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Linux Khadas VIM3L HTPC Kit - 4K HDR CoreELEC Kodi pre installed
#1
Well after the success of the $65 - S922X - HardKernel Odroid N2 - CoreELEC edition, the Khadas boys have decided get in on some HTPC Kit action !

CoreELEC Kodi Leia can support seamless 4K HDR10 & HD Audio inc Atmos and Multichannel 192kHz LPCM.
I believe the CPU package has enough CPU ponies to Software decode 1080p Netflix using the Kodi Leia Netflix Addon.

CoreELEC is a nice stable OS platform for running Kodi, it even auto updates if needed.

These 2019 generation AMLogic S905D3 chipsets are fast and snappy - perfect for running a minimal Linux based OS. (or even DIY Android Pie)

Nice to see a low cost 4K HDR capable board with Gigabit LAN included.

VIM3L HTPC Kit (click):

Price: $89.99 with free worldwide shipping (click) - via Chinapost Airmail.
Warranty, looks like 12 months after reading Khadas Shop FAQ (click)
Local Reseller warranties however might vary.

  • SoC: AMLogic S905D3
  • CPU: quad-core ARM A55 @ 1.9GHz
  • GPU: ARM Mali-G31MP2 clocked up to 800MHz
  • RAM: 2GB LPDDR4/4X
  • Storage: 16GB eMMC 5.1 flash
  • LAN: Gigabit Ethernet with Wake-on-LAN
  • WiFi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO - AP6398S
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 1x USB 3.0
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • 1x USB-Type-C port with OTG
  • 1x microSDHC slot
  • M.2 NVMe SSD compatibility
  • HDMI 2.1 with HDMI CEC
  • Power, Func and Reset buttons
  • 2-channel IR receiver

Included in the Kit:
  • New VIM Heatsink
  • Transparent DIY Case
  • Metal Plate (for DIY Case)
  • IR Remote
  • Wi-Fi Antenna x2
  • Power: via an Optional - extra $5 - USB-C 10W Power adapter & cable

Image

W. Smile

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#2
Looks nice :-)
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#3
Would you say better than this box I was thinking of buying please?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07G...BDWO&psc=1
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#4
(2019-11-07, 17:46)calisto Wrote: Would you say better than this box I was thinking of buying please?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07G...BDWO&psc=1

Have a read of the Big Fat warning in the following 252916 (thread)

I’ve not heard of any problems from the CE developers regarding the VIM3L hardware, or major problems with CE Kodi running on it.

In recent times you now get higher quality hardware components and proper pre sale hardware testing conducted by these mini PC developer board type companies (RPi Foundation, HardKernel, LibreComputer, Khadas, etc) vs the cheap mass produced Chinese Android box manufacturers.

Cheap Android Box Manufacturers who are always in a race to be first to market with the next shiny new thing with bigger Tech Specs and new model numbers. Proper hardware device testing is the last thing on their mind for that market, and you often end up with the cheapest internal components available at the time such devices are manufactured. Users end up being test guinea pigs.

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#5
(2019-11-07, 18:21)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2019-11-07, 17:46)calisto Wrote: Would you say better than this box I was thinking of buying please?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07G...BDWO&psc=1

Have a read of the Big Fat warning in the following 252916 (thread)

I’ve not heard of any problems from the CE developers regarding the VIM3L hardware, or major problems with CE Kodi running on it.

In recent times you now get higher quality hardware components and proper pre sale hardware testing conducted by these mini PC developer board type companies (RPi Foundation, HardKernel, LibreComputer, Khadas, etc) vs the cheap mass produced Chinese Android box manufacturers.

Cheap Android Box Manufacturers who are always in a race to be first to market with the next shiny new thing with bigger Tech Specs and new model numbers. Proper hardware device testing is the last thing on their mind for that market, and you often end up with the cheapest internal components available at the time such devices are manufactured. Users end up being test guinea pigs. 
Thank you for your reply. A Christmas present to myself I think.
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#6
S905D3 = S922X?
[H]i-[d]eft [M]edia [K]een [V]ideosaurus
My Family Room Theater
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#7
(2019-11-10, 15:36)hdmkv Wrote: S905D3 = S922X?

Ah No.

In the past the “D” series of AMLogic chipsets were capable of using their onboard TS input for interfacing with DVB TV tuners.
They also were able to use external Gigabit Ethernet as well vs cheaper onboard Fast Ethernet (100Mbit) only the regular S905X chipset series had.

The S905D3, like the S905X2/X3 is only a quad core ARM A55 CPU with a ARM-Mali G31 GPU

The S922 and the slightly quicker A311D are quad core ARM A73 + dual core A53 with a ARM-Mali G52 GPU

Remember these chipsets are designed these days for either cheap Pay TV / Cable set top boxes or Android TV OS / Fire TV devices.
The G52 GPU will be snappier vs the entry level G31 when used with a graphics rich Android OS’s.

For a minimal, optimised Linux OS like CoreELEC the difference are not so noticeable S922X vs S905D3

Amazon chose the cost effective S922Z variant for their 2019 Cube because it also had a Neural co-processor onboard to make voice recognition, processing and subsequent voice control much faster.

2020 should bring AML chipsets with up to 8K 60fps AV1, hardware video decoding.

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#8
Hmm and I thought that you need at least an 922 for 4k HDR...

I like that everything is included in this one...

What would you say is the biggest difference to the N2?
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#9
(2019-11-10, 22:43)JustATest Wrote: Hmm and I thought that you need at least an 922 for 4k HDR...

Even the dirt cheap, old AMLogic S905W chipset can do 24p 4K HDR.
None of the HDR capable AML chipsets released in the last two years or so have any problems with 4K HDR.

A bunch of issues with high bitrate 4K HDR however have been caused by the lack of Gigabit Ethernet if home Network streaming.

Quote:What would you say is the biggest difference to the N2?

S922X - N2 has more powerful CPU package, it really can Software decode anything non 4K inc. decent bitrate Hi10P 1080p Anime.
I'm not sure if the S905D3 can do that - no one has really tested it for such SW decoding yet.

N2's G52 GPU is more powerful - resulting in a faster, snappier device.
For some people power and speed are everything.

The inbuilt DAC on the N2 is excellent for those that still need Analogue audio output.

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#10
(2019-11-11, 02:52)wrxtasy Wrote: S922X - N2 has more powerful CPU package, it really can Software decode anything non 4K inc. decent bitrate Hi10P 1080p Anime.
I'm not sure if the S905D3 can do that - no one has really tested it for such SW decoding yet.

I think it  software decodes anything 4:2:0 1080p you throw at it - but a quick check of some 1080i25 35Mbs 4:2:2 h.264 seems to defeat my N2. (I get sound only).  I need to see what happens if I disable hardware decode entirely - as it may be that it's trying to hardware decode something it can't.
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#11
(2019-11-11, 03:51)noggin Wrote:
(2019-11-11, 02:52)wrxtasy Wrote: S922X - N2 has more powerful CPU package, it really can Software decode anything non 4K inc. decent bitrate Hi10P 1080p Anime.
I'm not sure if the S905D3 can do that - no one has really tested it for such SW decoding yet.

I think it  software decodes anything 4:2:0 1080p you throw at it - but a quick check of some 1080i25 35Mbs 4:2:2 h.264 seems to defeat my N2. (I get sound only).  I need to see what happens if I disable hardware decode entirely - as it may be that it's trying to hardware decode something it can't.

Yes but you will be CPU Software deinterlacing i25 content as well if Software decoding.
I did Not mention SW deinterlacing. Wink

Normal users will not be using 1080i25 4:2:2 content at all - in fact I would say you will be the only one.
And it's normal user usage cases we are catering for here on the Kodi forums.

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#12
(2019-11-11, 02:52)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2019-11-10, 22:43)JustATest Wrote: Hmm and I thought that you need at least an 922 for 4k HDR...

Even the dirt cheap, old AMLogic S905W chipset can do 24p 4K HDR.
None of the HDR capable AML chipsets released in the last two years or so have any problems with 4K HDR.

A bunch of issues with high bitrate 4K HDR however have been caused by the lack of Gigabit Ethernet if home Network streaming.
Quote:What would you say is the biggest difference to the N2?

S922X - N2 has more powerful CPU package, it really can Software decode anything non 4K inc. decent bitrate Hi10P 1080p Anime.
I'm not sure if the S905D3 can do that - no one has really tested it for such SW decoding yet.

N2's G52 GPU is more powerful - resulting in a faster, snappier device.
For some people power and speed are everything.

The inbuilt DAC on the N2 is excellent for those that still need Analogue audio output. 
Hi wrxtasy, Do you know if the S922X has a better image processing than the S905D3?
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#13
(2019-11-11, 04:05)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2019-11-11, 03:51)noggin Wrote:
(2019-11-11, 02:52)wrxtasy Wrote: S922X - N2 has more powerful CPU package, it really can Software decode anything non 4K inc. decent bitrate Hi10P 1080p Anime.
I'm not sure if the S905D3 can do that - no one has really tested it for such SW decoding yet.

I think it  software decodes anything 4:2:0 1080p you throw at it - but a quick check of some 1080i25 35Mbs 4:2:2 h.264 seems to defeat my N2. (I get sound only).  I need to see what happens if I disable hardware decode entirely - as it may be that it's trying to hardware decode something it can't.   

Yes but you will be CPU Software deinterlacing i25 content as well if Software decoding.
I did Not mention SW deinterlacing. Wink

Normal users will not be using 1080i25 4:2:2 content at all - in fact I would say you will be the only one.
And it's normal user usage cases we are catering for here on the Kodi forums.   

You'd be surprised about 4:2:2.  There was a question about 4:2:2 decoding from someone else recently on one of the forums I hang out in.

Because 4:2:2 is used a lot for outside broadcast backhauls that can be received by people at home with multi-satellite systems, finding something to display them on their TV is actually something quite a few people want to do.  

Almost all consumer satellite receivers will only decode 4:2:0 (just like a lot of Kodi platforms) but the receivers will happily stream the 4:2:2 video in a transport stream over an IP connection for external display.  Finding something to display the IP stream on is something quite a few people want to do - and as very few devices do this in hardware, software performance is an area people are interested in.

BTW - just tried an h.264 4:2:2 1080i25 38Mbs stream - with hardware acceleration enabled you get a blocky green mess with some garbled, slightly recognisable pictures.  If you disable hardware acceleration you get video - but it runs in slow motion (it isn't dropping frames, it's just rendering the stream slower than real time)
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#14
(2019-11-10, 18:43)wrxtasy Wrote: In the past the “D” series of AMLogic chipsets were capable of using their onboard TS input for interfacing with DVB TV tuners.
Is there anything on the market that is an upgrade to the KII S905D right now? I have one of those set up in my mums running CoreElec so she can watch stuff from my Plex server as well as terristrtal/satellite tv with tvheadend, I was thinking of upgrading her but I can't seem to find anything about that is similar
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#15
(2019-11-11, 17:02)ikarione Wrote:
(2019-11-11, 02:52)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2019-11-10, 22:43)JustATest Wrote: Hmm and I thought that you need at least an 922 for 4k HDR...

Even the dirt cheap, old AMLogic S905W chipset can do 24p 4K HDR.
None of the HDR capable AML chipsets released in the last two years or so have any problems with 4K HDR.

A bunch of issues with high bitrate 4K HDR however have been caused by the lack of Gigabit Ethernet if home Network streaming.
Quote:What would you say is the biggest difference to the N2?

S922X - N2 has more powerful CPU package, it really can Software decode anything non 4K inc. decent bitrate Hi10P 1080p Anime.
I'm not sure if the S905D3 can do that - no one has really tested it for such SW decoding yet.

N2's G52 GPU is more powerful - resulting in a faster, snappier device.
For some people power and speed are everything.

The inbuilt DAC on the N2 is excellent for those that still need Analogue audio output. 
Hi wrxtasy, Do you know if the S922X has a better image processing than the S905D3?

Info found was this from Khadas S905D3 datasheet (click)

S905X3, S905Y3, and S905D3 has support for:

Quote:8th Generation Advanced Amlogic TruLife Image Engine

● Supports Dolby Vision (optional), HDR10+, HDR10, HLG and Technicolor HDR processing
● Motion compensated noise reduction and 3D digital noise reduction for random noise
● Block noise, mosquito noise, spatial noise, contour noise reduction
● Motion compensated and motion adaptive de-interlacer
● Edge interpolation with low angle protection and processing
● 3:2/2:2 pulldown and Video on Film (VOF) detection and processing
● Smart sharpness with SuperScaler technology including de-contouring, de-ring, LTI, CTI, dejaggy, peaking
● Dynamic non-Linear contrast enhancement
● All dimension multiple regions smart color management including blue/green extension, fleshtone correction, wider gamut for video
● 2 video planes and 3 graphics planes hardware composer
● Independent HDR re-mapping of video and graphic layer


The S922X, S922Z, A311D has support for:

Quote:9th Generation Advanced AMLogic TruLife Image Engine

• Support Dolby Vision (Optional), HDR10, HDR10+, HLG HDR and Technicolor HDR processing
• Motion compensated noise reduction and 3D digital noise reduction for random noise
• Block noise, mosquito noise, spatial noise, contour noise reduction
• Motion compensated and motion adaptive de-interlacer
• Edge interpolation with low angle protection and processing
• 3:2/2:2 pulldown and Video on Film (VOF) detection and processing
• Smart sharpness with SuperScaler technology including de-contouring, de-ring, LTI, CTI, de-jaggy, peaking
• Dynamic non-Linear contrast enhancement
• 3D LUTs with 17x17x17 nodes, provide 4913 different control points, which is competent for matching calibrated displays to a target colorspace
• High precision HSL color space-based color management with low saturation protection, independent luma/hue/saturation adjustment to achieve blue/green extension, fresh tone correction, and wider gamut for video
• 2 video planes and 3 graphics planes
• Independent HDR re-mapping of video and graphic layer

The S922X, S922Z A311D look to have better colorspace mapping and conversion, say if you were viewing HDR content on a calibrated SDR display.

Not sure what HSL support would have to do with use in media players to be honest. Maybe @noggin has some info.

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