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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated March 2020)
(2019-02-08, 03:56)wrxtasy Wrote: Cheapest 24p auto refresh switching, Netflix approved, DRM certified Kodi capable media player is the new Amazon 4K Fire TV Stick.
Does not do 7.1 HD audio passthrough, but again decodes to 7.1 LPCM. Do not use it for watching broadcast interlaced TV from a HDHomerun.

USB Hub's need to be used for Hard Drive connection - even then I'm not sure NTFS or exFat formatted HDD's are compatible with Amazon's Fire OS.
You would have to ask in the Fire TV Stick thread specifically about Hard Drives.

Fire TV 4K has the best wireless remote in the business.
It's the closest cheapest device you will find to a network streaming - "All in one" media player on the market.

W. 
  
Worth pointing out the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is only 'auto refresh switching' in Kodi and Amazon Prime last time I checked. All other video apps I have looked at (Netflix, BBC iPlayer etc) run at the fixed refresh rate set in the FireTV settings. This is presumably because it's not Automatic Refresh rate switching at the OS level (i.e. the OS doesn't examine the video that it is playing to detect its frame rate and change HDMI output rate accordingly) and is instead at an API level (apps have to work out what frame rate the video should be played at and tell the OS to switch refresh rate) so not 100% automatic.

As a result, only FireTV OS apps that are written to specifically use the frame rate switching API will change refresh rate based on the content they are playing.
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Looking to replace a popcorn hour with a NUC and Kodi 18 leia.. Which bare minimum NUC will work for my needs?

Please specify model nr. ram and mhz if applicable. It can also be an older model,as long as it fits the needs i have..

ONLY max 1080p full bluray with menu (kodi 18 leia on win7 and java)
auto framerate switching
bitstream Atmos/DTS:X to AVR
Need Bluetooth/usb for remote

I read many posts but the more i read the more confused i get as there seem to be SO many configurations.

Thank you for your help
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I cant seem to edit my above post?? I am looking at this machine.  https://www.geekbuying.com/item/Beelink-...09803.html

Will it do what i am looking for?

ONLY max 1080p full bluray with menu (kodi 18 leia on win7 and java)
auto framerate switching
bitstream Atmos/DTS:X to AVR
Need Bluetooth/usb for remote
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I'd like to understand what's currently the best and not too expensive solution to operate Kodi Leia with 4K/HDR10 compatibility under Windows OS.
I know all about Android boxes, Apple TV, LibreELEC and so on and so forth. But for this specific case, Windows is a must.

There's lots of cheap Atom boxes but I'm led to believe that they are incapable of HDR handling.

Thanks in advance.

(I opened a discussion here but thought that maybe it was better here, if mods want to delete that discussion they are welcome to do it)
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.
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This thread, look under the Intel x86_64 section and then find the AMD Ryzen thread:

4K HDR10 - State of Play thread - important media player limitations.

Start following THIS post onwards for AMD Ryzen and Windows HDR too.

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(2019-02-08, 20:03)Loftyfries Wrote: I cant seem to edit my above post?? I am looking at this machine.  https://www.geekbuying.com/item/Beelink-...09803.html

Will it do what i am looking for?

ONLY max 1080p full bluray with menu (kodi 18 leia on win7 and java)
auto framerate switching
bitstream Atmos/DTS:X to AVR
Need Bluetooth/usb for remote

That would work for 1080p easily with the audio required.

Where you will come unstuck is full Bluray menu Java support - it's not part of Kodi and is very much DIY unless you buy a custom box like a Zidoo X9S that uses their own customised solution. Ask in the Zidoox thread if full Bluray menu's actually work reliably on that device.

Current status of Bluray Menu Support is found HERE (click)
Look like you have to install x64 Windows Java separately.
The Windows Kodi Leia guys might know over in their section of the forum.

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(2019-02-09, 15:21)wrxtasy Wrote: This thread, look under the Intel x86_64 section and then find the AMD Ryzen thread:

4K HDR10 - State of Play thread - important media player limitations.

Start following THIS post onwards for AMD Ryzen and Windows HDR too.
Does Leia support HDR10 under Windows 10? The Intel x86_64 section just refers to Krypton.
Since this is not for me, I'd prefer to stay away from custom builds (such as DSPlayer, that I use personally) and stick to regular Kodi.
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.
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Windows Kodi HDR10 as I understand it is custom only. And then it's likely limited to Krypton or earlier.

Ask over in the Windows Kodi section of the forum for current Win. Leia HDR support status.

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(2019-02-08, 03:56)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2019-02-08, 00:59)Emulle Wrote: Hey guys and gals, 

I am looking to buy me a small & cheap dedicated device for playing back 1080p material with audio ranging from 6ch AAC, DD+ all the way up to DTS HD-MA & Dolby TrueHD (No DTS X nor Atmos). 
What I have gathered from this thread is that the small android box AMLogic S905W seems to take the price.

Hi mate. Welcome. Smile

The S905W really is entry level and I would only use it for 1080p & DD+ and HD audio running CoreELEC Kodi.
The specific ones with the included USB mini dongle (rounded) remote do not have Bluetooth. You really need a USB mini dongle receiver remote to use CoreELEC.
Quote:I would just like to have some questions answered before I venture on to purchase one of these: 

1. Will I be able to use a Bluetooth Remote to control KODI?
No. Bluetooth remote's - getting them to be fully compatible, if they connect at all in the first place is one big can of worms.
USB receiver Mini dongle remote's / keyboards are a lot more compatible, because they are Plug n Play. Plug USB receiver in and away you go.

The MINIX A2 lite remote is my personal favorite.
Quote:2. Can I use an external HDD to playback the files? (No streaming for me just yet
Yes but some Android devices have issues these days with NTFS or exFat formatted hard drives. Especially the new Fire TV Stick and the Mi Boxes and a bunch of other Android devices running Android Oreo. No issues with the Linux based Kodi OS's like LibreELEC or CoreELEC.
Quote:3. Can the device be set to always boot to KODI?
Not sure about Android, but LibreELEC / CoreELEC boots straight into Kodi. I would not use cheap Asian sourced boxes for Android Kodi anyway.
Quote:4. In the future I might start streaming HBO, Netflix & ViaPlay - will the device be capable of streaming from these services? (I am a complete newbie in the world of streaming, as I only have 8mbit line at the moment).
This is where you have to buy legit Netflix approved and DRM certified devices.
All the dirt cheap Android TV boxes from Asian sellers will not have the necessary approvals. See Post #1, down near the bottom of this very thread for detailed specifics.
Quote:And oh, I need 24p auto refresh rate change. I cannot do without it.
Hello, and thank you for your response! 

After having done some more research it seems as if the S905W, or perhaps any of the AMLogic boards will not work for me. 
Sometimes I'll watch Anime which require software decoding. 

I will check out the Amazon Fire - having only glanced it, it do seem quite capable but I cannot find any info if it will handle Hi10p media. 

Perhaps in the end my best bet would be a small PC running one of the kodi distros.
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(2019-02-09, 23:05)Emulle Wrote: I will check out the Amazon Fire - having only glanced it, it do seem quite capable but I cannot find any info if it will handle Hi10p media. 

Perhaps in the end my best bet would be a small PC running one of the kodi distros.

Hi10P Anime hey...

Well you are in luck because of this Mini Review I did yesterday. It's the only chipset that hardware decodes Hi10P.
Bargain.of the year IMHO

WIP - Rockchip RK3399 devices

Every other device will have to CPU software decode it.

Fire TV's will not have the CPU ponies to do 1080p Anime.

With Rockchip LibreELEC Kodi Leia at the moment - 7.1 HD Audio is losslessly decoded to 7.1 LPCM for no loss in audio quality.
Same as the Apple TV 4K does, which is also the other powerful device that can handle Hi10P Anime easily.
In fact the ATV 4K is the most powerful Plug n Play media player on the market.

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The cheaper RK3328 with LibreELEC playing fine Hi10p with hw decoding too.
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Great thread and there are a lot of new options out there it appears!  I am looking at replacing a Mac Mini (Late 2009) 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo/8GB RAM/Nvida 9400M graphics running Kodi on top of OS X 10.11.6.  This is a pretty old system, but a full x86 platform.  Would an upgrade to something along the lines of the recommended Vero 4+/ODROID C2/MINIX U9/etc boxes be an "upgrade" with the new tech even though they are not full x86 systems?  My main requirements are that I can connect to a MySQL database and can use a FLIRC for keyboard inputs for a custom remote.  I have an Amazon Fire TV that seems to do very well but ideally would want something I could boot right into Kodi/LibreElec/CoreElec/etc for Kodi-Only usage.  No 4k needed yet, but just want something with some horsepower for future use.  Previously considered a Chromebox or Shield or even up to a Brix/NUC, but if I am reading right, those higher end options are no longer favored.  Appreciate your input!
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A speedy Kodi device needs really these things:

- a decent GPU, to draw the user interface
- fast RAM and storage
- a decent CPU package, especially Single Core performance to run those Single threaded Python2 coded Addons.
- an optimised minimal OS.

Most x86_64 Intel and AMD based Kodi devices have most if not all of these requirements already and it's why Kodi still remains snappy on them to this day, even on older Hardware.

Where they become a bit obsolete is when new video compression standards are introduced like 10bit HEVC and 4K VP9 and there is no GPU hardware decoding support and the older CPU package struggles to software decode. Either upgrade the GPU or buy an Intel Apollo Lake onwards or AMD Ryzen Mini PC or try something else...

This is where the great bang for the buck mobile based ARM chipsets come in like the Tegra X1 in the Shield or the A10X Fusion in the Apple TV 4K.
The GPU's in them are both fast and support modern video compression standards with the NUC like, powerful ATV 4K leading the pack.

At the cheap end of the market the ARM Mali Midgard 4th gen. GPU's like the Mali T8xx make for a snappy media players too for the price paid.
You find those in the AMLogic S912 and the Rockchip RK3399. They have 6 or more CPU Cores.
I'm really impressed with the RK3399 lately, it's already showing it's snappy potential.

Further down the pecking order is the Rockchip RK3288, with a ARM Mali T760 GPU and then the AMLogic S905's with a ARM Utgard Mali-450
Those are still pretty quick with eMMC storage running a minimal Linux OS for Kodi such as OSMC or LibreELEC / CoreELEC.

Edit: I missed out the 2012 Broadcom VideoCore IV GPU found in the RPi's that gets impressively thrashed to within an inch of its life these days trying to keep up.

So it basically comes down to which OS you want to use, how stable is it.
What price you pay and can you do DIY or simply want Plug n Play with after sales support ?

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I am all for DIY and don't need any commercial support.  In fact by DIY I will get a more pure Kodi experience which I am after.  You mention the ATV 4K as an option, but MrMC isn't quite the look I am used to.

How much would I pay?  Ideally somewhere in the $100-200 range?  Not afraid of going the NUC/Brix route or heck even a new Mac Mini.

Not sure I am to the point of wanting to shell out big bucks yet for a Mac Mini as we've only noticed a few momentary slowdowns in playback that honestly could be network related.  Finding this thread got me intrigued by new options though either for our main room or use with other TVs.

I don't have a preference on OS.  Booting right into Kodi with LibreElec/OpenElec sounds nice.  If it is Mac/Win/Ubuntu and launches Kodi automatically that is fine as that is what I have now.

I do not want to deal with a laggy UI.  I do want it to be VERY stable.  Hopefully that helps.  I know there are a lot of options here!
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wrxtasy, I just want to thank you for all the advice listed in this thread, I have used numerous boxes to stream both with and without kodi over the years , but took a punt on Apple tv 4k after reading here and its completely on a different level to all those "cheap" chinese boxes I have used and thrown away, best box I have ever bought , cheers.
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