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  1. Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    Possibly the bargain of 2017 were 8tb WD Easystore externals which had (have?) WD Red NAS drives inside. I just decased one last night and it was regular label Red and two others I decased before were white label but according to the serial # are Red drives.
    Mine has a white label. Where do you look up the serial number to find out if it's a red drive?
    I don't know if there's anything definitive yet, but here's some helpful info:

    - Snippets from this thread on Reddit:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/DataHoarder/comments/7fx0i0/wd_easystore_8tb_compendium/

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    Thanks for that. Mine is an NESN drive and the model number on the white label is WD80EMAZ, made in Thailand. I'm not sure exactly how to translate that. But it's not really important for my usage. Basically just storage for videos played over the network. It's only used an hour or two a day, and rarely more than one stream at a time.
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  2. I had a bit of money left on my Visa Prepaid Card and have ordered this:

    https://www.amazon.ca/Android-7-1-Smart-Box-Built/dp/B0792VBJYJ/ref=sr_1_12?s=electron...ds=Android+Box

    Hopefully it will work well. Down the road maybe I can get a really top notch Android Box along with a Raspberry Pi.

    I am really liking the Waterfox Browser with the Ecosia Search Engine. They have an Android APK:

    https://www.waterfoxproject.org/downloads
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  3. Let us know now it works out for you.
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  4. jagabo: I just got it this afternoon. It is taking me a while to get the hang of it. I was able to get Waterfox installed. It has Kodi on it and it is called Qodi for whatever reason. I was able to play some videos from my Sister's portable hard drive. The TVDB kept saying "can't connect to server" or something like that so I didn't get the nice box covers or information that would have been nice to have.

    Not everything is showing up on the TV screen most everything is but a few small icons at the top of the screen are nearly out of view. I think it is a nice box and I will have to research to understand it more.
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  5. To handle Android without a touch-pad would reach a point, where it gets cumbersome to do something, those wireless mini keyboard remote controls are desired if that Android is for more then just watching videos.
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  6. Originally Posted by Tom Saurus View Post
    The TVDB kept saying "can't connect to server" or something like that so I didn't get the nice box covers or information that would have been nice to have.
    Does it have network and internet access? Has your DHCP server provided an IP address to the box?

    Originally Posted by Tom Saurus View Post
    Not everything is showing up on the TV screen most everything is but a few small icons at the top of the screen are nearly out of view.
    Turn off overscan on your TV (different manufacturers call it by different names, pixel-for-pixel, perfect fit, etc.). If your TV doesn't have such a setting you should be able to enable overscan compensation on the android box.
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  7. _Al_: I will get myself one of those keyboards. Thanks for the advice.

    jagabo: I was able to go into the Android Box settings and set it to zoom in a bit so the whole thing is on my screen now.

    I was able to get the TVDB to scrape a TV Boxset I backed up. I just kept trying stuff until it finally worked. I forgot how I did it but I will keep experimenting until I get this figured out.

    I installed the CBC TV app and then uninstalled it. I have the CBC website where they have the TV shows to watch saved in my bookmarks in Chrome on the Android Box so I will just watch shows on there. I uninstalled Waterfox Android version as well because I could figure out to save bookmarks.

    It plays the files quite well from my USB 2 TB portable hard drive. I haven't tested an h.265 file yet but I will try that soon.

    Thank you for your advice and input.
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  8. Thanks for the updates. I would have been concerned about buying a box with no reviews at Amazon. On the other hand, it wasn't a big purchase. And it sounds like it's working out for you.

    By the way, you will potentially get better picture if you turn off overscan on your TV rather than using overscan compensation on the android box. The latter involves two scaling operations (the android box downscales to add black borders around the edges of the frame, then the TV upscales to remove the black borders) which may obviously reduce quality.
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  9. jagabo: I just checked my setting on the TV the overscan was turned off.

    It might have erased some files from my one folder on my USB Hard Drive. I hope it didn't but it might have. I have to look into that. I am able to get the TV database to scan and give me information but not the movie database for whatever reason. However I can play the files even without those bells and whistles so it fine.
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  10. Originally Posted by Tom Saurus View Post
    jagabo: I just checked my setting on the TV the overscan was turned off.
    Keep in mind that most TVs have settings for each input. So make sure you checked the input the android box is connected to.
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  11. jagabo: I will certainly look into if I do have additional options concerning the TV overscan. Thank you for this information.

    If I go the non-Kodi player that comes with the Android Player it plays most files. I tested some h.265 720i files on both the Kodi and the other player and it handled them just fine. The Kodi player played some 1080i Hauppauge HD PVR capture files that I had on the hard drive and it played them just fine. The other player played the video but not the sound on those files.

    I think I will use this player just for playing videos from the portable hard drives and leave it at that.
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    Originally Posted by Tom Saurus View Post
    jagabo: I just checked my setting on the TV the overscan was turned off.

    It might have erased some files from my one folder on my USB Hard Drive. I hope it didn't but it might have. I have to look into that. I am able to get the TV database to scan and give me information but not the movie database for whatever reason. However I can play the files even without those bells and whistles so it fine.
    One reason I have continued to defer to my (much older) WD Live streaming box for playback of most (non-265, non-HEVC) content from attached HDD is that with various other player box options I had the feeling it might be all too easy to inadvertently erase a movie from the player box side. That never seemed to be a worry with the WD Live: I'm not sure if its interface even allows you to delete stuff -- or, if so, that is not particularly clear or easy. (Perhaps this can be done from the 'Files View' choice, which I very seldom access -- as opposed to the 'Videos' one.) I want to do any adding or deleting of content from a a direct connection of the portable HDD to my computer, only.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this gradually disappearing American art form.
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  13. It was a bit scary those two episodes all of a sudden were missing. Thankfully I found them again on the Internet. I think I am going to mostly use the default media player on the Android and use Kodi for the occasional file type it can't play.
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  14. I think I will install Kodi for Android on the box. It has Qodi on it now, so hopefully having the real Kodi along with that doesn't cause any problems. Here is some information I found about Qodi.

    https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=306170

    I couldn't help myself having all that metadata that the scrapers bring up for your own video backups is so nice. I need to master that process as it just so neat. Hopefully I never loose any files again.
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    Originally Posted by Tom Saurus View Post
    I think I will install Kodi for Android on the box. It has Qodi on it now, so hopefully having the real Kodi along with that doesn't cause any problems. Here is some information I found about Qodi.

    https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=306170

    I couldn't help myself having all that metadata that the scrapers bring up for your own video backups is so nice. I need to master that process as it just so neat. Hopefully I never loose any files again.
    As I've noted in this and other threads, I have a few beefs with any variant of Kodi that I've seen. Probably chief among these are the very low rate of success on finding viable streams from hits on Searches that I run -- at least without paying for Real Debrid, which I'm disinclined to do -- and the somewhat frequent versions forced-update process, where it's highly likely you will lose any customizing and additions you have arranged. I'm a long way from seeing it live up to all the hype.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this gradually disappearing American art form.
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  16. I haven't added anything as of yet and I did download the apk for the official Kodi and it wouldn't let me install it because it said it already existed in the form of Qodi. I think having the scrapers provide that meta data is really neat for your own videos you have backed up to .mp4 files but at the end of the day the player provided with the Android Box plays many different file types and as long as you are satisfied with it not having the meta data it is adequate. When it comes to getting meta data for movies one has backed up, I found it would not connect up to the movie database scraper but I watched a YouTube video that showed if you select the Universal Movie option from the other options available that it connects up and gets the job done.

    I am going to try to be content with the default movie player without the meta data and stay away from Qodi for the most part. So far I am happy enough watching what I have on my hard drives.
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  17. I downloaded Kodi for my Desktop computer. I watched a YouTube video on how to navigate around in Kodi and the Kodi does have a Wiki that teaches one how to do things with the program. I found in one part of the official Kodi over 300 streaming video websites that are legal and can be added on. For example there is Twitch, PBS Kids, PBS Think, Pluto TV and many more. So if I navigate around in the Qodi that is on the Android Box and find all these and select what suits my tastes it increases the value of the Android Box for me.

    On the video playing aspect there was a slight hiccup when I played a 720i h.265 mp4 file but to be truthful I couldn't tell a vast improvement in clarity between a 360i h.265 one and a 720i one on the 24 inch flat screen TV. I convert most of my HD PVR recordings to 360i and DVD backups to 360i. I almost always use h.264 and CF 20. Believe it or not 360i looks pretty darn good on a small TV.
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  18. I did a Google search for legal addons for Kodi:

    https://www.smarthomebeginner.com/kodi-legal-streaming-addons/
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  19. Originally Posted by Tom Saurus View Post
    720i... 360i
    Where are you getting 720i material? There is no 720i in the broadcast world or Blu-ray. And why would you encode anything at 360i rather than 360p?
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  20. jagabo: On the Hauppauge HD PVR I record at 1080i and after editing with VideoRedo I have a Vidcoder preset for converting the Mpeg TS file to 720i r 360i .mp4 files. I find that if I set the Satellite Receiver to 720p output I can record 720p but after the converting and such it just doesn't look as good as if I started out with 1080i. Though I should do some more experimenting. I can encode to 360p but it takes longer to convert the files. Maybe I should for a while record to 720p and access things again. When I record from an SD Channel I made a preset to crop and encode down to 360i as well. It is pretty rare these days that I record anything to 720i as I found 360i saves so much room. I found using the exact same presets with .h265 I get a file about two thirds as big as if I did it with .h264.
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  21. I don't know what you're recording but film based material (movies, most TV shows) will benefit from an inverse telecine back to progressive film frames then resizing and encoding progressive. You will get better quality and lower bitrates. Live sports (true interlaced video) will benefit from a good smart bob to 1080p60 then resizing and encoding progressive. The best smart bob is QTGMC() in AviSynth but that may be too slow for you. Yadif(mode=1) is fast and may be sufficient, especially if you are downscaling to 360p (any artifacts from imperfect deinterlacing will be blurred away by the downscale).
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  22. When I edit video with VideoRedo it does give me all kinds of options as an output, I usually just output what the file was originally then resize and convert with VidCoder. I don't understand how to do what you described and maybe I should research how to do all this and perhaps launch a new topic about that. I would convert with VideoReDo but I have found that Vidcoder is so much faster. I have set my Satellite Receiver output to 720p and that way I can experiment a bit and see how the files look being progressive and resized.
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  23. I've never used VidCoder but I know it uses Handbrake to do it's encoding. Handbrake has a detelecine filter to perform an IVTC so I would guess VidCoder gives you access to that. You want to enable the detelecine filter (default) and reduce the frame rate to 23.976 fps.

    Oh, and encode progressive, not interlaced.
    Last edited by jagabo; 16th Feb 2018 at 16:59.
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  24. The Qodi doesn't have all those legal channels I mentioned that the official Kodi has that I downloaded to my Desktop. That section was empty which is a bummer. I feel like uninstalling this Qodi that came with the box and putting Kodi on it. Though for all I know the Android Kodi will not be as robust as the Kodi that runs on my desktop even if I did do that.

    jagabo: Thank you for the advice. AviSynth is not to slow for me; I am too slow for AviSynth.

    I just checked some files I have done before and MediaInfo is telling me that the scan type is progressive. So somehow along the way it became progressive. I had always thought they stayed interlaced but some how I got progressive. I have set the Satellite Receiver as of yesterday to output 720p and I will soon see how it turns out when I downsize to 360p
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  25. I uninstalled Qodi and installed Kodi. In the official Kodi Legal Addons, I selected several to install. YouTube, Crackle, PopCornFlicks and the CBC Olympics Addons are what I am enjoying exploring thus far. I was about to give up on this aspect of the box and what a difference it made to get rid of Qodi.
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  26. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tom Saurus View Post
    I uninstalled Qodi and installed Kodi. In the official Kodi Legal Addons, I selected several to install. YouTube, Crackle, PopCornFlicks and the CBC Olympics Addons are what I am enjoying exploring thus far. I was about to give up on this aspect of the box and what a difference it made to get rid of Qodi.
    There are a lot more fork-variants than I realized at first, some of them proprietary. I thought the one that came pre-installed on the Minix U1 was pretty worthless, so I side-loaded straight-up Kodi onto it. Skystream calls the one they pre-load onto their 'One' and 'Two' boxes "Media Center." It is heavily curated and maintained by them and is generally quite functional. If you go into 'System' it identifies itself as something like KTMC 16.2, as opposed to Kodi Krypton 17.3 or whatever. But from most of the UI on down, it sure looks and acts like Kodi -- as all of them that I have seen (so far) do.

    Another thing that tends to be rather annoying is that if you do a scheduled 'Update' (may be called something else locally, depending on whose box and software), as opposed to a fresh install that apparently wipes and replaces whatever was there before, a lot of the apps and content services may no longer work properly, or work at all. Then you will have to opt for the fresh install anyway. I believe there have been various streamlined updater apps for regular, plain-Vanilla Kodi. (Can't recall any of their names, at the moment.) I don't know whether their success rate is any better than what I described for proprietary versions, or if they leave things users have added or customized intact and working. That would be something worth knowing.

    It will take some further reading for me to find out, but something potentially relevant to the above flashed across the screen of my Sky One box, after I ran an (incremental) update last nigh

    https://www.tvaddons.co/homecoming

    I am in no way endorsing or promoting anything to do with this link, merely curious. Per my observations ever since getting at all involved with this subject, TVAddons was one of the bastions of the whole Kodi movement . . . and I gather they have suffered some official persecution for this, from sources you can probably surmise.

    And incidentally, a lot of stuff seemed to be no longer working properly after that update, so I'm wondering if agreeing to it was a mistake . . . .
    Last edited by Seeker47; 20th Feb 2018 at 15:47. Reason: forgot to mention
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this gradually disappearing American art form.
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  27. Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    And incidentally, a lot of stuff seemed to be no longer working properly after that update, so I'm wondering if agreeing to it was a mistake . . . .
    Did you update the updater when told to several months ago? A niece of mine completely screwed up her Skystream 4 box by updating recently using the old updater.
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  28. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    And incidentally, a lot of stuff seemed to be no longer working properly after that update, so I'm wondering if agreeing to it was a mistake . . . .
    Did you update the updater when told to several months ago? A niece of mine completely screwed up her Skystream 4 box by updating recently using the old updater.
    I think I did, but at this point can't be sure. I have enough viewing options here -- between Amazon Prime Video, Netflix (discs or streaming), premium channels on DirecTV, downloaded material, my substantial video library, and the (4) Android boxes + Roku -- that sometimes literally weeks go by in which the Android boxes were never powered up. Finding the time to watch stuff is much more the problem !

    I was not aware of a Skystream 4, only the One & Two (have both), plus maybe some older models. Was this one of those ? The Skystreams tell you when to update the updater and the rest of it, or when they claim that only a fresh install will suffice. These updates can take 20 minutes to complete, which is really a drag . . . but normally I just say O.K.
    Last edited by Seeker47; 21st Feb 2018 at 12:28.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this gradually disappearing American art form.
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  29. I have tried a few apps from Google's Play Store. With the remote control they are very limited so I have uninstalled all the new apps that I have tried with the exception of Kodi.

    As for the legal Video Addons; PopCornFlix is quite neat. I double checked to make sure it is a legal website as they have plenty of movies to watch. Some Video Addons when you check them out have barely anything on them and others have nothing at all.

    All in all it is a nice machine.
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  30. Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    I was not aware of a Skystream 4, only the One & Two (have both), plus maybe some older models. Was this one of those ?
    I didn't give the full name. Sorry. It's the SkystreamX 4.

    Then there was a 5 before the Skystream Two was introduced. Even though they're more expensive than most of the others (other than the Dragon Box), it comes loaded with the add-ons, they update frequently, and their tech support is pretty near the best I've ever seen. I bricked mine once accidentally, emailed support, a guy responded almost immediately, explained how to allow him to remote into it, and then I watched him while he uninstalled everything first, before putting everything back the way it should be. He was hard at work for maybe 20-30 minutes. Using the Skystream Two now. I don't know for how much longer these Android boxes will be legal, though. Dragon Box is under attack and I don't believe the Android boxes are even allowed in many other countries.
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