My brain is hurting :-(

Hello All

I’m actively considering buying a Khadas VIM3. Before I take that plunge (not a cheap one!) I’ll need to be a lot clearer than I am now about the path to be followed.

I am to the typical contributor to this forum as a master of English prose is to a dyslexit; putting it another way, I’m not just a newbie (in regard to ARM devices anyway) but a complete ignoramus. I’ve been trying to avoid embarrassing myself too much by reading assiduously in this forum, as well as in Khadia’s, watching YouTube and other instructional material, etc. To little avail, alas.

So I’ll just have to go ahead and expose my stupidity. Nowhere have I found any definitive statement - or at least none that I can comprehend - which would tell me the one fundamental thing I need to know. Which is this:-
CoreELEC is a Linux distro - right? And Linux is an OS - right? So why do i keep seeing statements which seem to take it as a prerequisite for running CE that Android (or some other OS) must already be running on whatever computer one plans to install CE on?

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve got nothing against installing Android - quite the opposite. I just want to understand the relationship. Is each of the two completely self-standing and self-supporting or is one dependent on the other being present (symbiotic, if you will)?

And, while I’m at it, I might as well further deepen my embarrassment by asking another stupid question:- I have in mind to use Kodi as my media-player (I will be using the VIM3 - if I buy it - as an HTPC for playing-back TV broadcasts both live and recorded). Does this determine which of the various sorts of images/install procedures must be chosen and if so, which ones?

(Hoping it would contain a Readme file which would put me out of my misery I’ve downloaded from the CE webbsite, and burned to an SD, an image-file <g12b_a311d_khadas_vim3> (It doesn’t). Would I need to be running Android on a VIM3 before using that SD to install CE on it? Or, alternatively, ought I rather to be downloading an Android version of Kodi and using that - in which case would CE even come into the process at all?).

There’s more but I won’t go on…

You don’t need Android.
You don’t want Kodi for Android, especially for watching interlaced h264 TV broadcasts.

The way it works on Amlogic boxes is that you have already Android installed. CoreELEC is an operating system that is using Linux as a kernel and a lot of GNU tools. It is however not a full blown Linux based operating system like Ubuntu. On Amlogic TV boxes we hook into the bootsystem so you have a dual boot android and coreelec. There is an optional (on your own risk) tool that can overwrite android with CoreELEC, not all TV boxes are supportes but the VIM3 is afaik. If you want a pure CE box I would suggest going with an Odroid N2+ or C4.

This will stop “My brain is hurting”

At one time we were all ignoramus’s with little or no knowledge of many a subject, so do not feel embarrassment because you are far from alone.

You have the clear ability to express your English prose in a reasonably clear manner, which is a bonus because this enables those that will offer advice and support more clarity in which to assist.

However, based on your newbie status, keep one thing in mind.

There will be moments of hair extracting frustration, so patience will certainly be a virtue as you learn.

I’ve been using these boxes and sticks for many years and I’m regularly flummoxed.

In terms of your desire to use your choice as an HTPC for broadcast TV, you will additionally need to consider the method of delivery of the TV stream, which will typically come over the air, like traditional TV, which will require at least 1 tuner to attach to your box, or via IPTV, through your internet connection.

With respect to the choice of box, the Odroid N2+ is fairly popular and considered to be pretty much one of the top tier choices (make sure that you are aware of the limited default warranties on Odroid products though)

But, if your sole use is for broadcast TV, then there are a variety of options out there, from dedicated boxes resplendent with inbuilt tuners, to boxes, sticks and mini-pc’s based on other operating systems, such as Windows and even Android, so whilst CE is an excellent OS, there may well be easier options available to achieve your goals.

+1 on Odroid C4 with 4 GB RAM.

Thanks guys, for some very helpful comments.

I currently own an Odroid product (C1 + , now superseded) and have used it as a networked audio player, with Rune Audio as software, to stream from a Windows 10 server - which it does very well. I got it to experiment-with really and as a learning-experience.

Upping my game to video I have considered both the Odroid C4 and N2+ ; both are out of stock at the moment but that needn’t be a great problem.

To be painfully honest, I do agree that the Odroid C4+ would appear to more than fully meet my (modest) needs and that the Khadas is overkill - which it’s clear that you all think too.

And I’m genuinely appreciative of the concern shown that I shouldn’t foolishly waste my money!

However, what you (sensibly) are not allowing-for is just that - that I might have been so foolish as to have been thoroughly seduced by the Khadas’s enticing aesthetics. This thing is after all going to grace our living-room and I am a design-freak, so that’s not a trivial matter for me!

I ought perhaps to have mentioned that I own a usb DVB-T tuner which will be plugged-into whatever box I buy (as it previously was into my Intel NUC - now unable to handle anything higher than SD video; the darned thing might just as well be driven by steam!).

[quote=“Ray, post:3, topic:15807”]
The way it works on Amlogic boxes is that you have already Android installed.
[/quote]One of several things that have confused me is that while the Khadas website is explicit in the case of the VIM3L kit that Android 9 is preinstalled, that isn’t explicitly stated to be so in the details given for the VIM3. So I don’t know whether to conclude that the omission is deliberate (caveat emptor!) or just carelessness. Can anyone confirm from personal experience, one way or the other? It would be good to know.

I’m getting the feeling that (if I bought the Kahdas and given that Android is installed) my simplest course might then be to use it to access Kodi directly, cutting out CE - sorry! I can dimly see the attraction that CE might have for anyone who’s thoroughly into these things - present company included - but I’m not and (being well into my eighty-sixth year) am unlikely now ever to be, frankly :slightly_smiling_face:


I’m a bit flummoxed by this. Our local fta h264 TV relays (coming from both Finland and Sweden public broadcasters) are 1280 x 720p, not interlaced.

I had gained the impression that Android 9 does a very good job of handling that.

Is that not so?

Esthetic wise the VIM’s look quite tacky out of the box with their cheap little acrylic cases. Don’t know of a great upgrade case for the VIM’s since they are a real niche product.
You can buy a really nice looking case for the N2+ from a Finnish company - spanking esthetics, spanking product. It also comes with a built in DAC that gives the VIM toneboard a close run for its money.


Pretty happy with my brand new N2+ ; it doesn’t have wifi, but I actually have a nearby poe switch which works to power the M2+ using this POE splitter adapter
Everything else I tried works. (or started working as soon as I changed the HDMI cable for a less sketchy one. I don’t know why I’d want to use Android?

Thanks for the tip, Shoog.

I’ll take a look.

[quote=“risk, post:10, topic:15807”]
I don’t know why I’d want to use Android?
[/quote]This gets to the nub of my current dilemma.

I’ve read good things about Android Pie but I’m not drawn to Android to the exclusion of anything else. Mentally, I’m trying to work backwards from where I want to end-up.

Let me explain that (and people might think me eccentric, but what the hell…). For years now I’ve relied for media playback - live TV broadcasts, recorded film-clips or whatever - upon a piece of German software called DVBViewer (running always in Windows). For me it’s an absolute necessity to retain access to that program’s functionality when replacing my obsolete NUC with any Amlogic device as my new HTPC.

And Kodi meets that requirement via an add-on. Therefore whatever OS (or combination of OS’s) I choose must be compatible with Kodi. I know that Android is, but I don’t yet know if CE (minus Android, which I understand you to be espousing) is.

Perhaps you could kindly advise me? (I don’t really have any feel at all for what CE’s functionality actually is, you see).

CE is Kodi if you put it simple.

What is the model of USB DVB-T tuner that you use, just to ensure that the hardware is supported in CE?

Ah, I see. (At least, I think I do - dimly :neutral_face: )


[quote=“Compent, post:14, topic:15807, full:true”]
What is the model of USB DVB-T tuner that you use, just to ensure that the hardware is supported in CE?
[/quote]It’ s ver. 7.0.2

Sorry, I’ve realised that that wasn’t the answer you were looking for!

The tuner is a PVTV nanoStick (Windows 64 driver for 70e 90e 100e 320e 330e 800e) 880e)


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