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3357 posts

Uber Geek

# 205798 27-Nov-2016 17:00
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As above, need something to stream media and use as a web browser.


I considered an HP chromebook 11 as an alternative but they like $330.

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740 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 1684289 7-Dec-2016 21:19
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Raspberry Pi 3?




I've just bought one - around $130 all up, including power supply, 32GB SD card and case - for running Retropie. You can certainly set them up with Kodi etc.

3255 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1691764 18-Dec-2016 14:29
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I bought a Raspberry Pi 3 "turn-key" media center from for $168

It had Kodi pre-installed with OpenElec

Regarding web cruising, I haven't used it, but I read there's a stone-age text only add-on called "Web Viewer"

Good service from Geeker NZ, when the first one blew its video chips.

But it came with a terrible mini RF mouse oval keyboard; just too small.

A good wireless keyboard or remote, such as ones from Logitech, can be almost as expensive as the Raspberry Pi . My friend love hos Logitech Harmony remote and Kodi meda center

Something else I haven't used, but there's apparantly good remote control software via iPhone / iPad.


Lock him up!
10795 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  # 1691766 18-Dec-2016 14:51
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I went through this with a Pipo after first trying Chromecast. Both were terrible, especially the Pipo. I finally settled on a good, old-fashioned duo-core PC a friend gave me, which has way more flexibility than anything else and sufficient processing power to handle HD streaming and playback. I added an HDMI card with silent fan and a sound card for 5.1 digital audio (in typical Windows fashion, I could only get stereo through HDMI). I wouldn't touch another mini stick if you gave it to me for free.



I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney

2643 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1692445 19-Dec-2016 21:00
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I think your two best bets are a second hand PC from the likes of PB Tech or a Pi3.


The reality is you are pushing it to get something decent for around $150, and may need to up your budget.


If you just want a media player, I would go for the Pi3 with Kodi/Rasplex or similar.


If you want to do more, there are options like the ASRock BeeBox - which has a decent processor, HDMI out, a small (32GB) SSD, 2GB of RAM, Windows 10, and space for a 2.5" Laptop hard drive. But you will have to up your budget to around $400, and probably a few dollars more for a wireless remote or keyboard.



3255 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1692563 20-Dec-2016 08:23
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Here's my thoughts using something like ASRock BeeBOX / Intel NUC / Dell Inspirion.

They're handy for a second HTPC, such as the bedroom. They're usually fanless, low power, and can be mounted behind the TV. They have enough CPU to cruise the web, and even play some low-end games.

However my opinion is for recording Freeview, you really need an internal PCIe tuner.

It's just clunky and less reliable to use an external USB Freeview tuner.

The advantage to using a PC with enough room for a PCIe slot also means you can use a cheaper / larger 3.5" drive if you want.

A plus with a full size PC is that often older used ones are very cheap to free.

The downsides to a larger PC: it's, very expensive to make fanless, uses more power, can't be mounted to /hidden by TV.

178 posts

Master Geek

  # 1692680 20-Dec-2016 10:57
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+1 for nuc, scored a celeron one for under 150 and it is permanently attached to my TV now does browsing and other stuff without a problem

740 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 1692740 20-Dec-2016 11:31
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@ kingdragonfly - I agree with all your points about power (I run everything from a Pi3, to an NUC, to a mid-tower mythTV server), but I don't see the OP asking about Freeview as such ;)

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