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652 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1205049 28-Dec-2014 17:25
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my concern re the pi is speed of the gui and the fact i have a very large media collection - so my xbmc db ends up being  several gig - something i understand the pi just wont deal with very well at all?

+ if the x8H plus is finally a smooth xbmc exp + a solid android box - then i am truly sold

re chromebox: as i understand it, at the same price point - the chromebox (in theory) doesn't compete spec wise? eg. ac wifi / 4k playback / quad core / octa core gfx etc etc ??? - but i appreciate specs aint everything...

so......if anyone had some user feedback with either/both - in particular as an xbmc machine, that would be mint :)

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  Reply # 1205052 28-Dec-2014 17:37
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I wouldn't compare core count etc, completely different architectures. The Celeron in the Chromebox's is based on Haswell, irrelevant of core count it will wipe the floor with the Chinese ARM chips. The only ARM chips that might come close are Apple's A8, Nvidia's K1 and the newer Qualcomm chips.

But yes, no wifi or H265 support. I'm personally not sold though as to the quality and long term usability of the H265/4k support on these first gen Chinese chips.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1205056 28-Dec-2014 17:43
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I ran rasplex on RP model b for a year from Plex server  on a synology 412+ over ethernet to Sony tv.
Pretty seamless with no particular issues to play dvd movies, flac music, photos etc.

Was replaced by nuc because I wanted to play with Netflix with DD+ and run weather station server which easier with Windows.
Didn't run 5.1 as my home theatre amp dated from 1993. (now replaced with Demon x3000).

So if I was just after media playing I would be happy with RP. Although couldn't comment on 1080 as no sources in that format.

A.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1205101 28-Dec-2014 19:45
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PANiCnz: I wouldn't compare core count etc, completely different architectures. The Celeron in the Chromebox's is based on Haswell, irrelevant of core count it will wipe the floor with the Chinese ARM chips. The only ARM chips that might come close are Apple's A8, Nvidia's K1 and the newer Qualcomm chips.

But yes, no wifi or H265 support. I'm personally not sold though as to the quality and long term usability of the H265/4k support on these first gen Chinese chips.


yeah i hear yah - 4 or 8 cores for a mostly xbmc machine is i expect largely irrelevant eg. my 3rd xbmc machine is based on an old core 2 duo + raedon hd 5450 and it is fine for xbmc

was just hoping the andorid based boxes might finally have come of age as i do like the idea of plug and play - as setting up a chromebox to boot to openelec (based on the wiki) seems a little bit of a mish : /





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  Reply # 1205438 29-Dec-2014 12:22
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Based on the suggestions and information discussed here, I think what I'll do is go down the RPi route first.

Once I've gotten to grips with that, see how it performs etc., I'll then decide whether to go for the MINIX H8Plus. 

I've seen some good local deals around for RPi, which usually are only $20-30 more than buying from overseas, so will see where that takes me. 

Will update when I have more....!





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  Reply # 1205442 29-Dec-2014 12:28
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The Pi is so cheap its basically not a cost that will factor into things.

There is good pre-done images for the SD card that you can download and be running with in no time. The other hardware will waste hours of your time installing and getting things working right.

Only downside to the pi is lack of a local remote, which if you can get CEC working to it will not be a problem, or use a USB wireless keyboard/mouse combo.




Richard rich.ms



:)
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  Reply # 1205448 29-Dec-2014 12:39
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richms: The Pi is so cheap its basically not a cost that will factor into things.

There is good pre-done images for the SD card that you can download and be running with in no time. The other hardware will waste hours of your time installing and getting things working right.

Only downside to the pi is lack of a local remote, which if you can get CEC working to it will not be a problem, or use a USB wireless keyboard/mouse combo.



Yeah that's pretty much my thoughts as well. For the sake of saving $20, I'll buy locally.

Hopefully I'll be able to get HDMI-CEC working, otherwise, I've found a nice keyboard/remote combo type thing for about $20 on Amazon.


Given I am only wanting a media player, I think the Pi will be more than sufficient. 

Otherwise, It will be turned into a web server, which I also need at some stage soon :D





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  Reply # 1205457 29-Dec-2014 13:30
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Do you store your library on a PC? Can you?

If you do, for me it is hard to go past an Amazon FireTV and Plex. For viewing media files, it is hard to beat - nice UI, fast hardware. You can also get Netflix going on it too.



:)
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  Reply # 1205680 29-Dec-2014 19:06
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trig42: Do you store your library on a PC? Can you?

If you do, for me it is hard to go past an Amazon FireTV and Plex. For viewing media files, it is hard to beat - nice UI, fast hardware. You can also get Netflix going on it too.


I think one of the main reasons I discounted the Amazon FireTV, is because XBMC is annoying to get set up right, from what I've seen. 
I would not be using the Amazon TV for any other features, other than XBMC, and you have to go through Settings to launch it.

I have seen some videos floating around the web where people have changed the default launcher to be XBMC, but it seems to be a bit of a PITA to setup.


If XBMC was being used in conjunction with other features on the Fire TV, it would probably be one of the best options out there, but for an XBMC only device, not so sure... 


BTW, my library will be hosted on the network. For now on my PC, however, at a later stage, hopefully on a NAS.





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  Reply # 1205729 29-Dec-2014 20:22
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richms: The Pi is so cheap its basically not a cost that will factor into things.

There is good pre-done images for the SD card that you can download and be running with in no time. The other hardware will waste hours of your time installing and getting things working right.

Only downside to the pi is lack of a local remote, which if you can get CEC working to it will not be a problem, or use a USB wireless keyboard/mouse combo.



Plex app on my htc one worked perfectly well for me as a remote for rasplex.

A.


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  Reply # 1205736 29-Dec-2014 21:02
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The Minix units do come with an optimised XBMC preinstalled. I have the X8-H installed in the bedroom, but haven't had the time to have much of a play with it since I put it in. I have had a limited test of basically what you want to do - using XBMC to play files of a NAS (currently WD MyBook live, in the process of being upgraded). It seems to work fine.

Another option that might be worth considering if you just want to play media are the WD TV Lives. They can be had for around $135 retail. They are relatively inexpensive, wide format support, play media from DLNA servers and SMB shares, and come with a remote control. I have one in the living room and an older model in the spare room. While they are slightly more limited than the Minix, they basically "just work" right out of the box, with minimal faffing around.

Personally, unless you are doing more than just play media (eg recording stuff, processing stuff etc), in terms of both cost and hassle I would recommend an off the shelf media player.

On the other hand, if like most of us here you enjoy tinkering, disregard all of the above and go with the Pi. It's not as if they are bank-breakingly expensive, and there is real pleasure in making something like that work laughing



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  Reply # 1205772 29-Dec-2014 22:13
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trig42: Do you store your library on a PC? Can you?

If you do, for me it is hard to go past an Amazon FireTV and Plex. For viewing media files, it is hard to beat - nice UI, fast hardware. You can also get Netflix going on it too.


Also worth mentioning, I don't believe the latest version of the FireTV is rootable, so can't change the default launcher to XBMC anyway.. But I did see the performance people were showing with the FireTV... very impressive, when compared to other devices.







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  Reply # 1206859 1-Jan-2015 14:55
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JimmyH: The Minix units do come with an optimised XBMC preinstalled. I have the X8-H installed in the bedroom, but haven't had the time to have much of a play with it since I put it in. I have had a limited test of basically what you want to do - using XBMC to play files of a NAS (currently WD MyBook live, in the process of being upgraded). It seems to work fine.

Another option that might be worth considering if you just want to play media are the WD TV Lives. They can be had for around $135 retail. They are relatively inexpensive, wide format support, play media from DLNA servers and SMB shares, and come with a remote control. I have one in the living room and an older model in the spare room. While they are slightly more limited than the Minix, they basically "just work" right out of the box, with minimal faffing around.

Personally, unless you are doing more than just play media (eg recording stuff, processing stuff etc), in terms of both cost and hassle I would recommend an off the shelf media player.

On the other hand, if like most of us here you enjoy tinkering, disregard all of the above and go with the Pi. It's not as if they are bank-breakingly expensive, and there is real pleasure in making something like that work laughing


I had actually forgotten about the WD Live boxes, until I read your post.

Not sure I like the interface on those devices though - but they do look like they're capable. I'll read a little more into them and see what they're like .

If you have some time, would you mind having a bit of a play with the X8-H you have and let me know your thoughts? Regardless of whether I go down RPi route, I think further down the track, I will likely be looking at the X8-H Plus anyway, possibly as a replacement, if I decide to repurpose the RPi.





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  Reply # 1222515 26-Jan-2015 16:31
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I have a Raspberry Pi model B with Raspbmc running from an SD card.  It works fine, except that it won't fast-forward, or skip, or rewind - it just freezes if attempted.  I assumed this was a normal limitation of its processing power... but no-one else has mentioned it, so now I'm curious.  The media is stored on a USB harddrive attached directly.

FYI the analog audio output is rubbish, but I'm sure you'll be using HDMI anyway.

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  Reply # 1222599 26-Jan-2015 17:39
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My R.pi works fine to FF or rewind. It only got better with an update a few months back, before that it was rubbish.

raspbmc had a problem with this build, due to the name change XMBC to Kodi, but it should fix up soon.




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