Android hardware

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Home icon grey.png   ▶ Android ▶ Android hardware

For most high-definition videos (1080p or higher resolution), hardware video decoding is necessary for smooth video playback on most Android devices. Therefor this article contains a list of SoC chipset hardware, (SoC stands for "System on a Chip" which contain the CPU plus GPU and VPU circuits combination, and is also known as a "chipset"), as on Android platforms this SoC chipset is what can playback common video codecs smoothly using Kodi/XBMC.

The fact is, while some devices might be able to smoothly decode standard-definition videos and even some 720p or higher resolution videos using only software video decoding with raw CPU compute power, offloading a large part of video decoding tasks to an integrated VPU (Video Processor Unit) that is optimized specifically for this job is considered essential for almost all Android devices to be able to smoothly playback high definition videos.

1 Basic requirements

Stop hand.png It is highly recommended for users to not make any hardware purchases in anticipation of running Kodi on Android without first researching the device you want to buy. Before you do buy, make sure multiple people have verified that it works! If in doubt, do not buy any hardware!
  • Kodi v17 and later requires Android 5.0 or higher.
  • x86 (Intel) or a NEON-compatible ARM-processor, (for example: Nvidia Tegra 3 and newer are fully supported by Kodi, while Tegra 2 and older are not).
  • The main aim for the Android port of Kodi is to foremost target media-players/set-top-boxes/sticks that connect to a large screen television and uses a standard remote control as its main interface device, (that is the same market as for HTPC).

2 How do I know what chipset I have?

There are so many out there so it can something be difficult to find out, but these are some good websites for looking up the SoC (System on a Chip) chipset used in your Android hardware device:

Also as a reference you can compare different SoC (System on a Chip) chipset specifications on system-on-a-chip.findthebest.com as well as in http://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1GT7I4P8MDlfYvRaL9Wv0NplQJryl54pO_6-9P3g7Fvk/

3 Compatible chipsets

These specific mass-market hardware SoC chipsets listed below should be capable at least partial hardware accelerated video decoding support for the more popular video codecs in the latest official Kodi builds for Android. Also understand that for some devices you might first need to upgrade the hardware firmware image on the device to achieve smooth playback at 1080p or higher resolution. Please contact your hardware manufacturer support for an updated system update firmware and apply that upgrade image before installing Kodi.

Stop hand.png These pages are maintained by the community and should not be considered an endorsement or recommendation. The information on this page might contain errors. It might also contain ants, and their antsy antics.


A " Yes " mark indicates that SoC (System-on-a-Chip) chipset should be able to decode those codecs at least 1080p in Kodi without issues.
Chip
manufacturer
SoC chipset Examples of media players / development boards running Android and using these SoC chipsets with Kodi support Hardware video decoding Notes
H.264 MPEG-2 VC-1 / WMV 9 HEVC (H.265) VP9
Allwinner A31 / A31s / A33 Justop Quadro, Mele A1000G/M8/M9, Measy B4K/U4K, VidOn Box, VidOn.me AV200 No No No No No [1]
Allwinner A80 / A83T Tronsmart Draco AW80, Rikomagic MK80 No No No No No [1]
Amlogic S801 / M802 / S802 / M802 (formerly AML8726-M8) Geniatech ATV582 / MyGica ATV582, Minix Neo X8/X8-H, Eny Technology ES8, Tronsmart Vega S89/S89-H, Beelink S82/S82H/M8, Xiaomi Mi Box Enhanced Yes Yes Yes No No
Amlogic S805 / M805 / S806 / M806 / S812 Eny Technology EM9/M8S/M8C/EM6Q-MXQ, Geniatech ATV585/ATV1810 / MyGica ATV585/ATV1810, Minix NEO X6 /X8-H Plus, Hardkernel ODROID-C1, Ugoos S85, SkyStream X5, Sumvision Cyclone X4, Xtreamer Wonder, Beelink S82 Plus, WeTek Core Yes Yes Yes Yes
(8-bit only)
? [2]
Amlogic S905 Beelink MINI MX, Geniatech ATV495/ATV1950, MyGica ATV49/ATV1950, Hardkernel ODROID-C2, Ugoos AM1/AM2 Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Amlogic S905D / S905M / S905X / S908 Xiaomi Mi Box (2016) / Xiaomi Mi Box 3 / Xiaomi Mi Box S (2018) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Amlogic S912 Beelink GT1, Eny Technology Enybox X2, Rikomagic MK22, Videostrong KM8 Pro Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Broadcom BCM2836 / BCM2837 ? ? ? No No
Broadcom BCM28145 / BCM28155 Amazon Fire TV Stick (2014/2015) Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Freescale/NSX i.MX 6 series (i.MX6 / i.MX6S / i.MX6SL / i.MX6D / i.MX6DL / i.MX6Q) UDOO Neo/Duo/Quad, Wandboard Solo/Dual/Quad ? ? ? No No
HiSilicon Hi3798C V200 HiMedia Q10 Pro Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Intel Atom E3815 / E3825 Intel MinnowBoard MAX Development Board ? ? ? No No
Intel Atom Z3530 / Z3560 / Z3580 / Z3735 Google Nexus Player, Minix Neo Z64 Yes No No No No
Intel Celeron N3000 / N3050 / N3150, and Pentium N3700 ASRock Beebox, Gigabyte BRIX Yes Yes Yes No No
Intel Core M3 6Y30 / M5 6Y54 / M5 6Y57 / M5 6Y75 Intel Compute Stick Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
MediaTek MT5890 Sony Android TV (2015 and 2016) Yes Yes No Yes Yes
(4K TV only)
MediaTek MTK6589 / MT6589 / MT6589T / MT6589M ? ? ? No No
MediaTek MT8127 Amazon Fire Tablet (7", 2015), Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa (2016) Yes No No Yes Yes
MediaTek MT8173 Amazon Fire TV (2015) Yes Yes No Yes Yes
MStar MSO9180 / MSO9180D1R / MSO9280 / MSO9810 Egreat A9, Kaiboer F5/Q6/C9-M, MeLE V10/X2000, UyeSee T1H, Tronsmart Pavo M9, Xtreamer Prodigy, Zidoo X9 Yes Yes ? ? ?
Nvidia Tegra 3 OUYA Yes No No No No
Nvidia Tegra 4 / Tegra 4i / Tegra 4s ZTE FunBox, Mad Catz M.O.J.O., NanoTech Nuvola NP-1 / NP-C / NP-H1, UTStarcom MC8768, Google ADT-1 (Android TV Developer Kit), Nvidia SHIELD Portable Yes Yes
(CPU)
? No No
Nvidia Tegra K1 (TK1) Unuiga Game PC U1, Snail Games OBox, UTStarcom MC8718, Nvidia SHIELD Tablet K1 Yes Yes
(CPU)
? No No
Nvidia Tegra X1 (TX1) Nvidia SHIELD TV Yes Yes
(CPU)
Yes
(CPU)
Yes Yes
Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 / 212 ? ? ? No No
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 / 412 / 415 / 425 / 430 / 435 DragonBoard 410c (Turn off "MediaCodec" HW acceleration). Nobel64 Development Board Yes Yes ? No No
Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 Amazon Fire TV (2014), Compulab Utilite2, DragonBoard 600c, Inforce 6410Plus Development Board, Intrinsyc Open-Q 600 Development Board Yes Yes Yes No No
Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 Lenovo Moto G4 Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 / 801 / 805 Razor Forge TV ? ? ? No No
Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 / 810 / 820 HTC M9 (Turn off "MediaCodec" HW accelleration) Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Yes ? ? No No
Realtek RTD1195 (RTK 1195) No No No No No [1]
Realtek RTD1295 (RTK 1295) No No No No No [1]
Rockchip RK3066 Imito MX1/MX2, Minix NeoG4/X5, MK808/802, Ugoos UG802/UG007 Yes ? No No No
Rockchip RK3188 Jesurun DX05, Minix X7, MK802IV, MK809III, MK902, Ugoos UG007B, Tronsmart T428/MK908, CS968, CR11s, J22, GM282, LT88, T-R42, CS919-II, K-R42, CS918, MK888 Yes Yes
(CPU)
? No No
Rockchip RK3036 / RK3126 / RK3128 / RK3288 Firefly-RK3288, ChipSpark PopMetal, Uyesee G1H, Nagrace HPH NT-V6, Eny Technology EKB318/EKB328, Kingnovel R6/K-R68, Beelink R28, FireFly FirePrime Development Board, Ugoos UT3/UM3, Rikomagic MK902 II, Measy B4S, Ruach A20s, CloudMedia OpenHour, CloudnetGo CR12/CR13CR16, Tronsmart Orion R28, Youku Box K1, Unuiga Game Box 19-6R Yes Yes
(CPU)
? No No
Rockchip RK3368 Beelink i68, CloudnetGo CR18/CR13 Plus, Eny Technology EKB368, Himedia H7 III, Measy B4T, Ruach A20s-H, Rikomagic MK68, Tronsmart Orion R68, Zidoo X6/X6 Pro Yes Yes
(CPU)
Yes
(CPU)
No No
Rockchip RK3228 / RK3228B / RK3228H Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Rockchip RK3229 / RK3399 Firefly-RK3399, MXQ-4K Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Samsung Exynos 3 Single (formerly Exynos 3110) Yes ? ? No No
Samsung Exynos 4 Dual/Quad series (formerly Exynos 4210 / 4212 /4412 / 4418) Hardkernel ODROID-U3/U2/X2, FriendlyARM NanoPC-T1/NanoPC-T2 Yes Yes
(CPU)
Yes
(CPU)
No No
Samsung Exynos 5 Hexa/Octa series (Exynos 5260 / 5410/ 5420 / 5422) Hardkernel ODROID-XU/XU2/XU3/XU3 Lite, Arndale Octa Yes Yes
(CPU)
Yes
(CPU)
No No
Samsung Exynos 7 Octa (Exynos 5433) Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (SM-T815) Yes No Yes Yes No
Samsung Exynos 8 Octa series (Exynos 8890) Samsung Galaxy S7 (Europe) Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Texas Instruments OMAP4430 / OMAP4440 / OMAP5430 / OMAP5432 Yes ? ? No No

4 Common codecs currently without hardware decoding in Kodi

Videos encoded with these codecs can only be played back in Kodi using software video decoding using CPU, meaning no decoding tasks are offloaded to optimized VPU or GPU hardware. Many videos may still play back just fine at standard definition resolutions, while others might have severe issues with playback.

As platforms with faster CPUs come out for Android software video decoding using CPU will get better, but do not expect miracles from the average Android box. It still all can depend on how demanding the decoding of that particular video encoding is or how high resolution it uses, and how powerful the CPU is.

  • H.264 Hi10P - No hardware decoders for Hi10P (High 10 Profile, also known 10-bit H.264) currently exist for any ARM hardware. Most H.264 Hi10P videos will not play smoothly as most ARM CPUs are just not powerful enough to software decode it fast enough.
  • H.264 MVC - No open source software decoder or hardware decoding for MVC (Multiview Video Coding) stereoscopic 3D video decoding currently exist for Kodi on any platform. Kodi relies on FFmpeg for software demuxing and decoding, so Kodi have to wait for FFmpeg to first add software decoding support of MVC for H.264, and for hardware decoding Kodi relies on the SoC chipset hardware manufacturer to add support for this to their SDK (Software Developer Kits) and for the media player box manufacturers to implement that into their firmware images.
  • H.265 MVC (HEVC MVC) - No open source software decoder or hardware decoding for MVC (Multiview Video Coding) stereoscopic 3D video decoding currently exist for Kodi on any platform. Kodi relies on FFmpeg for software demuxing and decoding, so Kodi have to wait for FFmpeg to first add software decoding support of MVC for H.265 (HEVC), and for hardware decoding Kodi relies on the SoC chipset hardware manufacturer to add support for this to their SDK (Software Developer Kits) and for the media player box manufacturers to implement that into their firmware images.
  • RealVideo/RMVB (RV 8/9/10) - There is currently no support in Kodi for RealVideo hardware video decoding, though software decoding of RMVB videos is possible via FFmpeg but can struggle with high definition sources on older or low-end hardware.
  • VP8 (WebM v1 video) and VP9 (WebM v2 video) - There is currently no support in Kodi for VP8 hardware video decoding, though software decoding of VP8 videos is possible via FFmpeg but can struggle with high definition sources on older or low-end hardware. Most hardware manufacturers have not even implemented API support for VP8 decoding in the firmware images of Android for their devices, and this is despite the fact that the WebM project licenses VP8 hardware accelerators (RTL IP) to semiconductor companies for 1080p encoding and decoding at zero cost. Nvidia and Rockchip and a few other less known companies does however provide hardware decoding of VP8 in their SoCs, for Tegra 4 and RK29xx respectivly. ARM, Broadcom, Texas Instruments, and Qualcomm as well as ZiiLABS, ST-Ericsson, and Huawei have all announced upcoming support for hardware acceleration of the WebM format and VP8/VP9 codecs. Intel have also let its intention known that they will add hardware-based acceleration for WebM and VP8/VP9 codecs in its future Atom-based chips if the format gains popularity. VP9 does howver to this date not appear to have hardware decoding support in all but the very newest ARM SoCs for Android, such as exanple Nvidia Tegra X1 (TX1) used in Nvidia Shield TV.

5 Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Warning for open source violators that do not comply with Kodi's GPL license! There are a few SoC manufacturers, like example Allwinner and Realtek or media player using their chipsets, that violate the GPL license that Kodi (and XBMC before) is bound under. This type of violation done by forking and not releasing all source code that they integrate into Kodi / XBMC when they modify or add closed source code or non-complatible code. This is because Kodi's code is bound under an open source license that require that all code integrating with Kodi's own GPL project is also releasing under a GPL compatible license. Other that hurting the Kodi project by not contributing as required, the risk for end-users buying hardware that rely on open source violations is not getting any support for the official Kodi project.
  2. Some SoC's hardware video decoders like the one in Amlogic S805/M805/S806/M806/S812 and Rockchip RK3288/RK3368 are limited to only supporting the Main HEVC (H.265) profile, which means that they only support 8-bit color range and lower bit-rate, and they do therefor not support the Main10 HEVC or Main12 profiles which is uses for 10-bit and 12-bit color ranges respectivly, which also require support for higher bit-rates. This usually also means that they will not be capable of playing HEVC videos encoded in 4K (2160p) resolution at 60 FPS (frames per second). For more information see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Efficiency_Video_Coding_tiers_and_levels

6 Device specific info

Here are a few device-specific guides/help areas that the community has provided.


Stop hand.png These pages are maintained by the community and should not be considered an endorsement or recommendation. Device pages are made when there's a bunch of useful information for a particular device, and someone takes the time to make that page. Keep in mind, some devices simply don't need a page of specific information, but are still excellent devices. *


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