New SoCs

I recently read about new SoCs (Amlogic S928X, Rockchip RK3588) supporting latest audio/video protocols (Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HLG) as well as hardware standards (HDMI 2.1, USB3, WiFi 6, etc.) but only few Chinese manufacturers have introduced devices with “questionable” support.

It seems that the market is quite reluctant to move from consolidated SoCs like S922X, S905X, etc. which anyway properly run media center apps (Kodi, OSMC, CoreElec, Libreelec).

What’s the Team opinion on this?

I’m making this question just to know in which direction the market is going to move and what customers should expect in the near future both from hardware and software point of view.

Thanks.

Vero4k already supports Dolby Atmos, HDR10+ and HLG and none of its features require HDMI 2.1. Doubtless when a new Vero comes along it will support new features, balanced by the need to keep it affordable.

What about 2 different line-ups?
Basic device with features lime current ones not requiring extra licenses/cost.
Premium device with features like Dolby Vision, full BD-ISO support with menus, etc.
Hardware could be the same but door could be left open for more demanding customers.

If there was going to be two versions, how do you think that would divide the community. If someone paid for premium and there was an improvement on the none premium platform. If the were hardware compatible there is no reason to make a difference class. So in my mind doing a premium is only defendable when having different hardware, that means another development platform, which platform gets unconscious preferred treatment do you think?

So, I do understand the allure it’s not worth the hazzle, the time delays of release with another platform, the development efforts, the sbc-manufacture efforts differes so drastically…

Just my two cents, I have zero to No actual say in hardware matters though.

I believe this topic has been covered on the forum by @sam_nazarko himself several times and there’s no news on this.

Multiple versions are quite common in several markets since there are customers open to pay more for ultimate hardware/software features to push the device to the limits as well as many others happy to run the standard ones.
In my opinion this is not going to divide anybody.
It’s simply providing more purchasing options.

Of those that have multiple qualitative plattforms, have free tier? A non-profit, but instead a unifying development cycle.

If you had to pay for all osmc related stuff, i bet there would also be a financial “carrot” to implement such a strategy

But my understanding is develop an os, with mediacenter focus. To do the best you can get with as little cost for the user as possible, the Vero series could be based on ,monster i9 processors, with abundance with ram and storage and be monster mediacenters that drew 60w at idle. But it’s not, it’s a well thought out compromise of cost vs function, to get something Sam can stand behind.

Your reply is well noted and definitely OSMC strategy to make available a mediacenter extremely well balanced on cost/functions was the driver to make me going for a Vero 4k initially and then moving to 4K+.
The original intent of my post was to understand whether there are interests by proven developers (like you guys) in these new SoCs who can contribute anyway to the success (or not) of the hardware or everybody is instead happy of the current design.

Ok, I might have missed the original point, English being a second language, and since I have very little , if any, say in hw stuff. I can only relate from what history I’ve had with OSMC(product and dev. team) and Sam.

I don’t belive the choice of hardware will be based on a “new shiny piece of hardware” with little to no dev community behind it, a plague of all hardware at the beginning. The chip you mention have had a nice “new and shiny”-feel, but the manufacturer has a legacy of being “not easy to work with” and a lesser dev. community around it. Which might be a “chicken/egg”-problem, but it means more actuall “generic/non OSMC focused”-work to get to the point where Vero4k is today,

At the end, I can’t talk for anybody else but my view, perception on how OSMC has worked the last few years and this is how I speculate on the future.

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Thanks!
This was the tone of reply I was expecting.

We already have more than one category of OSMC user - Vero 4K users and Pi users. And I suspect there may be a slight bias in favour of supporting the Vero 4K, actually. But I don’t think Pi users are feeling particularly short-changed, and the project is doing just fine. I don’t think that’s necessarily a barrier.

That said, I’m not sure there’s really a need for multiple new hardware platforms - we’re basically just talking about a video playback device in the end. It might, however, be cool if OSMC would consider taking extra payments in exchange for licensing certain things - things that it’s necessary for OSMC to pay for if they provide them.

Financially speaking (but maybe not technically speaking) this would be analogous to the way that Pi 2 and 3 users can choose to pay a little extra to license hardware acceleration of VC-1 or MPEG-2 decoding: it’s the same hardware for everyone, but one or two features that require the manufacturer to pay licensing fees for are disabled unless the user covers the cost of those fees; but they can choose to do that and unlock the feature at any time.

This might conceivably apply to DV playback, but perhaps also to enabling Widevine L1, or distributing keys to make the device recognised as safe by commercial content providers, if there are licensing costs for those things.

Whether doing something like this could be technically reconciled with an open source project, I have no idea. But if there are certain features that can’t be added solely because of the cost of licensing them, allowing the end user to pick up that cost on a per-device basis might be a way forward.

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AIUI, official DV support requires a different chip to the equivalents that handle everything else. Although the functionality may be switchable in soft/firmware OSMC would still have to either have two models or obtain the DV enabled chips and put them in every box. I know that’s an approach followed by other manufacturers and great fun for hackers attempting upgrade a cheap model to a higher spec. But I don’t know if that’s financially feasible.

I do suspect a Dolby licence comes with draconian terms about locking down the OS to the point where it could no longer be called Open Source.

Then there’s an issue that since its inception the Dolby specs seem have been shifting - player-led vs display-led, various profiles coming and going and doubtless countless other tweaks under the hood. That can be expected to continue. I would worry there would be too much code baked into a chip like AMLogic’s and it wouldn’t be long before we found there were ‘essential’ things that could only be supported by a new chip, requiring another develpment cycle - and so on. It’s remarkable that Vero4k is still doing the business 7 years since it was born. It’s an antidote to the annual ‘new and shinies’ that other suppliers find necessary to chase our money and a quality that should not be lost.

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Once again, I have no insight to this regarding OSMC. But life experience, constant interest isn learning new things, makes me think in ways that I’ve found many others don’t do. I never run a business, but been around people that do, I’ve heard them complain about the stuff they had to learn/rethink, and taken that to heart.

I like the idea of “pay for extras”, no question about it. Push the extra cost to the users willing to pay for the “extra” that the cos brings. But how will I convince a chip manufacturer, that pays a IP-license for every chip with function X, to sell me 50k chips, where I might have 3k users willing for pay the “extra”. Should he give me credit, or should we have to negotiate some 3rd party payment system to the chip manufacturer.

Pi-foundation can talk big to manufacturers, after a huge hit like the Pi was. The have a big market share, the generate a lot of revenue for the manufacturer, so they can even cover the cost of IP-license, since Pi-F. generate so much sales.

When it comes to OSMC, remember I have no insights or power to effect this, I belive they are a to small customer for any manufacturer to even try to negotiate IP-costs for the manufacturer.

Ps. Wrote most of this before Graham had his say, and his point is also very valid, just from another point of view.

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We already have this.

You can run OSMC for free on a Raspberry Pi. You will receive best effort support. We don’t manufacture Raspberry Pi hardware and we don’t know their roadmap or long term plans. The device is produced for education – it’s also good at media playback. We work with the Pi guys to do the best that we can and they put in a lot of effort to optimise things.

You can run OSMC on a Vero. You’ll receive support with long term commitments. We don’t target the educational market and our focus is playing things back for you as accurately as possible.

No can do. License all, or none.

Why do you think it stopped…

Quite.

Your Vero 4K / 4K+ works today, and it will stay working.

We extended support: Vero 4K + support and manufacturing updates - OSMC. We don’t want to sell you a device every year.

Are we working on a new device? Yes. When will it be released? It will be a while yet…

What I can tell you is that we have an excellent team working on things. A really good team. They hound me – versus me hounding them…

Buy one then.

And buy another device when we do things right on the newer chip that you already bought…

Cheers

Sam

Dear Sam and Dev Team,
I didn’t start this thread with a polemic scope behind.
I’m more than happy with the support OSMC is constantly providing to improve the system adding features and fixing bugs more than expected.
But since Team KODI is introducing new features like hardware decoding of AV1 media and maybe others will be added as part of the roadmap, this could imply that also new hardware shall be taken into consideration to have them properly implemented.
Far from me to buy one device every year only because new chip inside, but since S905X is almost around since 2017 can it be still considered a good development platform for upcoming needs or software developers (skilled and committed as you all) are evaluating “reliable” alternatives for a new generation of devices?
I’m simply interested in knowing your opinion whether current hardware can be an impassable limit and what you would like to get to move the bar further.

Our next device will support AV-1.

We’ve built three models of Vero that will never see the light of day. We did this internally to keep modernising our device and stay on top of the latest SoC offerings.

But we have nothing to release yet. When we do, you won’t be disappointed

Cheers

Sam

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When you do, I’ll buy it for sure!

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Great!

Every post on this forum is read. We know the pain points of the current model, what can be improved and what we can actually improve (some things aren’t achievable).

When we launch a new device it will be an improvement. But it doesn’t mean we stop supporting the current model.

Excellent…as always

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Can I pre-order three of those units? :smile:

Our next device will support AV-1.