LE 9.0 still supports nVidia under X11 with the binary blob drivers which provide VDPAU; so everything is 8-bit and no HEVC because nVidia stopped developing VDPAU some time ago. AMD rewrote their formerly VDPAU using drivers to use VAAPI (common with Intel). Kodi v18 is currently broken with VDPAU due to X11 windowing code changes but the main developer that supports X11 has indicated he plans to fix VDPAU support when a replacement test box arrives. Current hardware had some issues and was terminated with a pickaxe. No joke, we have video
LE 10.0 (Kodi v19 so still a long way off) will drop X11 completely and switch to DRM/GBM and KMS (running on the framebuffer, no X11). This works well with Intel/AMD (which dominate user choices) but currently has zero support for nVidia chips because nVidia is solo-championing their EGL streams alternative to GBM buffer sharing. The two current problems are: a) VDPAU is dead code and right now there's zero appetite from Kodi developers to add another proprietary code path for a closed source driver when *all* other GPU/SoC types we plan to support in the future use GBM/KMS, and b) we had a look at EGL streams recently and it failed to run due to nVidia driver bugs. There is a lot of time to kill before LE 10.0 is a serious proposition and we'll maybe look at EGL streams again, or maybe nVidia comes to their senses and uses the same rendering standard as everyone else?
in the long-term cheap 'Android' boxes/boards will be better all round value for client boxes than x86 kit, except for boxes used as PVR servers, but those don't always need to run Kodi or have the latest GPU in them.
I did not realize VDPAU ceased development. That is a shame. At one time it was the preeminent hardware acceleration for video decode under linux.
Honestly, I would love to go to an android system, but the problem is last time I checked there was no ARM support for some of the plugins I depend on (notably the mythtv PVR frontend)
That could have changed though, I haven't looked in some time. Maybe by the time LE10 comes out I'll be able to switch. Time will tell. If that happens, I will miss building my own boxes and instead relying on little consumer devices.