Something that will play (stream?) 4k/UHD 10bit HDR over gigabit network that LibreELEC can be installed on?

  • I have been trying to read up on a variety of things, I was first wanting to just install kodi on a multipurpose linux box but ppl on the kodi forum convinced me that a small, separate, libreELEC box might be a better option. Problem is, its unclear to me which boxes out there would be able to play high end video that LibreELEC could easily be installed on. The RasPi doesn't look to be an option, nor does the I'd love to use the odroid or cubox but I wasn't sure those would have the heft to play higher bandwidth vids?

    Suggestions on something that LibreELEC can relatively easily be installed on that can handel UHD/10bit/HDR vid would really be appreciated!

    Thx in advance

  • The Raspberry Pi upto the newest 3B+ variant does not do either 10bit or HDR hardware-wise. 10bit video is recoded into 8bit video on-the-fly.

    HDR support in Kodi 18 is still a work-in-progress altogether.

    HDR is the biggest problem/challenge for Intel-based GPU's running Kodi. Intel UHD graphics has the best papers there, AMD Ryzen/VEGA video drivers are still at an experimental stage, and Nvidia doesn't even have 10bit support under Linux. Don't be surprised when Nvidia support for Kodi/LibreELEC is fully dropped in the (very) near future.

    For all other AMLogic or other hardware, have a look here at START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated May 2018)

  • Storing media on a NAS device and using a separate (smaller, usually cheaper) is the way to go, but the moment you throw HDR into the equation you end up recommendations limbo:

    Intel = only the latest devices support 4k/60 and HDR support in their drivers is still work in progress (but is progressing). AMD = similar to Intel as it uses the same VAAPI driver framework which is similarly waiting for upstream development. nVidia = forget it, stuck on 8-bit no HEVC. Amlogic on 3.14 kernel has 4k/60 support but horrible HDR code (on S905X/D) that needs major development to resolve (and nobody is volunteering) and S912 will be stuck on 3.14 indefinitely. Amlogic on mainline kernel is progressing but drivers are currently missing 4k/HDR support. Rockchip devices are only just starting to get HDR support.

    So today Amlogic S905S/D is the least-worst option, but some of the HDR stuff is fudged in the current Amlogic 3.14 kernel and won't be resolved until we make the switch to mainline and finish implementing the HDR featureset. Latest NUC devices will get support, but it's months not weeks before things will be complete. Maybe not resolved in LE 9.0, but a 9.2 release.

  • Thank you both for the input.

    I get the part about kodi not supporting HDR yet which I am actually ok with, I am more interested in "future proofing" my purcahses (to the extent reasonable) so that when the update/upgrade comes around that supports HDR or does it correctly my hardware will be good to go.

  • Thanks for the link. I was a bit puzzled though, about AMLogic. The post seems to diss amlogic boxes as being not well supported but then it goes on to recommend AMLogic boxes for various uses? Is AMLogic to be avoided?

  • Lastly, thanks again for the link and input. The Auto frame rate switching & dynamic range matching - 4K (HDR10) capable

    was really helpful, asides from the AMLogic, the apple TV 4k actually seemed pretty good? (thats a question) for HDR/4k and on ebay seems to run between $130-$160ish which isn't bad if it can play everything and is well supported (my main two criteria) and still quite a bit cheaper than some kaby or whatever lake proc NUC box. Thoughts?

    Oh btw, at the moment I have a somewhat old 1080p TV, I am looking to upgrade in the fairly near future but would that cause a problem?

    Thanks again!!!

  • Amlogic has cult status in the absence of any serious price/performance competition in the last ~2 years. That will change as other SoC types get supported this year. Right now (today) an S905X or (better) S905D device with GB ethernet is probably the best thing available. If you want an easier install and run experience choose an SBC device from LibreComputer or Khadas. Android box devices are cheaper but require you to jump through more hoops with device trees and bootloaders to make the hardware work. I would strongly avoid S912 devices because those are stuck forever on the shitty 3.14 kernel due to an ARM licensing issue.

  • Thanks, and good to know. Considering the price of the Amlogic stuff I might go that route, I assume its not much harder than flashing a phone rom?

  • Assuming an SBC board with a dedicated image you just write the image to the SD card (or eMMC via SD adapter) and off you go. If you go the box route expect more hassle.