Written by Christian Ahmer | 11/13/2023

Fix Odroid N2+ flickering on some hdmi devices

Recently, I played around with an Odroid N2+ for retro gaming and htpc / kodi related use cases. I got a nasty bug: The screen was viewable, but with a lot of crispy flickering. Like a lot of colorful pixels were dancing. Not good. To fix that, we have to dive little bit into a little bit of screen resolution theory:

The Odroid N2+ is a popular single-board computer series that is ideal for various projects and applications. With its powerful hardware and a wide range of operating systems, the Odroid N2+ has gained popularity among hobbyists and developers. However, a crucial question often arises: What resolution is best to connect the Odroid N2+ to your display? The answer may surprise you, but in many cases, 1080i is the better choice compared to 1080p.

The Differences Between 1080i and 1080p

Before delving into the details of the Odroid N2+ and its optimal resolution, it's essential to understand what 1080i and 1080p mean. These numbers refer to the vertical resolution of 1080 pixels, while the "i" and "p" denote the frame rate.

  • 1080i (Interlaced): At this resolution, the image lines are displayed alternately in two fields. In one pass, the odd lines (1, 3, 5, etc.) are shown, and in the next pass, the even lines (2, 4, 6, etc.) are displayed. This results in a frame rate of 50 or 60 Hz, depending on your region.

  • 1080p (Progressive): Here, all image lines are displayed simultaneously in each frame, leading to smooth playback. The frame rate is also typically 50 or 60 Hz.

Why 1080i for the Odroid N2+?

The Odroid N2+ boasts impressive hardware, including a fast Amlogic S922X processor and a powerful Mali-G52 GPU. This enables it to smoothly play high-resolution content. So, why use 1080i instead of 1080p?

The answer lies in how the Odroid N2+ and many other single-board computers interact with displays. These single-board computers are usually designed to work with TVs and monitors originally developed for consuming video content, many of which have 1080i as their native resolution.

Using 1080i instead of 1080p has several advantages:

  1. Compatibility: 1080i is a common native resolution for many TVs and monitors. When you connect the Odroid N2+ to such a display, compatibility is improved, and you may get a better picture.

  2. Deinterlacing: Single-board computers like the Odroid N2+ can more easily deinterlace 1080i content and convert it into a progressive form than the other way around. This can lead to overall smoother playback.

  3. Performance: Playing 1080i content requires less computational power than playing 1080p content. This means that the Odroid N2+ can allocate resources to other tasks.

When is 1080p the Better Choice?

It's important to note that 1080p is still an excellent resolution for the Odroid N2+, especially if you want to display content specifically created for this resolution. If you have a display that supports native 1080p and you require high-quality video playback, 1080p is likely the better choice.

The fix

If you used 1080p, just set it to 1080i in config. That's all.