Anybody using a Android based unit to run XBMC? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 06-08-2013, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Just curious if anyone is doing this right now..Last I checked and tried it myself, it just wasn't mature enough and stable enough to run this way..But reading somewhere else mention was made that there is a new version that is all the rage on android boxes..Just wondering if it's time to start playing around with an Android solution.

To me, reliably would be running XBMC as well as the Raspberry Pi can, or even better. Iv'e got a Pi 512mb unit and it is pretty awesome,not perfect,but damn good. If you turn off backgrounds then is is pretty much perfect to me. But that is the main reason for using XBMC, the eye candy.

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post #2 of 33 Old 06-08-2013, 11:03 PM
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The Pivos XIOS DS is the only genuine one with XBMC devs actually working on it, as to XBMC it runs as well as the R-Pi under Android, however the XIOS has a linux/xbmc firmware which runs a lot better. Keep in mind through it's comparable to AppleTV2 version of XBMC just with more media support.

Newer hardware coming later in the year should allow the use of the heavy eye candy skins, I'd say you probably want to hold off for those. The XIOS started out using the Amlogic M1 chip then updated to M3 chip, M6 are currently available but Pivos dont use them yet and the M8 is the next gen chip coming later in the year with quad core CPU and latest gen Mali 6xx series GPU.
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post #3 of 33 Old 06-09-2013, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks alot for that info..Yeah, I'll probably wait til later this year to see what else develops. Xbmc is so slick it really surprises me that tv manufacturers,blu ray manufacturers,and others that make media players don't work with it. I know there's other "front ends", but it is most definitely my favorite. Really hope it gets perfect on android. With it, and that nice app market,sounds like it could only be a winner.

Actually it would be great if they would release a Pi with a little more power and ram.If they could it the $75-100 price point, they'd sell another million units easily!

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post #4 of 33 Old 06-09-2013, 10:41 PM
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I ran XBMC on a Pivos earlier this year. Under Android it was sluggish, but under Linux it was really quite nice. Under Android it reminded me of running XBMC under OSX on an ATV1 with the CHD card. On the ATV1 it ran much better Better Linux. Both XBMC/Linux on the Pivos and XBMC under Linux on the ATV1 were better than XBMC on the ATV2 in my opinion. I never found XBMC on the ATV2 stable enough. It was ok, but not the best.

There is also OpenElec which runs on a variety of devices. For me running XBMC on something like the Intel NUC is really the way to go. Of course you are then talking more money.

Plex now runs on all kinds of devices and is converging back to XBMC. It even runs on the PCH-A400, a port that was released by Syabas last week. Quite nice for a version 1.01.

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post #5 of 33 Old 06-10-2013, 03:12 AM
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Quote:
Thanks alot for that info..Yeah, I'll probably wait til later this year to see what else develops. Xbmc is so slick it really surprises me that tv manufacturers,blu ray manufacturers,and others that make media players don't work with it. I know there's other "front ends", but it is most definitely my favourite. Really hope it gets perfect on android. With it, and that nice app market,sounds like it could only be a winner.

It actually is just not in places you'd expect, XBMC can be found in cable TV set top boxes, hotel media kiosks and so forth, but XBMC is also a complicated application so not many people have the skills to work with it from a development point of view. Sigma Designs contracted XBMC devs to help port XBMC to their chips but nothings been seen from Sigma since.

I'd wait for the whatever Pivos have up their sleeve and they have hinted at some exciting things to come later in the year.

Plex is increasingly turning into a paywall system though which is something that is not so cool. I would not be surprised is they flat out start charging for it.
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post #6 of 33 Old 06-10-2013, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alx330 View Post


Plex is increasingly turning into a paywall system though which is something that is not so cool. I would not be surprised is they flat out start charging for it.[/quote]

Do you mean the PlexPass thing? I don't see Plex heading in any different direction than XBMC. PlexPass just gives you access to alpha grade software and a sync utility. Most people don't really want or need to be hacking around with these pre-releases.

The only real difference between Plex and XBMC is where the server part lives, which is why the Plex client is great for low powered devices.

I love XBMC on my NUC. I have never cared for it anywhere else other than the Mac Mini.

Mind you, the Linux version is impressive. The difference between it and the Android version on the Pivos was like night and day when I was using it.

Philip
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post #7 of 33 Old 06-11-2013, 02:08 PM
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im running Pivos with Linux and its not too perfect or blazing fast but it works good as long as you choose a lighter skin. I have also seen good reviews about the newer android G-box midnight mx2 (dual core) box runing XBMC out of the box. There are also some Jynxbox Android TV boxes coming (M3,XD and XL).

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post #8 of 33 Old 06-11-2013, 05:34 PM
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I just ordered a G-Box Midnight MX2 Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Dual Core XBMC Streaming Mini HTPC TV Box Player
by Matricom. I will let you know how it is once I can run it for awhile.

James Reid:D
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post #9 of 33 Old 06-11-2013, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Cool..Would love to hear your impressions of it.

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post #10 of 33 Old 06-12-2013, 01:30 AM
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The G-Box MX2 are just a generic device maker, they have no XBMC devs working on it (despite what they claim). What they do is take the version of XBMC for Amlogic Pivos develop and stick that on their box.

Because Pivos developed their build of XBMC to work across the Amlogic 8726 series chips it works but if they hadn't then G-Box with it's 8726-M6 would be useless. There are also bugs specific to the Android OS that have to be resolved on the dual core units that affect XBMC, there are some annoying ethernet issues where the connection drops. See the ATV1200 thread on XBMC Androud sub-forum, that covers all the generic 8726-M6 devices.

Finally the GPU on the 8726-M6 series is a dual core unit, whereas the M3 has a single core however while their is a performance bump it's not a huge one.

I'm trying not to sound like a shill for Pivos but if your after the most solid and reliable XBMC experience they are the only one.
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post #11 of 33 Old 06-12-2013, 10:28 AM
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Just picked up a Minix Neo G4 for $50 at Newegg during a recent special. After rooting it and installing a custom ROM I finding XBMC runs pretty good on it, but admit I'm still in the trial phase. I have a main HTPC running XBMC that I use for movies, I bought the stick to watch basic things when I don't feel like powering up my HTPC. A custom XAF XBMC build is what I'm using on the stick and can be found here http://www.xbmcandroid.com/.

Actually the stock ROM that came with the Minix G4 seem to work well with XAF XBMC build for those who don't like to hack into things.

Also I have a Pi and XBMC on the Minix NEO G4 blows it away in terms of speed, my Pi has now be relegated to a NAS for the Minix NEO G4.
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post #12 of 33 Old 06-17-2013, 01:29 PM
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I'll get one of these when units with RK3188 come available. Was looking at the Minix Neo X5 for a moment but figured I'd rather wait for a while. It also has 1Gig of ram as well so really meh.
The new RK3188 sure looks nice. Loads of power packed in that little SoC. CPU side is up to 1.8Ghz and the Mali-400 MP4 up to 650Mhz eek.gif
There are already a few of those stick type of devices out with RK3188 but meh, I'll take one of the box types with ethernet and couple of full size usb ports and so on.


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post #13 of 33 Old 06-18-2013, 04:40 AM
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The Rockchip devices have bugs in libstragefright which break hardware decoding in XBMC under certain circumstances though Rockchip have said they are working on fixing those. The libstagefright builds are also still experimental in nature, those custom XAF builds gut XBMC making it just a shell replacing the core media player with something like MX Player.

The most stable and reliable device without using a hacked version of XBMC are Amlogic devices as they are the ones who gave open access to their hardware video decoders so XBMC talks direct to the hardware bypassing libstagefright.

In short I wouldn't go buying Rockchip until the known bugs have been squashed assuming you want the real XBMC running on it.
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post #14 of 33 Old 06-18-2013, 08:14 AM
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Does Amlogic even have any more recent SoC than those AML8726's I see many sticks/boxes use? They're freaking ancient in the SoC world..


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post #15 of 33 Old 06-18-2013, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lagittaja View Post

Does Amlogic even have any more recent SoC than those AML8726's I see many sticks/boxes use? They're freaking ancient in the SoC world..

See earlier post. Quad core Amlogic M8 coming towards Christmas. It'll be faster than all the current quad-core chipsets (although by then it wouldn't surprise me if we had 8x core CPUs on the market).

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post #16 of 33 Old 06-18-2013, 01:26 PM
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Well I'd personally be on the market for one of these boxes on around july/august/september so not going to wait till christmas.

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post #17 of 33 Old 06-21-2013, 10:20 AM
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I just ordered a G-Box Midnight MX2 Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Dual Core XBMC Streaming Mini HTPC TV Box Player
by Matricom. I will let you know how it is once I can run it for awhile.


So far so good. Runs great and comes with some pre installed xbmc builds.Until now I have been using my gaming PC to run XBMC and have not noticed a drop in performance or video quality. Very impressed so far and would recommend. I have mine connected to Ethernet and have not bothered trying wireless, I always go wired when I can.. Also there are a crap load of positive reviews on Amazon, thats how I decided to go with this box. I think I am going to flash it to a linux xbmc build. The droid is ok, but I have a feeling a linux may get more out of this tiny power house.I also think its pretty sweet it comes rooted.


Update; I still think this is a good box for the price. I went back to using my PC and put the G-Box in the bedroom. Makes a non smart TV smart.Once I came back down to earth, I realized in no way does this box compete with my PC as far as picture quality, at least on my projector. But on the bedroom tv a 42in Panasonic LED it looks great.I was just blown away at how well it performed for the price but it's place is in a spare room or a bedroom with a non smart TV.

James Reid:D
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post #18 of 33 Old 06-27-2013, 03:15 PM
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Will the G-Box Midnight MX2 provide an LFE/Sub/.X channel?
I want to get something like this that will allow me to use the LFE channel when streaming Netflix, like my Pannasonic BD player does.
I've tried the Roku3, but it only has 5.0 surround sound and no LFE/Sub channel.
If the G-Box won't do it ........ is there a similar device that will?
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post #19 of 33 Old 12-06-2013, 07:26 AM
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So far so good. Runs great and comes with some pre installed xbmc builds.Until now I have been using my gaming PC to run XBMC and have not noticed a drop in performance or video quality. Very impressed so far and would recommend. I have mine connected to Ethernet and have not bothered trying wireless, I always go wired when I can.. Also there are a crap load of positive reviews on Amazon, thats how I decided to go with this box. I think I am going to flash it to a linux xbmc build. The droid is ok, but I have a feeling a linux may get more out of this tiny power house.I also think its pretty sweet it comes rooted.


Update; I still think this is a good box for the price. I went back to using my PC and put the G-Box in the bedroom. Makes a non smart TV smart.Once I came back down to earth, I realized in no way does this box compete with my PC as far as picture quality, at least on my projector. But on the bedroom tv a 42in Panasonic LED it looks great.I was just blown away at how well it performed for the price but it's place is in a spare room or a bedroom with a non smart TV.



I guess I should update this, the box ended up dieing on me, the build quality is lacking, but it is cheap as hell. I think I will just stick to my HTPC.

James Reid:D
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post #20 of 33 Old 12-06-2013, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I started this back in June and at the time thought the Pi was awesome...Still like it,but it's shortcomings really started to get to me. Great device for the money I would say. But in pursuit of the original question, I just bought a 2nd generation i3 laptop and currently run XBMC off that. Laptop was $240 display,display model. so for the money and what it brings to the table,i'm quite satisfied. The XBMC experience is perfect no matter what skin I use. Just flies thru all the menus and fan art backgrounds and such. Just another solution if anybody is in my position that I was. Android from my understanding is still just not ready at all for primetime.

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post #21 of 33 Old 03-07-2014, 09:01 PM
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I bought an android stick from Androidsticks.co.uk off ebay. A work colleague picked one up late last year and he's been raving about it ever since. I did my homework on the company, high feedback rating and lots of positive feedback, they install their own custom XBMC onto their units and they are updated constantly, fixing bugs etc. I contacted the seller with a bunch of questions and they all got answered to my satisfaction so I took the plunge and dropped A$225 on their best unit. It's a small box type unit as opposed to a stick drive. All their units have quad core with 2gig of ram.
It arrived the other day and I went through the setup process as per their instructions. After playing around with it for a while not many features worked properly, lots of links wouldn't open (90% of them), stuff would hang, I'd get an assortment of error messages, you can cook an egg on the box it runs so hot so I contacted them again and they sent me another set of instructions to uninstall then reinstall the most updated version of their custom XBMC. Well the problems continued, this box is an absolute dog's breakfast, I can't believe there are people out there that are of the opinion it's a good device. I would not recommend one of these to my worst enemy.
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post #22 of 33 Old 03-07-2014, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Not surprised..The only box I've heard that runs android based XBMC decently is Ouya. Now I haven't seen it in person but from what I hear most people claim it is quite good. If I was going to go the android route,then this is the device I would try.

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post #23 of 33 Old 06-08-2014, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickie View Post

Not surprised..The only box I've heard that runs android based XBMC decently is Ouya. Now I haven't seen it in person but from what I hear most people claim it is quite good. If I was going to go the android route,then this is the device I would try.

You might want to try jumping in now if your finally ready. I've been using 3 dual core android boxes sense last year this time. Using J1nx hack xbmc linyx install. Streams just about everything. Some full size bluray's it hiccup's on but I'll bet these newer Android boxes 2.0Ghz and Quad and Octi-core units are going to be the standard from now on.
Check for this unit and Minix new one's on youtube. Good reviews are out. I've preordered 2 of the Minix X8-H units to play with and will probably move on my older android to other not so picky folks that want XBMC and Plex etc. without the Android stuff.

Hope this helps,

Chris

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post #24 of 33 Old 07-15-2014, 03:51 PM
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I think this is a great thread and I'm a bit shocked it's not much more massive...

After messing around with a half dozen media players and other software I've come to the conclusion that xbmc is- in
my estimation- far and away the best option.

Yep; I thought the learning curve for it was a bit much- still to this day there HAS to be 100 audio/video/system options and many of them can cripple playback, but once the stars align it just seems unbeatable to me.

Onward, it seems like there are hundreds of thousands of people just like me so I'm actually surprised there are not TONS of $100-$150 little boxes that JUST. RUN. XBMC. BEAUTIFULLY.

I still maintain that a guy could make $50 a box for a $140 nuc with $30 of ram and an openelec/xbmc install.

Tons would pay $220 for something like dat, me thinks. They just don't want to jack around with putting one together and installing an OS- no matter how easy it is.

Funny, cause I've seen little beyond OUYA that people consistently recommend for a plug and play xbmc box and for some reason I'm just not excited about buying one of them.

Time after time I DO read: "just build a nuc with 4 gigs and openelec and run it off of that- best experience and worth the money".

And I find that hard to argue with for well under $200.

No?

Thanks all
James

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post #25 of 33 Old 07-15-2014, 03:53 PM
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I run it on the Amazon Fire TV and am very happy!
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post #26 of 33 Old 07-15-2014, 04:00 PM
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^ thanks I've heard good and bad on the fire. What goes into getting it running if you and the thread don't mind me asking quick.

James
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post #27 of 33 Old 07-15-2014, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post
I still maintain that a guy could make $50 a box for a $140 nuc with $30 of ram and an openelec/xbmc install.

Tons would pay $220 for something like dat, me thinks. They just don't want to jack around with putting one together and installing an OS- no matter how easy it is.
I have sold various NUCs via eBay and it wasn't that wonderful. From roughly $150 to $500. Those interested in the low-end models (pre-configured) virtually only cared about torrent Add-ons and wanted additional built-in storage even though you could go USB or network. Perhaps if you found a better market one could do OK... however without getting a super deal (Fry's special or model close out) you will probably make more money not selling any at all.

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post #28 of 33 Old 07-15-2014, 05:42 PM
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I think a bona fide outlet for a known product vs some one-off stuff on ebay up against "that" crowd would prolly fare a bit better. I can imagine some of the garbage you ran into. Ebay can be such a freaking nightmare for some things. Sigh.

Hard to say I guess but running xbmc is glorious to me and a reasonably priced option to do it solidly would be great.

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post #29 of 33 Old 07-15-2014, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
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Hard to say I guess but running xbmc is glorious to me and a reasonably priced option to do it solidly would be great.
I agree XBMC is a very good media player and the WMC Add-on is very nice. I have had everything from a Celeron NUC to a custom built Haswell i3 in my dedicated room running XBMC via Windows and or OpenELEC. I have a projector and monitor in the room so dual HDMI works for sending unaltered video to the projector. OpenELEC handles it much better than Windows. So much so I got tired of mucking around with it and tried the new WD TV Media Player. I just recently found out it now supports all HD Audio which is why I punted in the past.

Oh yeah the Windows PC keep losing my receiver using dual monitors. Even re-installing the driver from scratch didn't help. Long story short I'm leaning the other way. I kicked the Windows PC out and thought about getting a Chromebox or NUC for OpenELEC but decided all I'm giving up (for my use...) is the slick interface which I really don't use per se. I have used XBMC for years and still have it installed in the den so I'm not saying bye. Rather after A/Bing their images in the dedicated room I couldn't find a reason to keep it in there as well.

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Charles R is offline  
post #30 of 33 Old 07-15-2014, 07:44 PM
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^ i hear ya. The only "concern" i have about getting a nuc and running openelec is that I'm "losing" a CPU but the fact of the matter is I have two laptops I already don't use and a full-blown i-7 that can do it all. It's simply not needed.

If I can get a $170 box that runs xbmc I'll laugh at the $200+ I spent on the popcorn hour. I really "like" the WD for what it does at $90 (still have one) but I just find it too clunky and it simply cannot stay "fully" connected to my library no matter what I do. The interface difference between the two speaks for itself of course. It's a shame to me because it's SO close to becoming a perfect sub $100 box.

And to your "lost" monitor- I feel you as I used to "lose" my Denon all the time between the split with my tv monitor, but that issue pretty much has dissolved- perhaps a new driver or update- don't know???

Now though it'll be a real non-issue as Ill have a dedicated box for the living room.

James

Last edited by mastermaybe; 07-15-2014 at 07:54 PM.
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