Looking for hardware recommendations


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forums have lots of warnings that there exist lots of sub-optimale S9xx-Hardware and the threads are also very outdated.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Anybody can recommend a S9xx based hardware which would work good with CoreELEC/Kodi and would not be outdated next week?

Thanks in advance!

I think we all want a box that will not be outdated in a week.


I have been happy with Libreelec & coreelec, but just as my Mecool Netflix app stopped working in android.

I have bitten the bullet & bought a Nvidia Shield.

Thanks for your suggestion, bubblegum57!

Your suggestion (Nvidia shield) looks very promising!

But, AFAICS, it is not based on Elec? And is it open?

I could only find reports about this box from the manufacturer. Do you have any pointers to independent tests?

I think you misunderstood, I am not recommending it. I am getting one. You cannot install Libre or Core elec. It is Android.

If you search Chigz, for his review of all Boxes on youtube, he did one on the Shield.

If you want long term support for Libreelec, then perhaps a NUC or Pi would be better.

I have an old celeron nuc, I have run libreelec, coreelec, Embedded Plex, & lately xpenology. all from USB. But then I do play around.

If you just want box to play media, android are cheapest, but support from manufacturers is non existent.

In the UK, the Shield is on offer at the moment for £139.99 with remote, NOT the game controller

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.

Avoid S912, next version of kodi will drop support for the s912 video drivers.

If you want HDR get a s905x or s905w
if you don’t want HDR get a s905


Thanks for the hint, Matt! Usually, I’d choose the higher number, since (most of the times) it indicates a newer and/or more powerful variant.

Do you have information why s912 would be dropped?

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)

read this

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 see.

Given this AML policy, it seems to be a bad idea to go with S9xxx.

What are (good) alternatives? Intel?

My old celeron nuc still works, so mini pc sounds about the best thing to me.

Yep Intel all the way. I think the Vorke V1 Plus looks very tasty at the price.


On the subject of the 912 having no future, I would draw you attention to this post in the LE forum

and its link to a youtube video.

Maybe the future is not as dark as was thought?

Vorke Vx seems to be “currently not available” in europe/germany?

Its available from Italy last time I looked. It maybe at end of life at this stage - but it still looks good for the job.


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.

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Is that a mistake in the chart for the H96 Max having Android OS 7.1? Links says 6.0.

I don’t know, I didn’t compose the chart.