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Help me decide what to buy

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    Help me decide what to buy

    First of all I want to say "Hello" to all members of this great community!!!

    So now let me describe my dilemma - my current media center is based on Raspberry Pi 2 and I love it but it can't handle all the services that I need so my idea is to split the work between few devices. My idea is to have one dedicated device for my media center (Kodi) and to leave the rest (VPN server, Owncloud, small web server) to my RPi. Next question is what kind of device to use? From last 15 years I'm fan of all *nix system and my entire IT infrastructure at home is using open software and from many years I don't have any problems/glitches so I need device which can handle something like debian, ubuntu or even OpenElec. As far as I know some devices based on Amlogic S805/812 are capable of that, but there is so many flavors/models of this devices and I can't choose the correct one by myself. That is the reason why I decide to ask here. So my requirements are:

    - stable and well known (for you) device without HW bugs
    - 2GB of RAM (if possible)
    - h265 HW support
    - flawles playbac of [email protected]
    - capable of running Unix system + HW acceleration + Kodi
    - Gigabit Ethernet port
    - Good HDMI-CEC support (I don't like to use more that 1~2 remotes to control all my devices)
    - price up to $50 !!!

    P.S. Maybe you will ask me why not just use a proper HTPC hardware - I don't want to spend hundreds of $$ for parts that will serve video playback only. Another reason are the prices of all PC hardware in my country - too expensive... way to expensive. So I'm looking about "best for buck" device.

    I'm open for any kind of suggestions / product links / ideas / comments. Any extra functionality (Bluetooth, better WiFi, etc.) that can be offered in desired price range is welcome. Please help me to make the right choice! Thanks in advance.


    it supports every OS and there is really nice documentation from the Hardkernel team. Any newer\faster device will have less stable Openelec and other OS's if they have even been ported yet.

    I recommend you start here with their Odrobian release :

    Its really nice from what I hear.

    Their manuals are beautiful...seriously :


      Hi sammaz thanks for your suggestion. I already consider buying it but after I check the prices in Bulgaria (~$85) and other EU suppliers (~50 Euros) the price is more than I want to pay. My main idea was to buy one of these android TV boxes which are mass produced (based on S805/S812/S905 like MXQ or similar) only because their price is around $40 + free shipping, to replace the Android with something like Ubuntu snapy core or Debian or directly Openelec and leave it permanently connected to my TV. Maybe my idea is too optimistic Also if you know another device which can match my requirements please post a link - as I already say - I'm totally open for any suggestions/ideas.


        Mk808bplus my vote.
        Prahjister ****MK808(nonB)****MK808B V5****MK808B Plus****UBOX R89**** CX919****MK808B Pro****Nexbox N9****Eny Em95****Matricon Q2****Tanix TX5 Pro****


          Thanks prahjister! Could you please PM me some links from where I can buy the device? I will search for more detailed information about the device.



            I have mk808b plus also and I can recommend it. You will want to pick up these 2 accessories that will make your mk808b plus better.

            USB Wifi A\C 433Mbps adapter :

            USB Bluetooth adapter :

            It is possible that you will receive a mk808b plus with a RLT8723bs wifi chip in it. If so, you will require the bluetooth dongle mentioned above. If you receive a mk808b plus with the AP6210 wifi chip you will not need the bluetooth dongle.

            This is where I bought my mk808b plus :


              OP, to have everything that you want in terms of the technical specification that you list, to have something that is pretty much guaranteed to do all that you want, you are looking at HTPC territory.

              So you will realistically have to make some compromises.

              You did state that you wanted a dedicated device for my media center (Kodi) and don't want Android but a Linux/Debian/Openelec solution.

              Linux is all to often lacking with hardware based acceleration, so maybe best to rule that one out.

              But if all you want is a media center then openelec may well be the best way to go OS wise and as you already have a Rpi 2, have you considered the latest version 3 model?

              One of the issues with most of the 'Android' based boxes is that whilst there are devs that give lots of great support, you will likely get little in the way of continuous support from the manufacturers/vendors.

              At least with a product like the Rpi, that is used worldwide and does have vendor support too, it may be the most reliable of options for media center use.
              R-TV BOX S10, Beebox N3150, Chuwi Hibox, Nvidia Shield, A95X Max


                Ohh man not sure if that is a real one. Probably not correct WiFi chip for openelec but if u have Ethernet available you can use a USB to Ethernet adapter. Use one with asix chip
                Prahjister ****MK808(nonB)****MK808B V5****MK808B Plus****UBOX R89**** CX919****MK808B Pro****Nexbox N9****Eny Em95****Matricon Q2****Tanix TX5 Pro****


                  Pi is ok but no andriod and is kinda slow compared to devices out now. But for mods its kinda awsome. Spent 100 bucks getting pi2b to run ambiant lighting behind tv. Only to get new tv that comes with it built in.... 😱
                  Many devices now mk902ii/Shield/Mk68 /Ugoos/neox5/minix5 (yes they still work lol) mk80 no it doesnt work lol.


                    Thanks to all of you!!! bluesmanuk you are right - based on all of my requirements the logical choice is full HTPC setup but if I take this way I've would like to make it properly but this will require bigger investment. scooter2014 is right also - currently if you pay between $25 and $80 you can get box with quad/octa core SOC, Gigabit Ethernet and very good GPU. That is the reason why I want to use of these boxes. RPi3... Hmmm I'm thinking about it for a long time and I'm still 50/50 about it but at some point I will buy it (maybe for another project). Honestly my expectations abot RPi3 was to have it based on S805/812/905/912 because if this was become reality the final product wil be awesome. But well... Broadcom again... bluesmanuk why most of the time Linux to lack HW acceleration - no open source drivers or it's hw related - I'm not familiar with the structure of these SOC's


                      subscribed to this thread, this seems like a very interesting thread