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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated Sep. 2018)
So far I was looking for an "all-in-one" device, that has DVB-S2 tuner, Android OS with official DRM support (for Netflix, DAZN) and the possibility to dual boot LibreELEC and asked for advice here

Such a solution seems to be problematical, as the replies in the linked thread above already suggested, especially since Wetek is about to disappear from the radar, so I'm now thinking about the best alternative.

I think I can keep my current SAT receiver for the TV part, so that the new device should be covering as many as possible of these parts:
- official DRM support (for Netflix, DAZN)
- dual boot for LibreELEC or at least an app for KODI (or one of the forks)
- SPDIF output in order to utilize my poor man's 5.1 surround sound speaker system "Logitech Z906"
- NAS support (as in playing video content from the NAS via network)
- For reference: I still have an old HDReady TV, which can do 1080i

Have been looking at the first post several times, but despite it having a lof of information, I'm struggling to figure out, what would fit my requirements. Only older Weteks are listed with the dual boot functionality (although below some devices seem to offer this as well). Weteks, however, are dead and not among the candidates.

Starting point will have to be this list of devices supporting DRM, I think:
NVIDIA Shield (4K HDR Netflix / 4K HDR Amazon Prime Video / 4K VUDU)
Apple TV 3/4 (1080p) & Apple TV 4K (4K HDR & DolbyVision Netflix / 4K HDR Amazon Prime Video / 4K HDR VUDU / 4K DolbyVision iTunes)
Xiaomi Mi Box (4K HDR Netflix / 4K HDR Amazon Prime Video)** Buggy Oreo Firmware
Amazon Stick / FTV1 + FTV2 (4K) + 2017 FireTV 4K Gen3(4K HDR Netflix / 4K HDR Amazon Video)
Intel / AMD x86-64 computers with GeForce GT 1030 or later Nvidia graphics card solution running Win10, using either dedicated Apps or a Web Browser.
MECOOL "Pro" series of devices (1080p SDR Netflix, possibly 1080p SDR Amazon Prime on recent Pro L devices)
MINIX U9-H (1080p SDR Netflix, 1080p Amazon Prime Video also works)

Striked out the PC option as that's not what I would like to use.

As for the others, that's what I could figure out (some parts are still to clarify). Any comments, corrections, additions are welcome:

NVIDIA Shield:
- DRM support: official
- Netflix: official
- DAZN: yes
- dual boot LibreELEC: no
- Kodi or SPMC
- Android Kodi Auto Framerate Switching: yes
- Android Kodi Auto Resolution Switching: ?
- Kodi (or the fork's) skins & addons installable
- SPDIF: no
- SD-card: no
- NAS support: yes
- OS: AndroidTV 7
    - custom ROMs available?
- Support (updates, bug fixes): ?

ATV4 / ATV4k:
- DRM support: official
- Netflix: official
- DAZN: yes
- dual boot LibreELEC: no
- MrMC costs 7,99 €
- MrMC Auto Framerate Switching: yes
- MrMC Auto Resolution Switching: ?
- MrMC skins & addons not installable
- SPDIF: no
- SD-card: no
- NAS support: yes
- Support: Ongoing, regular tvOS Firmware & MrMC updates, that fix bugs and add new features

Xiaomi Mi Box:
- DRM support: official
- Netflix: official
- DAZN: probably yes
- dual boot LibreELEC: no, because it's bootloader is secured / locked according to one of the posts here
- Kodi, SPMC or MrMC
- Android Kodi Auto Framerate Switching: no
- Android Kodi Auto Resolution Switching: no
- Kodi (or the fork's) skins & addons installable
- SPDIF: yes
- SD-card: no
- NAS support: yes
- OS:
    - released with AndroidTV 6.0.1
    - AndroidTV 7.0 according to some (older) articles planned, but not available yet?
    - Was ATV7 skipped, because ATV 8.0 is available, although as a heavily buggy verson?
    - Stable, less buggy custom ROMs of ATV7 or ATV8 with functional DRM available?
- Support (updates, bug fixes): ?

Amazon FireTV(4k):
- DRM support: official
- Netflix: official
- DAZN: yes
- dual boot LibreELEC: no
- Kodi(-fork): ?
- Kodi (or the fork's) skins & addons installable?
- Auto Framerate Switching: ?
- Auto Resolution Switching: ?
- SPDIF: no
- SD-card: no
- NAS support: ?
- OS: Fire OS based on Android

Mecool M8S PRO L:
- DRM support: some say official, some say not?
- Netflix: official
- DAZN: probably yes
- dual boot LibreELEC: yes
- Kodi or SPMC
- Android Kodi Auto Framerate Switching: no
- Android Kodi Auto Resolution Switching: ?
- LE Kodi Auto Framerate Switching: yes
- LE Kodi Auto Resolution Switching: yes
- Kodi (or the fork's) skins & addons installable
- SPDIF: no
- SD-card: yes
- NAS support: yes
- OS: AndroidTV 7.1.1
    - custom ROMs available: yes
        - DRM keys remain functional?
- Support (updates, bug fixes): ?

MINIX NEO U9-H:
- DRM support: Play Ready 3.0 + Google Widevine Level 1, officially licensed
- Netflix: inofficial (480p), modified (1080p)
- DAZN: yes
    - Some are reporting issues with deinterlacing of live tv content - especially football etc. Is it only related to LE or a general issue? I wouldn't be using the device / LE for live tv, as I said, but DAZN is a sports streaming app, so I would be streaming football etc. via it. Would I be affected by the deinterlacing issues in that case?
- dual boot LibreELEC: yes
    - "you cannot select a system resolution for the Kodi GUI of 720p with S912 LE Kodi Krypton." -> Is that a problem for my HDReady TV? I run it on 1080i.
- Kodi or SPMC
- Android Kodi Auto Framerate Switching: yes
- Android Kodi Auto Resolution Switching: no
- LE Kodi Auto Framerate Switching: yes
- LE Kodi Auto Resolution Switching: yes
- Kodi (or the fork's) skins & addons installable
- SPDIF: yes
- SD-card: yes
    - Samsung SD cards problematical, apparently, SanDisk cards work better
- NAS support: yes
- OS:
    - released with Android 6.0.1
    - A decent Android TV ROM available...
        - ... "when 1080p ATV Netflix works with 2.0 Audio." What does that mean exactly?
        - version of the ATV ROM is 6.0.1 as well?
        - DRM keys remain functional?
    - Official Android 7.1 based firmware available since a few days according to Minix's FB post
        - DRM still supported?
        - minixfreak's fresh and untested AndroidTV 7.1 custom ROM the only one so far? How are the chances for more in the future?
- Support (updates, bug fixes):
    - not very resnposible apparently
    - continual OTA Firmware updates
    - quick bug fixing?

If there aren't any major flaws in this summary, then it looks like MINIX NEO U9-H is the best option I have at the moment, I think. Was concerned about Android 6.0.1 first, but then got to the part about Android 7.1, which is good. Bummer that it has the mobile Android version as OS, but maybe with custom ATV ROMs the whole experience with the device could be improved.
Reply
All in one - Good Luck !

BIG TIP, seperate the media player from whatever DVB-S2 tuner / TV server you are contemplating if you want to make life easy for yourself.
Its a mistake trying to do everything with a single device. Hardwire Network it all if you can.

Honestly you would be better served with a two box solution. That being something with a DVB-S2 tuner, capable of running (if needed) 4K HDR - LibreELEC or OSMC Kodi, that also does HD audio passthrough (inc. Atmos & DTS:X).
Attached that to some sort of Storage device which can also act as a Networked TV server. It is suggested a Gigabit device is used for that, like a (SPDIF capable) S905D - MECOOL K1 Pro. Use that with a Wireless USB dongle remote. It will be a pretty snappy Kodi device for the price paid.

You need to make doubly sure the TV tuner and TV server software actually run on the device properly for anything you are contemplating before purchase. (LibreELEC or OSMC forums help)
Don't buy on hope, especially with TV Tuner hardware. And that warning applies in triple with anything Android based running a old v3.xx Linux Kernel.

Also be aware the DVB-S Tuner in S905D devices are NOT dual MUX tuners, you cannot record a program and then watch something from a completely seperate channel group at the same time. A proper dual MUX tuner is needed if you get too demanding. HDHomerun likely have something that will be widely compatible.

That then opens up your choices of Media player for easy to use Apps - with the best two being the NVIDIA Shield and the Apple TV 4K.
The ATV 4K edges out the Shield for Apps support and picture quality, especially once you venture outside the USA because of tvOS Frame Rate & Dynamic Range Matching a bunch of Apps use.
That is needed for 25/50fps Broadcast TV viewing usage in numerous Overseas territories along with 24p Netflix, Prime Video, MrMC etc.

For me personally that is the primary reason none of the Android (TV) boxes can do the job. 50Hz output for 25i TV sync, then followed by trying to watch 24p content from say Netflix turns streaming viewing into a stuttering, inconvenient mess. I do not want to continually go into device settings and fcuk around with them all the time guessing about video Frame Rates and picture output Hz. That is the job of the OS and properly coded Apps.

The Shield is more open for DIY Android tweaking, and jack of all trades usage and does full blown, unlimited Kodi that can give you Atmos / DTS:X audio if you need that.
It's also a very USA focused device.



BIG WARNING

Android TV - Netflix on those DIY devices running Android TV ROM's is broken at the moment. (Looks like a Netflix crackdown)
That includes the MINIX U9, and WeTek Hub and Play2.
I suspect they need a Widevine L1 DRM update just like the MECOOL series of devices recently received. Don't assume that will happen.

My point is do NOT rely on DIY Android TV ROM's devices if you need long term bullet proof support for copy protected, paid for streaming Apps.
(Post #1 amended as a consequence)

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Thanks for your reply, wrxtasy - as always, but I think there is a little missunderstanding Smile
I've mentioned my initial attempt to find a all-in-one solution just to outline the process, but then I wrote this:
(2018-09-21, 13:35)shad Wrote: [...]

Such a solution seems to be problematical, as the replies in the linked thread above already suggested, especially since Wetek is about to disappear from the radar, so I'm now thinking about the best alternative.

I think I can keep my current SAT receiver for the TV part, so that the new device should be covering as many as possible of these parts:
- official DRM support (for Netflix, DAZN)
- dual boot for LibreELEC or at least an app for KODI (or one of the forks)
- SPDIF output in order to utilize my poor man's 5.1 surround sound speaker system "Logitech Z906"
- NAS support (as in playing video content from the NAS via network)
- For reference: I still have an old HDReady TV, which can do 1080i

[...]
So I've realised the difficulty and am looking for a two box solution now. One is my current STB for TV, so it's sorted. The second is for the quoted requirements.

Shield and ATV4 were the first ones I looked at, as I remembered that part about ATV's Frame Rate & Dynamic Range Matching or Shield's performance etc. from reading your posts many times. But both don't have a SPDIF output, which would make my "Logitech Z906" system useless. Plus no LibreELEC for both, which might be less problematical with ATV than with Shield, but still missing.

MINIX NEO U9-H seems to be covering most of the requirements, so the tendency was going towards it...
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If you want to use SPDIF audio - it's always worth considering using an HDMI audio extractor downstream. Some of them (but not all) will extract DD/DTS (others will be PCM 3.0 only). These devices have HDMI video pass-through but extract audio to SPDIF Toslink and/or Coax outputs (and usually analogue 2.0 for PCM stereo sources)

They can be a useful stop-gap approach to allow legacy amps to work with newer platforms which don't have SPDIF connectivity.

Example here https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XFZXTYW/r...il_0?psc=1  (NB this isn't 4K 60 compatible, and I'm not endorsing that model)  You can also get models with integrated DD/DTS decoders with 5.1 analogue outputs.
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Hi WRXTASY,  I am trying to find the best Android box to purchase. I just want the fastest one that allows me to use Kodi to watch TV. Something that is fast for streaming. 
I think the Nvidia is abit costly, but if it has significant speed then i will get it. But because me requirements are simple, I have been looking at alternatives.
For example:
-Mi Box
-MX10
-minix u9 h
-Nvidia Shield

For using Kodi and installing multiple channels, for streaming all different kinds of content, would you recommend?
I will be using this in Italy to watch content in australia.
I'd prefer something that didn't get outdated to ofast.


Thank you in advance
Reply
(2018-09-22, 12:22)noggin Wrote: If you want to use SPDIF audio - it's always worth considering using an HDMI audio extractor downstream. Some of them (but not all) will extract DD/DTS (others will be PCM 3.0 only). These devices have HDMI video pass-through but extract audio to SPDIF Toslink and/or Coax outputs (and usually analogue 2.0 for PCM stereo sources)

They can be a useful stop-gap approach to allow legacy amps to work with newer platforms which don't have SPDIF connectivity.

Example here https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XFZXTYW/r...il_0?psc=1  (NB this isn't 4K 60 compatible, and I'm not endorsing that model)  You can also get models with integrated DD/DTS decoders with 5.1 analogue outputs.

Hm, didn't think in that direction. Not the ideal solution, using an additional piece of eqipment, but still a solution. Thanks noggin, that's good to know.

I would also like to go a bit deeper into this:
(2018-09-21, 18:28)wrxtasy Wrote: [...]

That then opens up your choices of Media player for easy to use Apps - with the best two being the NVIDIA Shield and the Apple TV 4K.
The ATV 4K edges out the Shield for Apps support and picture quality, especially once you venture outside the USA because of tvOS Frame Rate & Dynamic Range Matching a bunch of Apps use.
That is needed for 25/50fps Broadcast TV viewing usage in numerous Overseas territories along with 24p Netflix, Prime Video, MrMC etc.

For me personally that is the primary reason none of the Android (TV) boxes can do the job. 50Hz output for 25i TV sync, then followed by trying to watch 24p content from say Netflix turns streaming viewing into a stuttering, inconvenient mess. I do not want to continually go into device settings and fcuk around with them all the time guessing about video Frame Rates and picture output Hz. That is the job of the OS and properly coded Apps.

So far I've always thought, that the Auto Framerate Switching support has been always mentioned in relation to Android Kodi or LibreELEC (or some other Kodi fork). By the sound of the quote above it appears to affect streaming / playback in general. I.e. that the Auto Framerate Switching does play a role everywhere (Kodi, Netflix, ...) and that it's a matter of the SoC / OS and the playback / streaming software (Kodi, Netflix, ...) to support it or not, correct?

MINIX U9-H is listed as one of the devices, that are capable of Auto frame rate switching & dynamic range matching, although in the thread "Auto frame rate switching & dynamic range matching - 4K (HDR10) capable Hardware" it's listed with the addition "(Kodi, & possibly Plex or Emby only)", which would mean, that Android Kodi and LE would be fine and supporting this feature, while Netflix probably wouldn't, while it would do so on AppleTV 4 (as it's stated in that thread as well)?

For better understanding I would also like to clarify this question I've posted in my summary for MINIX U9-H:
Quote:Some are reporting issues with deinterlacing of live tv content - especially football etc. Is it only related to LE or a general issue? I wouldn't be using the device / LE for live tv, as I said, but DAZN is a sports streaming app, so I would be streaming football etc. via it.
Would I be affected by the deinterlacing issues in that case?

Also this one, to make it complete:
Quote:[...]you cannot select a system resolution for the Kodi GUI of 720p with S912 LE Kodi Krypton.
Would that be a problem for my HDReady TV? I run it on 1080i.
(2018-09-21, 18:28)wrxtasy Wrote: BIG WARNING

Android TV - Netflix on those DIY devices running Android TV ROM's is broken at the moment. (Looks like a Netflix crackdown)
That includes the MINIX U9, and WeTek Hub and Play2.
I suspect they need a Widevine L1 DRM update just like the MECOOL series of devices recently received. Don't assume that will happen.

My point is do NOT rely on DIY Android TV ROM's devices if you need long term bullet proof support for copy protected, paid for streaming Apps.
(Post #1 amended as a consequence)
Thanks for the warning! My impression was, that custom AndroidTV ROMs (at least the one by Ricardo for Wetek Play2) have been working fine, but now I remember Netflix issues from time to time, which Ricardo had to fix. Would be good to use AndroidTV on devices with official mobile version of Android, but not a must-have in the end... Unless I underestimate it...
Reply
(Yesterday, 06:38)greg_c1988 Wrote: Hi WRXTASY,  I am trying to find the best Android box to purchase. I just want the fastest one that allows me to use Kodi to watch TV. Something that is fast for streaming. 

For using Kodi and installing multiple channels, for streaming all different kinds of content, would you recommend?
I will be using this in Italy to watch content in australia.
I'd prefer something that didn't get outdated to ofast.
Hi, what sort of TV exactly ?

If it's IPTV streaming from Australia from the Public Broadcasters using Kodi Addons, then you need a device that preferably supports Kodi dynamic refresh switching so you can watch 25fps or 25i TV and then watch 24p Movies and have everything all nicely Synced up for smooth video playback.

All LibreELEC Kodi devices can do such auto refresh switching.

Be aware Channel 7 and Channel 9 in Australia have forced, via threatening letters the (legal) IPTV Kodi (Aussie) Addons developer to withdraw support for those two freely available TV channels.
Only the Apple TV 4/4K has comprehensive Catchup Oz TV Apps support.

The Best Bang for the buck at the moment are the Gigabit Ethernet equipped AMLogic S912 boxes like the Tanix TX92 / Vorke Z6 or Beelink GT1 etc, and then you run LibreELEC Kodi Krypton on them and also use some sort of responsive Mini dongle WiFi remote as detailed in this post:
https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid...pid2765197

Also be aware LE Kodi AMLogic S912 support will stop at Kodi v18 Leia and go no further unless alternate GPU video drivers for Kodi's user interface rendering can be found. That LE S912 combo plays basically anything you throw at them now anyway and is pretty snappy with a wee GPU GHz tickle

Support past LE Kodi Leia, then your best best is a Gigabit equipped AMLogic S905D box like a Vero 4K+ or a MECOOL K1 Pro.

Otherwise you are talking Android Kodi devices that will not be as flexible vs LE Kodi.

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@wrxtasy- there is no mention of xbox one anywhere on your reviews. Is it because its still early days for the device? How does it rank up compared to the firetvs/shield of the world?
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