bradwiggo
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:27 am

Pi Zero W media centre

Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:27 pm

Hello all,

I just ordered a Pi Zero W, and I am trying to decide which of my many project ideas to do first. One of my ideas was to set up a portable media centre by setting up the Pi as a media centre and as an access point. Is the Pi Zero Powerful enough to be used as a media centre?

The files I have are quite large. I interpolate movies before watching them so I have a few movies that run at 1080p 60fps and are about 10GB in size (for about 1 and a half hours of video). Does the pi actually do the decoding, as my phone is running VLC and is cable of decoding the videos itself.

Will5455
Posts: 51
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Location: harrisonville mo

Re: Pi Zero W media centre

Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:17 pm

No a pi 3b (not plus) can barely run YouTube.
I have a pi3 two arduinos and a build it personality. I will do this!

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Re: Pi Zero W media centre

Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:45 pm

Will5455 wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:17 pm
No a pi 3b (not plus) can barely run YouTube.
YouTube != Media centre

All the Pi range can decode 1080p30 H264 as standard with no problem with the HW decoder, and can go up to 1080p60 on certain streams, where it will bump the clock to increase performance.

Many many people use Pi's as media centres, although they tend to use the latest model which gives a faster GUI (HW decode is the same)
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Please direct all questions to the forum, I do not do support via PM.

bradwiggo
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:27 am

Re: Pi Zero W media centre

Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:55 pm

jamesh wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:45 pm
Will5455 wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:17 pm
No a pi 3b (not plus) can barely run YouTube.
YouTube != Media centre

All the Pi range can decode 1080p30 H264 as standard with no problem with the HW decoder, and can go up to 1080p60 on certain streams, where it will bump the clock to increase performance.

Many many people use Pi's as media centres, although they tend to use the latest model which gives a faster GUI (HW decode is the same)
I just tried it on my Pi 2, and it seems to be streaming it fine. I assume if it was set up as an access point that would reduce performance, woudl it reduce it significantly?

jamesh
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Re: Pi Zero W media centre

Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:34 pm

I used to use a Pi1 (slower than a Zero) as a streaming media server using Kodi and a wifi dongle with attached USB HD. Worked fine serving up video to the children in the motorhome.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Please direct all questions to the forum, I do not do support via PM.

bradwiggo
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:27 am

Re: Pi Zero W media centre

Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:13 pm

jamesh wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:34 pm
I used to use a Pi1 (slower than a Zero) as a streaming media server using Kodi and a wifi dongle with attached USB HD. Worked fine serving up video to the children in the motorhome.
Did you use the hardware decoding feature? Also was the video 60fps, as I have tried with my Pi 1 B and it is really laggy and freezes constantly.

As a side question, did you have the Pi set up as an access point, as I have been trying to do that for ages but it doesn't seem to be working.

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Imperf3kt
Posts: 1485
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Location: Australia

Re: Pi Zero W media centre

Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:42 pm

Will5455 wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:17 pm
No a pi 3b (not plus) can barely run YouTube.
I would have agreed with this back in 2017, but today, this is just nonsense. A Pi3b effortlessly streams Youtube.
.
I also watch youtube from my Pi0W just fine. It does almost max out the poor thing, but it does work.
Stop plugging your fan directly into the GPIO 5v
https://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/power/transient-suppression.html

HiassofT
Posts: 134
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:07 pm

Re: Pi Zero W media centre

Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:50 am

Have a look at LibreELEC https://libreelec.tv/

I regularly test this on a RPi (1) model B and kodi works fine.

Keep in mind though that streaming high bitrate files over Wifi can be problematic. Media on a local USB drive or using the wired ethernet connection on a RPi 1/2/3 is more stable.

so long,

Hias

jamesh
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Re: Pi Zero W media centre

Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:54 am

bradwiggo wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:13 pm
jamesh wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:34 pm
I used to use a Pi1 (slower than a Zero) as a streaming media server using Kodi and a wifi dongle with attached USB HD. Worked fine serving up video to the children in the motorhome.
Did you use the hardware decoding feature? Also was the video 60fps, as I have tried with my Pi 1 B and it is really laggy and freezes constantly.

As a side question, did you have the Pi set up as an access point, as I have been trying to do that for ages but it doesn't seem to be working.
I was using it as a media source, so streaming to other devices, although could also be used as a player. All worked fine. Kodi uses the HW decoding, plus some software on formats that the HW doesn;t support. However, you need a beefier Pi for those ones than the Zero. Stick to H264 and you will be fine on all models.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Please direct all questions to the forum, I do not do support via PM.

steelo
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:15 pm

Re: Pi Zero W media centre

Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:25 pm

A while back, I installed plex on my Pi3 to stream tv shows/movies/audio to Roku connected TV's. As long as it didn't have to transcode, it worked okay but the processor hovered at 50-60% the entire time. IMO, a pi zero with 1 core, opposed to 4 cores really would not be ideal. It just doesn't have the processing power and would be a frustrating experience with the user interface/GUI menus. I would imagine it would be maxed out the entire time and you'd constantly be buffering.

dom
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Location: Cambridge

Re: Pi Zero W media centre

Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:34 pm

Kodi is usable on a Pi0w: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8GZr2fyUY0

A Pi3 is a better choice and will give a smoother gui and play some more demanding video formats.

geoffpalmeruk
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Location: Exeter, Devon, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Pi Zero W media centre

Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:54 am

I have used the Pi Zero (not w) as a media player for about a year now, It is a little slow through the interface (but still useable) No complaints here

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