Seeking clarification and advice on streaming boxes

Discussion in 'Video Streaming Boxes & Services' started by leemonk, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. leemonk

    leemonk
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    Hi,

    I'm somewhat confused about what these streaming boxes can and can't do.

    Two of my friends have recently purchased these two items after being recommended them by other friends.

    INFINITY QUAD CORE Android 4.4 Kitkat XBMC Streaming Mini HTPC TV Box Player 2
    INFINITY QUAD CORE Android 4.4 Kitkat XBMC Streaming Mini HTPC TV Box Player 1

    Friend 2 bought an 'improved version' after an afternoon of beers and football at friend 1's house.

    I was impressed that they were able to play quite a lot of content.

    I've read a few threads in here and there are lots of recommendations on newer boxes coming to the market but at £150 - £200+ which I'm struggling to understand why I'd spend that if, for example, the boxes shown above deliver what I want anyway.

    If it is a simple case of better quality picture and sound, will a more expensive box work with the above software which I believe is XBMC or am I going to need something that looks more like it has been made in someones garage (albeit a nice garage from the product I've seen).

    Is it possible to install any/all software on other, more premium, boxes?



    Regards

    Lee
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
  2. Sloppy Bob

    Sloppy Bob
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    It's not allowed. Discussion of streaming boxes is within the rules. Discussion of illegal streaming methods, copyright circumvention etc is not.
     
  3. leemonk

    leemonk
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    Hey.

    Apologies. Heavily edited.
     
  4. Sloppy Bob

    Sloppy Bob
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    The problem with the cheaper end of the market with all these Android boxes is support. They're fully loaded with a lot of crap you don't want or need, couple that with a lower spec processor and less RAM than in some of the better ones and you can see it can start to slow down.

    If you have problems with it who do you call, some person in China?

    The better boxes will have forums, proper support and importantly ongoing support with new firmwares designed to fix issues that crop up with newer add ons (add ons are the apps that give you all the content) or bugs in the box.

    There are other streaming solutions out there as well, not many of the Android boxes cost much over £100 but there are things like Dune, Popcorn Hour etc. They are different OS's and more designed to stream your own content than what you were originally asking, Android boxes and XBMC can do this as well (very well). I use small form factor PC's running XBMC (now called Kodi) to stream my own content from a NAS all over the house.
     
  5. leemonk

    leemonk
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    Thanks for the explanations. Can Kodi be installed on all boxes? even the higher end ones like the Nvidia Shield for example?

    I'm trying to get what I was originally asking for but with a bit more quality than what i saw with my friends gear.... though they could very easily have been down to their connection speed.

    Essentially we are trying to replace sky in the house. I figured a box at £100(ish) would pay for itself within a month or two as well as offering other benefits.

    Lee
     
  6. bubblegum57

    bubblegum57
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    Thes boxes are usually using Kodi, to install addd ons, which in turn can stream legal & illegal content.
    If you are looking to stream sky movies & sport, this is not legal, & in my experience is very hit & miss. A few months ago, I was I able to get sky sports, but now the link is dead.
    As for quality, it was viewable but crap, & I think it is not neccessarily "your" connection speed, but the number of people trying to stream at the same time.
     
  7. Sloppy Bob

    Sloppy Bob
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    If you want Sky Sports and Live Sky Movies in acceptable quality you're going to have to pay for it, as bubblegum57 says above the streams are hit and miss, unreliable and low quality.

    A better box and faster internet are not going to solve the issues as they're at the other end.
     
  8. max90

    max90
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    I'd spend a little more and get a chromebox or NUC if you can.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
  9. bubblegum57

    bubblegum57
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    I have a NUC with Openelec a slightly cut down version of Kodi, but Kodi can be installed to all sorts of devices
    Downloads | Kodi
    So, popular choices, having read this forum for the last few years
    NUC
    Raspberry Pi 2
    Wetek play
    Chromebox
    HiMedia Q5 4K3D
    HiMedia Q10 4K3D

    The android versions of Kodi are generally not regarded as good "normal" Kodi

    But no doubt everyone has there own opinion.
     
  10. max90

    max90
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    Kodi on Openelec is not a cut down version. Openelec is designed just to run kodi nothing else, but it's full blown kodi.
     
  11. bubblegum57

    bubblegum57
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    I stand corrected. So what are the differences?
     
  12. Sloppy Bob

    Sloppy Bob
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    The operating system.

    Kodi runs on Windows, Android, Apple OS's and Linux (many flavours of). Openelec is a Linux build but with everything you don't need to run Kodi removed.
    The only limitations on Kodi for each OS is the limitations of the hardware it runs on.
     
  13. Trollslayer

    Trollslayer
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    A minimal Linux installation.
     
  14. leemonk

    leemonk
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    Thanks for all the replies guys.

    At a risk of ignoring all the advice I think I might opt for a cheaper box to start with and see how that goes. No doubt I'll be re-assigning that to the dining room after a week and buying a more expensive item :)

    Regards

    LM
     
  15. Mr Eric

    Mr Eric
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    you can't find any cheaper media player (if you can forget about Sky) than a Pi 2 running openelec
     
  16. leemonk

    leemonk
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    Hey.

    This has caught my interest.

    I'll still proceed with the other purchase but I wanted a 'fun project' with Pi and this could be it.

    Do I simply need to purchase a Pi2 and install openelec on it and then it's ready to go? Any other hardward required to connect it to a TV?
     
  17. bubblegum57

    bubblegum57
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    HDMI cable, SD card, power supply, usb drive with movies?
     
  18. Member 581642

    Member 581642
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    We like xbian version of Kodi but openelec good as well

    A case for the raspberry pi is a good idea as well
     
  19. leemonk

    leemonk
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    Thanks guys.

    Is the Pi capable of providing a quality picture? It clearly has no graphics card etc... (obviously I am a complete novice and am probably talking rubbish).

    Regards

    LM
     
  20. Jamie

    Jamie
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    Yes very good.
     
  21. Member 581642

    Member 581642
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    does 1080p fine. if not move up
     
  22. leemonk

    leemonk
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    I've always struggled with getting my iTunes to work with my Apple TV so, this with either a wifi link to my pc or with a decent enough SD card could play/hold my entire media collection?

    Out of curiosity, does anyone have/own one of these and takes it 'away' with them? ie on holiday?

    Apart from wearing the kids out on holiday through swimming etc we struggle to keep them entertained in the rooms between mealtime and entertainment... thinking this could be a neat little way to take stuff on holiday (the Mrs and I usually use the iPads).

    Lee
     
  23. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Streaming media over WiFi is always going to be very hit or miss simply due to the amount of other devices using it. For this reason I always suggest using a wired link between PC/NAS and the media player but if not possible there are always Homeplugs.
    An SD card may hold a few films etc, but their capacity is limited. So rather than use them I would get a laptop HDD of say 500Gb - 1Tb and you can put a load of films for the kids to wade through on your holiday, or even to use at home.

    Mark.
     

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