While the Raspberry Pi is one of the most popular single-board comptuers (SBCs) on the market, and certainly one of the best supported, it's far from the only development board on the market. Manufacturer Hardkernel offers a lineup of superb hardware such as one of my favorite maker boards in the Odroid XU4. There's also the super cool Odroid-Go for a portable do-it-yourself GameBoy style device. The ultra-powerful Odroid-N2 provides a fantastic multimedia and gaming experience. Now, with a CoreELEC release, the Odroid-N2 functions extremely well as a home theatre PC (HTPC) device. For HTPC buffs, there's an Odroid-N2 CoreELEC Edition Kit.
What is the Odroid-N2?
The Odroid N2 is a beefy little SBC. Onboard, the N2 boasts an AMLogic S922X with 4K HDR10 support and HLG capabilities. It's able to churn out 4K visuals, and features Gigabit Etherhet. For audio, the Odroid N2 can handle 7.1 HD audio for Dolby Atmos passthrough, DTS:X passthrough, and more.
- Amlogic S922X (4x Cortex-A73 @ 1.8GHz, 2x Cortex-A53 @ 1.9GHz), Mali-G52 GPU with 6x 846MHz EEs
- 2GB or 4GB DDR4 (1320MHz, 2640MT/s) 32-bit RAM
- eMMC socket with optional 8GB to 128GB
- MicroSD slot with UHS-1 SDR104 support
- 8MB SPI flash with boot select switch and Petitboot ap
- Gigabit Ethernet port (Realtek RTL8211F); up to 1Gbps
- HDMI 2.1 port for up to 4K@60Hz with HDR, CEC, EDID
- Composite video jack with stereo line-out and 384Khz/32bit audio DAC
- SPDIF audio via 40-pin GPIO
- 4x USB 3.0 host ports (340MB/s typical)
- Micro-USB 2.0 OTG port (no power)
- Integrated serial console interface and Fan connector
- 40-pin GPIO header (25x GPIO, 2x i2C, 2x ADC, 6x PWM, SPI, UART, SPDIF, various power signals, etc.)
- 12V/2A adapter recommended; consumption: 1.8W (idle) to 5.5W (stress)
What is CoreELEC?
CoreELEC is a Kodi media center-based operating system (OS). The just enough Kodi OS is a Linux distro that comes with just Kodi as its interface, foregoing a traditional desktop environment. In this way, as a standalone Kodi OS, CoreELEC is similar to LibreELEC, OpenELEC, OSMC, or Xbian. Nifty features found in its Odroid N2 board include 4K VP9-capable YouTube playback with a hardware accelerator, Netflix compatibility, and even support for the EmuELEC game launcher Kodi add-on.
- Just-enough Kodi OS
- DTS:X passthrough
- Dolby Atmos passthrough
- 4K HDR10 and HLG
- Can run Netflix, YouTube in 4K with VP9 hardware accelerator support
Odroid-N2 CoreELEC Features
The Odroid-N2 CoreELEC Edition isn't really anything you can't totally build yourself. But there's the added convenience of everything coming in a single package. There's a 4GB DDR4 RAM Odroid N2 board, case, 12V/2A power supply, 8GB microSD card with CoreELEC pre-installed, and a CoreELEC sticker you can mount on your case or elsewhere. If you're thinking of building a low-powered HTPC, consider the Odroid N2.
- ODROID-N2 with 4GB RAM
- ODROID-N2 case
- 8GB Industrial MicroSD UHS-1 N2 with CoreELEC for ODROID-N2 preinstalled
- 12V/2A PSU
- CoreELEC Logo Sticker
The Odroid N2 CoreELEC Edition is a solid DIY home theatre PC option. It's superb for media playback, even handling 4K video output with ease, and retro gaming for everything from NES and SNES titles to PSP games and GameCube ROMs. If you're considering a self-made streaming box, consider the Odroid N2 CoreELEC release. Aside from Linux distros, the N2 runs Android 9.0 Pie as well. Overall, it's a nifty board and CoreELEC takes full advantage of the Odroid N2's hardware.