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Kodi box advice

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2 hours ago, Satanica said:

What is COM? WASAPI passes through whatever it's told to DD, DTS, PCM.

 

Sorry typo there - was meant to write PCM. WASAPI will pass though whatever it's told to, though you need to tell it it's PCM. E.g. if your source material is DTS then Kodi needs to decode it, or WASAPI will pass through DTS.

 

That's the only real difference on multichannel PCM out between the Windows and Linux versions - Kodi on Windows relies on Kodi to convert and decode, Kodi on Linux relies on Linux's sound architecture to do it. They'll sound the same, the Linux way takes slightly less resources to do it.

 

Of course, both will do passthrough. 

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3 minutes ago, rmpfyf said:

They'll sound the same, the Linux way takes slightly less resources to do it.

Why?

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2 hours ago, Satanica said:

Why?

 

Because WASAPI is one of a number of audio protocols in Windows that access an audio endpoint device, which can each have concurrent sessions, with each doing mixing, processing and ultimately accessing the device. So Windows inherently has more s*** running to support multiple ways of hitting the audio device, and when it does each can have a separate processing chain if it likes. WASAPI is an API allowing access to an endpoint.

 

The path is simplified in Linux w/Pulseaudio with everything into Pulse which does the mixing, resampling for any program wanting to play anything (a 'dump it here and we'll sort it' approach) etc... then that goes to ALSA, the Linux audio architecture built into the kernel that talks to your drivers, and that's it. 

 

If you want to be a purist about it in Linux you can even delete Pulseaudio and go straight to device, though there is no ability to mix multiple sources when you do this - what grabs the audio device has it until it's done with it. For a Kodi-only box this is fine. It's an incredibly direct, lightweight and low-latency way of handling audio streams. You can configure the output to be bitperfect or for it to do pretty much anything you want, from DSP and room correction to whatever. 

 

The Windows equivalent would start with 'there is only one WASAPI route, no ability to handle many of them, and there is no other way of handling audio' - which doesn't exist in Windows - let alone the rest of functionality possible in Linux. 

 

Windows by definition is more flexible, which is why a $500+ NUC running Kodi can be repurposed to run CAD and design your house if you want. Linux by definition is able to be built to do specific things well, which is why you have Kodi boxes on Linux using bugger all resources pushing 4K media and HD multichannel audio using under a GB of RAM.

 

As with anything, you pick your poison...

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1 minute ago, rmpfyf said:

 

Because WASAPI is one of a number of audio protocols in Windows that access an audio endpoint device, which can each have concurrent sessions, with each doing mixing, processing and ultimately accessing the device. So Windows inherently has more s*** running to support multiple ways of hitting the audio device, and when it does each can have a separate processing chain if it likes. WASAPI is an API allowing access to an endpoint.

 

The path is simplified in Linux w/Pulseaudio with everything into Pulse which does the mixing, resampling for any program wanting to play anything (a 'dump it here and we'll sort it' approach) etc... then that goes to ALSA, the Linux audio architecture built into the kernel that talks to your drivers, and that's it. 

 

If you want to be a purist about it in Linux you can even delete Pulseaudio and go straight to device, though there is no ability to mix multiple sources when you do this - what grabs the audio device has it until it's done with it. For a Kodi-only box this is fine. It's an incredibly direct, lightweight and low-latency way of handling audio streams. You can configure the output to be bitperfect or for it to do pretty much anything you want, from DSP and room correction to whatever. 

 

The Windows equivalent would start with 'there is only one WASAPI route, no ability to handle many of them, and there is no other way of handling audio' - which doesn't exist in Windows - let alone the rest of functionality possible in Linux. 

 

Windows by definition is more flexible, which is why a $500+ NUC running Kodi can be repurposed to run CAD and design your house if you want. Linux by definition is able to be built to do specific things well, which is why you have Kodi boxes on Linux using bugger all resources pushing 4K media and HD multichannel audio using under a GB of RAM.

 

As with anything, you pick your poison...

Hmmm, No.

 

Using WASAPI Exclusive Mode means that an application will have complete control over the sound device, no other applications will be able to use it including Windows itself. So no more annoying Windows sounds while it's in use.

 

And there is another technology to exclusively lock a sound device under Windows and it's called ASIO. ASIO is not supported by KODI but is by other playback applications such as JRiver MC and Foobar I believe.

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1 minute ago, Satanica said:

Hmmm, No.

 

Using WASAPI Exclusive Mode means that an application will have complete control over the sound device, no other applications will be able to use it including Windows itself. So no more annoying Windows sounds while it's in use.

 

And there is another technology to exclusively lock a sound device under Windows and it's called ASIO. ASIO is not supported by KODI but is by other playback applications such as JRiver MC and Foobar I believe.

 

You may want to re-read what I wrote - I didn't mention exclusive mode. 

 

WASAPI exclusive mode is not the only WASAPI mode, and Kodi will only use if it you select it in Windows settings (which is recommended). And despite using a device in exclusive mode windows will still concurrently support a number of means to access an audio device or mixing layer, most of which are loaded as Windows runs whether you're accessing them or not. 

 

Might also add that WASAPI has a lot of scaffolding in code to make sure audio streams play nice with device capabilities and with system resources generally. It's built to check in regularly as to buffer sizes, system resources levels, etc. You can configure raw mode and whatever else but it's unusual and not recommended by MS. ALSA goes a different way here. 

 

ASIO is an older Steinberg pro audio standard. Quite effective, much closer to ALSA in spirit, though I'd think most developers would go with WASAPI in future because it's simply more flexible, just as low latency as ASIO (potentially lower in some scenarios) and allows developers to invoke all sorts of OS functionality with ease and if you've got the CPU grunt then Windows really does take care of the rest. 

 

I've never seen a test where WASAPI or ASLA setup properly give an output that's measurably any different. They just differ in memory footprint, OS interaction and flexibility. Therefore as written...

 

3 hours ago, rmpfyf said:

They'll sound the same, the Linux way takes slightly less resources to do it.

 

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10 minutes ago, rmpfyf said:

 

You may want to re-read what I wrote - I didn't mention exclusive mode. 

 

WASAPI exclusive mode is not the only WASAPI mode, and Kodi will only use if it you select it in Windows settings (which is recommended). And despite using a device in exclusive mode windows will still concurrently support a number of means to access an audio device or mixing layer, most of which are loaded as Windows runs whether you're accessing them or not. 

 

Might also add that WASAPI has a lot of scaffolding in code to make sure audio streams play nice with device capabilities and with system resources generally. It's built to check in regularly as to buffer sizes, system resources levels, etc. You can configure raw mode and whatever else but it's unusual and not recommended by MS. ALSA goes a different way here. 

 

ASIO is an older Steinberg pro audio standard. Quite effective, much closer to ALSA in spirit, though I'd think most developers would go with WASAPI in future because it's simply more flexible, just as low latency as ASIO (potentially lower in some scenarios) and allows developers to invoke all sorts of OS functionality with ease and if you've got the CPU grunt then Windows really does take care of the rest. 

 

I've never seen a test where WASAPI or ASLA setup properly give an output that's measurably any different. They just differ in memory footprint, OS interaction and flexibility. Therefore as written...

 

 

You should have mentioned exclusive mode, because it's simply the best way under Windows for straight up playback of audio.

Anyway you appear to be arguing about bees dick resources in the scheme of things and I really don't think the OP (or me for that matter) is interested in bees dicks. :thumb:

Edited by Satanica

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Guest yamaha_man
25 minutes ago, Satanica said:

and I really don't think the OP (or me for that matter) is interested in bees dicks. :thumb:

Looks like my secret is out 

IMG_4723.JPG

Edited by yamaha_man

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2 minutes ago, Satanica said:

You should have mentioned exclusive mode, because it's simply the best way under Windows for straight up playback of video.

 

Depends on your resources and what you're doing with your PC. If you want to be exact, you might have mentioned it here...

 

7 hours ago, Satanica said:

For Windows, one just selects WASAPI instead of DirectSound in the KODI sound device settings and then the Windows sound system won't be able to change the PCM that KODI outputs.

 

...because just selecting WASAPI will not give you exclusive mode automatically. You actually need to configure it (https://kodi.wiki/view/Windows_audio). 

 

2 minutes ago, Satanica said:

Anyway you appear to be arguing about bees dick resources in the scheme of things and I really don't think the OP is interested in bees dicks. :thumb:

 

I'm not arguing anything. Mentioned it takes "slightly less resources to do it in Linux" - (third time now). You asked a question about a small difference in resources, now that you've got it you seem happy to slag it off writing "bees dick" a few times.

 

As for the OP - he's had suggestions ranging from ~$50 to $760, and whilst they're all good suggestions to the same problem unless he's cash insensitive any discussion feeding into a $700 disparity around a solution might be of interest. Unless $700 is 'bees dick' to you, and if it is, well in. I'm poorer.

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16 minutes ago, rmpfyf said:

...because just selecting WASAPI will not give you exclusive mode automatically. You actually need to configure it (https://kodi.wiki/view/Windows_audio).

"Allow application to take exclusive control of this device" is by default switched on, so you don't need to configure anything (unless you've changed it).

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19 minutes ago, rmpfyf said:

 I'm poorer.

It does seem that way.

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9 hours ago, paulrp said:

The $100 western digital live is able to do it but my $2,000 oppo 205 won't /:
You can hook the western digital into the oppo and that works.
But i am hoping that a nuc or nvidia will convert the signals to pcm multi chanel.

To add to whats been said Paul ; leaving alone NUC's ; modern stand alone media players for the most part can only bitstream to save [cheap out] putting a decoder in the box:cool: . A few generations ago though players like the dune hd max had full decoding [ if you can source one] :winky: 

http://dune-hd.com/eng/products/full_hd_media_players/11  Other ones like the smart d1 could decode truehd to a 2ch downmix only..

Other makes like popcorn hour may also do. I imagine you have a hd621 to accept the lpcm ?

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1 hour ago, Satanica said:

It does seem that way.

Cash, sure. Certainly not for SQ/PQ. Just happy doing things cheap and effective.

If you've got any spare full-house NUCs you're happy to donate I'll put 'em to good use.

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To add to whats been said Paul ; leaving alone NUC's ; modern stand alone media players for the most part can only bitstream to save [cheap out] putting a decoder in the box:cool: . A few generations ago though players like the dune hd max had full decoding [ if you can source one] :winky: 
http://dune-hd.com/eng/products/full_hd_media_players/11  Other ones like the smart d1 could decode truehd to a 2ch downmix only..
Other makes like popcorn hour may also do. I imagine you have a hd621 to accept the lpcm ?
Actually i am connecting the western digital to the hdmi input of the oppo 205 then the hdmi vs 2 can send picture to the tv direct and the hdmi vs1.4 sends audio to the hd621.
Now to keep the mrs and kids happy I connected an optical cable from the oppo to my tv and thus it sends the audio to the tv meaning they dont have to turn on my meridian g68 and 558 amp.
The oppo also streams from the nas for ac3 or dts files and once again the mrs doesnt have to turn on my gear.
My intention is to replace the western digital with a 4k nvidia shield or 4k dune or similar, need that ability to convert newer codec to pcm as stated for compatibility with the g68, effectively side stepping the purchase of an uhd722 meridian update

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19 minutes ago, rmpfyf said:

Cash, sure. Certainly not for SQ/PQ. Just happy doing things cheap and effective.

If you've got any spare full-house NUCs you're happy to donate I'll put 'em to good use.

I'm running MadVR with the NGU algorithm which definitely exceeds stock Kodi. And JRiver's audio processing and the options available exceed Kodi. 

 

MadVR can easily bring an NUC to its knees screaming for mercy. 

Edited by Satanica

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6 minutes ago, Satanica said:

I'm running MadVR with the NGU algorithm which definitely exceeds stock Kodi. And JRiver's audio processing and the options available exceed Kodi. 

 

MadVR can easily bring an NUC to its knees screaming for mercy. 

 

MadVR, IMHO, is a reason to go Windows - GPU assisted at that.

 

JRiver on Windows, sure. Linux, no, you can do the same and more - remembering that Kodi doesn't do the work, it's just what you set Kodi to talk to as a device layer. Really quite powerful. Not at all friendly, but it is free.

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4 minutes ago, paulrp said:

Actually i am connecting the western digital to the hdmi input of the oppo 205 then the hdmi vs 2 can send picture to the tv direct and the hdmi vs1.4 sends audio to the hd621.
Now to keep the mrs and kids happy I connected an optical cable from the oppo to my tv and thus it sends the audio to the tv meaning they dont have to turn on my meridian g68 and 558 amp.
The oppo also streams from the nas for ac3 or dts files and once again the mrs doesnt have to turn on my gear.
My intention is to replace the western digital with a 4k nvidia shield or 4k dune or similar, need that ability to convert newer codec to pcm as stated for compatibility with the g68, effectively side stepping the purchase of an uhd722 meridian update

I have a similar setup but luckily my pre pro has standby passthrough so the NAS goes the hdmi passthrough route and the main system stays off ; rather than spdif, Also looking at the dune 4k pro about to come as ive got a few atmos bds ][ which have to be bitstreamed for the metadata - no decoding to pcm in the player] to bitstream to a new hdmi2.0b pre pro that's also still coming :blush: The Russians have apparently cracked AACS 2.0 UHD bd too so its hdmi2.0a may come in handy ..

Meridian should have put a lossless decoder in the 621 ; but they couldn't have foreseen the eventual need for it I spose.

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On 31/01/2018 at 10:55 PM, Yamaha Man said:

You run nine???? I'm lost I'm sorry.

My big fingers, it should be " mine", sorry.

JB

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Firstly, you'll need to set it up properly. You need to build it, set up the OS, get your drivers in order (particularly important if you want to bitstream HD audio, as some of the Intel chips have limitations in what they can/can not output for audio, and set up your remote. Not to mention you'll be spending in excess of $600-$700. You could buy a new TV for that money that will stream 4K content.
A Xiaomi Mi Box will set you back $100. A Vero 4K, $220. An Apple TV 4K about $260. These are all excellent devices specifically designed to playback video media. They are already set-up, all you need to do it turn them on and point them to your media library.
I'm not saying NUCs aren't powerful, but when you just want a media streaming box they are not $500 better.


+1

I initially was skeptical about these cheap android boxes, but now have had 2 of them.
I had a Minix U1 firstly now have a Minix U9-H with Libreelec installed. It is a really simple solution that can play anything from dvds through to 4K HDR (HDR10 only) containing Atmos audio. It even deals with the frame switching and colour space automatically so you don’t need to worry with switching settings.

These units have gigabit lan and I would recommend that over wifi for 4K streams



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Since this is/was primarily an audio website here’s a warning:

 

Nearly all Android based boxes including the nVidea Shield only outputs 16bit PCM.

 

I play mostly 24 bit/96kHz multichannel FLAC, some 192kHz and I’ve only found a NUC can do that correctly with Kodi. Also 7th Gen NUCs and Kodi Krypton cannot do MCH PCM (FLAC).You need an older model NUC or run the Kodi Leia alpha versions.

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I believe the Android boxes arnt the best for either video or audio, this is why there are custom firmware to get around this. Libreelec is great in achieving this, here is a link to someone who had the same concerns
https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=314727

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NVidea Shield with SPMC is the best solution  for most things though

 

Edited by warroon

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Anyone noticed that there is finally a version of Kodi in the Windows store? This means support for X-Box!! I have installed on my XB1S, but haven't really had time to play around with it very much yet! Very useful though!!

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Anyone noticed that there is finally a version of Kodi in the Windows store? This means support for X-Box!! I have installed on my XB1S, but haven't really had time to play around with it very much yet! Very useful though!!
Been using it for a while now, mostly for AFL add on, fund Plex also running on Xbox better for media playback though

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