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Pick the Right Kodi Box (UPDATED FEB 2015)
Hello,
After reading and searching in the forum, I couldn't exactly find what I am looking for. My use case might be unique, the most important thing is the physical size of the device. Basically I travel a lot (haven't had a permanent house for 4 years, with the past 3 months jumping between hotels), So I don't really care about 3D or HD audio or all the fancy features, as most of the hotels I end up in have crappy 32" TVs (I still miss that Thailand hotel with the Sony 55" 3D TV Sad)
I have used an RPI B for sometime, but also this seemed a little big to me (after you add the cables and the charger and the case, it couldn't fit into my 12" laptop bag), so recently I gave it away and started using KODI on the laptop.

For the FEW ODD times that I end up in a hotel with a decent TV, I want a device that can actually output a nice picture on the TV. My movie collection is composed of H264 (if that's what AVC in the mediainfo means Huh) of course compressed as there is only so much space on a 2TB for movies and TV shows, and I cant carry more than 2 HDDs, one of them is for work.

So what I found really interesting is the Intel Compute Stick, perfect size (as it is my most important requirement). I read couple of reviews on this forum about it, I even saw the meegopad version with no fan which introduced heat problems, however I cant find detailed review of how well KODI performs on them, so if anybody has them, would you recommend it? Since the AC adapter is 2 Amp, would I still need a powered hub for 2.5" external HDD? Meegopad seems to be releasing a new one based on CherryTrail very soon, with Intel waiting for the Core M (Cedar city or something).

Having windows will be a plus for Netflix, Skype....etc, Android would be fine too, but all Android sticks I found are crappy Pirate-Addons-Filled ones, and most of them wouldn't accept an external NTFS HDD with movies on.
A very slim box might also do, with some flat cables, however what I liked about the sticks is the built in HDMI connector that eliminates the need of carrying an HDMI cable.

Recommendations please.... Big Grin
Hi, I just joined the forum today!!! So much to learn. The forum appears to be a great resource with a lot of knowledgeable people. I have been searching for the past hour on the site for the best android box to purchase. I have a Mygica ATV1200 and find that it is a good unit, but I encounter memory lag a fair bit, even thought I have a fairly quick wired internet connection. I was looking at the MyGica ATV1900AC ... it is an Android 5.0 with quad core with 2GB DDR3 system memory and 16GB eMMC flash storage with 4K Ultra HD.

Another unit that I was looking at is the CS-Q8 A80 Octa Core Android 4.4 TV Box. It as 4gb DDR3 and 32gb storage.

Any thoughts on which unit is better? For video playback with no lag? For 4K Ultra HD?

THANK YOU for your help!
Um, none of those. For 4K, nVidia Shield TV or possibly upcoming Minix U1.
[H]i-[d]eft [M]edia [K]een [V]ideosaurus
My Family Room Theater
I have a kinda specific question: Should I go android or Raspberry Pi2 for a box that has the following features:
  • Ability to play 10gb+ MKVs off USB easily
  • SPDIF out (coax digital audio would be a bonus)
  • analog audio out (either 3.5 or RCA)
  • 23.976 playback
  • semi portable
  • cheap

I don't care about:
  • 4K
  • streaming services (although I wouldn't turn them down)
  • HD audio

I have a Nexus Player sitting in shrinkwrap. Got it for $50 but it would need something like a OTG USB hub plus a USB sound card to get me the features above. Finding a compatible USB soundcard and rooting/modifying the Nexus seems like it would be a headache. Maybe this one would work? I'm also not sure if it auto switches to 24p mode or even supports 24p out of the box.

I know about the Wetek Core but I'm not sure about the analog audio out or when the thing will ever be available. It's also kind of pricey. If the MK808b Plus worked with the Turtle Beach soundcard, that might be a solution.
Pi2 will fill all the needs you listed, except for SPDIF out. There's a 3.5 jack, but for analog audio or RCA video only I think.
[H]i-[d]eft [M]edia [K]een [V]ideosaurus
My Family Room Theater
(2015-12-03, 21:05)hdmkv Wrote: Um, none of those. For 4K, nVidia Shield TV or possibly upcoming Minix U1.

Thanks for the quick response. Curious on your comment recommending NVidea versus the other two. When I read the specs for the CS-Q8A80 it says it supports 4k2k H.265 decoding and uses the Octa-Core ARM Cortex A15/A7 processor ... I am unfortunately not a techy wiz but from my reading it sounds like it is the next generation processor. Te Octa-Core is I understand the same as a dual quad core. Plus the external sata connection enables a HD addition.

Whereas the nVidia Shield has the Tegra X1. I don't know a lot about this other than seeing vids on Youtube promoting both ... it's hard to know which one is marketing hype and personal preference versus real features.
Curious as to your thoughts on my further comments? THanks!!
(2015-12-03, 21:12)hdmkv Wrote: Pi2 will fill all the needs you listed, except for SPDIF out. There's a 3.5 jack, but for analog audio or RCA video only I think.

There is stuff like the HiFiBerry Digi but it seems like it's all about audiophile BS and not 5.1.

Also, is the 3.5 jack on the RPi2 still terrible? I read some stuff that said the analog audio out had tons of noise. Maybe it got fixed eventually?
Firmware support is everything on an Android device, unless you want to go down the cheap DIY route.

Tech Specs and Slick marketing and false reviews, especially on Amazon are designed to fool people into parting with their money. A lot are outright lies and bullshit, especially with unproven devices, brand new to the Kodi market.

Best piece of advice we can give is get a popular Kodi device that a whole bunch of people use here on the forums and that we know that works well from a trustworthy Kodi seller. The Kodi Sponsors are a very good place to start.

For some reason, I thought the Turtle Beach USB sound card wouldn't work with the RPi2. But I found a post where someone said it was. If I can get analog and optical out of the Turtle Beach, then I think the Nexus is going back and I'm buying an RPi2.


EDIT: Oof. An RPi2 with case, power, SD card and the Turtle Beach USB sound card is $90. I feel like I should have just gotten an nVidia Shield on Monday.

EDIT2: lol and Shield TV can't do Netflix in 5.1 through the Turtle Beach. (Don't think the Nexus can either.) If I want a Shield, I'll have to find some other way to justify the price because "better Netflix than the Fire" isn't really one of them. Or more likely: just keep using the Fire at home and my old netbook for portability/compatibility.
(2015-12-03, 21:43)PROF FAART Wrote: For some reason, I thought the Turtle Beach USB sound card wouldn't work with the RPi2. But I found a post where someone said it was. If I can get analog and optical out of the Turtle Beach, then I think the Nexus is going back and I'm buying an RPi2.

USB Audio solutions work on the Pi in some applications, particularly HiFi distros like Volumio, Rune, Moode, etc. You can also get them working in Kodi, but they do impose some restrictions on the video playback routes available I think (MMAL not OMX?)

HDMI extractors, whilst a bit finicky in some situations, work with every player solution - so may be another route worth considering if you need Toslink output.
(2015-12-03, 21:30)PROF FAART Wrote:
(2015-12-03, 21:12)hdmkv Wrote: Pi2 will fill all the needs you listed, except for SPDIF out. There's a 3.5 jack, but for analog audio or RCA video only I think.

There is stuff like the HiFiBerry Digi but it seems like it's all about audiophile BS and not 5.1.

Also, is the 3.5 jack on the RPi2 still terrible? I read some stuff that said the analog audio out had tons of noise. Maybe it got fixed eventually?

HifiBerry Digi works well with openELEC 5.0.X, probably with newer versions too. And 5.1 is not a problem, it can quite easily pass through the SD Dolby Digital and DTS and decode AAC. And playback LPCM of course. If drivers are installed, it is just another sound card in the system and you can select it in KODI. And there is quite a good documentation on the manufacturer's website, so no problem there either.
(2015-12-03, 21:43)PROF FAART Wrote: For some reason, I thought the Turtle Beach USB sound card wouldn't work with the RPi2. But I found a post where someone said it was. If I can get analog and optical out of the Turtle Beach, then I think the Nexus is going back and I'm buying an RPi2.


EDIT: Oof. An RPi2 with case, power, SD card and the Turtle Beach USB sound card is $90. I feel like I should have just gotten an nVidia Shield on Monday.

EDIT2: lol and Shield TV can't do Netflix in 5.1 through the Turtle Beach. (Don't think the Nexus can either.) If I want a Shield, I'll have to find some other way to justify the price because "better Netflix than the Fire" isn't really one of them. Or more likely: just keep using the Fire at home and my old netbook for portability/compatibility.
Netflix 5.1 would be through HDMI (v1.3 or above) or analog 5.1 output (decoded). Netflix (AFAIK) uses Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3), not "regular" Dolby Digital (AC3). I believe Netflix 5.1 DD+ streams are above the bitrate SPIDF is capable of (hence forcing it would be difficult without trancoding to AC3). Even if the DD+ stream bitrate was below SPDIF treshold, and you could pass it "out" as an unadulterated PCM stream, the audio recieving unit still has to support decoding of DD+. Most AV consumer non-HDMI units don't. And if you're dealing with a TV, HDMI would be preferrable anyway. From my experience with the Netflix Metro app, its DD+ decode to analog output, or HDMI passthrough that goes.
If I have helped you or increased your knowledge - please click the plus to the left below to give thanks
(2015-12-06, 06:23)pr0xZen Wrote:
(2015-12-03, 21:43)PROF FAART Wrote: For some reason, I thought the Turtle Beach USB sound card wouldn't work with the RPi2. But I found a post where someone said it was. If I can get analog and optical out of the Turtle Beach, then I think the Nexus is going back and I'm buying an RPi2.


EDIT: Oof. An RPi2 with case, power, SD card and the Turtle Beach USB sound card is $90. I feel like I should have just gotten an nVidia Shield on Monday.

EDIT2: lol and Shield TV can't do Netflix in 5.1 through the Turtle Beach. (Don't think the Nexus can either.) If I want a Shield, I'll have to find some other way to justify the price because "better Netflix than the Fire" isn't really one of them. Or more likely: just keep using the Fire at home and my old netbook for portability/compatibility.
Netflix 5.1 would be through HDMI (v1.3 or above) or analog 5.1 output (decoded). Netflix (AFAIK) uses Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3), not "regular" Dolby Digital (AC3). I believe Netflix 5.1 DD+ streams are above the bitrate SPIDF is capable of (hence forcing it would be difficult without trancoding to AC3). Even if the DD+ stream bitrate was below SPDIF treshold, and you could pass it "out" as an unadulterated PCM stream, the audio recieving unit still has to support decoding of DD+. Most AV consumer non-HDMI units don't. And if you're dealing with a TV, HDMI would be preferrable anyway. From my experience with the Netflix Metro app, its DD+ decode to analog output, or HDMI passthrough that goes.

What does the Apple TV 2/3 do with Netflix 5.1 stuff via it's optical output?
(2015-12-06, 23:09)noggin Wrote: What does the Apple TV 2/3 do with Netflix 5.1 stuff via it's optical output?
No AppleTV, no clue.
If I have helped you or increased your knowledge - please click the plus to the left below to give thanks
(2015-12-07, 00:27)pr0xZen Wrote:
(2015-12-06, 23:09)noggin Wrote: What does the Apple TV 2/3 do with Netflix 5.1 stuff via it's optical output?
No AppleTV, no clue.

Pretty certain it outputs 5.1 Dolby Digital (not +) via its Toslink output - but presumably Netflix could just serve different streams to the ATV2/3 clients.
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