Most basic kodi device? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 2016-05-17, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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Most basic kodi device?

Hi all,

By basic I mean pretty much only runs Kodi. Im looking for a solution for a family member that knows hardly anything about technology. It would need to also be able to power a my passport drive that I will load content on. Kodi will be used for simple playback from the hdd, no addons will be used by the user. Im even worried about having a main dashboard (android based) which then you have to select kodi app a concern since that could just be another thing that can go wrong lol.

I myself have a rasberry Pi running openelec, but it cannot power a hdd without a usb hub. So before going that route, I was hoping there was another device I can look into.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 2016-05-17, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by biggyk View Post
By basic I mean pretty much only runs Kodi.....
That is what openelec is. It's idiot proof, because that's all it runs when ya boot it up.
If that's too much for ya, can't help ya.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 2016-05-17, 06:31 AM
 
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A Pivos with TOFULINUX would work. It eliminates the Android OS and opens directly to TOFU which is their version of Kodi. The only problem is that you can't buy them new anymore but some people may be selling theirs as they upgrade to newer boxes.

I personally use 2 of them. The best part of it that they have excellent support and work well with Harmony remotes without extra dongles. Their last product was the Pivos XS. Before they had the Pivos DS. If you find a DS, get the M3 rather than the M1. They should be dirt cheap on Kijiji and/or Craig's List or eBay. They are out-of-stock on new units and are supposed to be launching the XS+ one day but it's been a long time and the product is yet to see the light of day.

Alternatively, there are android apps that will autostart an app when the unit is turned on. Then you could use any compatible Android box and still do what you want.

Pivos Forums ? Index page

Phil
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 2016-05-17, 09:20 AM
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Any Android device will do running OpenElec, but beware. The cheaper you go the more problems you will have. Minix is the minimum I would ever recommend. (Nvidia or WeTek are very good but expensive) Windows devices also work very well, but need much custom to get "user friendliness" working.

cwh
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 2016-05-17, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
 
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What about devices like goobang on Amazon? Can they be reinstalled with openelec?

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 2016-05-17, 12:04 PM
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OpenELEC will run on a number of different devices, including just about any PC. If you want basic, how about an Intel NUC or Gigabyte BRIX? (Avoid the very low end Celeron N3000 based devices since the CPUs are grossly underpowered.) They will hold a 2.5" drive or accept an external USB drive. I've run OpenELEC from USB drive on an Intel Atom ITX system as well.

Quote:
Kodi will be used for simple playback from the hdd
I typically never play local HDD files with Kodi. A networked NAS or small server (Windows or Linux based PC) is all that is required to share files with every device running Kodi.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 2016-05-17, 02:24 PM
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...Avoid the very low end Celeron N3000 based devices...
Even though you advise against the Intel NUC Celeron N3000 range I think it is more than enough for me, especially since coming from a generic android box. I have Openelec set up on mine and it plays all the files very well that I've thrown at it except HEVC files. The only time I've seen it struggle is with one of the high intensity music visualizers but even then it is only temporary. Of course if you can afford more you get better but compared to android box even Intel Celeron NUC is miles better than expensive android box.

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Last edited by 57; 2016-05-17 at 03:30 PM. Reason: Quote Shortened.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 2016-05-17, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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The passport is drive is USB power not wall plug in. So would the Intel power it? I myself have a nas but this is for technically challenged family so a server is out of the question.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 2016-05-17, 07:10 PM
 
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I'm doing this over a Rpi(first generation) and it's working great. Of course, on sport stream, rendering it's not perfect. But I don't watch sport.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 2016-05-17, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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I'm doing this over a Rpi(first generation) and it's working great. Of course, on sport stream, rendering it's not perfect. But I don't watch sport.
Ya but you can't run a USB powered hdd from a rp

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 2016-05-17, 08:37 PM
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Higher powered devices can be run from a powered USB hub connected to an RPi. But then it starts to look like an rats nest of USB cables. I wouldn't recommend it.

Intel NUCs and Gigabyte BRIX typically have enough power to run things like USB powered drives. They are similar to a laptop in that respect and often use laptop CPUs. The standard PSU for a NUC is 65w. The USB ports are standard USB3 ports. However, they also have room for an internal 2.5" drive so an external drive is not necessary.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 2016-05-20, 08:20 AM
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Here's my take on certain devices running Kodi.
I have installed Kodi on a WD box running WD DLX firmware and an Android box. Both are alright but there is always lag as the internal memory is too low if you ask me.

I think a dedicated mini-pc is probably the best to use. I know everybody has different ideas about what is best t o use but I'm talking about personal preference.

I have a Zotac ID69 in the bedroom to stream just about everything I have on my network. I have installed Kodi and it never lags when it runs. Even though it is running on Celeron cpu, it run whatver I throw at it.

Having said that, I actually bought a new one today to go in the living room to replace my WD box.

The new box I'll have is a Zotac MI522 running on I3 cpu and can have up to 16gb ram and I will add a 1tb hard drive so I can use it as a pvr as well once I put in a USB tuner to capture OTA.

The box itself is no bigger than a VESA 4 hole plate. It is also about maybe 1.5 inch tall. Really reliable for an HTPC.

Again, personal opinions are like bum orifices. Every one has one.

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 2016-05-20, 11:42 AM
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The Zotac MI522 looks like a very nice box for an HTPC or dedicated Kodi box. The main issue I have with these type of unit is the price. That goes for similar Intel based units from other makers. Intel is keeping the price for the mobile processors that go into them at artificially high levels. By the time RAM and disk storage is added, they cost close to $500.

Intel charges USD$250 for the Core i3-5010U so prices for the barebones box pretty much has to be over CD$300. Meanwhile, The AMD Athlon 5350, a CPU that has similar overall performance, sells for just CD$50 at retail. A comparable Athlon 5350 based mini-ITX box can be put together for under $200. Unfortunately, AMD NUC style boxes are difficult to find. Zotac has a couple with slower processors for about $200. Based on past practices, I've got to think that Intel is engaging in anti-competitive activities to keep prices for these products artificially high.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 2016-05-20, 12:16 PM
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I bought mine on ebay from the NCIX people. With taxes, it came to $300 about and I'll be populating what I need for HDD and ram from my accumulated stash.

I get what you mean but in the end, you have a real PC. Any boxes like Apple TV, WD, or Android boxes, they have very little chances of upgrading parts.

This is the one I bought: https://www.zotac.com/us/product/mini_pcs/mi522-nano

It is a very capable little PC as I had the ID69 running a light show which is very cpu intensive, and it ran it with flying colors. I would love to get an Intel NUC but like you said, they are expansive. So with Zotac I go!

I also have something that looks like a Shuttle PC from Zotac running my bar karaoke/media/jukebox and it is a pretty cool looking box.

I also have bought Zotac gfx cards and they run pretty descent. No I don't work for Zotac but so far, all items from that company that I have, are doing their job.

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 2016-05-20, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Im honestly thinking my best option would have to be a powered usb hub. I myself love openelec on my rp2 and it would be perfect for my family member. I was actually shocked when I found out the drive wont power up to it.

That or make sure my fmaily member understands how to click over to the kodi icon and just leave it running 24/7 if need be lol
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