HTPC uses


8 posts
by jonno421 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:36 am
I've skimmed the forums to and fro, but not found a lot (from what I've searched and read). I have 4 questions, kinda simple, kinda not.
1) will the Pi be able to play native Blu-Ray via USB 2.0? As in standard non-3D 60hz and still be smooth? I've heard it will, but the smootheness over 2.0 is questionable to me.
2) With a NASBox (WD2Go Cloud Network storage) would it be feasible to set up a HTPC to access .avi and .mp4 files over local 'net that're =/<720p using WiFi, but still have decent playback?
3) I have many micro USB "cell" chargers laying about, does the Pi have a built in power regulator or will I have to order one with the exact power specs?
4th question of sorts, I'm trying to determine the best OS. I'm leaning towards OpenELEC. What do you think is the best for purely basic HTPC, and why? In many ways, yes, I am ignorant. I work around Linux daily, but as a hardware admin/flight tech. I don't know a lot of things, but I at least know what su[do] does and when to use it. My only interaction with it is typing scripts that software engineers have pre-programmed to start/stop stuff, occasionally doing other stuff (startx; shutdown -h now) so I'm not impossible to teach. But I don't know a LOT. User opinion will vary greatly with each OS, I just need something to play all or most (even if I have to buy the codec(s) BUT have the least haggle.
Any and all positive input would be greatly appreciated.
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by t-a-s » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:16 pm
1) If you mean playing Blue Ray discs (via a USB Blue Ray player) the short answer in No.

2) You should have no trouble streaming 720p from a NAS, I can stream 1080p over smb with no issues.

3) Look on the back or front of the plug; it needs to be 5v and be able to supply at least 750mA (ideally 1A), also use a branded charger (Apple, Blackberry, etc), cheap (and fake) chargers often cant supply the stated current.

4) There isn't a "best" OS, just the one you prefer, try them all and see which you get on with the most. One of the (many) great things about the Pi is the ease with which you can change OS. One thing to keep in mind is that all the OS/software for the Pi is effectively beta, there will be bugs and issues.
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by ski522 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:25 pm
The PI supports USB version 2 with supports speeds of 480Mbit/s...more than enough for a blu ray ISO on a USB stick...but there are some software issues being worked regarding some problems with USB...seems everyone has different issues, works for some, not for others. A rather lengthy post covers the USB issues that are being addressed viewtopic.php?f=28&t=12097&hilit=elephant

Depending on what version of Wi-Fi 802.11 (b/g/n) you're running you'll be able to watch 1080p... Ideally 802.11g/n is your best bet. A lot of times the problem with video on wi-fi is just improper setup of wi-fi access point or you have a ton of neighbors in the area interfering with you.

Yes, USB chargers will work fine, just make sure it's rated minimum 700mA...a lot of USB chargers are only rated at 500mA.

Picking with XBMC distro to use comes down to personal preference, easy enough to try them all and go with the one you like best. The only codec you can buy right now is mpeg2, the PI supports H.264 natively.
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by ghans » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:21 pm
The Problem is that the USB protocol has massive overheads.
And many blu-rays are ecrypted , and even if a solution to breaking this on ARMv6 existed ,
it would be CPU intensive to be done in real-time.


ghans
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by notarat » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:00 pm
jonno421 wrote:I've skimmed the forums to and fro, but not found a lot (from what I've searched and read). I have 4 questions, kinda simple, kinda not.
1) will the Pi be able to play native Blu-Ray via USB 2.0? As in standard non-3D 60hz and still be smooth? I've heard it will, but the smootheness over 2.0 is questionable to me.
2) With a NASBox (WD2Go Cloud Network storage) would it be feasible to set up a HTPC to access .avi and .mp4 files over local 'net that're =/<720p using WiFi, but still have decent playback?
3) I have many micro USB "cell" chargers laying about, does the Pi have a built in power regulator or will I have to order one with the exact power specs?
4th question of sorts, I'm trying to determine the best OS. I'm leaning towards OpenELEC. What do you think is the best for purely basic HTPC, and why?
In many ways, yes, I am ignorant. I work around Linux daily, but as a hardware admin/flight tech. I don't know a lot of things, but I at least know what su[do] does and when to use it. My only interaction with it is typing scripts that software engineers have pre-programmed to start/stop stuff, occasionally doing other stuff (startx; shutdown -h now) so I'm not impossible to teach. But I don't know a LOT. User opinion will vary greatly with each OS, I just need something to play all or most (even if I have to buy the codec(s) BUT have the least haggle.
Any and all positive input would be greatly appreciated.


1 - No. BluRay is not LEGAL on Linux, at least in the USA. If you add the required CODECS, you can go to jail. Blame the Media companies. Not Linux
2 - I can playback 1080p video from any remote machine on my network. I use a Wired connection though. If you're on Wireless, make sure you have the bandwidth and you should be okay if you're not doing several things at once.
3 - 5V 1A is the best one to use.
4 - In this order (for me) Xbian, Openelec. When I first bought my Pi, I liked RaspBMC. However, I have not been able to get it to work on any of my three Pi units for the last 2 months.
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by ghans » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:43 pm
@notarat
I believe this has not so much to do with media companies as with missing enterpreneurs
and percieved lack of buying power or markets. CodeWeavers and RedHat are good examples
what can be achieved on Linux.

ghans
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by jonno421 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:39 am
Thank you for all the replies! Everything answered now, except which distro to run with. Of course, I knew it'd differ with each person, but I'm just looking for something simple but very functional. I figured the proprietary Blu-Ray stuff would be a show stopper, but seeing a lot of people saying they can play 1080p but not going too heavy into the source.. I had to ask. Thanks everyone, I am now somewhat educated. :D
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by ski522 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:22 am
Yeah forgot about the bluray legal crap...but you can rip and encode which works fine...although, technically, I don't think that's legal either :?
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