pinoob1
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:46 pm

media center: volume control; contrast/brightness; EQ

Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:51 am

I have a Pi3 + HifiBerry which is working with OpenElec. (OpenElec kinda takes over the screen, makes modifying things tricky....) Anyway I hoped to make a little media player for music and videos. I want what I think is a pretty basic set-up: I don't need it to stream, don't really need internet at all. I access media through a memory stick or hard drive. It should be easy enough for my mother-in-law to use (much less myself, lol). I moved to OpenElec because it was supposed to auto-mount drives without having to configure (way above my paygrade), which it does. But...

1) there's no volume control on GUI with a "slider" sort of arrangement (like WinAmp). I can hit + or - key on keyboard, but volume doesn't move in smooth increments, it's either too loud or too soft.

2) GUI does not offer controls for Contrast, Brightness; or Gamma or Saturation. Usually the latter two are not necessary, but brightness can be an issue for my mother-in-law's older eyes, and brightness does vary quite a bit between different shows. With VLC it's super-easy to modify this setting. (Installing VLC on Pi looked like rocket science - and it doesn't seem to work very well, from what I've read.) If a scene is too bright, I go into Tools > Effects and Filters > Video Effects > Image Adjust. I can easily pause and toggle back and forth over the course of a single TV episode if an outdoor scene is overexposed. Very big plus.

I guess I could try Raspbmc or Xbian.... each time, I have to reformat, but mainly they all look like variations on the same theme, so I'm not convinced it will make much difference. OpenElec *is* working. But being able to control some very basic functions would be nice (EQ for music would be awesome). I'm scratching my head about why this is a thing at all: software has been doing this for a long time, and such features seem like they'd be core to any kind of media set-up. Do I need to be looking into Add-Ons... or does Pi just not deal well with this stuff for technical reasons??

Any advice very welcome, thank you!

DarrenHill
Posts: 182
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:03 pm

Re: media center: volume control; contrast/brightness; EQ

Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:54 am

Firstly you're a little out of date - OpenElec has been largely superceded by LibreElec, and RaspBMC has evolved into OSMC.

If you go into Kodi's on-screen display there are brightness and contrast controls in there (under video stream in the settings menu), plus the volume controls you already found under audio and subtitle settings. I'm not 100% sure that all the derivative versions have those though, and I'm away from my Pi to be able to check right now.

That said those are more designed for "fine tuning", as Kodi is designed more for playback via TVs and it's presumed that the controls actually on the TV itself would be what you used for all such adjustments. Certainly the more subtle ones like gamma and saturation would be something for the TV rather than the player.

pinoob1
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:46 pm

Re: media center: volume control; contrast/brightness; EQ

Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:18 pm

Thank you, I didn't realize I was out of date... a friend recommended OpenElec when I said I didn't want to be fussed with mounting various drives.

I'll check out Raspbmc and LibreElec, and see if they offer something closer to what I'm shooting for. The TV we're using is very old, so both as a matter of convenience as well as just practicality, the controls need to be part of the software solution.

DarrenHill
Posts: 182
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:03 pm

Re: media center: volume control; contrast/brightness; EQ

Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:08 am

You're going to struggle with any Kodi based set-up in that usage scenario, certainly for the extended stuff beyond volume and brightness. It's simply not what it is designed for. That said you may struggle to find any software solution which caters for that stuff for the same reason of it normally being the role of the TV hardware itself.

jerryrp
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:39 pm

Re: media center: volume control; contrast/brightness; EQ

Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:08 am

I just tried LibreElec, I couldn't find brightness controls anywhere. I suppose this is hardware limitation of RPI - by that I mean you cannot change properties of accelerated video (and unaccelerated would be slideshow). In omxplayer you can't control brightness either. Also there is many threads on this forum with people asking how to change brightness of video (because obviously like someone said on reddit for some videos you end up staring at black screen if you can't control brightness), and the answer always: use your TV controls for that.

pinoob1
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:46 pm

Re: media center: volume control; contrast/brightness; EQ

Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:56 pm

Thank you both for the follow-ups and additional thoughts. I've since read a variety of replies like this in other forums (i.e. 'adjust your TV, not the software'). How do people's TVs magically adjust for brightness/contrast between various videos, tv shows, films & the like? Don't they find the lack of controls sort of frustrating? Clearly there's some basic stuff here I'm just not understanding.

I don't own a TV. I only view media on computer monitors. I tweak brightness & other settings using VLC on a case-by-case basis (sometimes switch to MPC but that's about it for bells & whistles. ;D ). How do people adjust a specific monitor to "do" this in concert with the Pi and whatever software it's running? (Those responses assume a modern TV as well, oc.) Regardless, since the variations in brightness I'm seeing are specific to the videos we're watching, I remain puzzled as to how any one setting for a TV (or in my case, monitor) would "work" for everything.

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