What do you use as your HTPC/ Media Player

Discussion in 'HTPC' started by Pugs, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. aokman

    aokman Member

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    It is, it sold me and made me ditch PLEX forever and I have not found a single thing it cannot play. Ironically it can now integrate PLEX also :lol:
     
  2. ChinoPD

    ChinoPD Member

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    I have worked hard on my server and everything is on point so I won't be getting rid of it any time soon. Besides, plex really only direct plays my 1080p content. I don't really want to be playing around with 4K rips at the moment.
     
  3. frnak

    frnak Member

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    I was also blown away by how capable the Apple TV is. As well as local streaming its by far the slickest choice for internet based streaming services (Netflix, Stan, FTA catchup etc). Very fluid UI and rock solid. Blows my old Kodi Box and my WDTV out of the water.

    I'm running an Apple TV 4K which does most of my streaming and a Steam Link for duties that need Windows (browser streaming, USB playback, steam games etc). I'm very happy with this combination.

    My only real gripes with the Apple TV are the lack of Windows screencasting and USB playback.
     
  4. aokman

    aokman Member

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    Yeah I wish it had a dam USB port and maybe optical port but I have worked around it now. Other than that, I cant fault its playback of anything. The main reason I ditched PLEX was the 4K support was garbage then I ran into HD audio issues with every media player such as my LG OLED, Samsung UltraHD Bluray Player and even the Shield. The ATV is the only device that put every issue to bed finally.

    4K has been very challenging to say the least to take up from a media file point of view. ATMOS is another recent issue and I think the ATV is the only media player on the market that supports the codec.
     
  5. wintermute000

    wintermute000 Member

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    I just built a new (cheap) HTPC (G5400 + 1030GT), thought the kaby-era cores and 1030 would power through 4k and HDMI 2.x etc. but the madVR / UHD (HDR) funtimes I did not account for. I just got too used to Kodi etc. powering through anything in 1080p no questions asked... lets not even talk about plex and transcoding 4k etc

    Unfortunately I need a proper browser solution so a PC has to be in the mix somewhere (non-English sites, android/IOS clients are broken or geo-blocked but easily overcome with PC based software).

    Fortunately that's another reason not to spend money on a new TV - still running 1080p screens everywhere except the 1440p PC monitor, so 4k is no essential ATM. Really wishing that HDR etc. is finally 'fixed' in windows over the next 12 months, its ridiculous how its plug-n-play on pitiful console/media streamer hardware but not on fully fledged intel/MS.

    Shield is tempting but given all the wifi talk I've been hearing I'm standing clear for now, and I'll buy an Apple product when hell freezes over (its ideological, I just cannot stand the brand).
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
  6. aokman

    aokman Member

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    Do NOT buy a Shield if you want good WIFI performance, it is utter garbage. For comparison my LG TV and UltraHD bluray player were 2-3x faster on AC wifi and I have a Ubiquiti access point.

    Your choice about the ATV but it really is the best out there out of everything I have tried. 4K transcoding...dont even go there LOL
     
  7. wintermute000

    wintermute000 Member

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    I have a bunch of funny bespoke requirements (overseas services jailbreak/geo-unblock, multi-language libraries native i.e. english is in english, foreign language is in foreign language including subtitles, need full browser) and I don't actually use any of the conventional streaming services so that's why I haven't gone down the media streamer route yet.
     
  8. Copie

    Copie Member

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    The wifi performance can be fixed easily though, just a tweak of the settings needed.
     
  9. aokman

    aokman Member

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    What settings are those? I searched high and low when I had one and there was nothing to tweak the WIFI :(
     
  10. Copie

    Copie Member

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    Plenty of guides around, especially forcing it to use the 5ghz band rather then auto defaulting to 2.4ghz
     
  11. aokman

    aokman Member

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    Mine was always on 5Ghz as I can see and setup the device configuration from the Ubiquiti. That stopped it falling back to 2.4Ghz but yeah.... still did jack all :(
     
  12. frnak

    frnak Member

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    Yeah the 4K UHD content can require an enormous amount of CPU power to decode. That's why the Apple TV 4K is so powerful. It actually outperforms the G5400 on Geekbench by about 15%.

    I can totally relate that some situations just need Windows, there's no way around that.
     
  13. Sipheren

    Sipheren Member

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    I use the system in my sig, with Kodi and Plex. Works really well.
     
  14. aokman

    aokman Member

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    I have not found anything on the PC side really and PLEX doesnt support anything other than CPU transcoding which makes it useless. Much better to just have x265 hardware decoding players than mess around with streaming now.
     
  15. wintermute000

    wintermute000 Member

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    Yeah I know, but I thought the GT1030 handled 10-bit HEVC in hardware, including 4k/UHD via HDMI 2.0. I didn't factor in the windows HDR / software fsckery (e.g. not running properly in kodi/plex, needing MPC-HC with madVR etc)

    I'll just keep holding back from upgrading my actual TV screens to 4k for another year or two LOL
     
  16. frnak

    frnak Member

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    Yeah it gets even messier when you look at Netflix 4K support. While Kaby Lake supports it, the lower tier Nvidia cards do not (even though they carry the hardware), necessitating a minimum 1050ti or higher for pre-kaby lake users such as myself. Not to forget the requirement for HDMI 2.0 screens only.

    It seems like content providers are trying their hardest to keep 4K content off PC screens.
     
  17. wintermute000

    wintermute000 Member

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    wat, so I bought that 1030GT for nothing?!?!? Or is it OK if you have a Kaby (Pentium G5440) + GT1030? Or are you referring to Kaby IGP - which hasn't got HDMI 2.0 mobos....

    TBH I'm firmly on the aaaaar platform so my main concern is getting UHD 4k playback from local files
     
  18. frnak

    frnak Member

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    My PC doesn't have Netflix 4K so don't take this as gospel, but my understanding is that the Kaby Lake IGP supports Netflix 4K so long as all screens and outputs are HDCP 2.2 capable, such as HDMI 2.0. The 1030GT will not support Netflix 4K through its outputs as it is not certified by Netflix/Nvidia.
    I believe the outputs depend on your motherboard, the CPU IGP should support HDCP 2.2.

    You can blame the Hollywood content producers for these onerous requirements.
     
  19. Azrael

    Azrael Member

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    Im still poking around and considering upgrading my HTPC. But first, is there anything at the OS level that just makes a HTPC easier to use when not in Kodi or Steam Bigpicture? I was hoping that the interface to Win10 might work better from a distance, but alas it doesnt.

    Does anyone do a skin that makes it workable, or will i forever be getting up to check on dialog boxes etc.
     
  20. wintermute000

    wintermute000 Member

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    You pretty much have to auto-boot into Kodi/Plex/OpenPHT/Emby etc.

    its sad but the streaming services have better remote-optimised big-screen clients on Android/IOS

    Desktop size scaling makes it better
     

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