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Some questions still remain..


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Hi everbody,
last week I bought a TV-Box X96mini 2 GB / 16 GB. After reading the FAQ (thx @SteeMan), it was easy to set up this little box with the image provided by balbes150. (thx @balbes150)
Most of the hardware is working fine, with the meson-gxl-s095x-p212.dtb, which is found on /boot/dtb/amlogic.
There is a problem with the lirc support, but using triggerhappy will do the job. Thx @Alexey Woronov, https://forum.armbian.com/topic/11161-lirc-on-armbian-buster/?tab=comments#comment-83995
Another little problem is audio. Basically sound works, but volume from the audio jack is much too low. Only when I'm turning the volume to the max, I'm able to hear something.
No sound probs using the HDMI output, this works fine.


Even after successfully setting up the box, couple of questions remain.


About image and uboot

  • If you check /boot/dtb/* there are .dtb-files for other arm-based boards. Does this means, that the installation image (5.9.0) supports all the listed devices?

  • Is this the one and only installation image for tv-boxes? Where do I get the u-boot files for the other soc-types (Allwinner, Rockchip) from?


About dtb and dts

  • Are dtb-files kernel-specific? I know, that every kernel bring their own set of dtb-files, but what is changing on a dtb-file between the releases?

  • Is there a method decompiling dtb-files?

  • Is a dts-file kernel-specific?

  • Does it make sense having a dtb-file extracted from android stock rom (android 9 / Kernel 4.19) to use with provided 5.9.-based image?


Besides having a server for pyload and a "VPN-Accesspoint" while running a openvpn client to my VPN provider, I also have an useable desktop (browsing and office is fine, multimedia not) which is accessable via RDP.

I tried also an alternate setup: using this tv-box as a tv-box under Linux and kodi. The results were sobering me. Playing a local video file (USB, 1080p) with 5 fps is no fun, playing a internet live stream (720p) with 5 fpm is much more like listening to an audiocast, than watching TV. With the cpu frequency left at 1.2 Ghz, system load was over 90% on all cores when kodi was running, bringing up cpu's temperature up to 70°C. Unuseable. Taking this as an experience, I will go on using armbian server image on sd card, having in addition a rescue / backup system for android mods on emmc.

To be honnest: no matter, if stock or custom (Android TV9) rom, this box doesn't fullfill my requirements.  
Even with a limited screenresolution(1080p), video playback is "wacky", sometimes there are "blackouts", when starting a program or altering settings in menu.
When these "blackouts" lasting more than 5 seconds, my TV loses the "HDMI-handshake" to the box and falls back to it's own menu.


So, my last question will be:

Does someone has an android tv-box (built-in bluetooth would be great) with well-working 4k support, which is although "armbian-able"?
Or, which might be better: Which full supported board does meet my requirements (min. 1080p resolution, proper video and sound playback, BT and WLAN) WITHOUT having active cooling?


Thx for your time, reading and answering my newbie questions.

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