p remux Blurays (my NUC can't play these at all).
- Support for 10bit anime.
- Must be able to edit advancedsetting.xml. I have some custom regex I use, particularly for anime. I'm not sure how easy or hard this is on the Android boxes, but not being able to do it is a deal breaker.
- Atmos would be nice, but currently I only have a 5.1 system. HD codec support is a must. I should mention I have a HDCP 2.2 compatible receiver (Denon X6200W).
- I'm thinking my TV (Samsung KS9000) will do a better job upscaling 1080p content than most of these boxes, so auto resolution switching would be nice.
- I'm only interested in playing media from my NAS, so I'm thinking a Gigabit ethernet is also a must.
- Netflix would be a nice to have, but I currently just use my TV's app, so not a deal breaker.
- Don't care about too many add-ons (except subtitles) and PVR or live TV.
- Decent remote and compatibility with either my TV's remote or a universal IR one is a plus.
- My TV doesn't even support 3D, so that's not a concern.

Budget is no object, I just want the best box for my needs. If the best is a newer NUC instead of an Android box, then so be it (but I've read they have many issues as well). Also I'm not in a huge hurry, so If a box that ticks all these boxes is about to come out, I can wait.
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