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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated February 2018)
(2018-05-08, 22:47)crazygambit Wrote: 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.
Suggestions...
- Apple TV 4K running MrMC or the MINIX U9 running LibreELEC Kodi Krypton.

ATV 4K will not do audio passthrough but 5.1/7.1 >> decoded to 5.1/7.1 LPCM or downmixed into 5.1 Dolby Digital.
Really impressive powerful ARM based hardware under the hood.
There is also the stunningly beautiful Infuse App that plays anything as well. $10/year for Pro features on that one.
Excellent platform for beautifully smooth HDR Netflix because of tvOS frame Rate matching functionality.

ATV 4K does not do auto resolution switching but has a great quality picture upscaler anyway, so res. switching is not really needed.
The sensitive touchpad remote may or may not drive you mad. It has a IR learning function for say AVR volume OR you can use any IR remote and that can easily be fully mapped via the ATV 4K's full IR learning functionality.
Wireless harmony remotes may work - I'm not sure on that one tho.

MINIX U9 with LE Kodi Krypton has auto everything once setup. You cannot use it with a 4:2:2 only projector IF you also want working auto refresh/resolution switching.
4:4:4 output is no problem for 4K HDR10.

Have a read of ATV 4K vs MINIX U9 (click)

PS: Wireless remote make a hell of a difference to media player responsiveness and ease of use.

Reply
Thanks for the very thorough reply. I think the MINIX U9 is a better fit for my needs. Thanks again!
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(2018-04-09, 12:59)Theetjuh Wrote:
(2018-04-04, 21:35)Verdana Wrote:
(2018-04-02, 11:12)wrxtasy Wrote: @Verdana, I'm not really up with Kodi Addons on various devices. It's simply too hard to keep abreast of these things.
I do believe Milkdrop might be a Windows only Visualisation.

Users really have to ask in hardware threads before purchase to be 100% sure.  
The VERO 4K Team are great support and help, but i really needed visualisation, so i returned it. 
 I've installed the Shadertoy visualisations through popcornmix his repository ... they work perfectly (thread on osmc

Hehe, I tried that. The visualizations are very basic and not psychedelic enough to my taste. Smile

Also, the visualisations where skipping every 5 or 6 seconds, making it look more like a loop than a real endless visualisation
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Great thread, have read through and still unsure if there is the perfect device out there for what I would like... I know this a Kodi forum so the topic is dedicated to running LE to have a pure Kodi install but I would like to have others apps too

My requirements:
  • Android OS rather than using LE and using Kodi that way, I would like to potentially run other Android apps / games. Kodi will most likely be used on this device as a backup initially as an alternative to our HTPC when that has issues and I am not around to fix..
  • Compatible remote with Keyboard - can any be used with Logitech Harmony?
Nice to have:
  • Voice search for Apps like Youtube etc via remote (or android phone app?)
  • 4K and 5.1 from Kodi (potential to move away from HTPC if this all works out)
  • Ability to cast from android devices to box

I probably haven't but enough info down here but I am going round in circles at the minute...
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(2018-05-15, 17:08)WolvesPhil Wrote:
  • Ability to cast from android devices to box

I probably haven't but enough info down here but I am going round in circles at the minute...

Hi,
Lets take all the other info out and focus on Chromecasting which can only be done with Google Certified - Android TV devices.

There are 4 Android TV devices I known of on the market running the fully monty Android TV OS.
(and not some Operator Tier - Android TV with a custom user interface)

  • NVIDIA Shield
  • Xiaomi Mi Box
  • Vodafone TV (Australia only)
  • Channel Master Stream + (USA only)

All others that are not Google Certified have no Chromecasting Keys.
4K (if high bitrate REMUX's) really means a device with a Gigabit LAN, for data transfer headroom and the ability to skip about video without excessive buffering. Or otherwise a directly connected USB Harddrive.
The NVIDIA Shield has Gigabit LAN.



For info the Xiaomi Mi Box very shortly will be updated to Android TV - Oreo - 8.0

Also coming with 8.0 is Google's new Project Treble (click), that will seperate the Android TV OS from the underlying device Firmware.
AMLogic Treble info (click)

Treble should have major benefits long term for Android devices, allowing Hardware device sellers to update the OS regularly without silicon Chipset manufacturers having to also rewrite the Firmware to be compatible for each Android OS release.

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Thanks for the reply, the Xiaomi Mi Box is a decent looking device. If I was to drop the requirement for casting as this is something we rarely do how bad in comparison to Android TV is the experience of using the S905x android boxes out-of-the-box? i.e without LibreElec and just using the Kodi app on Android. This would give us access to Youtube and any other android app required... Would thiss till work at 4K / 5.1 or is LE needed for this?
Reply
Voice search with Google assist, minus Chromecasting opens up the Field and you can then look at budget AMLogic Android Nougat Boxes like the (S912) MECOOL M8S PRO L with its excellent Bluetooth Voice search remote:

Frame Rate Matching for nice smooth video playback is not available with any Android Kodi on that device, it will do 5.1 passthrough audio. Frame rate matching and 4K HDR will work if you run LibreELEC on that device.
No Gigabit Ethernet either, but apparently certain USB3 > Gigabit LAN adapters can be used for reliable high bitrate 4K HDR REMUX's streaming:





Once you look at all that a (USA only) - $105 Direc.tv - Apple TV 4K deal looks like a very good prospect, it has way more power under the hood for pretty much everything.
Fastest Plug N Play mediaplayer on the market. No 4K Youtube however, but does Youtube Voice search.
MrMC (highly modded Kodi Jarvis) on the ATYV 4K is looking better each month as well with a lot of ongoing development being put into that App by very experienced ex. Kodi devs.

4K HDR with auto colorspace switching for correct color outputs = Apple TV 4K, AMLogic LibreELEC S905X / S912, Vero 4K & Zidoo X9s

Then there is the upcoming Android Oreo update for the Xiaomi Mi Box for those that are patient to see what it brings.
I would not use the Mi Box for high bitrate 4K HDR, it has no Gigabit LAN. The previously mentioned 4K HDR capable boxes are much better.

And then there is the Gigabit LAN equipped - NVIDIA Shield, the Android King. That too will get an Android Oreo update later in the year, that should hopefully fix a bunch of things like auto colorspace switching (we hope).
That would be the closest Android - HTPC replace you will find anywhere.

If it were me, needing Apps support with voice search, I would choose between the two most powerful Plug N Play Gigabit LAN devices currently on the market - the NVIDIA Shield or the Apple TV 4K.
Both are quality bits of kit. Smile

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Hi,
I am choosing a replacement for WDTV Live (with brad's wdlxtv custom firmware installed).
What i have:
- Synology NAS for smb/nfs sharing, no Plex or other transcoding. No local USB drives attached to player, all over network.
- Denon 1909 AV receiver, hdmi 1.3 inputs, hdmi cec support, Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD/Master Audio support
- Panasonic 50GT60 Plasma
- tons of avi/mkv/divx/xvid/h.264/mpg/ts/Video_TS(DVD folder structure) content. No 4K, HDR yet. All content 480/720/1080

What I need:
- Easy of use for all familiy members from childrens to grandma
- Best picture quality, autoframerate, colorspacing and so on
- Media library like in wdtv - last seen/recent list of last 50 movies. Saved Resume point of each of this viewed movies.
- Standard folder view
- ethernet preferred, wifi optional.
- No need of live tv, netflix, amazon and other apps. No 3D. Pure mediaplayer without bells and whistles. Youtube addon can be optional, but not critical if not applicable.
- h.265/hevc can be optional for future proof

Please suggest me, what of boxes are most compatible with my needs? I have read first post, but there are so much options availiable...
I am choosing between RPi3, Vero 4K, Minix U1/U9, Mibox.
As I understand RPi3 should be the cheapest option. Vero 4K is maybe the best option, but a little overkill in price and functions?
Minix and Mibox are not already Libreelec from the Box - it means, that I need to reinstall these devices with Libreelec/Kodi? But they are more expensive that RPi3. Are they also better in hw?
What about some ready LE box from ali? for example some Acemax?
I didnt understand - are there LE(or OSMC)/Kodi ready from the box devices except Vero 4K or all others should be reinstalled with right LE build?

Or maybe i missed something and need to inspect some other options?
Thank You!
Reply
Thank's a lot, very detailed info there. 

I think for a start I will get the MECOOL device as that is cheap enough to buy and have a play with and see if that works well enough for now and hold off see what Oreo brings
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(2018-05-18, 15:23)filden Wrote: Hi,
I am choosing a replacement for WDTV Live (with brad's wdlxtv custom firmware installed).
What i have:
- Synology NAS for smb/nfs sharing, no Plex or other transcoding. No local USB drives attached to player, all over network.
- Denon 1909 AV receiver, hdmi 1.3 inputs, hdmi cec support, Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD/Master Audio support
- Panasonic 50GT60 Plasma
- tons of avi/mkv/divx/xvid/h.264/mpg/ts/Video_TS(DVD folder structure) content. No 4K, HDR yet. All content 480/720/1080
So you only need a media player for up 8/10 bit 1080p HEVC decoding - that being all SDR content at the moment.

Quote:What I need:
- Easy of use for all familiy members from childrens to grandma
- Best picture quality, autoframerate, colorspacing and so on
- Media library like in wdtv - last seen/recent list of last 50 movies. Saved Resume point of each of this viewed movies.
- Standard folder view
- ethernet preferred, wifi optional.
- No need of live tv, netflix, amazon and other apps. No 3D. Pure mediaplayer without bells and whistles. Youtube addon can be optional, but not critical if not applicable.
- h.265/hevc can be optional for future proof

Easy of use for family members = a Wireless remote, so no missed button pressing, no need to point the damn remote directly at the media player either.

Please have a read of simple install LibreELEC U1 install instructions from Step (d)....

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

If you can use a PC, you can install LibreELEC Kodi Krypton by following some simple instructions from the above link. It really is not that hard.

You can configure Kodi anyway you like to display whatever views are required.
Kodi's - Videos > File > pick your added file share >> Presents a standard folder view - ordered anyway you like.

But Kodi is much richer when Metadata is attached to files via scraping from various online Databases.

Any of the AMLogic S9xx boxes will do what you need, especially for 8/10bit 1080p HEVC.
The more expensive the hardware, the better quality you end up with.
Particularly when it comes to ease of turning the devices Off / On with the wireless remote and especially the heatsinks used for cooling the chipset.

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