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Pick the Right Kodi Box (UPDATED FEB 2015)
Think my needs are a bit high?

Any recommendations?

1.) HDMI 2.0a Port

2.) High Dynamic Range - HDR Support (Rec. 2020 Color Space)

3.) HEVC Hardware Acceleration (10Bit)

4.) HDCP 2.2

5.) Must Support 4:4:4 Chroma Subsampling @ 60Hz

6.) 10-bit Color Depth: Hi10P

7.) Support Audio Return Channel (ARC)

8.) Bluetooth 4.2

9.) GPU: DirectX 12 Support (Full)

10.) New CPU Must Have Intel® Memory Protection Extensions (Intel® MPX)

11.) Remote With RF (Radio Frequency)

12.) VP9 Hardware Acceleration (Decoding & Encoding)

13.) VC-1 H/W Decoding

14.) Miracast


1.) Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) Switch To Non-Volatile Media Express (NVMe)

2.) PCIe: 20 lanes, Gen3

3.) USB 3.1 Type-A (Old) and Type-C, 100 Watts

4.) M.2 and SATA Express

5.) Thunderbolt 3

6.) RAM: Support For Intel XMP 2.0 DDR4 (At Least 8GB)

7.) 802.11ac (AC1900+ With MU-MIMO)

8.) Ethernet 1000 Mbit
(2015-07-22, 20:41)Shazb0t Wrote: I would like this one to have some future proofing built in, so HEVC hardware decoding and 4K capability would be useful. What devices should I be looking into?

Regarding 4K and HEVC I suggest checking FAQ: what hardware to get for 4K.

As future proofing goes, presently, the NVIDIA Shield TV seems like the best option as there aren't many boxes supporting HEVC main10 profile (10-bit) out there.
@war59312 - There is no one thing that will do what you're asking. As far as something that could do most of those things, then it would be a full blown HTPC (it would actually be a low-mid level gaming rig) and most of the hardware you need isn't actually available for about another month.

What is your purpose of wanting all that potential?
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(2015-07-03, 01:19)poofyhairguy Wrote: So I will do a full update soon and I would love further suggestions......
Just a suggestion for a update to the Android section now that the AMlogic S802/S805/S812 Kernel has added features:

I just want an inexpensive Android 1080p HEVC(H265) hardware decoder with decent Firmware

Devices in this category consist of an AMlogic S805 SoC containing a Mali 450 GPU/VPU that does 8-bit Hardware HEVC decoding.
Limitations are no HD Audio decoding to PCM and AC3/DTS passthrough may have issues if not already fixed. Old mpeg2/interlaced DVD rips may also be a problem. HDMI CEC by AMlogic is not as good as the RPi. Maximum resolution on Netflix is 720x480p.

Decent firmware however will give you the ability to plug in a HDD without problems and sit back and enjoy the detailed 1080p HEVC video goodness. You can also expect properly synced 23.976/59.94Hz video output and Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching in Kodi Isengard for superior Android video playback. Kodi Isengard running on Android 4.4.2 is quick and works well. There is also a half decent unofficial OpenElec image for the C1+ that bypasses some of the Android 2.0 audio output limitations.

Broadcast TV deinterlacing is also very good on the AMlogic S805, using Advanced Motion Adaptive Edge Enhancing deinterlacing. This is excellent for fast action sports TV viewing. The S805 also has enough grunt for some light gaming.

The two devices that fit these requirements are the nicely polished MINIX NEO X6 and the cheaper HardKernel ODROID-C1+

Note: The more expensive MINIX X8-H Plus supports 2160p/8-bit HEVC decoding up to 30Hz.

(2015-07-24, 09:01)wrxtasy Wrote: Devices in this category consist of an AMlogic S805 SoC containing a Mali 450 GPU that does 8-bit Hardware HEVC decoding.
It's not the Mali 450 GPU that does the hardware decoding is it? Isn't it an additional element on the chip, a VPU or similar, that does this.

Reason I say that is the capabilities of the VPU are independent of the GPU - so you can have SoCs from different manufacturers with different video decoding capabilities in their VPU, but with the same GPU?

Or does the Mali 450 GPU include a standard VPU?
I think @noggin is right, at least according to Most Embedded GPUs Do NOT Support Hardware Video Decoding Acceleration. The VPU Does. In the PC/x86 world GPU and VPU are more or less interchangeable words but that doesn't seem to be the case for SoCs.
Corrected... and edited.
The VPU is referred to as the AMlogic Video Engine (AVE) in the Core and Fabric part of the S805 SoC. Smile
Its separate from the 4 Mali-450 Graphics Processing Cores.

Hi, I am looking for something that can play 4k content. Preferred OS is OpenElec. Any mini itx mobo-cpu combo which can do it? I don't want to go for the Chromebox.
@extremeaudio, check out FAQ: what hardware to get for 4K and Intel Braswell boxes compilation.
Yep - you also need to be clear on what codec, bit depth and frame rate 4K you want. Not all 4K is equal.

HEVC/H265 10 bit vs HEVC/H265 8 bit vs AVC/H264 8 bit
AVC/H264 vs HEVC/H265
2160/23.976-30p ("movie") vs 2160/50-60p ("TV")
OK, so I've spent all morning reading each and every post (phew) and have made up my mind to get an Asus Chromebox. Amazon seem to have the best deals but they have thrown me by having an M060U (which has 2GB RAM) for £169.93 and an M099U (which has 4GB RAM) for £169.95. Both are quoted as having the 2955U processor. An extra 2p for 2GB extra RAM!!?? Am I missing something somewhere?

Also, I have NOW come across an M031U on Amazon which has 4GB RAM, also with the 2955U, but for £189.99p.

What is it with these different numbers? Which one should I get?

Confused to say the least.

@CeeJayDee, given you are quoting pound prices I take it you're in the UK, have you seen the HP 260 G1 (Haswell 2957U) Chromebox alternative - £89 Flubit/Ebuyer deal? This is currently the best chromebox like deal around.
(2015-07-29, 15:17)oWarchild Wrote: @CeeJayDee, given you are quoting pound prices I take it you're in the UK, have you seen the HP 260 G1 (Haswell 2957U) Chromebox alternative - £89 Flubit/Ebuyer deal? This is currently the best chromebox like deal around.

Oh s**t, something else to consider Big Grin

Yes, I am from UK. I really appreciate your response but, having decided on the ACB, I'm not sure I really want to read any more!!

Any info about the ACB 'numbers' , and which one i should buy, would be appreciated.

The HP 260 G1 is far far better value than the ASUS Chromebox.
Its basically Chromebox internals dressed up in a different external case. Plus its far more flexible as you can run Windows 8.1 or the new free Win 10 or whatever you want.

Excellent bang for the buck in the UK. Smile

@oWarchild. So I did a bit of quick reading of the "HP 260 G1 (Haswell 2957U) Chromebox alternative" thread and it seems to me that the ACB is a bit like Japanese cars where what are 'extras' on European cars are in fact 'standard' on Japanese cars. With no HDMI port and so many 'bits and pieces' to purchase in addition, it takes the price up somewhat. Apart from that - the ACB is prettier that the HP260 :0

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