Help me decide between U1 and U9-h

#1
I'm trying to decide between the U1 and U9-h. I currently have an old WD that works perfectly fine, however it is getting quite old and I'd rather upgrade now before problems arise.

My main focus would be viewing my converted dvd collection that is stored on a powered 8TB USB external HD. I have this currently connected via USB to the WD, and it works well. The movies are mostly in mp4 and .iso format. The drive is ntfs.
Other than that I'd like to set it up to boot into LE/ KODi. I understand there is a way to go about this. And I would prefer to connect the HD via USB as I currently do now.

Which of the two would be best for this purpose ? I did read somewhere that the U9 wouldn't be able to run later versions of Kodi (don't recall why) though I'm not sure if this is true, or if it would really matter. As long as the working version does what is needed.

Thank you...
 
#3
Do you need HDR or not ?
Thank you Skynet, I actually had to look that up, as I'm very new to all this. If you're referring to 'High Dynamic Range' then I'd say perhaps but it's not something I would have to have. Though as I've learned from tech, it's always good to have the latest as it may be something you may want or need later on down the road.
Given that is it that one has HDR, and the other does not ? If so, then yes why not. As long as my primary concerns of connecting my external powered 8TB HDD via USB and booting into LE/Kodi are met.
 

ArcticWolf

Trusted Helper
#4
I'm trying to decide between the U1 and U9-h. I currently have an old WD that works perfectly fine, however it is getting quite old and I'd rather upgrade now before problems arise.

My main focus would be viewing my converted dvd collection that is stored on a powered 8TB USB external HD. I have this currently connected via USB to the WD, and it works well. The movies are mostly in mp4 and .iso format. The drive is ntfs.
Other than that I'd like to set it up to boot into LE/ KODi. I understand there is a way to go about this. And I would prefer to connect the HD via USB as I currently do now.

Which of the two would be best for this purpose ? I did read somewhere that the U9 wouldn't be able to run later versions of Kodi (don't recall why) though I'm not sure if this is true, or if it would really matter. As long as the working version does what is needed.

Thank you...

I used a couple of WD's HDTV/HDTV Live media players for years with various sized powered HDD's connected to them. They worked well enough but the gen 1 was limited with no support for DTS. The improved gen 2 had support for DTS but they were around before TrueHD or DTS-HD were released & WD were no longer issuing firmware updates either. Being older tech, they were also limited to H.264 with no support for H.265 which really is a must these days as well.

I'd repeatedly put off upgrading but I had no choice in the end & the WD's were really showing their age. I eventually settled on the U9-H & with the benefit of hindsight I really couldn't have made a better choice. When I first purchased the U9-H I also had 3 x 8TB powered HDD's connected which stored all of my media. Works just fine set up as such. I've since purchased dedicated NAS boxes as well to replace the external HDD's. NTFS formatted drives also work fine with the U9-H.

If you have a 4K (HDR) TV or you will be getting one in the future & you're planning on adding 4K HDR rips to your collection on the external HDD's, the U9-H would be the better option hands down :). The U9-H can also run the latest version of Kodi too, (Leia 18.1). No concerns there ;)!!

Ultimately, if you're spending money on an upgrade anyway, the U9-H would provide you with much better future proofing than the U1 too.

Decisions, decisions lol ;).
 
#7
U9H for sure. The U9H will have no problems running either LibreElec or Core Elec. They can be run from an SD card (keeping android on the box) or installed internally (replacing android). Your choice. Personally I am running CoreElec internally on my U9H and with far far fewer issues than with android.
 
#8
I used a couple of WD's HDTV/HDTV Live media players for years with various sized powered HDD's connected to them. They worked well enough but the gen 1 was limited with no support for DTS. The improved gen 2 had support for DTS but they were around before TrueHD or DTS-HD were released & WD were no longer issuing firmware updates either. Being older tech, they were also limited to H.264 with no support for H.265 which really is a must these days as well.

I'd repeatedly put off upgrading but I had no choice in the end & the WD's were really showing their age. I eventually settled on the U9-H & with the benefit of hindsight I really couldn't have made a better choice. When I first purchased the U9-H I also had 3 x 8TB powered HDD's connected which stored all of my media. Works just fine set up as such. I've since purchased dedicated NAS boxes as well to replace the external HDD's. NTFS formatted drives also work fine with the U9-H.

If you have a 4K (HDR) TV or you will be getting one in the future & you're planning on adding 4K HDR rips to your collection on the external HDD's, the U9-H would be the better option hands down :). The U9-H can also run the latest version of Kodi too, (Leia 18.1). No concerns there ;)!!

Ultimately, if you're spending money on an upgrade anyway, the U9-H would provide you with much better future proofing than the U1 too.

Decisions, decisions lol ;).

Thanks AW for that great write up. That really clarified a lot for me. I was concerned as I wasn't sure if I would be able to connect my 8TB HDD via USB to the U9. I'd heard it couldn't read large drives which would defeat the purpose. Btw, are you using Android or LibreElec ?
Yes, I believe you're right it does make sense to have the latest and best tech as I may need or want it later on down the road.
I'm curious, why did you switch to NAS if it worked fine with the HDDs you were originally using ?
Also, do I need to purchase one of the Minix Remotes, or will the included U9 remote suffice for Kodi use ?
 
#9
My advice is to get a U9-h. As @ArcticWolf said, no issue with Kodi 18.1 ;)
HDR movies could be played if you need so in the future.
Thanks Sky, the U9-h seems to be the best choice. And thank you and AW for clarifying the Kodi 18.1 issue. I couldn't understand why 18.1 wouldn't work ?!? And yes, considering how fast the tech changes future proofing seems to be the way to go concerning entertainment devices.
 

Skynet

Administrator
#10
I'm curious, why did you switch to NAS if it worked fine with the HDDs you were originally using
Yes, a NAS is always the best choice : Fast, accessible by every devices, multiple network protocol, fixed IP address, ....

Btw, are you using Android or LibreElec ?
When i need to use android apps then i boot the U9-H in Android mode.
CoreElec is installed on a USB stick, i can choose to boot in this Linux system, more stable for Kodi :)
 
#11
U9H for sure. The U9H will have no problems running either LibreElec or Core Elec. They can be run from an SD card (keeping android on the box) or installed internally (replacing android). Your choice. Personally I am running CoreElec internally on my U9H and with far far fewer issues than with android.

Thanks AMK, I was wondering how well LE/CE would run on the Minix boxes. What would be the differences between SD and installing internally. I ask because being new I probably wouldn't attempt to install internally for the time being. And would probably go the safer SD route. What do you feel are the pros and cons of each ?
 
#12
Thanks AW for that great write up. That really clarified a lot for me. I was concerned as I wasn't sure if I would be able to connect my 8TB HDD via USB to the U9. I'd heard it couldn't read large drives which would defeat the purpose. Btw, are you using Android or LibreElec ?
Yes, I believe you're right it does make sense to have the latest and best tech as I may need or want it later on down the road.
I'm curious, why did you switch to NAS if it worked fine with the HDDs you were originally using ?
Also, do I need to purchase one of the Minix Remotes, or will the included U9 remote suffice for Kodi use ?
And yes get a remote the keyboard on it makes life easier
 

ArcticWolf

Trusted Helper
#13
Thanks AW for that great write up. That really clarified a lot for me. I was concerned as I wasn't sure if I would be able to connect my 8TB HDD via USB to the U9. I'd heard it couldn't read large drives which would defeat the purpose. Btw, are you using Android or LibreElec ?
Yes, I believe you're right it does make sense to have the latest and best tech as I may need or want it later on down the road.
I'm curious, why did you switch to NAS if it worked fine with the HDDs you were originally using ?
Also, do I need to purchase one of the Minix Remotes, or will the included U9 remote suffice for Kodi use ?
You're welcome :). (To answer your additional questions)...

I'm just using the stock Android OS. Works fine for how I use the U9-H. Mainly for Kodi, but it's also used for more generalised purposes as well.

MINIX officially state that HDD's above 2.5 TB aren't supported by the U9-H!! However, I have 2 x 8TB Seagate Backup Plus drives, an 8TB WD MyBook & a 4TB WD USB C My Passport Ultra, all of which work perfectly with the U9-H. Many other users have also reported larger drives functioning well on the U9-H too. (Some additional details here... https://theminixforum.com/index.php?threads/expand-storage-capacity-for-neo-u9-h.35/ ).

Definitely get an A2 Lite or an A3 air mouse, they're a lot better than the small basic remote & far more versatile.

I moved to dedicated NAS's because it was awkward accessing all of the media connected to the U9-H from other devices at times. (Not impossible, just awkward). I'd wanted to upgrade to NAS's for a long time anyway but it was something else I'd been putting off like upgrading the old WD media players. Everything is now centralised with easy access from any of my various devices. Not to mention, using BTRFS on the NAS if a disk in the RAID array fails I won't lose a whole load of my media & it's easily recoverable. With external HDD's, if it fails your data is gone for good!! If you're going to end up spending money on additional external HDD's to backup another HDD, you might as well buy a NAS anyway ;).

Hope that's some additional clarification for you :).
 
#14
Thanks AMK, I was wondering how well LE/CE would run on the Minix boxes. What would be the differences between SD and installing internally. I ask because being new I probably wouldn't attempt to install internally for the time being. And would probably go the safer SD route. What do you feel are the pros and cons of each ?
The difference between SD and internal installation of LE/CE are minor. Mainly bootup time, I would guess. If you need to run any android apps, then stay with the SD card option as you can easily boot android if need be by removing the SD card.

If you do not want/need access to android, internal installation is "cleaner". No SD card to fuss with.

I run my U9H with a powered USB HUB attached. To that hub I connect a dual slot SATA Dock and 2 or 3 portable 2TB USB drives. The SATA Dock I usually populate with 2 8TB drives. The key here is that you use only a SINGLE USB port to connect all the external drives through a POWERED USB HUB.
 

ArcticWolf

Trusted Helper
#15
Powered drives are OK in the separate USB ports with the U9-H. I didn't need to use a USB hub with the three different powered HDD's.

Unpowered drives, however, definitely need to be connected to a single port with a powered USB hub or you will have problems :).
 
#17
Don't toss those WDTV players :) Just this last summer I packed mine up with a USB stick of movies and a monitor and took them camping. Ran everthing off of a trailer battery :)
I agree, get the U9-h. My personal choice of keyboard is the K400 ...I have a couple and when it comes to entering info (setting up kodi for example) that keyboard is a godsend!
 
#19
Don't toss those WDTV players :) Just this last summer I packed mine up with a USB stick of movies and a monitor and took them camping. Ran everthing off of a trailer battery :)
I agree, get the U9-h. My personal choice of keyboard is the K400 ...I have a couple and when it comes to entering info (setting up kodi for example) that keyboard is a godsend!

Yes I intend on keeping the WDTV, if anything I could always use it in another room or as a backup if need be. They're really nice little units.
 
Top