Android hardware

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Home icon grey.png   TriangleArrow-Right.svg Android TriangleArrow-Right.svg Android hardware
Future.png FUTURE GOTHAM FEATURE:
This page or section describes features that are a part of a future version of XBMC, v13 "Gotham". For more information see development builds.

This is a list of Android SoC's (System on a Chip, which is the CPU, GPU, VPU, etc. Also known as "chipsets".) that will playback common video codecs smoothly using XBMC. For most HD videos, hardware video decoding is necessary for smooth video playback. While some devices might be able to do SD and even some 720 content using software video decoding, hardware video decoding is considered essential for most Android devices.

Contents

1 Basic requirements

Attention.png NOTICE:
It is highly recommended for users to not make any purchases in anticipation of running XBMC on Android without researching the device you want to buy. If you do buy, make sure multiple people can verify that it works! If in doubt, don't buy that box!
  • Due to the nature of Android hardware it is hard to give exact requirements. The basic set of requirements include:
    • NEON compatible ARM processor (for example: Nvidia Tegra 1/2 probably will never be supported, while Tegra 3 and later will be fully supported.)
    • Android 4.0 or later is supported, but Android 4.4 and later is recommended.
    • Hardware decoding support in XBMC is likely a must for HD video playback (720p+). Don't expect this to work on any device until someone has specifically tested it and can confirm hardware decoding support for that device. For more details on hardware video decoding support, see Android hardware.
  • The main aim for the Android port is to initially target media-players/set-top-boxes/sticks that connect to a large screen television and uses a standard remote control as interface device, (that is the same market at HTPC). However expect tablet/phone/touch/mobile/etc support to eventually improve with time.

2 How do I know what chipset I have?

These are some good websites for looking up the SoC (System on a Chip) chipset used in your Android hardware device:

Also a referense you can compare different SoC (System on a Chip) chipset specifications on system-on-a-chip.findthebest.com

3 Compatible chipsets

Note: Please only list devices that are able to play at least one of the three "video decoding" columns in Full HD (1080)

A Yes mark indicates the device should be able to play those codecs at least 1080p.
Chip
manufacturer
Chipset Examples Hardware video decoding Notes
H.264 & other common codecs [1] MPEG-2 VC-1 / WMV 9
Allwinner A31 / A31s VidOn.me AV200, Justop Quadro, Mele A1000G, Mele M8, Mele M9, Measy B4K, Measy U4K Yes ? ?
AMLogic AML8726-M1 / AML8726-M3 Pivos XIOS DS, G-Box Midnight, JynxBox M1 Yes Yes Yes
AMLogic AML8726-M6 / AML8726-MX GameStick (by PlayJam), Geniatech ATV1220/ATV520, MyGica TV420/TV500, G-Box Midnight MX2, JynxBox Android M6 Yes Yes Yes
MediaTek MTK6589T Yes ? ?
Nvidia Tegra 3 OUYA Yes No No
Nvidia Tegra 4 Nvidia Shield Yes Yes
(CPU)
?
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Nexus 7 (2013) Yes ? ?
Rockchip RK3066 Imito MX1/MX2, Minix NeoG4/X5, MK808/802, Ugoos UG802/UG007 Yes ? No [2]
Rockchip RK3188 Tronsmart T428/MK908, CS968, CR11s, J22, GM282, LT88, T-R42, CS919-II, K-R24, CS918, MK888, Jesurun DX05, Minix X7, MK802IV, MK809III, MK902, Ugoos UG007B Yes Yes
(CPU)
? [2]
Samsung Exynos 3110 Yes ? ?
Samsung Exynos 4210 Yes ? ?
Samsung Exynos 4212 Yes ? ?
Samsung Exynos 4412 ODROID-U2/U3/XU Yes Yes
(CPU)
Yes
(CPU)
Texas Instruments OMAP4430 Yes ? ?

4 Codecs not currently supported on Android

  • H.265/HEVC
  • H.264 Hi10P - Can be played back under the more common H.264 decoders, but not without some visual artifacts. Hi10P requires software/CPU decoding, which will likely be too much for any Android SoC when playing HD video.

5 Device specific info

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

Amazon Fire TV
The Amazon Fire TV is an Android-based (Fire OS) set-top-box that contains a very powerful ARM processor (that can even handle some of the more heavy XBMC skins). Fire TV stands above some of the other Android-based offerings due to Amazon's strong product support and because it contains more remote friendly versions of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and other video service clients, making it a good pairing with XBMC.
CuBox
The CuBox is a very small, fan-less nettop-class computer manufactured by the Israeli company SolidRun Ltd. It is cube-shaped at only approximately 2 × 2 × 2 inches and weighs 91 grams (0.2 lb, or 3.2 oz). CuBox is the first commercially available desktop computer based on the Marvell Technology Group's Armada 500-series SoC (System-on-Chip), and said to currently be the worlds smallest complete desktop computer.
OUYA
OUYA is an Android-based game console/set-top-box that contains a very powerful ARM processor that can even handle some of the more heavy XBMC skins, in addition to outputting video at 1080. XBMC currently requires a test build to enable hardware video decoding on the OUYA, and the first official and full version of XBMC on OUYA will be v13 "Gotham". An unofficial, but stable, v12-based version is available from OUYA to hold users over until v13 is released.
Pivos XIOS
The Pivos XIOS is an ARM set-top-box that can run XBMC on either Android or Linux. The Pivos XIOS is the original development target for the XBMC for Android port. The XIOS performs at or above the level of a jailbroken ATV2, but also comes with USB ports, micro-SD card, and doesn't need to be jailbroken.

6 Notes

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