currently, I am using Openelec/Kodi on a rasperry as a (VNSI-)client to a VDR server.
Now I am about to buy a new TV (probably samsung 75q7fe) and am looking for a more appropriate hardware.
Over there in the vdr-portal forums, I got the recommendation to get something S905/S912 based.
Unfortunately, there are lots of different boxes based on S9xx and the threads over there in the libreelec/openelec forums have lots of warnings that there exist lots of sub-optimale S9xx-Hardware and the threads are also very outdated.
I looked around in this forums, but could not find any recommendations for CoreELEC.
Anybody can recommend a S9xx based hardware which would work good with CoreELEC/Kodi and would not be outdated next week?
Just purchased one of these in Australia for £102.51 ($180 AUD) delivered. Too good a price and i needed a Chromecast Built in Box for my legal sports subscription (Kayo Sports)
It’s a really good piece of Hardware and Software.
You won’t get anything else close to the shield performance with Android TV.
Chinese Android TV Boxes are doomed with the shields new pricing.
In the meantime, I’ve bought a Nvidia Shield TV. This seems to be a fine piece of hardware.
But it is not without drawbacks. For example, I have massive problems using the “skip” functions in Kodi’s VNSI-PVR-Addon when playing recordings. Sometimes, when I use the “skip forward” or “skip backward”, the playback hangs for a pretty long time. This can be up to several MINUTES!
Never seen this with Kodi@openelec or Kodi@libreelec on a Raspberry (connected to the same server)
Because Kodi is moving towards the V4L standard video interface. Its impossible to make the old 3.x kernel versions with the support for AMLogic video compliant with V4L. AMLogic didn’t license the Mali video drivers from ARM for the S912 which makes the whole process of producing a V4L compliant driver very difficult. Since the S912 is a niche product compared to the various S905 chips - most effort is been expended in producing an open source Mali driver for that chipset. Work is been carried out on a driver for S912 but progress is slow. Its just safer to stick with the S905.
However bare in mind that even though on paper the S912 looks better than the S905, the reality is somewhat disappointing. Packing eight cores onto one chip means that the S912 has thermal issues which compelled them to limit the clock speed of each core and in most instances this will be somewhat less than 1.5ghz. On top of this in order to put those extra four CPU’s onto the die they took out some GPU cores - which in the case of a video player is what you need most of. The upshot is that in benchmarks of real world applications the performance achieved with both chips is almost the same.
The problem with AML products in general is that every new chip has a new proprietary GPU core which needs development of an open source driver. This generally takes a year or more (much more sometimes) which means that each new chip goes unsupported for a year after release. In the past they got around this by simply using the Android kernel which included all the proprietary code to make video work, but Kodi’s announcement means that in the future beyond Leia this approach simply will not work as Kodi will only work on a 4.x Kernel. Hence the future for S912 and probably the S905 is stuck on Leia.
Don’t even think about anything working on the S905x2 (with yet another GPU architecture) for the foreseeable future.
I have both, 905x and 912 devices, they both work pretty well with CoreELEC. I bought the 912 because of the Gbit LAN. These boxes are cheap and powerful, basically you can’t make any mistake here. I bought my 905x (Mecool M8S Pro+ for 45€) and my 912 (Tanix TX92) for around 50€. I did not experience any thermal issues so far (the box is does not really become hot even playing 4K files).
I’ve tried S905x (x96) and S912 (T95z max) on Kodi Krypton and Leia… S912 gives smoother GUI performance. No difference in video player performance. I’ve seen no thermal issues either on S912. Cputemp always less the 48degC. Based on my experience I’d recommend S912.
Development to mainline kernel 4.xx is progressing on both chipsets. From what I’ve seen on Libreelec forums S905x will have mainline support first. S912 needs the open source Mali Driver known as panfrost which is still in development but has been demonstrated running Kodi Leia with mainline kernel.
Given both of these developments it looks like these chipsets will support Kodi beyond Leia to V19.
Even if mainline didn’t happen both chipsets are so low cost I think you’ll get a good return (at least a years usage) before V19 is released. And even then you maybe happy to stick with Kodi Leia for a lot longer if it does everything you need.