Radxa Zero fast enough to stream 4k movies off microSD card?

Is the Radxa Zero fast enough to stream 4k movies off microSD card?

I’ll grab something to test today. Although there is a difference between transfer 4K data, and decode them.

Did a read test on a SanDisk Ultra 16GB without caching and I got 23.5MB/s on a 1GB file with random content. So if your WiFi speed is good you should be able to stream video directly to your other devices. However if you need to transcode the video that probably won’t work.

I plan on setting up Kodi (or Plex if it’s better) and having it connected to ethernet to watch movies on an app on my TV (through SMB I believe). Not connect the device itself through HDMI.

Would it not be powerful enough to transcode it? Is it an issue of certain formats working better than others? I’m gonna be honest I’m pretty lost with codec stuff etc.

The thing is. For HW decoding you need separate “chip” called VPU, usually it’s included into GPU.
In theory if there is distributive that support VPU on 905Y2 you may decode following formats:
4Kp75 10b H.265, VP9 Profile 2 AVS2, 4Kp30 H.264

As for which distributive support it, no idea, you may try to find Kodi for it on libreelec.tv

Yes I understand this. This is why I talked about Wi-Fi. However I think you might not aware the difference between Kodi and Plex and that’s causing the confusion.

In your use case with Kodi that you intend to play a media file via SMB share, Zero should have enough capability to handle this usage.

However, for Plex (and Jellyfin which is my personal favorite media steaming service), things work differently. Plex itself replaces the need for a SMB share, and send media stream to supported clients directly. To put it more blatantly, Kodi is a client that supports multiple different kind of servers (SMB being one), and Plex is a server that supports multiple different kind of clients (official Android, browser, etc).

Why that is important? Well for serving Kodi, the server can be a dumb dumb SMB share that has no idea what is stored locally. Kodi will handle the decoding by itself. There is no additional processing for server. While for Plex, if a given client cannot decode the media file natively (thinking about 8K 10bit HDR AV1 video), it will try to transcode the content into something the client support (like FHD 8bit h.264). This transcoding process is expensive and Zero cannot support that operation, so you need to either disable transcoding in your Plex server, or transcode them before adding it to the Plex library, so you can play them smoothly on your Plex client.

Additionally streaming off microSD might reduce their life quite dramatically. They are not designed to handle continuous operation like that. If possible try switching to a HDD once you confirm the whole idea works in your environment.

Just to add my 2 cents to what RadxaYuntian already explained very well… You could also consider DLNA instead of SMB, because for video streaming, DLNA is better than SMB.
So for a DLNA server, you could look into Serviio, for a client (video player), most players will do (so VLC, Kodi, etc).
Again, if you’re going with Flex, Jellyfin or Emby, no need to worry about protocols.