Noob looking for media center solution

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bluesboy1987
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Noob looking for media center solution

Post by bluesboy1987 »

Hi all,

I'm a complete noob concerning Odroid and other mini-PCs.

However I'm looking for a device that is capable of playing netflix with VPN and playing 1080p movies and series from an external HDD on my TV.
(and preferably also a torrent download setup)

Would it be better to purchase the C1+ or the XU4?

And how about file support? Does it support most files (including subs)?

Thanks for the answers!

Ciao,

Nils

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meveric
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Re: Noob looking for media center solution

Post by meveric »

If you want to run multiple programs at once (watching movies, while downloading torrents) you are probably better off with an XU4, since the C1 has some issues due to only 1GB of RAM.

Movies, in 1080p over external HDD shouldn't be an issue for either C1 or XU4.
XU4 can play all formats but, H.265 on the XU4 is only software decoded, since it does not have a hardware decoder, but tests indicate, that 720p and even 1080p H.265 movies should work fine on the XU4 in software decoding.
C1 can play hardware decoded H.265 but had issues with MPEG2 and sometimes MPEG4 in the past. Which means you probably won't be able to play DVDs or DVD rips on the C1.

Subs shouldn't be an issue.

I'm not sure about Netflix, there are some guides for this, but I never tried and don't have an account.

Both devices (C1 and XU4) have some issues. The C1, is not really good in X11 (Desktop) mode and has trouble scaling programs. It lacks CPU power and RAM, it has issues with USB ports which can cause freezes sometimes when you plug in and unplug low level USB devices such as a keyboad or a mouse. Check the C1 / Issues forum to find more common problems with the C1.

The XU4 has issues with the graphics as well. There is something called a black screen bug, which can cause the system to freeze as well. Although there are some workarounds for this, it's not 100% stable. Although very annoying it seems to be the only "major" bug right now on the XU4, and with 2GB RAM (and more than twice as much free RAM available compared to the C1) and a CPU that's about 4 times as fast as a C1, it's probably the better choice, although many people prefer the C1 for it's passive cooling, low noise solution.

Both devices are not perfect, it's probably up to you what's more important to you.
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Re: Noob looking for media center solution

Post by robroy »

However I'm looking for a device that is capable of playing netflix with VPN and playing 1080p movies and series from an external HDD on my TV.
I use my XU4 with Android and it plays Netflix perfectly. I also installed ES File Explorer in order to launch videos from an external HDD using MX Player (and from other computers using Samba). MX Player plays every video format perfectly, once you enable the HW+ decoding in the settings.

Just download the Android OS, then install Google Play store using the one-click installer. All the required images and instructions are available at http://odroid.com/dokuwiki/doku.php?id= ... se_android.
Last edited by robroy on Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Noob looking for media center solution

Post by XeoSal »

XU4 is a much better general purpose computer however, in my opinion I am more happy with C1 as media center than my XU4. Currently, the C1 only have issues with "some" MPEG2 videos (development is very active especially in wetek forums), on the other hand I am pretty sure that right now it doesn't have issues with MPEG4 especially when you are using up-to-date images and more specifically the OpenELEC image by @wrxtasy (which is maintained & optimized really hard and it's still progressing). Also, regarding to my tests, the KODI that I have compiled after some changes in source code for Odrobian linux image which is basically a Debian 8 (Jessie) doesn't have issues with MPEG4 as well.

XU4 doesn't have hardware acceleration for HEVC aka X265 and it doesn't play 1080p HEVC videos software decoded (not watchable) or at least for the three sample videos that I have, but also it doesn't have any issues with MPEG2 or MPEG4 alright, I can recall that Odroid C1 has better VPU in general and AMlogic codec is more widely supported than samsung MFC codec. ;)

Please consider this fact, the odroid C1 will finally get its MPEG2 issues fixed sooner than later, but the odroid XU4 will never have hardware accelerated HEVC which is already implemented perfectly on C1, here you go, your choice. :D

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Re: Noob looking for media center solution

Post by meveric »

Just found something interesting, while I was preparing my Debian Jessie image for C1.

I played a couple of test videos to see if Kodi was working correctly and found that the C1 can play 720p and 1080p HEVC videos (mostly) without issues, but is unable to play 4K videos, although the hardware decoder tries to decode the video.
I played the same videos on the XU4 and both 720p and 1080p were playing perfectly fine. 4k HEVC was a little laggy, but at least it was working o_O
Some test videos I used can be found here:
http://www.elecard.com/en/download/videos.html
720p: Surfing http://www.elecard.com/assets/files/oth ... urfing.265
1080p: Big Buck Bunny http://www.elecard.com/assets/files/oth ... 1080p_c.ts
4k: The first 4K experience with BlackMagic Production Camera 4k http://www.elecard.com/assets/files/oth ... video.h265

The C1 will probably still have the lead when it comes to HEVC 1080p with a very high bit rate (10MBit and more), but generally since the XU4 can play HEVC videos in 1080p just fine, I don't think this should be a major issue, and in the end the point of HEVC is to reduce bit rate (file size) while still having the same quality, issn't it?

Edit:
I took the time and converted a 12 GB 1080p H264 bluray rip (Prince of Persia, lots of sand clouds, dust, sparkling and blurring effects, lots of fast action scenes) to H265 (HEVC) size reduced to 3.6GB (which is nice) and i watched the movie on my XU4, bit rate varies from 2Mbit to 10Mbit with an average of 3~4Mbit.
I watched the entire movie, no Frame drop, or skipping. I can't find any issue with H265 support on the XU4, even if it's just software decoding.
Donate to support my work on the ODROID GameStation Turbo Image for U2/U3 XU3/XU4 X2 X C1 as well as many other releases.
Check out the Games and Emulators section to find some of my work or check the files in my repository to find the software i build for ODROIDs.
If you want to add my repository to your image read my HOWTO integrate my repo into your image.

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