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74 posts

Master Geek


#272844 19-Jul-2020 19:55
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Can anyone recommend media centre software/distro that isn't Kodi please.

 

 

 

I currently have a PC under my TV with windows. And I use a browser for youtube, prime, netflix etcm and  Kodi or VLC for other media. However the Kodi interface is infuriating when using the mouse/trackpad combo - which is my preferred input device.  

 

 

 

I'm due to to upgrade the PC so I thought it might be a good time to consider setting up less like a PC and more like a media system.


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2681 posts

Uber Geek


  #2525826 19-Jul-2020 20:29
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Plex, Emby or Jellyfin spring to mind.

 

I'm currently using Plex and was a big fan (it's still pretty nice). But I'm looking to test moving my setup to Emby or Jellyfin over Christmas, as a few of the things Plex has been doing lately have started to annoy me.




74 posts

Master Geek


  #2525834 19-Jul-2020 21:36
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JimmyH:

 

Plex, Emby or Jellyfin spring to mind.

 

I'm currently using Plex and was a big fan (it's still pretty nice). But I'm looking to test moving my setup to Emby or Jellyfin over Christmas, as a few of the things Plex has been doing lately have started to annoy me.

 

 

 

 

What's annoying you? I'm mostly an online watcher, but have some downloaded content. I certainly can't recall the last time I used a disc ok some description.


 
 
 
 


733 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2525842 19-Jul-2020 22:09
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Where is your content? Would you consider an android tv device (aka Shield or something cheaper) or an apple tv?



74 posts

Master Geek


  #2525857 20-Jul-2020 00:37
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tanivula: Where is your content? Would you consider an android tv device (aka Shield or something cheaper) or an apple tv?

 

 

 

Thanks for coming back to me.

 

Content is just downloaded video movies/tv shows etc. I'm really happy with having a computer (I do lots of browsing/reddit/etc. and so forth on the main TV) and I like the ability to do things like having a printer connected so the kids can print out school stuff easily. I love the flexibility of a general purpose device there, as I'm sure I use it more as a browsing machine than I do as a media centre. One of the reasons for considering Linux is that it's such a great general purpose OS. I'm sure Android could be used in the same way, but I don't know of any general purpose Android OSs that cover x86 hardware 

 

I'm not really looking for a dedicated device for those reasons but I'm open to persuasion. Any device I'd consider would have to have the ability download stuff, such have a hard drive plugged in (but that isn't a deal breaker if I can access over the net, and also get security patches and support the use of VPNs etc.

 


I've not used an Apple TV to be honest. I built v. quiet PC - $$$$$ cheaper back in the day, though not sure about now

 

 

 

:-) 

 

 


651 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2526532 21-Jul-2020 13:34
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"Media centre" software, by definition, is designed to be used with a remote control from a distance. Some interfaces work passably well with mouse/keyboard as well but that's not the intention, and it will never be as fast or easy to use as a regular desktop OS.

 

You said at the end of your first post that you are looking at moving to more of a HTPC setup than a general purpose computer - but all your subsequent posts make it clear that having a general purpose computer is actually pretty important to you. That means you're always going to have a keyboard + mouse setup and a close viewing distance, which kind of negates the reason to use Kodi or other media centre software. What specific features are you looking for that can't be provided by Explorer/GNOME + VLC?


733 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2526563 21-Jul-2020 14:20
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You're possibly better with buying a remote (if you don't like using a keyboard/trackpad with Kodi) and keeping the system as is. Kodi is still one of the best playback options - hard to beat with all the addons and capability of the playback engine. 

 

There are a few Android x86 disto's.  I quite like primeOS, which also gives you google play store access.


2681 posts

Uber Geek


  #2526768 21-Jul-2020 20:50
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new2nz:

 

What's annoying you? I'm mostly an online watcher, but have some downloaded content. I certainly can't recall the last time I used a disc ok some description.

 

 

A few things are starting to add up.

 

Pushing out annoying interface changes that make it harder to use, and being tone-deaf to reasoned discussions about this on the forums. Lack of focus on fixing long standing bugs. Refusing to re-implement local authentication, which causes problems for many people accessing their own servers whenever Plex's authorisation servers go out. Lack of Google Home integration. Long-standing basic issues with mainstream media players (esp Chromecast) that they seem to have no interest in fixing, or even responding to. Moving away from server-centric navigation despite most users preferring this (presumably because it makes it easier to submarine their own ad-supported content into user's interfaces). General lack of responsiveness, particularly to those who are paying.

 

I dropped from the paid tier back to the free tier after the debacle that was their Android v7.0 release. Things aren't getting better. So I have rolled back to an older version of the software (v5.24) which mostly works, as an interim solution, until I get a chance to properly test alternatives.


 
 
 
 


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  #2526772 21-Jul-2020 20:55
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i use kodi but my 2 media players (odroid C2's running Libreelec) but they have an onboard IR receiver so i have edited some of the config files to use an old WDTV remote. It is more user friendly and a mouse i must say

 

could you not use an IR Remote with it?


5332 posts

Uber Geek

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  #2526865 22-Jul-2020 08:51
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Jase2985:

 

i use kodi but my 2 media players (odroid C2's running Libreelec) but they have an onboard IR receiver so i have edited some of the config files to use an old WDTV remote. It is more user friendly and a mouse i must say

 

could you not use an IR Remote with it?

 

 

 

 

Similar situation here. I have two Odroid C2's running Libreelec and use Plex as the client. I bought a couple of really cheap  USB IR receivers with remotes from AliExpress to use with them and they are recognised without any drivers. Then I just taught the key commands (up/down/left/right/Enter) to my Harmony Elite and don't use the remotes anymore.

 

 





Staying in Wellington. Check out my AirBnB in the Wellington CBD.  https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/32019730  Mention GZ to get a 10% discount

 

System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen, Denon AVRS730H 7.2 Channel Dolby Atmos/DTS-X AV Receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast, Odroid C2 running Kodi and Plex

 

 


21 posts

Geek


  #2526884 22-Jul-2020 09:14
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JimmyH:

 

Plex, Emby or Jellyfin spring to mind.

 

I'm currently using Plex and was a big fan (it's still pretty nice). But I'm looking to test moving my setup to Emby or Jellyfin over Christmas, as a few of the things Plex has been doing lately have started to annoy me.

 



+1 for Jellyfin

Jellyfin is hard to beat, it's free, opensource and getting better every release.
I don't know why anyone would consider Plex or Emby over it anymore.


414 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2526905 22-Jul-2020 09:56
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My Raspberry Pi box with Kodi just works with my Harmony Hub and remote, plus Harmony ipad, Samsung tablet and android phone apps. Just had to add it to the list of devices and activities; no amendments or remote learning required.


mdf

2629 posts

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  #2527006 22-Jul-2020 11:47
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It's been a while since I used it, but if you've already got windows, Media Portal could be an option to try out.




74 posts

Master Geek


  #2527173 22-Jul-2020 14:40
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Thanks everyone for your insights.

 

I think I'm going prefer a desktop OS plus media player rather than media centre per se. I like using the telly as browser too much...

 

I may try some of the distros mentioned to see how I get on. 


160 posts

Master Geek


  #2527221 22-Jul-2020 15:46
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I personally have never like media center software much at all because for me personally it just makes finding and playing my media slower and puts a pretty GUI on it. I just use file explorer to find my media on the shared drive from my NAS and double click it. This gives me all the sorting and searching functions of explorer with none of the cover art or other stuff I don't care about. If you have a large collection of unwatched media and need the cover art etc to find something to watch I could see the value, but that's not the case for me.

 

I did use Linux for a year until Disney+ launched but I couldn't get that to work on Linux due to some DRM issue and I had a spare windows licence so I switched to windows which is what I'm using now. Linux does work really well though and the default player in Mint handles all my media just fine.

 

 

 

t's slightly irritating to me that Linux works better IMHO with windows file sharing than windows does. They are both fine once you have a mapped drive or bookmarked network share though.


424 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2527274 22-Jul-2020 16:20
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mdf:

 

It's been a while since I used it, but if you've already got windows, Media Portal could be an option to try out.

 

 

I built a MediaPortal PC for use as a Media Centre (because I needed the ability to record and watch live TV - DVB-T) and then it got used for browsing etc!

 

 


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