Choosing a S905 / S905X / S905D / S905W / S912 box guide

  • Recently purchased Khadas Vim2 Pro 1st for its ability to run Android (Necessary for ensuring sane continous access to all existing UK TV Catchup Apps) and 2nd (really 1st) to explore latest develpment activities towards a fully enabled version of latest Libreelec for a S912 device to run off SD or eMMC.


    Hedged a bet on S912 becoming Libreelec supported device post offical release of Leia, from recent posts in this thread from chewitt.


    Reason for my logic, is whilst I love using Kodi/Libreelec daily, I dont currenly believe suppport for all UK TV Catchup Add-ons will gain traction in same way as apps are developed for Andriod or IOS devices. (Hoping I am wrong on this point, moving forward post Leia release)


    Can't wait to commence/support via user testing a nightly version of Libreelec on Khadas Vim 2 Pro ;)

    RPi4, 16Gb SD, (Raspbian Buster & LibreELEC 9.2) Onkyo TX-SR608 AV Receiver, Philips 55PUS7304 4K TV

    KVIM2 Pro, eMMC 32GB (Android 7) 8Gb SD (Varied OS) LG 27UD69-W 4K Monitor, AudioEngine A2+ Speakers

    Edited once, last by MikeKL ().

  • I don't think anyone is suggesting that the S912 is at end of life, but what can be said is that it has had very little uptake and that is likely to remain so into the future. That means support will always be behind the curve of the various S905 offerings. Having said that I can think of no area where the S912 offers better performance or more features than the S905D so why take the chance that all things will be peachy into the future.

    Personally next time I need a new box it will be an Intel box such as the Vorke V5. Why - better support and better performance. Its been a long and tedious drag getting a usable version of Kodi on my VIM2 S912 box (a full year to be exact) and frankly life is just to short for the small saving offered by a CRAPPY AMLogic box. What really rankles is the utter contempt they show for their customer base.


    Shoog

  • S912 has a bright future. See YouTube for evidence. Panfrost still has some serious bugs to solve before we can think about public testing, but considering the infancy of panfrost code it's in good shape. The lead panfrost developers have publicly stated good Kodi support is one of their goals :)

    I agree. which is why i invested so much time in getting all the sunvell boxes working. I run my own OS which i built years ago roughly based on buildroot and some of the early OpenELEC sources. Personally i still think my old original ENY MS8's run the best as even the newest kodi works extremely well and very rarely do i have lockups and when i do its almost always based on some plug-in i was messing with, Thats said, i really think there will be a bright future for the S912 SoC. What scares me is that by the time a lot of this gets worked out that Amlogic will have forced a new hardware revision and a lot of the unsuspecting public will by into it repeating the same cycle as the current level of support for the S912 boxes. I think people should just stick with the current level of S90x boxes but stay away from any of the x2 revisions now emerging. Just going over to the linux-meson site you can already see that most of the features on their comparision chart currently show a lot of the newer x2 SoC's as unsupported when comparing to where things currently sit with the S9xx units. The real sad part is that if Amlogic just licenced the MALI T8xx DDK none of this would be happening with the graphix end of those SoC's, for any serious codes tho, scour the net to find a bootleg copy of the DDK and they can see how this can be fixed, its just that soluction could never be released publicly because of licencing, but it does prove that things can be fixed. the other bad side to the DDK is it is revision specific but still for the amount of baseline system changes its still not a major investment for them. Producing low level drivers at this level is time consuming but now that you pointed out theres another group working thats a good sign... the last time i checked lima was a ways back and it had been abandoned and panfrost i wasnt really aware of tho i was aware of Neil and his work for quite awhile now...


    Its inspiring to see where this goes tho.

  • Bootleg DDK access isn't the solution. We have sources with DDK access but if we ever released blobs we'd be violating ARM license/redistribution agreements and it would massively compromise our ability to engage with ARM people in other areas. Staff in their open-source group are tracking lima/panfrost and have asked for internal permission to contribute. Both projects will be fine whether it comes or not, but having ARM people with inside knowledge on the many errata in their chips would be a big bonus. Lima is very solid for Kodi use now (at least via GBM/V4L2).

  • Yes i agree and as someone that has spent huge amounts of time reverse engineering a lot of things over the years is NOT something that i would advocate. I just said that to prove my point about Amlogic and its greed and relying on none Amlogic employees to provide the proper support for the products they sell and make people understand where Amlogics REAL interest lies. As far as having Arm employees being involved thats all good but still theres only so much they can do without risking violating whatever there agreement is with the downstream companies that licence the ip-cores they licence out which is all Amlogic is really doing. Amlogic developes the SoC with the hardware they want and then licence the Arm core to use in it. I know from years of experience with others going down simular roads that its a fine line to stay on when it comes to reverse engineering intellectual property which is why i stay somewhat private these days... Since you mentioned the Panfrost stuff i have been playing catch-up and going over what they got cooking and your right it looks interesting.


    on another note... just what exact linux revision are they trying to unify to as I am thinking about spending a bit of time going back and revisiting the kernel issue. years ago a couple of us move the old meson8m up to a custom 3.14 kernel which works good but now with the newer stuff i am assuming were talking about unitfing up in the 4.xx range ?

  • S912 has a bright future. See YouTube for evidence. Panfrost still has some serious bugs to solve before we can think about public testing, but considering the infancy of panfrost code it's in good shape. The lead panfrost developers have publicly stated good Kodi support is one of their goals :)

    Thank you guys for responding in such detail. My mission now will be to find a box with a bit of backup. thinking tanix, just going by their website. I see one of their editions has dual boot android / LE. again , much appreciated.

  • Can't wait to commence/support via user testing a nightly version of Libreelec on Khadas Vim 2 Pro

    Everything has long been available for testing on VIM2 (S912).


    LibreELEC for Khadas VIM (SD & USB & eMMC) - LibreELEC - Khadas Community


    By the way, for VIM\VIM2 two options of installation in eMMC are available - with preservation of regular u-boot-2015 and with transition to the new version of u-boot-2018. And now tested version of the installation LE for VIM\VIM2 to eMMC mode DualOS (LE+Android) at the same time in the eMMC, while preserving the ability to run Android.

  • on another note... just what exact linux revision are they trying to unify to as I am thinking about spending a bit of time going back and revisiting the kernel issue. years ago a couple of us move the old meson8m up to a custom 3.14 kernel which works good but now with the newer stuff i am assuming were talking about unitfing up in the 4.xx range ?

    Meson8* has reasonable support as large amounts of the platform are similar to GXBB, but the HDMI chip is different and there is no driver for that at the moment. One of the Amlogic maintainers (Martin Blumenstingl) has the intent (if not much time) to write one that hooks into the DRM/KMS code for Meson GX, but until that work bears fruit there's not much to be done. That said, if you're keen on those devices it wouldn't hurt to get them booting and send the device trees upstream. Current efforts are tracking Linux 4.20+ kernels.

  • Thanx... Its been awhile since i paid attention to whats going on and where things sit. ( lately been busy developing a new embedded cnc control and motor drives) and because of that i am looking at getting back into to kernel stuff again so i thought maybe i would take at where things sit.


    Earlier when some of us moved the older 3.10 stuff up to 3.14 we had to write a bunch of our own drivers so our kernel became heavily modded and so far out of the current tree we just left it like that because it worked and I have had no reason to go back and visit it but maybe nows the time to once again go and look see. At least on those platforms I have all the tech docs and register manuals and luckly Amlogics stuff is mostly contained in the /amlogic folder so between them writing or altering things to gain the missing pieces was a posiblity. My issue would probably stem from a partial lack of some of the technical docs in the newer S9xx SoC's... i think i have the main 912 docs but am missing the register set docs. As well i am not sure if JTAG is possible on the newer chipset as i have never pulled a chip and had a look at the bga connections to see.


    I have been using Linux since Slackware 1st appeared back around 93 and writing drivers is something you had to do if you were going to start trying to interface with hardware, its just time consuming.


    thanx for the info.

  • Shoog

    You mean Coreelec is very superior than libreelec thus this device is more worth, or?

    It works very well in Coreelec but I still think the VIM2 isn't worth paying extra for over another S912 or S905 box.


    Shoog

  • But how better is coreelec though comrpead to libre?

    Really the only way to find out is to give it a spin on an SD card and make your own mind up. Its been my daily driver for a year at this stage and even though there have been a few hiccups along the way it works very well for most of the time. Its still in active development and I run Nightlies so occasionally things break - but I would honestly say that the latest release candidate 8.95.7 is ready for prime time and is only waiting for the final Kodi release before it is wrapped up and put to bed.
    Libreelec has some specific missing functionality which means I can't use it so cannot comment on the state of the latest releases for AMLogic.


    Shoog

  • ^ that video shows update of an old/existing OpenELEC install being updated to LibreELEC. It does not show first-time install of LibreELEC using an S905 image. If you had some random community image installed before you need to clean install.

  • ^ that video shows update of an old/existing OpenELEC install being updated to LibreELEC. It does not show first-time install of LibreELEC using an S905 image. If you had some random community image installed before you need to clean install.

    How do I clear the installation?