New Kodi Box for playing HEVC files. S905X or S912?

  • Hi Guys, I appreciate your great work which made me a die hard fan of LibreElec Kodi for a media player.


    I have a two year old kodi box with S812 processor. Now my video collection includes HEVC (H.265) files (1080P max.) and they are not playing well on this box. It is either the sound is out of sync or buffering or jerky picture.


    I have tried LibreElec 8.2.5 on a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and HEVC files are not playing at all.


    I have decided to move on to a new Kodi box. I have been studying about S905X and S912 boxes and also had thought of going for an Intel NUC box. S905X seems to be an obvious choice for playing HEVC files. S912 though superior in specs, had problems with earlier Kodi builds. I am not sure whether these problems have been solved by kszaq, wrxtasy or others.


    I am not bothered about any particular brand. My desired specs would be minimum 2GB/16GB, hdmi 2.0, 3xUSB ports. I need a suitable future proof box, I can use for at least a couple of years or more.


    I will appreciate any help in this regard. :)

    Droidbox T8-S V1 (S812) 2GB/32GB with Android and dual boot LibreELEC 8.2.5

    T95K Pro (S912) 2GB/16GB with Android 7.1.2 and now dual boot with LibreELEC 8.2.5.1

  • Summing it up, a cheap S912 will be faster, run hotter (8 CPU cores) and come with Gigabit Ethernet if you get the right one. Heatsink Cooling mods will likely be required if you really want to push these devices.

    It's LE Kodi support will end with Kodi v18 Leia due to changes in Kodi regarding GPU video drivers required.


    S905X devices will be slower than the S912 and come with 100M aka Fast Ethernet, good enough for 1080p. Not so good for high bitrate 4K Bluray REMUX Rips. That will last thru Kodi v18 Leia into the future


    The S905D is a S905X with Gigabit Ethernet and usually a single MUX TV Sat / Tuner.

    It will also last thru Kodi v18 Leia into the future.


    Pick your price to performance ratio.

    Personally I went with Gigabit and S912 speed and snappiness and will see what the future brings 2 years down the track.


    I've only got one S9xx Krypton bug remaining and that is regarding SMB External Subtitles and I think I've found the issue and fix just today.

  • I've got a Mecool M8S PRO+ S905X and it does all I need (h265, streaming from my NAS) and all that for £30 on Ebay. (Although it only has 2 USB2)

  • I have a first generation S912 (MXIII-G2) running wrxtasy LibreELEC-S912.arm-8.2.5.1-444-1000nits.tar build and it's superb. Picture quality across the board is the best that I have seen from anything and it just does the job that I have waited for Android to do for far too long.


    I also have a very cheap T95N S905X box which also does a very good job with the latest builds, although I do tend to find that it comes to multiple tasks such as when I'm using a couple of TV tuners, recording 2 programs whilst streaming something else from another source that it can be quite skippy but for most things it does a good enough job, including streaming of local 4K files or playback from a USB flash drive.


    I also run Libreelec from 2 X86/64 boxes, one an Cherry Trail Z8350 and the other a Beebox N3150 and whilst both run well, no matter what I try, I am unable to get the same picture quality that I get with the S912.


    The only downside to the S912 is that there is no working method of putting it to sleep and waking up to record OTA TV but I accept that limitation and the box uses so little juice that it's not such a great problem with leaving it on all of the time. Other S9XX boxes are able to take benefit from the sleep/wake up but it seems random as to which ones will work.


    Most AMLogic boxes tend to come with 2 USB ports but I just use an externally powered hub to provide for an extra port or two when required.

  • Thanks to wrxtasy and Iridium for a quick reply. :). And thanks to ozarks too.


    My simple setup is 2xWD MyBooks connected to the Kodi box with USB cables and HDMI to TV. I won't be using the LAN ports. I am on WiFi for updates and getting Movie, TV episodes metadata, fan art etc. from TMDB and TVDB. I am not into 4K media yet. :-/


    I am planning to go with a modest S905X box for the time being. That should take me through Krypton and Leia.


    ozarks gives me some ideas and I may try a S912 also later on. ^^

    Droidbox T8-S V1 (S812) 2GB/32GB with Android and dual boot LibreELEC 8.2.5

    T95K Pro (S912) 2GB/16GB with Android 7.1.2 and now dual boot with LibreELEC 8.2.5.1

  • In my present country of residence, I have few choices of buying a good Amlogic box.


    After much contemplation of available S905X and S912 boxes, I got myself a T95K Pro with S912, 2GB/16GB, Gigabit Ethernet, 2.5/5GHz WiFi with colorful tiled plastic box and a cheap remote. This came with Android 7.1.2 pre-installed.


    I will try to run LibreElec on the microSD card and if everything is OK, I am planning to install it on internal eMMC. I would prefer to make it a dual boot box if possible.


    Compared to this box my earlier UK made Droidbox T8-S V1 (S812) was a very well finished aluminium box and a quality product. The accompanied remote was a pleasure to use. I am having a very good time with it on LibreElec. Once the new box runs LiberElec successfully, I will be replacing the old one.

    Droidbox T8-S V1 (S812) 2GB/32GB with Android and dual boot LibreELEC 8.2.5

    T95K Pro (S912) 2GB/16GB with Android 7.1.2 and now dual boot with LibreELEC 8.2.5.1

  • I would wait a little bit more, s905x2 is just pre-ordered at gearbest, shipped out end of October with Android 8.1, s922 is also around corner.

  • New Nvidia shield it's not cheap it has a great support with all the other apps you could want and opens up the whole emulator gaming side of things.

    Edited once, last by Kianabrey ().

  • I would wait a little bit more, s905x2 is just pre-ordered at gearbest, shipped out end of October with Android 8.1, s922 is also around corner.

    I would not like to wait and try the new Amlogic series S905x2 or S922. As the history indicates S912 boxes have suffered the lack of support for fbdev drivers from Amlogic for very long time. After reading on the forum that kszaq has finally succeeded in finding a solution and made a successful release, I took a risk and bought a S912 box though initially I wanted to play safe and go for a S905X box.


    I thought of going for the latest LE release for S912 and have tried the LE 8.2.4.1 release on this box. But I was facing problems right from the beginning. The Screen was getting stuck at LibreElec start screen. Sometimes it used to load Kodi 17.6 but I was not able to go forward in the initial configuration of the box. Another aspect is the intermittent clicks from the speaker continuously.


    Then I reverted back to LE 8.2.2.3 release on the box, and I was happy to find that this version is working very smoothly. It was just like the LE 8.2.5 on my old S812 box but faster and smoother.


    I tried to play HEVC files and they were playing smoothly while on S812 box the movies were with jerky motion. My only observation on this new S912 box is that the videos are little dark and I have to increase the brightness of the screen. There is also no clock display on the box.


    Overall all the box and the supplied remote are working perfectly and I am happy with the LE 8.2.2.3 release, as my videos are only up to 1080p. I will wait till a more stable LE version appears in the future.


    I am grateful and thank the developers kszaq and wrxtasy for their relentless efforts in giving us this fine piece of software.

    Droidbox T8-S V1 (S812) 2GB/32GB with Android and dual boot LibreELEC 8.2.5

    T95K Pro (S912) 2GB/16GB with Android 7.1.2 and now dual boot with LibreELEC 8.2.5.1

  • Perhaps you should try a Coreelec Leia build, run from sd card, so if it doesn't work, just go back to Krypton

    NUC with LibreELEC Controlled by Logitech 665

    Beelink MiniMXIII S905 2G/16G 1000M Lan LibreELEC from NAND. CoreELEC 8.95.2 from usb

    MyGica 510b Now gone to the Great Media Centre in the Sky

    H96 Pro (S912) CoreELEC 8.95.2 Controlled by Harmony 650 (configured as Mecool KIII Pro)

    :)

  • Try the LibreELEC-S912.arm-8.2.5.1-444-1000nits build from here.


    I've been using it on my S912 and it's about as perfect as you can get and all videos and streams are pretty much flawless and not a dark video in sight.


    I have tried Coreelec and it does work well but because I use Comskip, it isn't yet compatible with the latest Leia based releases, I'm sticking with it.


    Could not be happier right now.

  • Thanks to ozarks for advising me to try LE 8.2.5.1-444-1000nits build. I will give it a try and see.

    Thanks also to bubblegum57 for asking me to try out Coreelec Leia build. I will keep it in reserve for future.

    Droidbox T8-S V1 (S812) 2GB/32GB with Android and dual boot LibreELEC 8.2.5

    T95K Pro (S912) 2GB/16GB with Android 7.1.2 and now dual boot with LibreELEC 8.2.5.1

    Edited once, last by rraod ().

  • I was skeptical about updating the smooth running LE 8.2.2.3 version on my S912 box straight away as per ozarks advice, as I have already populated the box with all my media in 4 different profiles. The configuration of LE 8.2.2.3, adding my favorite skin and loading the media took me considerable time and I don't want to loose all this work.


    So, I took a spare 16GB SD card and used it to install LE 8.2.5.1 using the LibreELEC USB SD Creator program. But this program has options to load *.img,gz, *.img,zip and *.img files. There is no options to load *.tar file. I took the option for showing all files (*.*) and selected the downloaded LibreELEC-S912.arm-8.2.5.1-444-1000nits.tar file. Then I wrote the image of this file on the SD card. After the writing was successfully completed, I tried to view the SD card's partitions but could see only a single Linux partition. There was no FAT32 partition (LIBREELEC). I sensed something was wrong and realized that this is not the way to install 8.2.5.1.


    I again formatted the 16GB SD card and installed the LE 8.2.2.3. Loaded the new SD Card on the box and started LE Kodi 17.6. Copied samba.conf and remote.conf files to storage/.config folder. Rebooted the box and on my laptop opened the storage smb share and copied the LibreELEC-S912.arm-8.2.5.1-444-1000nits.tar file in .update folder and rebooted the box. On the restart at LibeELEC screen the system found the update file and completed the update process and rebooted. I checked the version and now it is 8.2.5.1. I tried various menu options on Kodi and found the response to be smooth and fast.


    I loaded a H.264 and a HEVC H.265 video file on a flash drive, and tried playing them on the new updated box. The videos was playing smoothly and now there are no dark shadows in the videos. I was happy with the performance and it is better than my old LE 8.2.2.3.


    I have made up my mind to update to the new LE version and removed the 16GB SD card, inserted the original 32GB SD card with LE 8.2.2.3 and my library, again copied the LE 8.2.5.1 update tar file and updated the system. Everything went well and I could see a better performance in this new version.


    I also saw the "Boot to Android" command in Shutdown commands, which I don't remember seeing on LE 8.2.2.3. I installed android's "Reboot to LibreELEC" app on the box's android OS and now I have a dual boot Android/LibreELEC system.


    One query here: I saw LE 8.2.5.1 as an update and not an image file ready to install fresh like 8.2.4.1. Is it still in beta or a completed project? I find LE 8.2.5.1 much better than LE 8.2.4.1. It is a good successful update.


    Thanks to all who helped me. :thumbup::)

    Droidbox T8-S V1 (S812) 2GB/32GB with Android and dual boot LibreELEC 8.2.5

    T95K Pro (S912) 2GB/16GB with Android 7.1.2 and now dual boot with LibreELEC 8.2.5.1

    Edited once, last by rraod ().

  • Glad that it fixed the dark video rraod.


    BTW, you should not need the reboot to libreelec Android app as the default for a normal boot will be to boot from the SD card.


    I think that it's use is probably for those users that have dual boot options when both OS's are installed on the internal storage.

  • Glad that it fixed the dark video rraod.


    BTW, you should not need the reboot to libreelec Android app as the default for a normal boot will be to boot from the SD card.


    I think that it's use is probably for those users that have dual boot options when both OS's are installed on the internal storage.

    Ok ozarks, thanks. I will remove the Reboot to LibreELEC app in Android. I mainly use LibreELEC and rarely Android for Netflix.

    Droidbox T8-S V1 (S812) 2GB/32GB with Android and dual boot LibreELEC 8.2.5

    T95K Pro (S912) 2GB/16GB with Android 7.1.2 and now dual boot with LibreELEC 8.2.5.1