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  #21  
Old 22.04.2015, 16:35
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

Cu-box is cool (friend has it), I also have CubieTrack which is nice...
New RPI seems to be good / cheap option as well as odroid c-1
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  #22  
Old 22.04.2015, 17:14
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

FWIW. I use the Rpi just as a kodi box (openelec). It is duct taped to the back of the TV and is powered by TV USB port, so is only on when the TV is on. It pulls files via wired LAN from a NFS file server/DLNA server (this is a linux box which sits in the office).

RPi easily handles basic kodi use and the RPi2 has further processor power if needed.

I actually first started using the built-in TV media playing abilities, but it had a horrible UI, so replaced it with a dedicated WD media player. This was better, but when I played with the RPi, it was so much better that I scrapped the WD box (which cost 2x the RPi).

The RPi can also use the TV remote control (CEC) and I have a remote control on the phone/tablet which is more responsive and has better features.
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  #23  
Old 22.04.2015, 17:17
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

Intel NUC does seem like a good solution though. That should handle 4K easily...
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  #24  
Old 22.04.2015, 17:27
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

This when it ships:

http://shield.nvidia.com/

10bit 4K, Gigabit ethernet, 2* USB3.0 ports in the back, can play games as well but as a media box it is excellent. Price cannot be beat for what you get (199$ with a controller).

The other great feature is the headphone port on the gamepad, you can just plug in headphones and play audio over them seamlessly from any app, so for late night loud movie watching its amazing.
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  #25  
Old 22.04.2015, 17:37
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

+1 for raspberry pi 2 as 100% quiet front end with a good NAS for storage/ downloads / etc. With a logitech smart control it works great.

However, I doubt it handles 4K
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  #26  
Old 22.04.2015, 17:49
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

Am I right in thinking though, that none of these options will support 4k ~60Hz? I know the Mac Mini doesn't (max 30hz or 24hz for 4096x).
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  #27  
Old 22.04.2015, 17:50
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

It's a good question..

About 5 or 6 years ago I built such a system... I got a fanless HD5750 card, a PSU that has a switch to turn the fan off and put a heat sink on the CPU without a fan. It has never over heated.. it has run every PC game I loaded and it's fast enough to run 'big' 1080p video

But.. the case fans still make a small noise and the internal hard disks aren't silent...

So.. my advice...

If you want a PC .. have a look at the SilentPC website to build one of your own.. or make sure you get a demo of any pre-built PC in the shop with a few apps loaded and then start up a film

The other route is a 'computer on a stick/board' (those bigger zotacs are silent and powerful enough (just dont buy the cheaper ones)) but if you want to connect them to a large disk based library (films, music etc) then the noise 'bottleneck' will be the external storage (unless you get something that streams from another room ?)

Plus - IMHO - the 4K thing is a red herring. For video there's hardly any native content (unless you're shooting it yourself) so let the TV upscale the 1080 picture. As for games.. forget it.. you'll need a big powerful 'computer' to run a big powerful game and .. it wont be silent.
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  #28  
Old 22.04.2015, 17:52
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

I will be streaming from another room in my new setup, or at least that is the plan.
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  #29  
Old 22.04.2015, 17:56
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

The SHIELD supports 4K60p decode (VP9/H264/H265)
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  #30  
Old 22.04.2015, 18:11
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

I've played a few H265 files in VLC... they're blocky... at least on my 72in screen
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  #31  
Old 22.04.2015, 18:14
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

Blame the encoder settings not the codec

(seriously, that means shit settings were chosen)

Any codec can give amazing results or shitty ones, H265 merely does "amazing" in a much smaller filesize, at expense of intense cycles to encode _and_ decode (much like h264 when it first came out). With the new crop of h265 hardware coming, things will get a lot nicer for people!
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  #32  
Old 23.04.2015, 11:17
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

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Blame the encoder settings not the codec
Garbage in garbage out
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  #33  
Old 23.04.2015, 11:45
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

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Am I right in thinking though, that none of these options will support 4k ~60Hz? I know the Mac Mini doesn't (max 30hz or 24hz for 4096x).

the latest rikomagic android stick says it does 4k
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  #34  
Old 23.04.2015, 11:54
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

Go round the corner and have a word with Louis, he's got one of the CuBox devices, he brought it in one day for a wee demo, very nice little device and they come with XBMC/Kodi preinstalled now. The top of the line one is only 139 bucks http://www.solid-run.com/product/cubox-i4pro/

I'm using a raspberry pi, I hooked up just to see how it performed and it works so well I'm still using it. Note that this is just a front end to an existing media source.
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  #35  
Old 24.04.2015, 14:25
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

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the latest rikomagic android stick says it does 4k
So.. something like this runs Android onto the TV ?

I'm asking because I assume then you can then find an android app to play .MKV files onto the TV.. I was a bit disappointed to find that my ChromeOS laptop doesnt have an app that runs .MKV (well.. there is one but it's not very good)
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  #36  
Old 24.04.2015, 14:42
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

Can Android OS mount a NAS drive permanently though, i.e. act as a plex server properly?
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  #37  
Old 24.04.2015, 16:13
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

Just upgrade your NAS to something like this: https://www.qnap.com/i/en/product/model.php?II=142

That will easily run plex server.....and if you want you can even run a virtual machine with windows on it, but there's no need to in terms of playing media.

To complement, if you've not got a smart TV, get a simple and cheap streamer like the WDTV for less than 100chf: https://www.digitec.ch/de/s1/product...0323?pcscpId=1 ....this will stream what's on the NAS, either served via plex or just directly from the NAS via the DLNA capabilities

Easy and cheap solution and doesn't need a lot of time and/or geek skills to set up. Running it all on a NAS is great as you don't need the bulk and complexity of a media PC etc
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  #38  
Old 24.04.2015, 16:23
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

Ideally I do want a whole media box though, not JUST a Plex server. Will also use it for Live TV, iPlayer, downloading, yada yada. Better to do encoding/decoding on a dedicated PC I feel.
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  #39  
Old 24.04.2015, 16:26
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

I don't think the QNAP NAS will happily run a high frame-rate 4k output - there's no mention of graphics, which suggests they haven't made any special effort in this area.

Even if the Celeron and graphics can handle it, chance are it wouldn't be quiet any more, those small fans can sound awful if you crank up the CPU usage.
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  #40  
Old 27.04.2015, 11:29
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Re: Quiet and compact Media PC - ideas?

So, a fairly weird thing happened over the weekend. I have always used uTorrent, as a bit of a Noob, I guess it was the first one I came across after years of using the rancid Kazaa.

As I mentioned, my laptop kept bombing out in the middle of downloading using it, particularly when DLing large files. I read up a little on the internet on this, and they suggested moving to Deluge or QBittorrent. I tried both and found I liked QBittorrent for ease of use more, and touch wood, no more bomb outs, even when downloading big files.

I still would like to get a dedicated box for Home Media stuff, but I guess it became a little less urgent.
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