I think for a lot of people not that much into the development side of things there are some pieces of the conversation that are missing for them so trying to understand the future logic is confusing.
A bit of history and reality needs to be understood so as to realize the various implications looking forward but the 1st thing people need to understand about Amlogic and the others is that when most of the Android boxes were introduced they never had any Intention of supporting Linux or anything outside the “canned version of Android” they work with at any given point in time, so for anyone wanting to play with linux on a box they were TOTALLY on their own.
The short history so far has demonstrated how the public coders have stepped up and taken on finding ways of making “just enough linux” types of operating systems running Kodi actually work. Almost ALL of this type of work has been done with almost NO help from Amlogic and the others even tho over the years the idea of users putting Linux on their boxes has added a decent bump to the bottom line for all those manufactures.
As a result depending on who’s device your playing with there is no real level playing field as far as individual development leading to which is best supported to be constantly changing which is what everyone is currently seeing.
presently the HK’s seem to be the best overall supported but that could change pretty easily depending on who’s developing what and on what box and if its in the public.
The biggest issue that i see is that with most of the common SoC makers using gpus from Arm that because of the way the IP is licenced there is publicly NO real userland drivers for the devices outside the limited support provided by the Android blobs, these blobs are revision specific which has kept the level of software such as the kernels at old world long out dated revisions with no very many real solutions to get around it.
A number of years back when the S912 was 1st introduced it took a few creative minds to come up with a solution wrapping the Android blobs to be used on linux driven OS like LE and CE and a number of other spin offs. Again with NO help from companies like Amlogic. Rockchip seems to have at least moved somewhat forward and is much more open then when it started but Amlogic is still leveraging against the public coders to secure its future in anything outside Android.
Theres much more to the history but thats enough of it to kinda see where things are currently sitting.
As i see it from observing basically here and over at LE the current activities have forked with CE seemingly more interested in releases based on Current levels of software as to provide current working solutions for the devices they support while LE is more focused on trying to unify the core software to mainstream support which is going to take a UNKNOWN amount of time as mainstream support can only fully be achieved once all the missing parts are 1st created then hope to get them inserted into the mainstream support, and they are doing so without really worring about current things as much as CE does.
I mean no negativity in any of what i have said as i do my own thing and have no horse in the race but have noticed the differences in their respective goals.
As far as Kodi itself goes, its hard to say now these days as the group of people behind it changes and will continue to change, I have been building it since the old days when Frodo 1st published his sources which became XBMP and doubt any of the current group of Kodi shot callers were even involved back then as over the years there were people coming and going all the time. Kodi tho as a media player needs to evolve to keep up with the changing technologies and I suspect in Amlogic’s case part of the problem is Kodi is NOT interested in trying to support a company that basically is not interested in really providing a solution to the Linux issues.
Speculation on my part but from monitoring certain things i have come to the conclusion that there is a tighter knit currently between some key Kodi guys and LE which is probably why theres a closure in the gap between the 2 groups to the point that even tho they are separate groups and Products they see the benefit of a shared future by aligning themselves. Don’t get me wrong as i see nothing wrong with any of that in anyway but do notice that is said Products not projects because even tho they may be open source lets not be naive and fall to reckognize that for some involved these are actual products with side-chain revenue streams and thats fine with me .
To the ones i am sure will argue that Amlogic has provided help i say BS… ya ya they maybe have gave a few bux here and their to a handful of Companies to solve the issue, it to this point always failed as the money was a spit in the bucket and never enough to last the development cycle it would take to develope the missing Linux peices.
Most of the public buyers tho are not really aware of any of this and usually just base their thinking on the idea that a company would never sell something without making sure everything actually works and as such has allowed over the years Amlogic to just keep pumping out new and better SoC’s and marketing them in a manner thats routed in specs that in reality never acheive in the real world what they could if better firmware was employed. Even under Android for which they have proper blobs the gpu’s on the devices are not running what they could do and theres a huge variance in Android performance from one device to the next which is mostly the result of ‘Canned versions of Android’ that go with that particular chipset they push to the downstream manufactures which are companies like Beelink, Eny and others. Getting tailored OS’s for their exact hardware is something they would pay extra for and in a market flooded with poor qualtity clones, most won’t pay for that service or they would move their price point to high to compete. This is where companies like HK excell as they spend the money and resources to make sure they get that union of good software to their hardware.
Anyways sorry for the long rant but thats a bit of basic history that might help in understanding some of the logic in the shift of who’s doing what and why looking forward.