Advice on AMlogic "TV stick/dongle" hardware

  • Hi all,


    wrxstasy kindly directed me from the Kodi forums to this thread. I currently use Kodi to stream hd content on a macbook pro but am now looking to buy a TV. The TV wil probably be 4k capable and can run netflix etc natively but I would also like to run Kodi. As far as I understand it, Kodi will not run reliably on any smart TV OS. Therefore, I am looking for some hardware that can run Kodi natively and connect to the tv via hdmi. I plan to send the audio from the tv to amplifier using bluetooth.


    The thing is that I also want to have a relatively discreet and portable setup with minimal wires. It should be able to be powered from a TV usb port, but at the same time have reliable wifi connection (perhaps using a dual input usb cord could help generate enough power?). I would be happy using the Kodi remote app as a controller. Something like an Amazon Fire TV Stick seems ideal, but that does not run Kodi natively. I don't care for Android OS. From wrxstasy and others I have learned that Kodi runs very well with LibreElec on AMlogic devices so I am now looking at various AMlogic 'stick/dongle' hardware options, such as:


    H96 Pro TV Dongle Android 7 Amlogic S912 2/8GB BT4.1 H.265 4K Stick (also available with 16G ROM)

    Geniatech ATV195X S905X Quad Core Stick (not sure where to buy this, though)

    UGOOS AM2-8gb-Amlogic-S905 (external wifi antenna looks reassuring)

    Coowell V5 Android 6 TV Stick 1G/8G (maximedoreon on freaktab claims to have it run LE satisfactorily: link)


    My question is whether anyone has successfully run LibreElec on such AMlogic 'stick/dongle' hardware and if it worked stably or had any power/thermal/wifi issues?


    Thanks in advance for any advice you may have.


    Cheers

  • My question is whether anyone has successfully run LibreElec on such AMlogic 'stick/dongle' hardware and if it worked stably or had any power/thermal/wifi issues?

    I purchased the H96Pro S905X NOT S912.

    Link #2,273
    I power it via USB HDD input on my tv with no issues. Cable required.



    My tv powers it off completely and when TV is turned on it powers it up. Cold Bootup.

    Crap 2.4g wifi. Apart from that it runs LE from kszaq's latest 8.2.3.1 perfectly.

    The HDMI Extender KILLS CEC .

    Also the wifi on mine is not realtek

    Edited once, last by kostaman: wifi chip ().

  • The best thing you can do for these cheap S905X or S912 boxes and dongles is run them for a while and then open them up and twist or remove the heatsink off the SoC. Then clean up the SoC and heatsink with something that does not leave a greasy residue, like electrical Contact Cleaner.


    Most heatsinks look like they are just fixed on with some sort of Silicon which makes for pretty bad heat transfer.

    Then simply get some 30% Silver (or better) thermal paste, you only need tiny amounts and use this Sandwich Wrap method for applying the paste:


    How to Apply Thermal Paste - iFixit


    Just did this yesterday to a MECOOL S905X that would get pretty hot, especially when using Android and it now runs 10 - 20 Degrees C cooler as a result AND I can increase the GPU Mhz for a snappier, smoother LE Kodi user interface !:P


    Some LE Temp monitoring tips:

    SSH Login and....

    Code
    echo "cat /sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp" > temp
    chmod +x temp
    watch ./temp

    and I use this for the GPU:

    Code
    echo "echo 2 > /sys/class/mpgpu/scale_mode" >> /storage/.config/autostart.sh


    W.

  • Thanks for sharing your experiences! Good to hear that you have got LE working properly on the H96 pro. And I guess the S905 may be a better choice than the S912 in terms of heat.


    Too bad about the wifi, though; did it have issues straight out of the box, or only after running LE?


    I saw a thread on FreakTab where people reported wifi was working fine. Also, someone added a fan and put the wifi antenna outside the dongle, link. So perhaps the problem is specific to your unit, or to conflicts between the unit and LE...


    If anyone has managed to run LE on a H96 stick AND having proper wifi I will be more confident trying the same (but perhaps I should first buy a TV... ! ;-)


    Thanks again & cheers

  • Too bad about the wifi, though; did it have issues straight out of the box, or only after running LE?

    Had issues before LE. I'm running LE via SD Card by the way.

    It has the same issues in Android.

    Very good speed via 5.8 Ghz.

    I ordered an ethernet adapter with Asix Chip. See what happens when i get it.

    The Freaktab link is not really a guide for my version H96Pro S905x as the wifi chip is different as well.

    I only paid US $34.00 for the dongle and mainly for travelling.

    It runs off my Phone Charger as well.

  • Why only fast ethernet ?

    Sorry Tim , not sure what you're asking ?:/

    I don't like wifi for media streaming for obvious reasons.

    Whilst the ac Wifi on this Dongle works i still prefer ethernet.

    That's why i ordered the adapter.

  • Sorry Tim , not sure what you're asking ?:/

    I asked about the ethernet speed.

    Only fast ethernet = 100MBit -> asisx 88772 chipset

    Why not gigabit ethernet adapter based on asix ax88178 chipset ?

  • Why not gigabit ethernet adapter

    My home is Cat5 wired.

    I have a 70 inch Full HD 1080p TV which is 4.7 metres away from viewing.

    High Bitrate 1080p video files at that viewing distance is more than adequate. ( I wont go into the 4k distance to view quality thing )

    In Australia there is no Free to Air televised in anything higher than 1080i

    Highest internet speed available to my home is 35 Mbps. :)

    Edited once, last by kostaman ().

  • I was thinking about re-applying the thermal paste on my Mecool M8S Pro+ but the heatsink seems to be a glued.

    Can I just remove it of will I break stuff?


    Also can you explain what the GPU command does exactly?

  • Why not gigabit ethernet adapter based on asix ax88178 chipset ?

    I've been looking into this today and the Ugreen USB3 > Gigabit adapters and/or Hubs have the AMLogic compatible ASIX chipsets in them.


    The Ugreen on store on Ebay have them (click)


    Once you get into high bitrate 4K HDR REMUX playback - Gigabit ethernet is really needed.

  • I was thinking about re-applying the thermal paste on my Mecool M8S Pro+ but the heatsink seems to be a glued.

    Can I just remove it of will I break stuff?

    Run the device for a while to get it nice and warm, then open the Lid and twist clockwise and anticlockwise until the Heatsink comes off.


    The GPU command cranks up the GPU clock from 500to 666 MHz for a slightly quicker Kodi user interface.

    You need to keep an eye on SoC Temps - which should be stable after Thermal paste sets properly after 24 hrs.

  • Wicked! Sounds cool to me.

    Gonna give it a go. Tnx for the help once again.


    Is it ok that the M8S Pro+ does not have a proper heatsink "clip" to keep the heatsink in place?

    I'm a bit worried if I apply new paste it will no stick properly without something holding the heatsink?

  • The 30% silver paste I uses set and cured just fine, the heatsink weighs bugger all anyway. You do not need great pressure on the Heatsink to attach it to the paste, just wiggle it a bit.


    Be careful, because Silver conducts electricity - you do not want that stuff everywhere, use small amounts - about a match head worth of paste or less.

  • Ok, cool.

    I have some Noctua NT-H1 lying around here.

    Would that be good to apply?


    Btw what temps did you have before and after you applied the paste?

    At the moment I'm running a x265 file (1080p) from USB stick and I'm around 46 Celcius (without applying new paste).

    Edited once, last by Panja ().

  • Hello wrxtasy,


    bought 1 gram kryonaut grizzly thermal paste to replace my shitty (silicon) dip on the H96Pro +, will re-use the existing heatsink. Thing is - will the heatsink still stay in place after mounting it with the new paste? I have installed many fans/heatsinks but on PCs, where there was always a clip to the motherboard, so I am wondering if the paste enough will keep the heatsink attached to the CPU, especially if it runs for 24 hours to fix it :)


    Tnx!

  • Use a bit of superglue, in amount of pin head, on four ends of the chip.

    In the center - put the proper amount of thermal grease. ;)

    If you intend to use the box closed - think of something on the cover to push down the heatsink further.

    And drill more holes. Consider using (external) USB fan, attached to one of the box USB ports...

    Otherwise - it will be pointless. :D