Benefits of an upgrade over a S912

I see that the S912 is stuck with Leia forever, but apart from having access to new developments on Matrix what else would justify an upgrade today?

For some reason (maybe due to the global chip shortage?) Amlogic is holding off release of S908 and S928 SOCs… and it doesn’t seem that they will be released anytime soon, if at all. I for one would buy the S928 at launch (provided the bootloader is unlockable, of course).

The S905X4 devices don’t entice me enough because I know their are lowend SOCs. I thought about S922x, but as I see it it’s little more than a faster S912 for all intents and purposes. It doesn’t have AV1 decoding, neither 8K support… and in 2021 isn’t really a “new” SOC anymore.

I don’t like being stuck on Leia… but upgrading just for upgrade sake doesn’t seen reasonable. What do you guys think? Am I missing something?

The first question I would ask myself is whether my existing S912 box does what I want it to.

If the answer is yes then waiting for a new SOC to come along would seem reasonable, only revisiting the question if the S912 suddenly doesn’t do something that it did before.

If you were to still want to upgrade now then I would not rule out the S905X4 as for all intent and purposes, it will still be a capable SOC for many tasks.

Yes. It does.

I guess other way to put the question would be “Is Matrix significantly different/better than Leia to warrant upgrade to a less than ideal (but ng compatible) SOC now?”.

As I’m not currently a Matrix user, I don’t really know what I’m missing (if anything). I thought about trying it on Windows but considered that maybe the differences between platforms would make the comparison somewhat invalid.

I have an S912 running Leia and a S905X2 running Matrix and from a day to day perspective, if I didn’t think about it I would not really notice the difference for my use purposes.

The big deal breaker for some between the two is with regards to Python, which is now using version 3 in Matrix, preventing some third party addons from working until and if devs update them.


As new SoC’s are (cheap) available CoreELEC recommend to upgrade the hardware.

Also LibreELEC say the same: The S912 was a hack and will never be fully integrated in future:

nothing is moving forwards...

Users got told in past to avoid buying such hardware. So If you want to go with Kodi Matrix you will need to think about a upgrade.

By the way, the next Kodi version Nexus development builds are already to be released soon…

Matrix brings almost nothing new and the loss of many useful addons makes it a definate downgrade for many. CE Leia on S912 will continued to work in its slightly broken way until add-on developers finally feel the need to migrate to python 3, probably with the next release.
The intrinsic software support of the s922 makes it far more than a faster s912 which was cobbled from birth by lack of drivers.

1 Like

The problem is the python3 issue will not change and you will be forced to switch to Kodi Matrix/Nexus anyway someday.

There is no backup plan and no future for Leia as the support will be more less till nothing.

It’s same like the switch to Kodi Krypton, nobody liked it but there is no alternative.

1 Like

Which means in all practical terms the S912 is a dead duck. My S912 VIM2 has been in cold storage for a year at this stage. The cheap S905x3 based X96Air outperforms it all day every day anyway. Matrix and Python3 are indeed inevitable, but I will wait for the next release and some actual feature updates before migrating my main system.


I am in the same boat. I have several Minix Neo U9-H devices. I was thinking of getting Minix Neo U22-XJ but I read here that it has problems with HDR to SDR, is that right?

The two main things I want is being able to watch HDR on SDR TVs and Dolby Vision passthrough.

I did some tests on Kodi nVidia Shield TV Pro. It can passthrough Dolby Vision inside Kodi which is great. I didn’t see any options for HDR to SDR inside Kodi. Are there more options in CoreELEC? Also I don’t see any options for adjusting Brightness and Contrast, are those 2 also specifically made for CoreELEC?

Also I don’t know if resolution auto switch is necessary. So I still don’t know, should I go with nVidia Shield? Should I go with S905x3, Neo U22-XJ? Can those last 2 do Dolby Vision passthrough?

CoreELEC doesn’t support Dolby Vision, at least at this stage. If you meant Dobly Atmos (audio), then it does support it.

If you want to have “decent” HDR to SDR capabilities, you need to look at S905X3 based devices, not S922X.

SDR to HDR and HDR to SDR are options you can get to in the newer NG versions of CE. But it should work automatically if you have an SDR TV.
I don’t recall CE having any brightness\contrast controls, but I could be wrong.
Auto switch is supported perfectly by CE, it’s not strictly necessary, but highly recommended. The way 24P content is handled via 50\60P signal depends solely on your TV, therefore it may not have any benefit or it may have a big benefit to you, depending on your TV’s capabilities.

Thank you for the answers. Yes CoreELEC has brightness\contrast controls inside Video Settings in each video. At least the old non-NG version CoreELEC 9.2.7 has it.

I meant Dolby Vision as I wrote. As in HDR video system. It works in Kodi nVidia Shield.

I just discovered that Kodi nVidia Shield does auto resolution switch. It didn’t before. I think I’m going to go with nVidia Shield as my main device for the moment and also get a S905X3 based on recommendations here for testing.

So what would be a good S905X3 device? I see X96 Air, X96 Max+ available.

Good? Odroid C4, One of the banana pi, Khadas VIM3L

These are boards. I’m not really into making, it’s a hassle. You have to get the box and the remote and the other stuff. I prefer an already made box ready to go.

As you have a Shield, then most options are essentially covered.

But for playing around, the X96 Air often gets praise, with 2 caveats.

There are no ventilation holes, so you may need a Dremel to make a few to keep it cool.
There are seem to have been some reports that the very latest iteration may have a locked bootloader.

1 Like

You said good, the X series is suffering from a broader (and strange) diversity of components mounted into the device. Things like wifi and Bluetooth are a gamble. Also Ethernet can be gigabit or not despite the description. Last year I would say that X96 air was a nice choice if you couldn’t spend some more €€ but this year is a jungle out there.

1 Like

Well now I’m confused. We are in this year, now what? I can spend more €€, I had a Minix Neo U9-H. So I’m looking for quality.

If you’re looking for quality, get a C4. (If your budget allows an N2+), throw it in a case, buy a remote that you’ll actually use or reconfigure one you already have. I’m a fan of the MX3 keyboard Air mouse - search Amazon (if you spend more than $12 USD, you’re paying too much). All set.

You’ll notice an abundant lack of complaints about the C4 on the forums. The couple of minutes spent on installing the case will be repayed ten-fold with frustration free usage. All my daily drivers are N2/N2+ and honestly I couldn’t be happier.


Simply the best :+1:

1 Like

Damned right! :grin:

About | FAQ | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice