Running Kodi On Android Smart TVs
#1
Hi All

I run a HTPC with Kodi and the drives shared on the network, I am looking at this TV for another room:

https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/TVPHS82...ecs-anchor

Its a Android TV smart TV, I'm justing checking if anyone has experience running Kodi from Android TVs, it has a ethernet port which I will use to connect to the network etc.

But yeah basically asking do smart TVs have enough power to run Kodi without any issues?

Thanks
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#2
I had Kodi running on a Sony Bravia. It was OK to watch movies and TV shows stored on an external NAS. Most of my files played without problems.

After about two years I switched to a vero 4K+ because in my configuration 4k content was not played (sorry, I do not now anymore why this was so, but the Sony had also difficulties playing VC-1 ). Kodi performs faster on the vero.

In my opinion you end up sooner or later with a monitor when you buy a android TV and use the android features of your TV less and less.
I would suggest to install Kodi on your android TV and if you are not satisfied you can simply ad a different external player.
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#3
Kodi will run on an Android TV, but depending on the firmware you may or may not get things like audio passthrough and other things working properly, it's a bit hit and miss. There's no reason not to get an Android Smart TV, but I wouldn't pay extra just for the OS when you might end up forking out for a box /stick to plug into it anyway.
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#4
It will be a pretty straight forward setup, everything running on the TV sound included.

Will it be laggy etc?
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#5
I have a Phillips POS9002 Android TV. It can stream 4k hdr from my Nas via ethernet ok.

Sometimes there are blocky processing moments. I can see them, the wife can't.

I got the system to work even smoother by enabling development mode on the TV and limiting threads and processes to free up ram.

Not as good Shield or Xbox, just ok.
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#6
Thanks so if anything this new TV should be slightly better right due to it being newer?
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#7
FWIW, in my experience Philips are usually implementing the slower CPU/GPU solutions in their TVs. Most TVs have relatively slow hardware to begin with, but Philips tends to be at the back of the pack. The ethernet port on the TV is probably a 100Mb/s version, while bigger video files run in the gigabytes in size. Having a quicker network connection will add to the user experience. Perhaps a proper wifi option (Wifi 6) is a supported alternative.

I'd say get yourself a TV with a good display panel, and a separate device for Kodi for maximum flexibility.
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#8
Well we got the TV and so far its running Kodi great so very happy with it.

Question, I only have 1080 content, how do I handle the upscaling to 4K? I've read that I should let the TV do it instead of Kodi, is there anything around 4K that I need to know?
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#9
Interesting topic!

Previously I had a highend Linux HTPC, with Ryzen 7 3700x and RTX3060ti graphics etc.

A month ago I bought a Sony Bravia Android TV. I was very impressed that I could just load Kodi from Play store and it would work right out of the box. Kodi feels the same as on the HTPC, it's not noticeably slower. 4K HDR is working nicely, etc.

I used my HTPC for Steam games as well. Turns out I can run most of my games with Geforce Now, directly on the TV with no external hardware! That was the last nail in the coffin. HTPC no more, just TV.

However, now that I have used the TV for a month, there are some issues which are starting to grow on me, to such point that I'm considering buying a Nvidia Shield.. But maybe not yet.

1)

TV only has 100Mb ethernet. Can't understand the reasoning for this. I have 4K videos on a network share, they are struggling. And I'm not talking about pirated movies, these are output from my 4K BlackVue car camera which automatically backups to the network drive.. What's more, it's not just Kodi saying "source too slow", sometimes it manages to flood the ethernet so that all connections drop and then it takes like 30seconds to return to normal.

However, TV does have very fast Wifi. Everything works much better if I simply unplug the ethernet. So this problem is perhaps "solved". Smile I bought a few more wifi routers so I could place one right next to the TV. It connects at 866MBps, and even iperf3 speedtest confirms >500M speeds in my LAN.

2)

Sony runs Android TV in 60fps fixed mode... The framerate API is not supported so Kodi can't change it. Kodi plays everything in 60fps. However this is not as bad as it sounds. 30fps and 60fps play fine, of course. Most movies are 24fps, Kodi plays them with 3:2 conversion to get 60fps. Sony's "cinema mode" logic detects this and actually converts it to 120fps 5:5, which looks good. If you don't enable Motion Flow it looks exactly the same as real 24fps.

25fps is common in PAL TV (Europe). That's tricky. Kodi has to play that in 60fps too, which results in jumping and skipping because 60fps is not exact multiple of 25fps. Sony doesn't seem to be able to revert that, especially when the target 120fps is not a multiple of 25fps either. But luckily if you enable Motion Flow it looks reasonably good for regular TV viewing. Movies and other "important sources" are 24fps anyway.

3)

Sound. Sony allows only Stereo, Dolby Digital, DTS, or Dolby Digital+ for android apps like Kodi. No multichannel PCM!

However Dolby Digital+ has very high bitrate and allows multichannel (even Dolby Atmos!). For me that is good enough. Kodi plays files with DD+ audio just fine, with 7.1 audio. But if you have movie with AAC or PCM audio, Kodi will have to transcode that to Dolby Digital 5.1... It would be great if Kodi could transcode into DD+, but that's perhaps not happening.
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#10
(2021-09-20, 11:28)Zuikkis Wrote: TV only has 100Mb ethernet. Can't understand the reasoning for this.

One thing only: lower cost.
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#11
(2021-09-20, 11:28)Zuikkis Wrote: 1)

TV only has 100Mb ethernet. Can't understand the reasoning for this. I have 4K videos on a network share, they are struggling. And I'm not talking about pirated movies, these are output from my 4K BlackVue car camera which automatically backups to the network drive.. What's more, it's not just Kodi saying "source too slow", sometimes it manages to flood the ethernet so that all connections drop and then it takes like 30seconds to return to normal.

There are very few streaming services that run at >100Mbs (ironically Sony runs one of the only ones that does - and they apparently tell people to use WiFi not Ethernet to connect to it).

TV SoCs used for Smart TVs are optimised for Netflix, Prime, Disney, Apple TV, Hulu, iPlayer etc. - none of which are >100Mbs... Why make the TV cost more (or make less profit on it) when <1% (0.1%?) of users will need Gigabit Ethernet?

Quote:However, TV does have very fast Wifi. Everything works much better if I simply unplug the ethernet. So this problem is perhaps "solved". Smile I bought a few more wifi routers so I could place one right next to the TV. It connects at 866MBps, and even iperf3 speedtest confirms >500M speeds in my LAN.

Yes - I suspect Sony know that very few people use cabled network connections on their TV (they tell people to use WiFi for their UHD Blu-ray quality streaming service that is >100Mbs AIUI)

Quote:2)

Sony runs Android TV in 60fps fixed mode... The framerate API is not supported so Kodi can't change it. Kodi plays everything in 60fps. However this is not as bad as it sounds. 30fps and 60fps play fine, of course. Most movies are 24fps, Kodi plays them with 3:2 conversion to get 60fps. Sony's "cinema mode" logic detects this and actually converts it to 120fps 5:5, which looks good. If you don't enable Motion Flow it looks exactly the same as real 24fps.

25fps is common in PAL TV (Europe). That's tricky. Kodi has to play that in 60fps too, which results in jumping and skipping because 60fps is not exact multiple of 25fps. Sony doesn't seem to be able to revert that, especially when the target 120fps is not a multiple of 25fps either. But luckily if you enable Motion Flow it looks reasonably good for regular TV viewing. Movies and other "important sources" are 24fps anyway.

Yes - this is the most ridiculous fault of Sony's Android TV implementation. You can't watch 25/50fps content in Android TV (Netflix series like The Crown as well as most other European series on Amazon, Netflix, and all the European catch up services. It's why I ignore Android TV on my Sony TV.

What is REALLY annoying is that HbbTV apps work fine at 50Hz. BBC iPlayer is an HbbTV not Android TV app - and runs fine at 50Hz - even 2160p50 UHD HDR stuff on iPlayer works fine.

Quote:3)

Sound. Sony allows only Stereo, Dolby Digital, DTS, or Dolby Digital+ for android apps like Kodi. No multichannel PCM!

However Dolby Digital+ has very high bitrate and allows multichannel (even Dolby Atmos!). For me that is good enough. Kodi plays files with DD+ audio just fine, with 7.1 audio. But if you have movie with AAC or PCM audio, Kodi will have to transcode that to Dolby Digital 5.1... It would be great if Kodi could transcode into DD+, but that's perhaps not happening.

I guess this is Android TV/Sony having to catch-up with eARC implementation - ARC only supported PCM 2.0/DD/DTS/DD+ over the HDMI 'reverse' audio channel. eARC could allow HD Audio bitstreaming (but until a mainstream service requires it I don't see Android/Sony implementation. Android TV support for HD Audio is very patchy after all...)
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#12
(2021-09-21, 10:21)noggin Wrote: There are very few streaming services that run at >100Mbs (ironically Sony runs one of the only ones that does - and they apparently tell people to use WiFi not Ethernet to connect to it).

Yeah. But even the Blackvue recordings I mentioned, are only about 25MBps average bitrate. But I guess there are peaks that go past 100M and there is not enough buffering to cover for it? Anyway works fine with wifi..
Quote:I guess this is Android TV/Sony having to catch-up with eARC implementation - ARC only supported PCM 2.0/DD/DTS/DD+ over the HDMI 'reverse' audio channel. eARC could allow HD Audio bitstreaming (but until a mainstream service requires it I don't see Android/Sony implementation. Android TV support for HD Audio is very patchy after all...)

But Sony does support PCM 7.1 for HDMI sources. That is, it can pass incoming 7.1 stream through eARC to my amplifier. So the TV does know how to output 7.1 PCM, it just doesn't allow that for Android apps for some reason..
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#13
(2021-09-21, 11:10)Zuikkis Wrote:
(2021-09-21, 10:21)noggin Wrote: There are very few streaming services that run at >100Mbs (ironically Sony runs one of the only ones that does - and they apparently tell people to use WiFi not Ethernet to connect to it).

Yeah. But even the Blackvue recordings I mentioned, are only about 25MBps average bitrate. But I guess there are peaks that go past 100M and there is not enough buffering to cover for it? Anyway works fine with wifi..
Do you mean 25MBps or 25Mbps? (25MBps = 200Mbps - since 1B= 8b)
Quote:
Quote:I guess this is Android TV/Sony having to catch-up with eARC implementation - ARC only supported PCM 2.0/DD/DTS/DD+ over the HDMI 'reverse' audio channel. eARC could allow HD Audio bitstreaming (but until a mainstream service requires it I don't see Android/Sony implementation. Android TV support for HD Audio is very patchy after all...)

But Sony does support PCM 7.1 for HDMI sources. That is, it can pass incoming 7.1 stream through eARC to my amplifier. So the TV does know how to output 7.1 PCM, it just doesn't allow that for Android apps for some reason..

Yes - but the HDMI route doesn't require any Android TV software support in the way that Android apps will.
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#14
(2021-09-22, 00:25)noggin Wrote: Do you mean 25MBps or 25Mbps? (25MBps = 200Mbps - since 1B= 8b)

Ah, 25Mbps, my bad. Writing on mobile..

They are about 200MB files, 1 minute each.

Typically it would jam a few seconds after starting playback. Kodi probably is filling the playback buffer at maximum rate, so there is network contention for a few seconds? This is then enough to trigger the bug that TV network disappears completely for several seconds. TV doesn't respond to ping during that period..

It's possible it's some misconfiguration in my router, but it doesn't happen with any other device.
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