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  Reply # 785806 23-Mar-2013 10:10
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FWIW my experience on the RPi was pretty sluggish (in terms of menus etc) until I bought an ultra fast USB3 stick (cost about $35). This has made the whole thing very slick and usable. I also bought the NYX Motorola remote which works flawlessly and is a definite improvement on the iOS remote apps.

I have complete WAF now. The boss uses the system in both the living room and bedroom almost every day with no problems. She loves it. The only issue is streaming live tv from my TvHeadend server, but that is a known issue.

YMMV.



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  Reply # 785807 23-Mar-2013 10:16
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reven: if you are doing a fast forward/rewind you are doing it wrong. use skip. its smoother and quicker. fast forward was only really good in days of tapes. once you've gone digital you should be using skip.

i agree with the menus are slower, but for a $80 all up device this is acceptable to me, they aren't drastically slow, most things are pretty quick. I have turned off background/fanart off.

DB scans are slower, I usually do this on my server so my PIs dont need to do it (using shared mysql db)

The menus are rendered at around 540p and that is upscaled to whatever resolution you have it set to (eg 1080p). all the video playback is rendered at the resolution you have selected (eg 1080p).

its not really fair comparing a PI to a full HTPC due to cost. suer if I spent $400-$500 on an HTPC it would play everything perfectly and the menus would be fast. but thats around 10x the cost of the pi.

the ouya should be a worthy contender to replace HTPCs (unless you're very old school and still have tv tuners in your HTPC and not in a server), or the pivos xios ds device. ouya will just have the native apps like hulu/netflix which will work with the controller/remote.


Have you used FF/RW on a properly powered PC? On my machine it's butter smooth. 'Skip' is an option I also use, but I like FF/RW as well and the hardware I have supports it.

The Pivos is currently 720P only. I think it makes 1080P claims but several developers who are using their software for 3rd party boxes have confirmed it's all 720P... (Yes, sometimes the displays _SAY_ 1080P but there's a framebuffer involved which is only 720P)

The RaspBMC on the rPI renders the menus at 720P and upscales. I spent a lot of time trying to make the rPI work for me. Amazing value for money but when it came down to it, on an absolute level, it just wasn't good enough for me.

Cheers - N




 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 785813 23-Mar-2013 10:45
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reven:the ouya should be a worthy contender to replace HTPCs (unless you're very old school and still have tv tuners in your HTPC and not in a server),


I haven't watched broadcast TV in probably 6-8 years. I'd say using a tuner at all is old school!




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  Reply # 787125 26-Mar-2013 11:51
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Talkiet:
1080p: You guys are doing something wrong with your rPi units. Take a look at YouTube. There are plenty of clips demonstrating flawless menu and playback of 1080p content.

What bit rates do the files you wish to play have? Do you bit stream the audio or decode it on the unit?


Nope, I think I just have higher standards and expectations for responsiveness and ability to do stuff like DB updates, run trailers, fast forward, rewind, start playing in 1-2 seconds (not 10-15 seconds) etc...

As I have said... Playback, once started, I found to be fine on the rPI - it was everything else that way too annoying for me. I'm sure it's fine for many people... It is after all a silent, cheap as chips, low power solution you could hide behind a TV...

But there are compromises compared to having a normal PC.

Oh, 1080P files were between 8-15GB and I always had my AV amp do the audio decoding.

Cheers - N



You'll forgive my skepticism after seeing videos like this:



and this:



I get the impression you have expectations that are impossible to meet for the price of an rPi. If the experience shown above is not good enough then I'd shudder to think what you would say to playing an actual Blu-ray disc in a Blu-ray player.

Trailers are more than likely streamed ad would probably run into issues due to your internet connection rather than the unit itself. Rewind and fast forward are only features because they seem to have stuck around from the days of VHS for some unknown reason. Skipping is far more efficient and I am actually glad the rewind and fast forward don't work as smoothly as they do on a PC: it encourages others to not use the feature. All the files I've played begin between 1-5 seconds after pressing the play button. Perhaps the extra wait may exist at times but for such a cheap unit sharing files over a LAN that is not bad performance at all.



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  Reply # 787195 26-Mar-2013 13:09
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I just don't think you get it. I'm not saying the rPI is bad, I'm not even saying it isn't suitable for a lot of people...

BUT it's no-where near as responsive as a PC (and nowhere near as expensive), it's genuinely sickeningly slow updating databases etc and there are compromises on plugins and playback controls.

And yes, I've watched all the videos. I've also bought and used an rPI for this purpose for about a month and tried all the distros, all the tweaks (except an offboard database - I don't want to have to do that) and it was still FOR ME, unacceptably slow.

I emphasise that I am not saying it's going to be unacceptably slow for others. And some people might even think it's fast. I however am comparing MY _real world_ use of the Pi and MY real world use of a full PC and the Full PC is better in every way except power consumption and cost... (Although I had that PC sitting in my rack already, unused 99% of the time and powered off - so actually FOR ME, the rPI was more expensive to buy)

I respect your opinion, so please don't further insinuate that my opinion is wrong and the way I choose to use XBMC is wrong.

Cheers - N

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  Reply # 787198 26-Mar-2013 13:12
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Talkiet - did you try running off a fast USB3.0 stick (still have to boot off the SD card)? That is what changed my system from sluggish to very slick. Also Linux mounting NFS shares (instead of XBMC NFS sharing or Samba shares) is supposed to improve things.

It is not something that is slick right out of the box, but if you put a bit of effort into tweaking things I think you will end up with a pretty comparable system (although probably never quite as slick).

YMMV

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  Reply # 787199 26-Mar-2013 13:14
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on a pi you really do want to offload the database, on most clients I would suggest doing that, because

1. if you have to reflash/format your client you dont loose anything
2. if you have multiple clients or add clients they can share the database (including playback positions, metadata, watched status etc)
3. its faster

yes it is slower than a PC, playback I've found pretty much the same as PC, sound seems worse on my TV but will be plugging into a receiver next week so that wont be an issue. On a PC you have more control over the sound and can run a background app to normalize the sound levels (which is handy so you adjust volume when changing media)



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  Reply # 787254 26-Mar-2013 14:27
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SumnerBoy: Talkiet - did you try running off a fast USB3.0 stick (still have to boot off the SD card)? That is what changed my system from sluggish to very slick. Also Linux mounting NFS shares (instead of XBMC NFS sharing or Samba shares) is supposed to improve things.

It is not something that is slick right out of the box, but if you put a bit of effort into tweaking things I think you will end up with a pretty comparable system (although probably never quite as slick).

YMMV


From a previous message in this thread...


I had a rPI and it was close... But the CPU was catastrophically slow for navigation, database updates... Even fastforward and skip was bad... With a good PC I can now smoothly FF and RW even 1080P, and the database and navigation is snappy.

I did install XBMC to a fast USB stick, and tried the overclocking too... Still too slow for me.


Cheers - N

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  Reply # 787309 26-Mar-2013 16:07
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reven: on a pi you really do want to offload the database, on most clients I would suggest doing that, because

1. if you have to reflash/format your client you dont loose anything
2. if you have multiple clients or add clients they can share the database (including playback positions, metadata, watched status etc)
3. its faster

yes it is slower than a PC, playback I've found pretty much the same as PC, sound seems worse on my TV but will be plugging into a receiver next week so that wont be an issue. On a PC you have more control over the sound and can run a background app to normalize the sound levels (which is handy so you adjust volume when changing media)


@Talkiet Basically this. I didn't mention the database being slow because I assumed you offloaded (given that your requirements were for no local storage originally) that and were just being demanding of MySQL. Running the database and media decoding on the rPi is not a smart move for performance. In addition to the other benefits of being able to share the database with other XBMC clients it speeds up everything a lot. I don't notice the difference between menu performance between my Mac Mini and rPi although the software is not the same (Plex vs. XBMC) the fluidity is definitely not lacking.



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  Reply # 787326 26-Mar-2013 16:29
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Do you find it totally incomprehensible that others have a different set of requirements and that the rPI may not satisfy everyone? It really sounds that way.

I wanted to like the rPI, I wanted it to be a good replacement for my ATV2 and support 1080P and be smooth. I wanted the menus to be better than the ATV2.

It's not all those things and a PC is markedly better in many ways. Nothing you say, and no level of optimisation is going to make the rPI work as well as a decent PC.

Cheers - N

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  Reply # 787328 26-Mar-2013 16:34
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I'd be interested in what will replace my Ac Ryan Mini2.

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  Reply # 787374 26-Mar-2013 17:59
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Talkiet: Do you find it totally incomprehensible that others have a different set of requirements and that the rPI may not satisfy everyone? It really sounds that way.

I wanted to like the rPI, I wanted it to be a good replacement for my ATV2 and support 1080P and be smooth. I wanted the menus to be better than the ATV2.

It's not all those things and a PC is markedly better in many ways. Nothing you say, and no level of optimisation is going to make the rPI work as well as a decent PC.

Cheers - N


I agree with this and accept that.

the pi is a slow CPU.

but the ouya :)



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  Reply # 787376 26-Mar-2013 18:01
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reven:
Talkiet: Do you find it totally incomprehensible that others have a different set of requirements and that the rPI may not satisfy everyone? It really sounds that way.

I wanted to like the rPI, I wanted it to be a good replacement for my ATV2 and support 1080P and be smooth. I wanted the menus to be better than the ATV2.

It's not all those things and a PC is markedly better in many ways. Nothing you say, and no level of optimisation is going to make the rPI work as well as a decent PC.

Cheers - N


I agree with this and accept that.

the pi is a slow CPU.

but the ouya :)


Heh... I would like to play with an Ouya to see if in fact it is the device that does the trick... But I won't be trusting reviews - I'd love to borrow one for a while and play.

Cheers - N

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  Reply # 787395 26-Mar-2013 18:59
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So, is an ultra small PC an option? The Intel NUC doesn't have an audio port s no good there. There are small form factor PC kits I have seen at times, or a Mac Mini? From the comments in the thread, a PC seems the way to go, and you may be able to find one that is small, low power that may meet the end need. A cost though compared to a low cost media player or a rPI

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  Reply # 787401 26-Mar-2013 19:04
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The Pi isnt even usable to run a basic webbrowser on so I dont know how anyone expects it to cope with some of the menus that HTPC solutions throw at things




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