What is the "Go-to" SBC for LibreElec in 2019?

  • Hi all,

    I've been using Raspberry Pi 3's for my LibreElec TVs for a few years now, and they work well.

    But I'm thinking of upgrading to 4k TVs and also I'd like to finally be able to watch h265 / 10bit / etc content.

    So I've been looking around and there's sooooo many choices, and I don't even know where to start.

    Odroid C2 & Tinker Board were popular but are quite old now. There's the Rock64 but it seems like people have reported various problems? Are Wetek boxes still relevant in 2019? How about a Vero 4k+, can it even install LibreElec? And I guess something very new like the RockPro64 is probably not a good idea?

    Can anyone recommend one that I'm least likely to encounter problems, and I won't need to crawl through forums/google to find answers, please? They were the reasons I used the Raspberry Pis in the first place.


  • Raspberry Pi's are still the gold standard SBC for LibreELEC IMHO, unless you can consider a SFF Intel x86 system.

    Latest modern kernel, best stability, no major deal-breaking digital passthrough bugs (like the Amlogic boxes etc), but obviously no 4K capability.

  • From previous forum posts (Use the search function) the Vero seems to be the box of choice for "just" works out of the box (I don't own one, so I can't really comment on that). Yes it will run LE, if OSMC is not your thing.

    However, the SBC market is so volatile, that a *new* box seems to come out every week.

    Support is going to be better on X86 or RPi in most cases.

    Have a look at the Downloads for official supported devices. I believe "Slice" boxes are no longer sold.

    Personally I would either stick with what you have until you really need to upgrade or buy a cheap Amlogic device for now and then throw it away when something better arrives. (Not the greenest solution but...)

  • Thanks I used to x86 LibreElec boxes (NUCs), but there were lots of cons (e.g. HDMI-CEC wake-up & sleep, power consumption, etc), and that's why I moved to Raspberry Pis for worry-free use.

    But if I'm buying a 4k TV then I obviously want to make the most of it.

    So let me spin it another way - what are the most popular current-gen SBCs or boxes please?

  • I would recommend the Asus Thinker Board or their newer Thinker Board S: Tinker Board | ASUS USA

    I cant recommend broadcom (raspberry pi) . Broadcom is a known bad company for software freedom. They refused for long time to work with the free software community. Now their boards are still terrible in case of software freedom.

    Great future upcomming SBC devices would be the NXP i.MX8 chipsets combined with vivante GPUs. There is a reason why the Librem5 smartphone have chosen this hardware combination :)

    The final SBC solution would be a board with a great RISC-V CPU.

    For now, just get a Rockchip based Asus Thinker Board (or other Rockchip based devices that are supported by libreelec).

  • there's sooooo many choices, and I don't even know where to start.

    There is not much of a choice if you want quality. Wait for Pi 4 or get an Intel x86 (e.g.Gemini Lake).

  • I'm using the LibreELEC on Asus Tinkerboard & performance is really good. Rockchip perhaps fare better compared to Broadcom. I have an AV receiver, so I'm getting the decoding done by the AV receiver, not because the Tinkerboard is bad at it (it's actually very good), but I'm doing it to reduce CPU cycles on audio decoding & have the CPU spent it's energy on Video only. When I did use the onboard decoder Asus did not break a sweat & did a great job of it, but the CPU tended to get a trifle warmer.

  • The Odroid N2 is the best available hardware in the AMLogic boards and it works with CE for full functionality. A bargain if you are based in the USA but a bit more expensive in Europe. Until mainline support is achieved you can forget LE on any of the ARM chips except for the Pi's.


  • Of course Pi 4 has just been released. Still seem to be some issues to iron out - but once stable, that will be my way to 4k kodi.