What hardware should I buy?

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aviadavi Offline
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Post: #1
Hi,

I want to run XBMC.

my requirements for the hardware are :
* I want to be able to run videos (from XBMC / Netflix) with HD content smoothly
* I want to control it via Remote Control
* I want it to be able to connect USB external storage in order to store downloads etc..
* I want it to include WIFI

From what I understand , I should look on hardware with Amlogic chipset..

I have up to ~70$ budget for all of that

Thanks,
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nooryani84 Offline
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Post: #2
I would not recommend hardware at that price point given your requirements. You may indeed find some cheap noname box that will do the job, but the support for these devices are either poor or they stop receiving updates after a while.

My recommendations would be one of these Cubox-i http://cubox-i.com/ (there are different models) and for $30 more you can get the FireTV which is probably a more polished experience. I have neither of the devices though they both will run XBMC.... Not sure how well they handle DTS though

Edit: I spoke too soon it seems - http://imx.solid-run.com/forums/viewtopi...3&start=10

Buy hardware for what it can do today, not what it may do tomorrow. With that said I will have to let someone else recommend a device for you since the FireTV is outside your original budget.

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(This post was last modified: 2014-05-14 22:10 by nooryani84.)
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aviadavi Offline
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Post: #3
(2014-05-14 22:05)nooryani84 Wrote:  I would not recommend hardware at that price point given your requirements. You may indeed find some cheap noname box that will do the job, but the support for these devices are either poor or they stop receiving updates after a while.

My recommendations would be one of these Cubox-i http://cubox-i.com/ (there are different models) and for $30 more you can get the FireTV which is probably a more polished experience. I have neither of the devices

Thanks BUT
I really need to hear someone with experience with one of them..
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claydavis Offline
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Post: #4
(2014-05-14 21:42)aviadavi Wrote:  Hi,

I want to run XBMC.

my requirements for the hardware are :
* I want to be able to run videos (from XBMC / Netflix) with HD content smoothly
* I want to control it via Remote Control
* I want it to be able to connect USB external storage in order to store downloads etc..
* I want it to include WIFI

From what I understand , I should look on hardware with Amlogic chipset..

I have up to ~70$ budget for all of that

Thanks,

Could just wait until the firetv is either rooted or amazon lets people use the usb port for storage. Fits your needs and its $100.
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aviadavi Offline
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Post: #5
(2014-05-14 23:52)claydavis Wrote:  Could just wait until the firetv is either rooted or amazon lets people use the usb port for storage. Fits your needs and its $100.

Isn't Ouya better than FireTV? it also includes a controller

Is Fire TV runs Android?
What do you mean "wait until its rooted" ? can't it run XBMC now?

BR,
Aviad
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winestock Offline
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Post: #6
To root the FireTV is the ability to gain "root" user access to the device. At that point you have complete access to all the files on the device, even the root user files, and could even reload the OS at that point.

(2014-05-14 22:05)nooryani84 Wrote:  I would not recommend hardware at that price point given your requirements. You may indeed find some cheap noname box that will do the job, but the support for these devices are either poor or they stop receiving updates after a while.

My recommendations would be one of these Cubox-i http://cubox-i.com/ (there are different models) and for $30 more you can get the FireTV which is probably a more polished experience. I have neither of the devices though they both will run XBMC.... Not sure how well they handle DTS though

Edit: I spoke too soon it seems - http://imx.solid-run.com/forums/viewtopi...3&start=10

Buy hardware for what it can do today, not what it may do tomorrow. With that said I will have to let someone else recommend a device for you since the FireTV is outside your original budget.

The Cubox-i runs other OS's besides Android. From what I have been reading, the reason that the Cubox-i does not pass HD-Audio was there it had an issue to with 24-bit audio. There is a fix for it but I am unsure if the patch has been applied to the OS yet.

XBMC Frodo 12.3, Transparency Skin (5.0.9)
PogoPlug v4 running Arm Linux 3.14 as MySQL (mariadb) and media file server for XBMC
Mac OS X 10.9.2
2011 27" iMac 3.4 GHz Quad, 16GB RAM, 1TB HD, 256GB SSD
2009 2.0GHz MacMini, 4GB RAM, 320GB HD
2009 17" Macbook Pro, 8GB RAM, 500GB HD
(This post was last modified: 2014-05-15 10:33 by winestock.)
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MuziTao Offline
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Post: #7
Recommend you VidOn.me Android Blu-ray Box AV200. This box satisfy all the needs of you. And it supports blu-ray menu navigation and 3D. I remember it's $239 before. But it's for reservation now with just $120. You can consider it. After all with only $70 you really can't buy any good box.
(This post was last modified: 2014-05-15 11:21 by MuziTao.)
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aviadavi Offline
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Post: #8
(2014-05-15 11:20)MuziTao Wrote:  Recommend you VidOn.me Android Blu-ray Box AV200. This box satisfy all the needs of you. And it supports blu-ray menu navigation and 3D. I remember it's $239 before. But it's for reservation now with just $120. You can consider it. After all with only $70 you really can't buy any good box.

OK all of you convinced to invest more. so my budget now 120$.
I want to hear someone who runs XBMC on one of the hardware and what exactly.

Do you have it?
Is there any site that performs benchmark / compare between those boxes?

I remind you that these are my requirement (the first is the most important one) :
* I want to be able to run videos (from XBMC / Netflix) with HD content smoothly
* I want to control it via Remote Control
* I want it to be able to connect USB external storage in order to store downloads etc..
* I want it to include WIFI

The
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MrCrispy Offline
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Post: #9
For $100 FireTv suits all your needs except external USB so that might be a deal breaker. Have you considered Tronsmart S89 Vega? It is $100 and there is a thread on this forum about it. It may have some issues with HD audio passthru from what I've read.
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aviadavi Offline
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Post: #10
(2014-05-15 22:44)MrCrispy Wrote:  For $100 FireTv suits all your needs except external USB so that might be a deal breaker. Have you considered Tronsmart S89 Vega? It is $100 and there is a thread on this forum about it. It may have some issues with HD audio passthru from what I've read.

I've just seen their video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gugDNfFSf4c#t=227

it looks very laggy

what do you think of ODROID-U3 ?
(This post was last modified: 2014-05-15 22:58 by aviadavi.)
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Katch Offline
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Post: #11
Pivos Xios DS is the most capable unit I have played with at that price point. Of all the small ARM boxes I've played with, it's the one I still own and still use frequently for XBMC.

Few points - Netflix is problematic. Pivos (and many other ARM based boxes) are better running Linux XBMC than Android XBMC - as soon as you move to Linux you loose Netflix.

Some others you might want to skip;

Ouya - generally a poor experience, horrible form factor for sitting under or behind your telly.

Odroid - Android XBMC is ok I guess - Linux is buggy. Generally a buggy platform and also a horrible form factor (Odroid U3 is a bit better). Only available from Korea.

My advice would be to up your budget to buy an x86 based system like a celeron NUC or one of the many chinese 1037u boxes. A much better experience all round.

XBMC Running on:
- Intel i5 750 & ATI 7770
- Intel NUC i3 Thunderbolt Edition
- Nexus 4 & Nexus 7
- Pivos XIOS DS M1
- Odroid-U2
- Ouya

If my post was helpful please click the +Reputation button.
(This post was last modified: 2014-05-15 23:39 by Katch.)
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MrCrispy Offline
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Post: #12
buy this - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6856119095

with some cheap ram and storage, and you can sell the free dvd burner. Its a full x86 pc so will play back everything. I suggest this because its cheaper than the Baytrail NUC, although if you increase your budget a little bit NUC becomes obvious choice.
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nooryani84 Offline
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Post: #13
(2014-05-16 00:12)MrCrispy Wrote:  buy this - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6856119095

with some cheap ram and storage, and you can sell the free dvd burner. Its a full x86 pc so will play back everything. I suggest this because its cheaper than the Baytrail NUC, although if you increase your budget a little bit NUC becomes obvious choice.

This would be fine if he only wanted to run OpenElec, though he also wants to use Netflix. Either go with at least an Intel NUC Baytrail (needs ram and HD) or Ouya/FireTV.

Was the FireTV laggy BEFORE they launched XBMC or while they were using XBMC?

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(This post was last modified: 2014-05-16 01:20 by nooryani84.)
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #14
(2014-05-16 00:12)MrCrispy Wrote:  buy this - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6856119095

with some cheap ram and storage, and you can sell the free dvd burner. Its a full x86 pc so will play back everything. I suggest this because its cheaper than the Baytrail NUC, although if you increase your budget a little bit NUC becomes obvious choice.

I keep seeing this deal and it was too tempting. Broke down and bought one just now. Got some dirt cheap ram that looked kind of sketchy off of ebay for $15 (2GB), since it will only be for XBMC and the idea is to keep the price as low as possible while still being x86. I can throw on an 8GB USB thumb drive for another $5. $130, shipped, for everything. You could say "but it needs a remote", but even for a cheap Android box I would most likely buy a good remote rather than use what it came with, and I would recommend that to anyone who wants to stay sane and use their HTPC. Otherwise, add $10 for a decent remote with some kind of included receiver.


Back on topic for OP:

Don't get a VidOn.Me unit. Their newest boxes aren't horrible, but they're not great, and VidOn.Me has yet to really prove themselves. Their custom build of XBMC, which is required if you want their full bluray playback, is very buggy and generally not worth it.

Get an OUYA if you can get it for around $70 or less (which happens often when you buy used units from disgruntled owners who thought it was going to be an awesome gaming console. I bought mine used for $80 with two controllers, and it was in perfect condition). It's a great little box, and I like mine a lot. It's not bad at $100, but the FireTV is a better deal at that price. Both units will likely make you happy. USB storage on the FireTV is inevitable. If hell freezes over and it never happens, $20 and you can throw any USB drive up as a NAS (my $20 pogoplug also handles my downloads).

Don't get the Pivos XIOS DS. They have a new one coming out... someday... that will be much better. XIOS DS is a good deal for $50 range.

ODROID-U3 is another one I would say is a good buy in the $100 range, but you have to be willing to tinker with it.

AMLogic has the upper hand right now if you need VC-1 and MPEG2. Otherwise, meh.

CuBox-i looks freaking awesome, and I have high expectations for this since it is using Freescale processors, which have excellent documentation. That allows the hardware to preform better even if there are "faster" chips out there, because in the end you have better support and a better experience. Consider them as well.

If $70 is your max budget then get a used OUYA. Sometimes you can even get them new for $80 on sale.

If $120 is your max budget then cough up $15-25 more and do what I just did. Netflix on Ubuntu on another Celeron-based system I have (which is a little more powerful than the Foxconn unit, but not much) runs HD video quite well using the "Netflix Desktop" method.

</mytwocents>

You can make easy links to the XBMC wiki using double brackets around common XBMC words: [[debug log]] = debug log, [[Video library]] = Video library, [[SMB]] = SMB , [[userdata]] = userdata, etc
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Packetcrypt Offline
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Post: #15
There are so many units out there at the $100 price range that meet your requirements. Stay away from single core units like Pivos, Jynxbox etc..

Dual Core units like the Mygica Atv520E, Atv1200 and Gbox MX2 all perform decent and will do what you need.

Now with XBMC Gotham many of the Quad Core RK3188 boxes work very well and have hardware acceleration. The CS918/Mk888B/Q7 all perform very well and are in your price range.

I would recommend getting the new AmLogic M8 Quad with 8 Core GPU. It is very fast, runs XBMC great and supports 4k resolution and is sitting at the $120 price range. It is still very new and has a few bugs in firmware ( can't download paid apps from playstore ).

Ouya and FireTv seem to be good options. I personally didn't like my ouya as it didn't run standard android and I didn't like using a controller. FireTv has been getting very good reviews but needs some tweaking and side loading to get it to do what you want.
(This post was last modified: 2014-05-16 04:08 by Packetcrypt.)
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