START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated Dec 2020)
Hi, guys! I live without a TV for the last 12 years. It was done on purpose since I didn't watch TV programs and used my PC to watch movies and music listening. Recently I've purchased a 1080p DLP projector which is amazing with a 100" screen! And now I've come to the point where I need an external device for my HT and still have an opportunity for gaming on a big screen. (It was not trivial as it may seem to be since I did not keep track of TV/HT developments for years) So I had to analyze a ton of info for the last two weeks - my head seems to blow up now... So, I have several questions:
1) A/V connection
I don't have an opportunity to test any mid/high-end audio system (no showroom or friend-audiogeek), and my current HT room is not ideal for 5.1+ systems. So I've decided to stay on my low-end stereo system which I'm really satisfied with (suprisingly?). Besides, I want to be able to switch between my media sources (media player, PC, laptop). The AV receiver is an option, but a good one receiver is expensive and I really don't see a reason to buy it for my current preferences. Another option is HDMI switch with audio extractor - it is cheap (20-30$), but the quality is a suspect as well as some device specs: for example, there was a spec line telling the device supports 4:2:0 chrome subsampling. I've spent a ton of time trying to figure out what is chroma subsampling and how do devices handle it and sorry to say I was a success for the first point only. At first I was sure that HDMI cable transfers anything you throw at it (4:4:4, 4:2:2, etc.), and that the source device tells the receiver device how to interpret the data, but I could find only some indirect/partial confirmations and that confusing spec line of a HDMI switch about the support of 4:2:0 (I also have a theory that it's just the clarification of 1.4 hdmi bandwidth limit). So, could you kindly explain how it works and if a HDMI switch with audio extractor is a viable solution?

2) TV box
I've looked into box posibilities and features, and can define my requirements this way:
   a) smooth perfomance
   b) RF/BT remote with voice control
   c) 4K/HDR/3D support, auto framerate switch
   d) Youtube/Twitch support
   e) fast gigabit ethernet (I don't have a solid wifi router, but in any case wifi connection is greatly limited in comparison with giga-ethernet)
   f) near-future flexibility which will allow me to simply change my 1080p projector to 4K HDR projector or TV, stereo to 5.1+

LibreELEC/OSMC or other Kodi only box
At first I've looked at Vero 4k+ which seemed a very good choice with its quality, support, community and launch price. But after one or two weeks of using Kodi on my laptop I can say it is a good player for your home media collection only. There are some good addons, but in general addon-based implementation looks like a fifth leg for a dog and really doesn't seem solid. Youtube/Twitch addons are very very inconvenient and laggy for me in comparison with a browser/desktop/mobile implementations (Yatse/Kore and Chrome extensions for throwing external media to Kodi don't make a difference; also it is a pain to play even 1080p Youtube video, 4K is not currently supported). So, the Kodi only boxes are not an option for me.
Apple TV is a nice box, but Siri doesn't seem to support my native language (I've read about partial support in some recent OS beta, but according to some user reviews Siri is not that smart for non english and is definetely far behind Google's Assistant).
Mi Box lacks a gigabit ethernet and has contradictory reviews.
Nvidia Shield seemed to be the best candidate for me, but it is also the most bugged/problematic device according to the first page of this thread.

It seems very difficult to choose a really best suitable device for the requiments, also because some problems and bugs on the first page are not relevant anymore or just outdated. Some problems are not so critical, for example, BD3D half resolution rendering - if I understand it right I can properly render full resolution BD3D on my laptop using PowerDVD, right? Audio issues impact is very complicated for me since I don't have a good understanding of current multichannel audio formats and implementation. I'll be very greatful if you could point me at some suitable devices and clarify some things and my possible overlooks. The price is not very important if the device fits "f)" requirement.

3) Game streaming
Is there a way to duplicate a PC game screen output to regular PC monitor and TV/projector with different properties? For example, 1080p x 60hz + 1080p x 144hz. I've read about Nvidia DSR, but not sure since I don't have their videocard.

Thank you.

Messages In This Thread
The right box for me - by tyem - 2016-01-13, 15:29
Jesus Box - by kellyvb - 2016-03-04, 20:18
Thanks for the Help! - by jmc15john - 2016-11-09, 16:44
Jarvis crashes and wipes - by gotthis2000 - 2017-01-10, 22:14
RE: Jarvis crashes and wipes - by nickr - 2017-01-10, 22:58
T95Z Plus Android TV Box - by gooner1971 - 2017-03-17, 13:04
RE: START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated July 2018) - by jam666 - 2018-08-22, 07:33