How-to: XBMC with real 1080p support on the MK802 III

Forum to discuss the Dual Core Rikomagic MK802 III Mini PC

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How-to: XBMC with real 1080p support on the MK802 III

Postby wololo » Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:44 am

More details, screenshots, etc can be found here: http://makesmarttv.net/external-players ... ompromise/


Note: the following is valid, to the best of my knowledge, for all mk802 II/IV and their clones, and might also work on MK802 I and II although I haven't tried (ram/storage space might be a problem here)

Status as of 2013/10/10:

Important: You should make sure you have at least 200 or 250MB Free on your internal storage (check in settings > Apps > Downloaded) before you install XBMC. The first run can take very long, but do not cancel it. If things go wrong, go back to the settings and check you free storage. If you have less than 50MB free, you're in trouble.


The XBMC build I recommend for now on the MK802 III and other Android mini PCs is this one:
http://wololo.net/downloads/index.php/download/7975
This version of XBMC is the latest Gotham code directly from the repository, with a fix for external player support. It has libstagefright support (hardware acceleration to some extent, works ok up to 720p on the rockchip CPUs used on mk802 III and IV), but also fixes external player support such as MX Player, which means hardware acceleration and real 1080p support with no lag.

This is better than the XAF custom build because it doesn't have all their crapware (it is a vanilla xbmc with just the patch), which is important because the XAF build refuses to install on many devices because of its gigantic size; and because this build is up to date (the latest XAF build is from May I think).
This is better than the latest official xbmc with libstagefright support, because it gives you the choice to use an External player OR libstagefright.

How to install:
1 - Download and install http://wololo.net/downloads/index.php/download/7975
2 - Download and install MX Player Free from the google play store. ( and launch it at least once)
3 - copy the file below to your /sdcard/Android/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/files/.xbmc/userdata folder. Be sure to show hidden folders in your explorer's options (I recommend ES Explorer), or you will not see the .xbmc folder
https://nuskunetworks.box.com/s/wzzbunuqew9rh3ospczj

Done. The playercorefactory.xml change above is necessary to tell XBMC to use MX Player as the default player for videos. It is possible to tweak playercorefactory.xml to run mx player only for videos above a given resolution, or other cool stuff like that, but I haven't tried that yet.

Please report feedback, does it work (or not) on your device, etc...

Old information for archive purpose:

Anything below this line is not valid anymore and just kept for archive purpose



More details, screenshots, etc can be found here: http://makesmarttv.net/how-to-xbmc-with ... mk802-iii/


Note: the following is valid only for the MK802 III, not necessarily for the MK802 IIIs, and definitely not for the MK802 IV.

Status as of 2013/06/22:

Important: You should make sure you have at least 200 or 250MB Free on your internal storage (check in settings > Apps > Downloaded) before you install XBMC. The first run can take very long, but do not cancel it. If things go wrong, go back to the settings and check you free storage. If you have less than 50MB free, you're in trouble.


The XBMC build I recommend for now on the MK802 III is this one:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/i001q55lnnzl ... -debug.apk
This version of XBMC allows you to use MX Player as the player for videos, which means hardware acceleration and real 1080p support with no lag. Going back to xbmc after running mx player seems to not work all the time, so the experience is not perfect but still getting the best of both worlds (MX Player acceleration + xbmc management).This is *not* the XAF custom build (see below why)




How to install:
1 - Download and install https://www.dropbox.com/sh/i001q55lnnzl ... -debug.apk
2 - Download and install MX Player Free from the google play store. ( and launch it at least once)
3 - copy the file below to your /sdcard/Android/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/files/.xbmc/userdata folder. Be sure to show hidden folders in your explorer's options (I recommend ES Explorer), or you will not see the .xbmc folder
https://nuskunetworks.box.com/s/wzzbunuqew9rh3ospczj

Done. The playercorefactory.xml change above is necessary to tell XBMC to use MX Player as the default player for videos. The specific XBMC apk I'm suggesting is necessary because the normal xbmc cannot properly call MX Player.

Source for this build:
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?ti ... pid1182372

More details for those interested:
Image

There are many builds and forks of XBMC around here, and I have tested many of them on the MK802 III. In general, there are two types of issues with XBMC on the MK802 III:
- XBMC will not start properly (typical problem: you keep getting the "first run" progress bar, then a crash after several minutes of a black screen)
- When it runs, XBMC does not have proper hardware acceleration on Android, making 1080p impossible to play, and depending on your build, even 720p is a stretch

Several initiatives are trying to bring hardware acceleration to XBMC on Android. The two main approaches are: adding hardware acceleration to the XBMC player itself (the main project driving this, libstagefright, can be found here : http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=152005), or running MX Player instead of the embedded (the main project for this being the XAF custom build, which can be found here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthr ... ?t=2105075)

A side Note: XBMC does support external players through a config file change (playercorefactory.xml) so you should feel free to use the regular latest xbmc build with an override of playercorefactory.xml. HOWEVER, MX Player will not work with this technique because the way its intents work are slightly different from the typical player. Which is why I prefer the custom build above. But other players will work with this, and some people have decided to use the latest xbmc + override the internal player with the default video player on their mk802 III. That player is ok for HD in general.


Image
Back on topic:
The two main projects mentioned above (libstagefright and xaf custom build) did not run correctly for me on the MK802 III. Long story short, 1080p still does not work on the hardware-accelerated libstagefright builds, apparently because of a bug in the rockchip driver itself, so this is a hardware-specific problem on the mk802 III that is unlikely to be solved anytime soon. The XAF build, on the other hand, simply never went beyond the "first run" screen for me on the MK802 III. That custom build has an APK that is twice as big as any other XBMC build I've found, and I suspect it is loaded with addons or something, that probably take up so much space on the internal nand that it eats up the space (just a guess).

A bit more on this:
I've discovered that XBMC requires at least 150MB of free space on the default storage, for its first startup to work fine. Given that there is only 500MB on the internal nand, and that everything starts to behave strange as soon as there's less than 50MB Free, this means you'd rather have few apps installed if you expect to get XBMC to run on the MK802 III.

Side note:
Lack of space is the reason I was failing to get all XBMC builds to run on my machine so far. In particular, the "first run" would randomly fail for no good reason... the reason was actually that it was failing to create its initial cache because of lack of space (which requires roughly 50MB), and then crashing randomly, depending on when it would run out of space. The following attempts to run would damage the system even more, as XBMC was trying to run on a damaged cache. After understanding that and making sure I had at least 250MB free, all builds I've tried would install correctly, excep tthe XAF custom build, which, again, I believe is too big for the MK802 III.


So, the hardware accelerated project (which seems to be the "official" way XBMC is headed) will probably never support the CPU on the MK802 III, and the "MX player" approach is a bit dirty, but it works, *except* on the most known build (the XAF custom build) probably because that apk is too big. The default XBMC, on the other hand, installs fine, but MX Player is the one external player that will not work with its default override system.

The conclusion of my attempts was that a custom build with MX Player support is probably the best way to go, and that one pre-built apk I linked to above worked ok for me.

For those who want to take it further
Image
The best of both worlds is probably to use either the latest xbmc svn, OR the libstagefright accelerated version, AND to add MX Player support to one of these. I haven't had the guts yet to try and compile XBMC, but the idea would be to take the latest sources and add this patch:
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?ti ... pid1182372

the benefit of doing this on the libstagefright version is that with minimum changes to the playercorefactory.xml above, libstagefright could be used for videos up to 720p, and MX Player would need to be used only for 1080p. This would give the great XBMC experience in most cases, and the "somewhat hacky" experience only for 1080p. Alternatively, doing it with the latest xbmc build would allow to "refresh" the build I link to above, as that one is almost a year old.
Last edited by wololo on Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:30 pm, edited 11 times in total.
Review of the MK802 IV - Review of the MK802 III - Review of the air mouse MK702 II
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Re: Status of XBMC on the MK802 III

Postby Teknologic » Sun May 19, 2013 9:54 am

I've spent quite some time experimenting with versions of xbmc as well, but not a single one worked even one bit.
The libstagefright one above for example, does the same as every other version: show the initialize for first use bar, then close. On opening the app again there's just a black screen. Upon reboot or reïnstall -> first use bar again.

Running the following firmware:
Image

Just wanted to chime in with that info.
It's quite disappointing, seeing as the IIIS does seem to run xbmc, judging from the forum. And they're both the same chip..
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Re: Status of XBMC on the MK802 III

Postby wololo » Sun May 19, 2013 12:16 pm

Agreed. Some people running the IIIs seem to have an ok experience with those alternate builds, but as you said, on the III, even running the interface is hit and miss for me(although I didn't run into any issue with the libstagefright one from an interface point of view, but I ran it only 3 or 4 times, so who knows...)

Note: I tried some of the latest builds from the xda forums, and still the same issues
Review of the MK802 IV - Review of the MK802 III - Review of the air mouse MK702 II
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Re: Status of XBMC on the MK802 III

Postby wololo » Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:34 pm

I found a good solution, updated my first post to explain what I have and that works for me. People with compilation skills might even be able to get a bit better than what I suggest.
Read the wall of text in my first post to get the whole story.
Review of the MK802 IV - Review of the MK802 III - Review of the air mouse MK702 II
My list of 10 "Must Have" apps for your Android TV (2014 edition)
Tutorial: watch Netflix outside of the US (this method works way better than VPN!)
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Re: How-to: XBMC with real 1080p support on the MK802 III

Postby osmorgan » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:30 pm

what you describe has already been done in the XBMC XAF build. this come already set to use MX player. I personally think that this external player method is redundant since the libstagefright version on Gotham. Its still a bit buggy, but once its updated to Alpha 5, were laughing.

for reference:

libstagefright
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=152005

XAF
http://www.xbmcandroid.com/
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Re: How-to: XBMC with real 1080p support on the MK802 III

Postby wololo » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:56 pm

Did you actually read my post? I stated clearly that the xaf build simply doesnt work for me on the mk802 III, and libstagefright just wont play 1080p at a decent speed on that device.
By the way good for you if any of these 2 give you good results, I'd appreciate the advice on how you got xaf to install, or lsf to play 1080p. In the meantime, the build I recommend in my first post is by far the one that has given me the best results.
Review of the MK802 IV - Review of the MK802 III - Review of the air mouse MK702 II
My list of 10 "Must Have" apps for your Android TV (2014 edition)
Tutorial: watch Netflix outside of the US (this method works way better than VPN!)
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Re: How-to: XBMC with real 1080p support on the MK802 III

Postby waynec42 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:09 pm

I can't get any of the install options to work properly. Especially HD files. The XBMC version in the link in the original post wont even run on my device (although mine is a MK802IIIs).

I've all but given up on getting XBMC to run on the device. I actually find the device very clunky and buggy, even when web browsing. Very difficult and frustrating to use.
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Re: How-to: XBMC with real 1080p support on the MK802 III

Postby wololo » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:40 am

waynec42 wrote:I can't get any of the install options to work properly. Especially HD files. The XBMC version in the link in the original post wont even run on my device (although mine is a MK802IIIs).

Which is why I said, at the very top of my post:
Note: the following is valid only for the MK802 III, not necessarily for the MK802 IIIs, and definitely not for the MK802 IV.


That being said, could you describe your issues? I've ran into *many* issues with XBMC and if your issues happen to be the same as mine, I might be able to help. First thing is, make sure you have at least 250MB free on your "storage" for apps before installing XBMC (check in settings -> apps)
Review of the MK802 IV - Review of the MK802 III - Review of the air mouse MK702 II
My list of 10 "Must Have" apps for your Android TV (2014 edition)
Tutorial: watch Netflix outside of the US (this method works way better than VPN!)
wololo
 
Posts: 188
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Re: How-to: XBMC with real 1080p support on the MK802 III

Postby waynec42 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:46 pm

wololo wrote:
waynec42 wrote:I can't get any of the install options to work properly. Especially HD files. The XBMC version in the link in the original post wont even run on my device (although mine is a MK802IIIs).

Which is why I said, at the very top of my post:
Note: the following is valid only for the MK802 III, not necessarily for the MK802 IIIs, and definitely not for the MK802 IV.


That being said, could you describe your issues? I've ran into *many* issues with XBMC and if your issues happen to be the same as mine, I might be able to help. First thing is, make sure you have at least 250MB free on your "storage" for apps before installing XBMC (check in settings -> apps)


Thanks for your reply. I appreciate the work put in by everyone to try and get XBMC running on these devices.

Yes, I did note that it wasn't for the IIIs but thought I'd give it a go anyhow since I can't get anything to work properly.

I guess the first and most important problem is the fact that this versions of XBMC will install but won't run. So, that would be the best thing to fix for now. :-)
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Re: How-to: XBMC with real 1080p support on the MK802 III

Postby wololo » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:17 pm

waynec42 wrote:I guess the first and most important problem is the fact that this versions of XBMC will install but won't run. So, that would be the best thing to fix for now. :-)

Can you describe this more precisely?
- do you get the "first run" screen on xbmc? Or does the program crash instantly when you run it? Do you get a black screen for a long period of time, then a crash?

Then, the basic stuff, that I describe in my post:
- did you make sure you have at least 250MB free on your apps storage when you go to Settings > Apps > Downloaded ? How much is remaining *After* you install XBMC? And *after* XBMC crashes ?

More advanced:
- try to delete xbmc's data and xbmc's cache in the android settings, then try to run it again. Try that a few times, make sure you give "enough time" for the application to actually run the first time. The first time you launch, it can take up to 5 minutes during which you might only see a black screen, so be patient

If none of the above helped:
- install "logcat" from the app store
- run xbmc, wait for the crash, then go to catlog, and search for "xbmc", what type of errors do you see in there?
Review of the MK802 IV - Review of the MK802 III - Review of the air mouse MK702 II
My list of 10 "Must Have" apps for your Android TV (2014 edition)
Tutorial: watch Netflix outside of the US (this method works way better than VPN!)
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