Reviews

Review: Cood E TV multimedia player (with Kodi)

This week we are reviewing the Cood E TV multimedia player. A small player made for indexing and watching films and TV series in HD featuring a 3D 1080p HDMI port and working with the famous Media Center Kodi software. We will explain how to set up the Cood E TV properly in order to get the best out of this very competitively priced device.

Cood E TV Kodi

Cood E TV: technical specifications

The Cood E TV multimedia player is a mini-computer working with Android. Its composition is comparable to that of a smartphone or tablet. It features an Arm A5 dual core processor (chipset Amlogic S805), 1 Gb of RAM, 8 Gb of eMMC storage memory, a Mali450 quad core graphic processor, an HDMI 1080p output (24-30p) as well as Ethernet (10/100), WiFi (b/g/n) and Bluetooth controllers. This hardware configuration is perfectly adapted to SD video decoding (mpeg-2 for example) and 1080p (h.264). In other words, the Cood E TV is compatible with ISO DVD and Blu-ray playback and can also handle MKV files with a resolution ranging from 480i to 1080p.

This player is compatible with ISO DVD and Blu-ray files and also handles MKV,AVI,etc.

Cood E TV: Connections and accessories

The Cood E TV comes with an IR remote control (batteries included), a 5V 2A power supply and an installation guide. This is the strict minimum considering that an HDMI and Ethernet cable are necessary to use the device. The connections are made up of an HDMI output, and RJ-45 port, a type A USB port (for a hard drive, a mouse, a keyboard, etc) and a mini-jack audio-video analog output (there is no cable included but the utility of this connector is questionable).

Cood E TV Kodi

Cood E TV: operation

We tested the Cood E TV multimedia player with an LG 65? 4k OLED TV (LG 65EG960V). A real baptism of fire as the screen is very unforgiving of any source error. The MKV and ISO files were stored on a USB hard drive and local network (Ethernet and WiFi).

Cood E TV

The device quickly displayed its interface and configuration menu after being switched on. Setting up the language via the remote control was very easy. The network connection becomes immediately available once the E Cood E TV is connected to the network via an Ethernet cable.

Cood E TV Kodi

Important: the display menu gives you access to the configuration of the HDMI output. We set the output to 1920x1080p at 24 frames / sec mode (film resolution and series / film frame rate on Blu-ray). For WiFi connection, all there is to do is to select the access point and enter the key.

The Cood E TV carried out several firmware updates, a few dialog boxes popped up and all there was to do was click on ?Download Now?. Once the update was complete, the device rebooted itself and automatically started Kodi.

Cood E TV: index your films and series correctly with Kodi

If you have never used Kodi, it is rather easy to get lost in the menus. Yet, once properly set up, Kodi is extremely pleasant to use. For the following step-by-step guide, we deactivated the theme called Cood E TV (Menu settings, Appearance, Theme) and activated the default Kodi theme, called Confluence. We recommend you do the same thing.

Paramétrage KODI

Let?s start with indexing content. First step, go to the ?Files? sub-menu of the VIDEOS menu. This is where you indicate the location of the multimedia folders to Kodi and label their content (films or series).

Cood E TV Kodi

Start with the films. To do so, we used the remote control to select ?Add videos? then ?Browse? in the lower right corner of the screen.

Cood E TV Kodi

The screenshot above was made with windows, the tree view is slightly different from that of the Cood E TV. For the Cood E TV, click on ?Root?, then ?Storage?, then ?External Storage? to access the USB hard drive.

Note that if you are using a NAS, all you have to do is click on ?Windows Network (SMB)? and go to your storage folder.

Cood E TV Kodi

Once the folder containing the films is open, click ?OK?

Cood E TV Kodi

The assistant then offered to name this new video source. By default it will be named after the folder, in our case it was named Films already.

Important: it is possible to click on ?Browse? again to add folders containing films stored in a NAS or in a computer connected to the network for example.

Cood E TV Kodi

Once the video source has been confirmed, Kodi invites the user to determine the type of multimedia content of the added folder(s). Since our folder contains films we selected (Films) in the category menu. We didn’t change any other setting due to the highly performant indexing website The Movie Database. Before accepting, we clicked on the ?settings? button.

Cood E TV Kodi

Here we indicated that the indexing should be done in French so that the titles and summaries could be displayed in French (the default setting is English). In the ?Certification country? menu, we chose France in order to import the age rating system of each film, then we clicked on ?OK?.

Cood E TV Kodi

Kodi offers to start the indexing immediately, which we did (although the operation can be carried out later).

Cood E TV Kodi

Back to the page which lets you add video sources, we clicked again on ?Add videos?, ?Browse?, etc. in order to add the folder containing the TV series stored on our USB hard drive. When choosing the category, we picked ?(TV series)?. Then Settings in order to start collecting information about the series and episodes.

Note that it is possible to add as many folder as you like, they can be located on a USB hard drive or a local network (NAS, Windows or Mac computer, etc.).

Cood E TV Kodi

Under the power button on the remote control is the button to display the Kodi contextual menu. Each video source (VIDEOS menu, files sub-menu) added can be edited, for example to add or delete a folder.

Cood E TV Kodi

Back to the Kodi main page, the FILMS section displays the recently added movies. The sub-menu gives access to various categories which are automatically filled out for easier navigation. To access the complete film library, all there is to do is to select the FILMS section (in blue here).

Cood E TV Kodi

The indexed films are then displayed. On the left is a menu which lets you change the type of view (list, slide show, summaries, etc.). Depending on the mode you chose, you can browse the list using the left/right or up/down buttons on the remote control.

The film update can be started from the menu.

Cood E TV Kodi

Cood E TV: audio correction to apply

First pitfall, the Cood E TV multimedia player does not handle Dolby Digital and DTS stream. By default, it is capable of transmitting them via its HDMI output (to a home-cinema amplifier for example), but cannot convert them to PCM stereo, which is troublesome when you are using a stereo amplifier with an HDTV.

There is a way around this issue. Download this Dolby and DTS filter file in zip format, then install it. We also recommend downloading this subtitle module (optional but very convenient) which will grant you the possibility to download subtitles while playing TV series.

Cood E TV

We then went into the main SETTINGS menu, ?Extensions? sub-menu, then clicked on ?install from a ZIP file?. We went where the file was stored (USB drive, network sharing, etc.), and clicked on the name. No confirmation message appeared. The Dolby Digital and DTS support was activated along with the Betaseries.com web site.

Cood E TV Kodi

Back to the video settings, in the subtitles section this time. It is important to:

  • Check the ?Activate subtitle search? line
  • Choose the target language in ?Downloaded  language subtitles?
  • Choose the ?Preset service for TV series? and activate OpenSubtitles.org
  • Choose the ?Preset service for films? and activate OpenSubtitles.org

After enabling subtitles, it is possible to download subtitles for a film in a foreign language (for example an ISO image of a DVD or Blu-ray from a different zone with no subtitles). This option can also be used to replace DVD subtitles (which are low definition images) by better quality subtitles.

Cood E TV Kodi

In both cases (films and series), we recommend OpenSubtitles.org. We will discuss how to use this option later on.

Cood E TV: the last settings

Before starting a film, it is strongly advised to change a few options…

Cood E TV Kodi

We then enter the SETTINGS menu  (from the main page using the HOME button on the remote control), then VIDEOS and ?List of files?. This is where we were able to change the Kodi settings so that the default action when clicking on a film poster was not to start the film.

Cood E TV Kodi

This way, if a movie is not properly indexed (see example above) it is possible to help Kodi identify it. To do so, click on the ?Update? button. A list of suggestions will then appear, if the correct title is not in the list, click on ?Manual’. It is then possible to manually enter the title of the film or (series). We recommend the following format ?Title (year)?.

Note that indexing errors are always due to a problem in the name of the folder located in the hard drive. Using a keyboard (bluetooth for example) is possible, even if the remote offers a rather fast typing solution.

Cood E TV: Let the screening start

Cood E TV Kodi

During playback, pressing the center button on the remote control will display the navigation interface. If you do not have a mouse (any USB RF or Bluetooth model is compatible), you can use the remote control to rewind or fast forward the film using the arrow keys. In the bottom right corner are four clickable icons. The first one is to access subtitles settings, the second for video settings (zoom for example), the third gives access to audio settings (language, sound level, dynamic compression, sync, etc.) and the fourth one is to access the movie chapters (for ISO images and some MKV files).

Cood E TV Kodi

If the subtitles are not integrated in the video file it is possible to download them while watching the series.

Cood E TV Kodi

The dialog box which opens then displays the results of the research based on the file?s name. On the right, the choice between two online subtitle services.

Cood E TV Kodi

In the audio parameters, it is possible to compress the dynamic range (if you want to avoid being startled by the sound), by bringing the ?Volume? and ?Amplification volume? cursors closer together.

Cood E TV: Browse and control your film library with a smartphone or a tablet

The compatibility with iOS and Android is yet another great strength of Kodi. We used the free Yatse app for Android in order to operate the Cood E TV. A piece of cake.

Yatse

The Yatse app immediately detects the Cood E TV. The content description is imported from the player. Playback control is also possible. Note: the payable version of this app lets you watch films and series as well as listening to music on a tablet or smartphone using the Cood E TV.

Yatse

Film summary, casting, trailer (via youtube) ? Yatse is a fantastic app.

Since Yatse doesn’t exist for iPhone or iPad, Kodi developed a similar iOS app: Official Kodi Remote.

The icing on the cake – a web interface to browse and manage your library is integrated in Kodi. All there is to do is enter the Cood E TV IP address in the web browser to access it. Another possible solution is to look for the icon of the Cood E TV in the network section of Windows Explorer or Mac Finder and double click on it.

Kodi

A simple yet functional interface will then appear and will let you browse the indexed content, start playback or control a  video currently playing.

Kodi

Cood E TV: image quality and overall operation

Very good. The Mali450 graphic processor combined with the ARM quad core has no trouble decoding 1080p h.264 videos. Although, it is a different story with some files encoded in h.264 (HEVC) we found on the internet (the video then doesn’t flow quite as well) the Cood E TV is excellent for 1080p 2D and 3D videos.

The file indexing is handled by Kodi, which means results are excellent. No software can work as fast and as well. In about 5 seconds, Kodi can collect a film summary, poster, cast photos and related pictures. The interface of the Cood E TV player is reactive.

Cood E TV: what we liked

  • The integration of the Kodi software
  • Automatic indexing of contents
  • Handling of subtitles
  • The possibility to control the device with a smartphone or tablet (and web interface)
  • The possibility to add plugins
  • Image quality
  • The competitive price

Cood E TV: what we would have liked

  • A native compatibility with Kodi for the iOS version (calle OpenElec) in order to have the possibility to switch directly from a frame rate to another (24 to 25 for example), this setting is manual with the Cood E TV. If you like to watch Zone 2 ISO DVDs (25 fps) and Blu-ray images (24 fps) you might experience some lagging if the wrong mode is activated
  • Native decoding of Dolby Digital and DTS (it is necessary to download and install a ZIP file as explained in this review)
  • More RAM in order to install more graphic themes
  • A gigabit Ethernet controller

Cood E TV: conclusion

Quite simply one of the best indexing and playback solutions for home cinema.The Cood E TV has all it takes to captivate a wide audience.

Cood E TV

 

This post is also available in: French

About the author

Tristan Jacquel

Tristan est rédacteur chez Son-Vidéo.com. Passionné de musique, d'acoustique et de high-tech, il réalise notamment les tests matériels pour notre blog.

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