[8.90.1] CoreELEC for S905/S912 devices

  • The reality is that if you want to run a box off the latest Kodi/LE you would be stupid to choose any ARM based solution. Intel products cost a bit more but offer a level of stability/dependability and future support just not possible with the shifting ecosystem of ARM. I made a mistake this time round (believing dubious marketing speak) but will never make the same mistake again. Intel every time.


    Shoog

    That would be a horrid mistake. The advantage of using ARM based devices is the low cost. I would NEVER dream of using a power hungry, high cost device to just for my media consumption. My first introduction into using Kodi on these low powered, low cost devices was using my $30 USD Amlogic MK808B Plus STICK, running OpenELEC port by Kszaq. It served as my media player, but also as a self contained PVR using tvheadend server.


    With that simple little, low powered device I was able to get rid of my hulking, power hungry, NOISY PC, connected to my TV (as I look back, that was total insanity to have a computer connected to my TV). I also, retired my PS3 and Xbox that I was using for my media consumption. I also got rid of my PAL DVR (which only served ONE TV), and replaced it with an HDHomeRun OTA, dual networked tuner. With a gigabit Ethernet adapter connected to my LITTLE, OpenELEC STICK, and running tvheadend server, I supplied TV streams to 4 other TVs even playing HD streams.


    So, do I want to go back in time and connect a power hungry INTEL or AMD based PC to my TV, I think NOT.

  • But I have no idea why deciding not to put all efforts into an version that has an very limited lifespan is somehow contemptible regarding CE.

    If you read back a page you will get the idea. People want to use their boxes right now, not in the distant future.

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  • That would be a horrid mistake. The advantage of using ARM based devices is the low cost. I would NEVER dream of using a power hungry, high cost device to just for my media consumption. My first introduction into using Kodi on these low powered, low cost devices was using my $30 USD Amlogic MK808B Plus STICK, running OpenELEC port by Kszaq. It served as my media player, but also as a self contained PVR using tvheadend server.


    With that simple little, low powered device I was able to get rid of my hulking, power hungry, NOISY PC, connected to my TV (as I look back, that was total insanity to have a computer connected to my TV). I also, retired my PS3 and Xbox that I was using for my media consumption. I also got rid of my PAL DVR (which only served ONE TV), and replaced it with an HDHomeRun OTA, dual networked tuner. With a gigabit Ethernet adapter connected to my LITTLE, OpenELEC STICK, and running tvheadend server, I supplied TV streams to 4 other TVs even playing HD streams.


    So, do I want to go back in time and connect a power hungry INTEL or AMD based PC to my TV, I think NOT.

    The Voike V1 Plus is a 10watt PC no bigger than a Android box but with much better hardware and functionality. I used two PC before so appreciate what you are saying - but a full desktop is not the only Intel option - and certainly not the best for Kodi.


    Shoog

  • Again, can you prove that this Intel pc plays 4k 10bit HDR HEVC in Linux?

    As I pointed out - do I care ?
    However it does have the correct HDMI port which is more than most of the AMLogic boxes do.


    But lets reference an expert Chewitt wrote

    Quote

    Current LE 8.x/Kodi v17 cannot play HDR on anything - even the claimed HDR support on Amlogic devices is fake. Future LE 9.0/Kodi v18 should have real HDR support, but that codebase is still under development.

    ........


    From a comment I saw earlier this evening Amlogic devices that support HDR are doing it via an 8-bit internal conversion process; so not 10-bit and it's probably necessary to keep the processing bandwidth to a management level. The TV still recognises it as HDR though, so the general masses who obsess over the 'pass-through' lights on their AVR blinking appropriately will be happy.


    So if blinking LED's are that important to you then go for it.
    Meanwhile I am going to be fine with 1080p for the forseeable future so the Voike looks fairly future proof for my (and 90% of other peoples) needs.

    So maybe the question you should be asking is does my AML box have enough grunt to cope with the overhead of downmixing my 10bit content to 8bit.



    Shoog

    Edited 4 times, last by Shoog ().

  • so libreelec won't work on wetek play2 and similar devices in the future ?

    There is no plan to drop it, we have still a working version for K18 on base of the 3.14 Kernel but we aren't investing all manpower into it like explained before.


    People want to use their boxes right now, not in the distant future

    There are no plans to drop AML or "upgrade" our currently working 3.14 version to some mainline build that is not working just to "have" it as there is no timeframe for it at all. Nobody from LE side ever stated that we would drop it or remove support for it.


    can you prove that this Intel pc plays 4k 10bit HDR HEVC in Linux?

    there is no standard HDR implementation at Linux at all at the moment, S905x boxes can't show real HDR either

    Afaik only the Shield and the Rockchip Boxes at Android are really doing it correctly.

  • Actually I do have a projector HDR capable.

    I really wanted to talk with this expert about the amlogic HDR story.

    Seriously this guy said that an HW decoding of 10bit source to be more manageable goes through 8bit down conversion?

    Where this should happen in the pipeline and automatically re-conveted to 10 (or even 12) bit out of the box?

    Is this expert talking about some generic kodi Linux flavor or specifically the, closed souce, amlogic HW decoder?

  • There is no plan to drop it, we have still a working version for K18 on base of the 3.14 Kernel but we aren't investing all manpower into it like explained before.

    Okay, thanks for clearing that up.


    regards

  • The Voike V1 Plus is a 10watt PC no bigger than a Android box but with much better hardware and functionality. I used two PC before so appreciate what you are saying - but a full desktop is not the only Intel option - and certainly not the best for Kodi.


    Shoog

    I have a Vorke V2 and a Tronsmart Ara X5, both Windows 10 microPCs. I will not run LibreELEC as a primary OS on them.


    I have/had more that 2 dozen of these low powered, low cost devices that I tinker with. I use them for different purposes, like Plex server, Emby server, tvheadend servers, running on Linux, Android and LibreELEC and before that, OpenELEC. Right now, I have 3 of these devices running Linux and 3 devices running LibreELEC/CoreELEC.


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  • Lets all take a breather and take a step back for the moment in time....


    Kodi and by extension LibreELEC is an Open Sourced Project - Volunteers develop in their free time to benefit everyone.

    As such development and support ebbs and flows over the years with old school, experienced devs. moving in and out of the project and usually moving on to other projects in life with higher priorities, and relative newbie developers coming in.


    If we look at Android in the time before Kodi Krypton there were all sorts of hacks for Rockchip and AMLogic (amlcodec). The trouble with Android is there were very few developers and massive Android Hardware fragmentation across the marketplace. Android Kodi was not sustainable into the future.

    So something had to give, especially after key Android developers left the Kodi project.


    The decision was made, no more burdensome hacks and everything was going to be coded to known Standards.

    For Android these were Medicodec for video and IEC61937 for audio.

    SoC companies are now shouldering the workload and are having to release Firmware compatible with known Android standards or their devices simply will not be compatible with Android Kodi.


    This is exactly the Mainline Linux transition phase we are going thru with cheap ARM hardware running Linux Kodi at the moment, before Kodi v19 is released at least 1.5 - 2 years out I would guess.

    Easier long term Linux Kodi codebase maintenance will benefit developers and the Kodi userbase will have a choice of a far wider number of compatible hardware platforms to choose from. So everyone wins !


    At this present moment in time, I like a whole bunch of others are quite happy with their working AMLogic LE Kodi "hacky" setups especially when you can get relatively cheap hardware outputting HD Audio inc. Atmos and DTS:X and up to 444,10bit - 4K HDR to an OLED TV.


    For media player hardware - I care little for projecting into the future simply because hardware changes are so rapid and such hardware usually gets cheaper and more capable as well.

    Cheap media players these days are virtually becoming throw away items that you upgrade every 2-3 years.




    Quote

    Current LE 8.x/Kodi v17 cannot play HDR on anything - even the claimed HDR support on Amlogic devices is fake. Future LE 9.0/Kodi v18 should have real HDR support, but that codebase is still under development.

    ........



    From a comment I saw earlier this evening Amlogic devices that support HDR are doing it via an 8-bit internal conversion process; so not 10-bit and it's probably necessary to keep the processing bandwidth to a management level. The TV still recognises it as HDR though, so the general masses who obsess over the 'pass-through' lights on their AVR blinking appropriately will be happy.


    That is not quite correct. It has already ben stated by Neil Armstrong from Baylibre - the guys doing the AMLogic Linux Mainline Kernel work that the AMLogic S912 has a proper 10bit pipeline. All other S9xx HDR capable hardware is doing some dithering.

    Even then there has been some detailed work done by @Sam Nazarko from OSMC with the S905X Vero 4K to fix that as well.


    From an end user perspective there are not many complaints. :thumbup:

    From a old school Linux developer perspective - anything not channelled thru Mainline Linux is "not doing it right". ;)


    This is where the two points of view differ.

  • wrxtasy I am a developer working for a silicon vendor that faced the "mainline" story so many times.

    I don't want to recall here the original sin of linux, being a monolithe kernel, the lack of stable driver subsystem interface that prevents any reasonable maintaining of good, vendor provided, out of tree drivers that caused so many fight in the past (v4l and media-driver for instance, without mentioning the ridiculous status and quality of the wifi drivers in the current mainline kernel).

    You have to understand that it is the market demands that always wins not the Linus decision.

    Instead the Linus team decisions is a path to make vendors companies to make money on top of the kernel, claiming that they sell effort to stabilize the entropy in the kernel itself.

    You brought as example the android implementation. The mediacodec is a standard user space API acting as compatibility layers in the Android ecosystem. It is NOT requiring that the BSP, and the kernel is changed. If a SoC vendor wanted to sell any device with Android later than 5.1 HAD to implement the mediacodec API in their Android. And on amlogic platform it is done on top of amcodec...

    For the Linux v4l m2m, it is a different story. It would require that someone (community or vendor) implements in kernel space the v4l m2m device driver. And this implementation will be of NO commercial benefit, unless Kodi became a sort of standard de facto for HTPC OS or if Android itself in future will force the mediacodec to work on top of v4l m2m only.

    If nothing of this would happen you can bet that no silicon vendor will deliver any v4l m2m driver in the near future, leaving to the community (if exists) to do the job.

    I have not a complete picture of the fight between LE and CE, someone said that amcodec implementation still exists in LE, then I don't understand what is the point of discussion with CE, but I wanted to see more flexibility in Kodi decisions, one option could have been to keep the vdapu and vaapi backend and require to implement a wrapper on top of SoC codecs (like what exist, even if limited for allwinner cedarx)

    Bye

  • If you were of a conspiratorial frame of mind you might suspect that the intention is to make it all but impossible for box vendors to use Kodi as their default media player.


    Shoog

  • The logic underlying it is sound. They want to create a framework where all systems have standard communication protocols so that the details of the specific drivers become transparent to the kernel which simply maintains the communication interface. In order to achieve this all back door hackery has to be eliminated. That has to be a good thing ultimately.

    The problem Linux has is that it has little leverage over the vendors. Its enough for a vendor to meet the seperate Android standards to know that their market will remain unaffected. These chips were never intended to run Linux and the vendors see little benefit in making them run linux for some corner case situations such as LE, coupled to this is the fact that ARM makes it very difficult for them to cooperate because of their market model (licensing been their sole income source) which makes it all but impossible to anticipate a fully functional opensource MESON driver and graphic stack.

    Its a rock and a hard place situation and its a big ask for the community to solve the problem when the goal posts are constantly moving. However Linux will not stop from going down this path because ultimately it fits with their main market share which is commercial vendors who want much more predictability from Linux.

    It maybe that the only future for these boxes is Kodi under standardized Android and LE/CE will fall by the wayside of progress. I don't think that any of the LE team would be that sorry if that were the outcome.


    Shoog

  • its a big ask for the community to solve the problem

    Your Hardware not supported here ?

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