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Chromebox, NUC, Brix, Mini-tower PC or Nvidia Shield for Kodi?

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
942
11
81
I'm right now using my PC for Kodi and my Xbox One for Netflix streaming. I was thinking about getting a Kodi capable media streamer for Kodi usage. If I go with an Intel NUC or a Brix I want to get one with the Haswell i3 and add 8GB memory and add a 128GB SSD but then again I'd be spending about the same amount as getting a mini-tower Lenovo PC with a Haswell i3 after buying the SSD and memory. Chromebox I would have to open it up and do some modding to run Kodi on it and they already come with the storage and memory but are not as powerful as an i3 NUC or an i3 Brix, and I don't want to end up breaking it if I do open it up and I want to have the ability to revert back to the original firmware of the Chromebox just in case. Also I find my Xbox One a little slow at booting up and so I want something with faster booting up than an Xbox One for Netflix. I already have a Roku 3 but I don't use it anymore because it won't do full RGB and my monitor is designed for full RGB devices but I'm not even sure if the Nvidia Shield does full RGB and if it doesn't then it's of no use to me. I'm using my monitor for the display device, not a TV.
 

nfriedly

Member
Jan 14, 2014
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nfriedly.com
I built a Brix machine for a family member and was quite happy with it. It was small, fast, and super-easy to assemble.

I'm looking at a NUC for myself right now, but that's mainly because of the internal custom solutions header which you probably wouldn't need.

Oh, and if have no plans to use your Roku, get rid of it! ;) They seem to go for around $40-80 on eBay right now. (Or craigslist, or just give it to goodwill/someone you know/etc.)
 
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ctark

Senior member
Sep 6, 2004
726
1
0
I'm right now using my PC for Kodi and my Xbox One for Netflix streaming. I was thinking about getting a Kodi capable media streamer for Kodi usage. If I go with an Intel NUC or a Brix I want to get one with the Haswell i3 and add 8GB memory and add a 128GB SSD but then again I'd be spending about the same amount as getting a mini-tower Lenovo PC with a Haswell i3 after buying the SSD and memory. Chromebox I would have to open it up and do some modding to run Kodi on it and they already come with the storage and memory but are not as powerful as an i3 NUC or an i3 Brix, and I don't want to end up breaking it if I do open it up and I want to have the ability to revert back to the original firmware of the Chromebox just in case. Also I find my Xbox One a little slow at booting up and so I want something with faster booting up than an Xbox One for Netflix. I already have a Roku 3 but I don't use it anymore because it won't do full RGB and my monitor is designed for full RGB devices but I'm not even sure if the Nvidia Shield does full RGB and if it doesn't then it's of no use to me. I'm using my monitor for the display device, not a TV.
Why be so anal about RGB but then turn around and watch netflix? You are also watching on a monitor which is not an ideal experience. Not insulting, just wondering. With that said I love my Shield TV, does everything I want it to do. As for RGB

https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/844154/shield-android-tv/what-does-the-shield-use-for-its-hdmi-color-ycbcr-or-rgb-/
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
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Are you only wanting to use Kodi? I am still like my Chromeboxes, for pure Kodi use I still think they are great devices if you plan to use Openelec. The conversion process is not that hard, I have made one a Kodi device out of the box in 15 minutes once. (Asus is the brand to buy)

With that said, if I was buying right now something that size for Kodi I would probably get a Skylake NUC simply to get REAL 802.11AC. Nothing with an AMD CPU should even be considered. The Shield dominates if you want more than Kodi (games, Netflix, apps, etc.).
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
314
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Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
942
11
81
Well I tried out the Nvidia Shield today and it does not have a setting for RGB Full. Black looks dark gray on my monitor's screen and colors seemed to lack vibrancy but that's probably because it's not output full range RGB and I connected it to a monitor? I tried the Kodi app for the Shield and it could not see my external hard drive formatted as NTFS, but maybe that was because the Shield does not support NTFS formatted drives or does it? I need a device that recognizes NTFS formatted drives through Kodi and is able to output full range RGB besides my PC. Even with watching Netflix I want optimal display settings and don't want black looking dark gray.
 

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
942
11
81

How responsive is the IR sensor on that NUC when using Openelec? I tried out Openelec through a USB flash drive on my PC and there is too much lag in input response from my Harmony 650 remote but when using Kodi in Windows 10 the input response is responsive from my remote. I'd really prefer to avoid running Windows in the background though and that's why I want to use Openelec, but I'm not sure about how responsive my Harmony remote will be on that NUC.
 

phillyman36

Golden Member
Jun 28, 2004
1,604
48
91
How responsive is the IR sensor on that NUC when using Openelec? I tried out Openelec through a USB flash drive on my PC and there is too much lag in input response from my Harmony 650 remote but when using Kodi in Windows 10 the input response is responsive from my remote. I'd really prefer to avoid running Windows in the background though and that's why I want to use Openelec, but I'm not sure about how responsive my Harmony remote will be on that NUC.
I am running Kodi in Windows 10 using a Xbox remote.
http://www.amazon.com/Xbox-360-Universal-Media-Remote/dp/B000B6MLSM/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1452073201&sr=8-5&keywords=xbox+360+remote

Worked right out of the box and pretty responsive. The Braswell NUC I have I ran Openelec with the same remote and was pretty responsive. I don't have a Harmony remote so cant try it out to test. Maybe try the Openelec forums. I would think since thats usually the remote of choice some would have that combination of hardware.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
How responsive is the IR sensor on that NUC when using Openelec? I tried out Openelec through a USB flash drive on my PC and there is too much lag in input response from my Harmony 650 remote but when using Kodi in Windows 10 the input response is responsive from my remote. I'd really prefer to avoid running Windows in the background though and that's why I want to use Openelec, but I'm not sure about how responsive my Harmony remote will be on that NUC.
You may be able to solve this with a FLIRC. They have a built-in keymap for Kodi so "installation" is pretty easy. This route may be easier than solving the lag on the existing IR port, and it would give you much more key configuration ability (e.g. Alt-F4), but it will require you to leave the USB device in line of sight. These sell for $15-$22.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
314
126
but it will require you to leave the USB device in line of sight.
Actually FLIRCs are really sensitive, I have good luck putting them in back USB ports and just having the IR signals reflect off the wall.

But yeah, nothing beats a FLIRC for Kodi use.
 

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
942
11
81
Should I get the Chromebox with the i3 and 4GB? Should I get the Chromebox with the Celeron and 4GB DDR3 preinstalled or should I get the basic one with the Celeron and 2GB DDR3? Can a Plex client be installed on a Chromebox just in case I decide to use Plex instead? Can Windows 10 be installed on a Chromebox, just in case I want to change it's role to a work PC instead of a HTPC?
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
2gb v 4gb - don't know, but some of the chromeboxes have two slots (Asus has two), so you can upgrade later if necessary.

There is an unofficial plex client for Linux. I don't think it will work with OpenElec, but it works well with KodiBuntu which I have installed on the Chromebox.

If Win10 is a possibility in the future, you're probably better off with a NUC.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
314
126
Should I get the Chromebox with the i3 and 4GB? Should I get the Chromebox with the Celeron and 4GB DDR3 preinstalled or should I get the basic one with the Celeron and 2GB DDR3?
The only way I know to use more than 2GB on a Kodi box is if you plan to use MySQL to keep in sync multiple HTPCs. But only the HTPC hosting MySQL needs it, so I think it is safe to do without (if you ever get another one get 4GB RAM on it). The CPU upgrade offers nothing for Kodi use.

Can a Plex client be installed on a Chromebox just in case I decide to use Plex instead?
PleXBMC is a Plex client that runs in Kodi. So yes.

Can Windows 10 be installed on a Chromebox, just in case I want to change it's role to a work PC instead of a HTPC?
Nope, not all the drivers work. It has to be some sort of Linux OS, like Openelec or ChromeOS.
 

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
942
11
81
Will I be able to install Ubuntu on the Chromebox, just in case I decide to quit having a HTPC and decide to use it for work?
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
Will I be able to install Ubuntu on the Chromebox, just in case I decide to quit having a HTPC and decide to use it for work?
If you want a "real" plex client, kodibuntu is a better choice than OpenElec. It's more complicated to install but it opens other options like a true Plex client and teamviwer. PleXBMC in Openelec the easier option. I prefer to use the Emby backend for Kodi, under Openelec.
 

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