I am planning on picking up one of these boxes with the new Amlogic SoC (# VONTAR X98mini Amlogic S905W2 TV Box Android 11 4G 64GB X98 mini Support AV1). Of course, the boxes with the S905W2 are budget SoCs and do NOT support gigabit Ethernet. I think CoreELEC devs are working on this SoC.
Years ago, I tried to find an inexpensive media player that will do it all, guess there is no such animal, but I keep looking. The fun is in the chase. These inexpensive Android boxes running CoreELEC (used to be LibreELEC and OpenELEC), come pretty close to being an all in one media player.
Using Tvheadend server, these devices are a DVR recorder AND player, all in one device, which is accessible anywhere on the local network.
Also, it is amazing that these devices support Netflix in 1080p with DD+ audio (obviously a Netflix subscription is required), and automatic resolution and framerate switching.
Of course these players are my hobby, so I have a lot of them that I have purchased in the last 10 years.
However, if the device you purchase will be your MAIN media player, then, yes, it is better to go with a device that is supported by the CE team. I do think most of the people on this forum are tinkers like me and like messing with new tech. If we destroy a $40 or $50 item, it is much better than destroying a $170 USD device.
To be noted, out of the dozens of boxes that I have tinkered with, in the last 10 years, I have only “bricked” one device that I could NOT recover. About 10 years ago, the Beelink engineers gave some users from Freaktab a box that we helped debug. To swap firmware’s, you had to open the box and short out two pins, they were tiny. Those were the good ole days.