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olivluca

kodi on armbian?

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Hello,

 

currently I have a rasperry pi zero w with raspbian and I installed kodi on it. Playback is fine (hardware acceleration is supported), the menus are responsive but most addons are sluggish (to say the least).

I saw various threads about kodi on armbian (e.g. this  and this) and all say that the problem is lack of support of hw acceleration.

I assume the more powerful cpu would help with the addons but, unless something has changed, without hw acceleration it makes no sense to even try.

Is the situation the same now or has it improved?

Maybe I should just get a raspberry pi 3b+? (it should be far more powerful than the pi zero, right?).

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Well, you should at least specify the hardware you want to run armbian and kodi on.

If your intent is to just run armbian + kodi, usually you get most hardware acceleration (GPU + video decoding) if you use the kernel provided by the hardware manufacturer, but don't expect a warm soup ready for lunch.

Each SoC is a different story: GPU drivers are not always available (mostly due to ARM Mali license, the most common GPU in SoCs), and sometimes they are misbehaving. It's kind of puzzle-game where not always all the pieces are there to be fit togheter.

 

At the moment, I don't know any board which works out-of-the box with vanilla armbian.

Some work has been done by the community for rockchip rk3288 (see here). Rockchip are the most promising because the manufacturer provides documentation and source code and also GPU drivers works.

Allwinner provides GPU drivers for their old Mali400/450 GPUs. Bootlin reverse engineered the VPU on older SoCs (H3 and going back) to provide hardware acceleration for videos on mainline kernel and apparently some support is appearing in ffmpeg, although I don't know if it is ready to be used.

AmLogic is unknown to me, I think you should stick to their white-beard old kernel if you want GPU and VPU acceleration

 

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Thank you, actually I don't know which hardware would be more suitable, so I was asking for advice.

The rk3288 seems interesting, though the tinkerboard is too expensive (compared to a rpi 3) and the miqi page is currently under maintenance.

 

Edit: btw, I don't want to just run kodi but also vdr/tvheadend with a couple of dvb-usb adapters.

 

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Hi,

TLDR: RPI3 is a very good option. 

I've got RPI 3B now. It runs LibreElec smoothly. Previously, I had RPI 2 and even RPI 1 (which is like zero almost). In general, RPI3 works great, I've got no serious complaints just a nit-picking.  

 

IMHO there are few important points (your mileage may vary): 

*) 1GB and 2 cores make a huge difference 

*) A lightweight OS like LibreElec, OpenElec whatever.  Do not waste resources. I tried Raspbian, Xbian and OSMC. They are all good but LibreELEC flavors are just better. 
*) My RPI3 has a root filesystem on a USB thumb drive, it is faster and more reliable. 
*) A good PSU as always. 

 

Now I'm experimenting with AML-S905X-CC (Le Potato) and LibreELEC. It is a very nice board but frankly, it is not a real competitor so far. 

OKwXa4DyQ%O%MpG+T8GnNQ_thumb_1a3.jpg

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Yes, indeed RPi3 is a good choice. The only drawback is that h.265 being software decoded because the VPU/GPU part has not been updated since their debut, on the other side you get plenty of support by community and foundation, and also an opensource GPU OpenGL driver which works pretty well, as opposite of the crappy blobs for ARM Mali GPUs

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I do remember some discussions on OpenELEC forum (it is completely ruined now, unfortunately)  about NEON optimizations, which improve h.265 playing. 

I can be wrong but seems like Amlogic should support hw decoding.  I my personal experience with LibreELEC/CoreELEC on Le Potato is kinda "mixed".  I wouldn't recommend it as a replacement for RPI3 at least right now. 

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Thank you @Igor_K

If I may abuse your patience, how does the RPI3 performs with addons like Genesis Reborn?

Regarding libreelec, yes, that may be the best option wrt resource usage, but it may be more difficult to customize: mind me, I never used it (I will with the x86_64 flavour), but I read the documentation and having to install tvheadend (or vdr if it is available) from the kodi menu is not my cup of tea. Besides, I'll probably have to add some piece of custom software to control a dish positioner with the GPIOs (though I've not been watching satellite tv for a long time).

Should I worry about the h265 situation or is it a non-issue?

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And other similar addons that get content from the web (wink wink nudge nudge ;))?

AFAIK dvb channels are either mpeg-2 or h264, maybe the upcoming 4k channels are in h265, I don't know.

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On 10/7/2018 at 5:10 PM, olivluca said:

Maybe I should just get a raspberry pi 3b+? (it should be far more powerful than the pi zero, right?). 

You can only use RPi (1-2-3) for video and audio if you already have RPI. Spending money now to buy PRi3 for multimedia content = this is the worst choice.  Look at Amlogic S905X2\D2 S922 or Rockchip RK3328 RK3399. Series RK32XX-outdated and not worth it to buy now.  If video playback is the main task (other tasks to run Linux are secondary), it is better to look for the TV box. You will get all the necessary components at once and do not have to spend time and money on the equipment (remote control, power supply, housing, good eMMC memory, etc.).  I have no LePotato with S905X, but I'm sure Libreelec (KODI) can work perfectly on this model.

 

And start by reading the topics in this section, much will become more clear.  :)

https://forum.armbian.com/forum/24-tv-boxes/

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Then which tv box can run linux (preferably mainline), has hardware decoding (under linux), has at least two usb slots and costs the same as a RPi3+usb stick+power supply[*], i.e. less than 50€?

 

[*] I don't care about the remote: it can work with hdmi-cec and kore

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1 hour ago, olivluca said:

Then which tv box can run linux (preferably mainline), has hardware decoding (under linux), has at least two usb slots and costs the same as a RPi3+usb stick+power supply[*], i.e. less than 50€?

 

[*] I don't care about the remote: it can work with hdmi-cec and kore

Maybe all the things you want may be found in an Allwinner H3 box, probably the best choice for armbian is Beelink X2 which is supported out-of-the-box.

Pros:

  • Cheap (below 30$)
  • Have decent support in mainline linux, thanks to the effort of the community
  • GPU drivers can run
  • Bootlin works for reverse engineering the VPU and thus hardware video encoding and decoding

Cons:

  • The SoC is a bit old nowadays (Cortex A7)
  • The GPU is quite old (Mali 400)
  • The GPU drivers are quite horrible (but if you just run Kodi they should suffice) and have no vsync
  • I don't what is the status of the VPU hardware video decoding now, probably will require some months to mature. Maybe ask on Kodi forums about would turn out to be interesting

 

Otherwise the most decent thing which has everything you ask, but not in mainline but fairly recent kernel, is rockchip family (rk3288/rk3328/rk3399).

However, except for the Beelink X2 (Allwinner H3) which are supported out of the box by armbian, it's a matter of luck getting a tv box and hoping everything works. I have a discontinued rk3288 tv box which is capable of being a decent media center, but I spent several weekends to reverse engineer lots and lots of details to make it useful (but now I can proudly write this comment from it :wub:)

AMLogic has the oldest kernel of the group, dunno what is the status of mainline kernel but I think they did not release their customized GPU drivers at all

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I really appreciate all the feedback but I'm getting confused (actually I was confused even before ;))

It seems that it's difficult to get the right tv box (if you want to use it with linux instead of android).

If the best choice is H3 based, wouldn't, say, an orange pi pc perform equally well (and I can use the GPIOs that I wouldn't have with a tv box)? From what I read here it doesn't seem to be the best for video rendering, but maybe I just missed the relevant threads.

I could also get a tv box, use the supplied android and install tvheadend/vdr on a different sbc, but I'd like to have just one box instead of two.

After all it doesn't seem that the RPI3+ is such a bad option.

Mmmh, decisions, decisions....:unsure:

 

 

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@olivluca I'm sorry for your confusion. I'm not an expert.  but from my personal experience if we are speaking about Linux-base Kodi player RPI is the best option so far.  Allwiner support is at a very early stage still,  Amlogic support is more mature but still experimental. I have got no Rockchip boards so far. I think it would be better to ask on a Kodi or LibreELEC forums. 

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39 minutes ago, Igor_K said:

@olivluca

On the other hand, Le Potato plays h265 very well (LibreElec v8.90.005 ALPHA)

 

 

I looked at the potato specifications and it says that it's supported upstream, open source, yadda, yadda, yadda, but then the linux image doesn't support hw acceleration, while libreelec (isn't that based on linux too?) does.

Either something's fishy or it doesn't make sense.

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17 hours ago, olivluca said:

Then which tv box can run linux (preferably mainline), has hardware decoding (under linux), has at least two usb slots and costs the same as a RPi3+usb stick+power supply[*], i.e. less than 50€?

Which monitor or TV (maximum screen resolution) are you going to use ?

What HW decoding are we talking about ?

What video content are you going to watch (1080p 720p 4K) ?

Are you going to use USB 2.0 as a medium for a working Linux system (desktop) on RPI ????

 

15 hours ago, jock said:

Maybe all the things you want may be found in an Allwinner H3 box, probably the best choice for armbian is Beelink X2 which is supported out-of-the-box.

Are you seriously offering X2 ? This equipment is already not supported by any Armbian. With Libreelec is also not working as it should.

https://www.armbian.com/download/?device_support=Support+ended+(EOS)

 

15 hours ago, jock said:

However, except for the Beelink X2 (Allwinner H3) which are supported out of the box by armbian, it's a matter of luck getting a tv box and hoping everything works.

 

15 hours ago, jock said:

AMLogic has the oldest kernel of the group, dunno what is the status of mainline kernel but I think they did not release their customized GPU drivers at all 

Don't write nonsense.

To begin, study this information. And closely examine themes in section TV boxes on this forum.

http://www.linux-meson.com/doku.php

https://forum.libreelec.tv/board/38-amlogic/

https://forum.libreelec.tv/board/43-rockchip/

 

14 hours ago, olivluca said:

It seems that it's difficult to get the right tv box (if you want to use it with linux instead of android).

Anything complex, just slowly learn all the material on this forum and on the forum Libreelec. In them you will find reviews of real users with specific models.

 

14 hours ago, olivluca said:

After all it doesn't seem that the RPI3+ is such a bad option. 

The RPI has no eMMC, no USB 3.0, the wired network is connected via a common USB and when you try to use them together with the maximum load, you will get a significant slowdown. I have RPI 3, in order for it to work properly desktop, you need to use a very expensive SD card, that would somehow compensate for its hardware flaws (I use a lot of different equipment for comparative tests and evaluation of their capabilities for different tasks :) ). RPi is used for other tasks.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, balbes150 said:

Which monitor or TV (maximum screen resolution) are you going to use ?

What HW decoding are we talking about ?

What video content are you going to watch (1080p 720p 4K) ?

 

My current tv is 1920x1080, I don't plan to change it until it breaks (but I doubt it will last many years, it's 8 years old already).

I'm going to watch whatever content I can throw at it, mostly 720p/1080p.

I also want to use it as a dvb receiver (dvb-t and dvb-s) as well as a motor controller to steer the dish (I'm currently using this but I can write a different custom solution to use the GPIOs or an arduino connected via serial). That's the reason I prefer a full-fledged linux system instead of libreelec, since I'll have to patch tvheadend/vdr as well as writing my custom software.

 

21 minutes ago, balbes150 said:

The RPI has no eMMC, no USB 3.0, the wired network is connected via a common USB and when you try to use them together with the maximum load, you will get a significant slowdown. I have RPI 3, in order for it to work properly desktop, you need to use a very expensive SD card, that would somehow compensate for its hardware flaws (I use a lot of different equipment for comparative tests and evaluation of their capabilities for different tasks :) ). RPi is used for other tasks.

The RPI3B can boot over the network and use nfs for storage, so no need for an expensive sd card. I'm currently using a pi zero w with a cheap card and it's working fine, but, as I said, it isn't suitable for the kodi addons I'm using. I ordered an usb otg cable to see how it performs with a dvb stick connected to it (currently I have the tvheadend server on another box, a lacie nas where I installed debian instead of the stock firmware and I've been using as a personal server for several years).

 

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7 minutes ago, olivluca said:

 

My current tv is 1920x1080, I don't plan to change it until it breaks (but I doubt it will last many years, it's 8 years old already).

 

 

Luca cómprate un MXQ cualquiera por ejemplo y tendrás triple boot sin problemas gracias a las imágenes de @balbes150 

 

Luca buy some MXQ for example and you will have triple boot without problems thanks to the images of @balbes150
The triple boot works like this: you modify the Android TV boot so that it checks the SD slot, the USB and finally the internal eMMC. Once this is done, if you turn on the computer with an SD or USB with the image of Armbian prepared by @balbes150 will be the partition that boots and from it you can choose Kodi or Linux Desktop, and if you do not place the SD then starts the Android serial.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

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2 hours ago, olivluca said:

My current tv is 1920x1080, I don't plan to change it until it breaks (but I doubt it will last many years, it's 8 years old already).

I'm going to watch whatever content I can throw at it, mostly 720p/1080p.

I also want to use it as a dvb receiver (dvb-t and dvb-s) as well as a motor controller to steer the dish (I'm currently using this but I can write a different custom solution to use the GPIOs or an arduino connected via serial). That's the reason I prefer a full-fledged linux system instead of libreelec, since I'll have to patch tvheadend/vdr as well as writing my custom software. 

IMHO taking into account the need for GPIO, to date (in the near future this situation may change) for you to optimally use models based on RK3328 (Renegat Rock64 etc). This is optimal in terms of cost and the result obtained for your tasks. And advice, do not chase the cheapness, it is better to spend 100 and use the purchased piece of iron in full compliance with the tasks for many years than to spend 50 and then not get the desired result (at best, somehow use the purchased iron, at worst-throw in the trash).

 

https://forum.armbian.com/forum/21-rockchip-3288-3328/

https://forum.armbian.com/forum/16-amlogic-s905x/

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The GPIO is not a strict requirement (I have an arduino programmed to move the dish collecting dust in a drawer).

The MXQ box seems interesting: with 4 usb I could use one for armbian, one to connect to the above mentioned arduino and the remaining two for dvb-t and dvb-s.

The network is only 100Mbps but I don't think it's a problem.

Do your armbian images for the S905X support media acceleration?

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8 hours ago, balbes150 said:

Are you seriously offering X2 ? This equipment is already not supported by any Armbian. With Libreelec is also not working as it should.

https://www.armbian.com/download/?device_support=Support+ended+(EOS)

 

 

Don't write nonsense.

To begin, study this information. And closely examine themes in section TV boxes on this forum.

http://www.linux-meson.com/doku.php

https://forum.libreelec.tv/board/38-amlogic/

https://forum.libreelec.tv/board/43-rockchip/

 

No non-sense, the OP asked for hardware acceleration and preferably mainline kernel, so the thing which scores the most this sense is H3, with all the cons I wrote in the post you quoted (plus the fact that I'm not fond of allwinner which is by far the most non-opensource company of the group).

AmLogic has no committment for mainline kernel and hardware video decoding is missing in mainline (linux-meson.com says "No" "WiP"), so to stay stick to the original question (armbian + kodi) is a step behind the H3. Now you can use it with the legacy kernel and get all the nice things working on a carefully crafted armbian image, but with an ancient kernel.

 

The summary of all this is that armbian + kodi requires a decent amount of exercise either because armbian target is not multimedia and because the "best" SoC here has still several missing things.

That's also the reason why many people said buy a RPi3 which has all the USB ports, GPIO, hardware acceleration (with the notable exception of H.265), 64 bits, chips, fries and desserts for the miserable price of €35

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On 10/9/2018 at 12:07 PM, olivluca said:

The RPI3B can boot over the network and use nfs for storage, so no need for an expensive sd card.

Did I understand correctly that in order for RPI to work, you have to keep an additional device (NAS or server that provides a network resource to host the RPI working system) turned on ?

 

On 10/9/2018 at 7:38 PM, olivluca said:

The MXQ box seems interesting: with 4 usb I could use one for armbian, one to connect to the above mentioned arduino and the remaining two for dvb-t and dvb-s.

If you install LE or Linux on eMMC (you can use different systems, not only Armbian), you will have all USB ports and SD card slot free. But be careful when choosing, it is better not to rush and ask questions to real users with the proposed equipment. What versions of images and with what kernel they work, what features of iron can occur.

 

On 10/9/2018 at 7:38 PM, olivluca said:

Do your armbian images for the S905X support media acceleration?

On S905X in Armbian (with the mainline kernel) can be enabled support for two levels of HW (which are needed for full-screen video playback in KODI or other programs built with this feature).

https://github.com/superna9999/meson_gx_mali_450/tree/DX910-SW-99002-r7p0-00rel1_meson_gx

 

On 10/9/2018 at 8:16 PM, jock said:

No non-sense, the OP asked for hardware acceleration and preferably mainline kernel, so the thing which scores the most this sense is H3, with all the cons I wrote in the post you quoted (plus the fact that I'm not fond of allwinner which is by far the most non-opensource company of the group).

AmLogic has no committment for mainline kernel and hardware video decoding is missing in mainline (linux-meson.com says "No" "WiP"), so to stay stick to the original question (armbian + kodi) is a step behind the H3. Now you can use it with the legacy kernel and get all the nice things working on a carefully crafted armbian image, but with an ancient kernel.

1. Can you provide links to real images for H3 with Armbian + KODI where there is full HW support ?

2. Perhaps you are not aware already released versions of images of the LE with the kernel 4.18 and HW  for S905X.

3. Do you have a good idea of the difference between mali400p2 and mali450p5\T820\T860 ?

Recommend to study. :)

Yes, this is only the initial stage and will need time until everything goes into the finished product. But to recommend obviously outdated, incorrectly.

 

 

 

On 10/9/2018 at 8:16 PM, jock said:

The summary of all this is that armbian + kodi requires a decent amount of exercise either because armbian target is not multimedia and because the "best" SoC here has still several missing things.

Summary is wrong. Let me tell you a secret, to use KODI with full HW in Armbian does not require many complex steps.  For those who are not in a hurry-it is enough not to wait much and soon there will be a ready solution.

 

On 10/9/2018 at 8:16 PM, jock said:

That's also the reason why many people said buy a RPi3 which has all the USB ports, GPIO, hardware acceleration (with the notable exception of H.265), 64 bits, chips, fries and desserts for the miserable price of €35

To give that kind of money for a very weak iron in our time .... :)

 

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4 hours ago, balbes150 said:

Did I understand correctly that in order for RPI to work, you have to keep an additional device (NAS or server that provides a network resource to host the RPI working system) turned on ? 

 

Yes, but I have one already (a lacie network space 2 with debian) that I use as my home server. In fact I installed in it tvheadend with a dvb-t stick as a pvr server for the rpi zero running kodi.

Maybe I could use it this way permanently and just use a tv box with android and kodi. Or perhaps replace my current nas with another sbc with linux (in that case I wouldn't need hw acceleration).

 

 

4 hours ago, balbes150 said:

If you install LE or Linux on eMMC (you can use different systems, not only Armbian), you will have all USB ports and SD card slot free. But be careful when choosing, it is better not to rush and ask questions to real users with the proposed equipment. What versions of images and with what kernel they work, what features of iron can occur.

 

 

I saw that topic, for the time being nobody is using a tv box for reproducing media but only as a server....

 

4 hours ago, balbes150 said:

On S905X in Armbian (with the mainline kernel) can be enabled support for two levels of HW (which are needed for full-screen video playback in KODI or other programs built with this feature).

https://github.com/superna9999/meson_gx_mali_450/tree/DX910-SW-99002-r7p0-00rel1_meson_gx

 

Yes, this is only the initial stage and will need time until everything goes into the finished product. But to recommend obviously outdated, incorrectly.

 

 

Can be enabled or is it actually enabled? Anyway, I'm not in a hurry.

 

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6 hours ago, balbes150 said:

1. Can you provide links to real images for H3 with Armbian + KODI where there is full HW support ?

2. Perhaps you are not aware already released versions of images of the LE with the kernel 4.18 and HW  for S905X.

3. Do you have a good idea of the difference between mali400p2 and mali450p5\T820\T860 ?

Recommend to study. :)

 

 

1. Can you provide a link where I said H3 with Armbian + KODI has full HW support? Those are NOT my words, I said something completely different in the purpose to give the OP an idea of the actual state of the art about the various chips, not trying to sell him something!.

2. Glad to hear, but developers are saying that's far from being usable, and the same applies for others too. But just stick to the thread "Kodi + Armbian" - not "S905X on LibreELEC" - would you?

3. The differences between utgard and midgard gpu architectures are totally irrelevant to this thread

 

6 hours ago, balbes150 said:

Summary is wrong. Let me tell you a secret, to use KODI with full HW in Armbian does not require many complex steps.  For those who are not in a hurry-it is enough not to wait much and soon there will be a ready solution.

 

That's your opinion, which may be respected but from my point of view is completely wrong. Start from vanilla Armbian and tell me how many steps you need to get GPU and VPU working for your favourite chip.

 

6 hours ago, balbes150 said:

To give that kind of money for a very weak iron in our time .... :)

 

My rk3288 tvbox was nothing more than a brick a couple of months ago, stuck with Android 4.4, before I poured time and time to bring armbian on it... hardware is nothing without software support, and software support for tvbox is totally absent. Suggesting to buy an unsupported chinese tvbox for a person who asked something completely different is intellectually dishonest.

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15 hours ago, olivluca said:

I saw that topic, for the time being nobody is using a tv box for reproducing media but only as a server....

Depending on what tasks the device will be used for, you can use different combinations. For example, if you and your loved ones will use the device to watch videos more often , it is better to install LE in eMMC and run Linux from external media as required. By the way, the latest versions of Libreelec for Amlogic and RK3328 can be installed in parallel with the regular Android in the TV box (eMMC) and can use Libreelec and regular Android. With a strong desire (and certain skills), you can install multiple systems in eMMC together (Android+Libreelec+Linux, etc.). :)

 

15 hours ago, olivluca said:

Can be enabled or is it actually enabled? Anyway, I'm not in a hurry.

:)

https://forum.khadas.com/t/armbian-kodi-ubuntu-debian-for-sd-usb-emmc/825/258?u=balbes150

 

13 hours ago, jock said:

1. Can you provide a link where I said H3 with Armbian + KODI has full HW support? Those are NOT my words, I said something completely different in the purpose to give the OP an idea of the actual state of the art about the various chips, not trying to sell him something!.

2. Glad to hear, but developers are saying that's far from being usable, and the same applies for others too. But just stick to the thread "Kodi + Armbian" - not "S905X on LibreELEC" - would you?

3. The differences between utgard and midgard gpu architectures are totally irrelevant to this thread 

1. Clearly, in fact you have nothing to answer. You, the topic title, remember ? :)

2. I don't know what developers and what you're told, but a lot of users have been using Armbian+KODI with HW for a long time. And for those who need maximum possible, use a bunch Armbian+Librelec.

 I just stick to the discussion of the "Armbian+KODI" bundle, which exists (if I'm not confused) only for the Amlogic S905X. There is another option of Armbian+c2play image with HW full screen video playback for s912 assembled by pro777. And for reference, in the near future (I hope to find time for this) comes out Armbian+KODI for rk3328-tv.  Armbian+MPV version with full screen video for rk3328-tv is now available.

3. This question is directly related to this topic, as it directly affects the time of appearance of the version of Armbian+KODI with HW on the kernel 4.x for a number of promising platforms (Amlogic and Rockchip. And it depends on the feasibility of investing money.

 

13 hours ago, jock said:

That's your opinion, which may be respected but from my point of view is completely wrong. Start from vanilla Armbian and tell me how many steps you need to get GPU and VPU working for your favourite chip. 

1. I do not have a" favorite " chip, I try to choose the ones that are optimal for my tasks.

2. You are "a little" late with the advice to use "vanilla" Armbian. I have been developing Armbian for TV boxes and other devices for several years. And oddly enough, these works are in demand among many users. And among these works there is a variant of Armbian+KODI. :)

 

13 hours ago, jock said:

hardware is nothing without software support, and software support for tvbox is totally absent. Suggesting to buy an unsupported chinese tvbox for a person who asked something completely different is intellectually dishonest. 

hhhhm .... either you do not understand these issues, or deliberately misleading ... start by reading the topics in the about TV boxes section. Perhaps then, you will discover the real situation with the launch of Armbian on TV boxes. And learn to read carefully :

 

p.s.

Judging by what you write, I see no reason to waste time answering.

B)

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Please, don't transform this into an opinion war, I value contributions by both of you. It seems that both alternatives (a tv box with the s905x or an rpi3) are possible and working now, other options (h3, rk, etc.) are not so well developed, am I right?

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4 hours ago, olivluca said:

Please, don't transform this into an opinion war, I value contributions by both of you. It seems that both alternatives (a tv box with the s905x or an rpi3) are possible and working now, other options (h3, rk, etc.) are not so well developed, am I right?

You're absolutely right, so let's back on the tracks.

 

A tv box is very handy if you're going to use it like a tvbox or some headless servering, here boxes with S905X are all around and mostly work good.

If you want an all-purpose device which you can use for development, kodi, interfacing to arduino, with best all-around compatibility and don't want to bother with GPU and VPU issues, take an RPi3 (maybe latest Model B+), but here you have to resign to some "latest and greatest" (hw decoding for H.265 most of all, but also capped gigabit ethernet and the ethically discutible BLOB firmware)

If you want to try armbian, get GPIO and be on the edge about performance and features, but also unable to use some features because of chipset manufacturers, you can select any board which sports Allwinner, Amlogic or rockchip (OrangePi, Odroid, Libre Computer, ...). This is the most adventurous and can be both satisfactory and frustrating when see you can't reach the goal (the same applies with tvboxes too, somewhat amplified)

 

Maybe this link can be helpful to clarify current hardware accelerated video status for various chips.

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