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Chromebox or Nvidia Shield for Kodi usage

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
984
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Is there any advantages to the Chromebox if it's for pure Kodi usage over the Nvidia Shield? Also is the Chromebox louder than the Nvidia Shield? What about connecting USB hard drives, is the Chromebox a better device for connecting usb hard drives?
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
Is there any advantages to the Chromebox if it's for pure Kodi usage over the Nvidia Shield? Also is the Chromebox louder than the Nvidia Shield? What about connecting USB hard drives, is the Chromebox a better device for connecting usb hard drives?
I have a Chromebox running OpenELEC and it is dead silent. There is a fan but I have never heard it kick on in the last 2 years. Four USB 3.0 ports is tough to beat.

That being said, if I were to invest in one right now I would probably get a Shield so I could get some online services like NetFlix or Amazon. Right now, I have to use PlayOn and it's just not quite as nice as a dedicated client.

If I was going to get something for pure Kodi usage, though, I would probably just get a RaspPi3 and a FLIRC. I see very little, if any difference between the Chromebox and my RaspPi2 and the RaspPi3 has more juice under the hood than the 2.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
They are both very quiet. I don't think I've ever heard either one of them in real usage.

Getting the shield to see/use anything external is frustrating. I haven't tried to access external media via Kodi. If this is a real issue, the chromebox is probably better. Just share it over the network and avoid plugging it into the shield.

The shield is truly plug and play. I've used (many) PC's, Rpi2+Openelec, chromebox with plex and Kodi, and now the shield. Nothing comes close to the simplicity of the shield and I'm a huge fan. You can have Plex and/or Kodi running in literally minutes. Plus, it can legally stream anything except for (maybe) Amazon Prime. As an added bonus, you can play silly stuff like bombsquad with your friends when you have a party. It's hilarious. Hint: be the player with the real game controller and tell your fiends that their smartphones are just as good (they aren't)!
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
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A Chromebox is a better Kodi box, but the gap isn't as big as it used to be. The gap between say a Chromebox and a full Windows HTPC that can do tricks like MadVR is much much wider.
 

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
984
15
81
I was wondering if this NUC will give me the same problem with that latest Openelec release with the hazy looking image I got with the Braswell NUC I returned? Also does this NUC have RGB (full/limited) settings under Display portion inside the Graphics Control Panel, not just for the Video portion? The Braswell NUC only let me set it for the Video portion which had no affect on the desktop image.

http://www.frys.com/product/8732571?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
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I was wondering if this NUC will give me the same problem with that latest Openelec release with the hazy looking image I got with the Braswell NUC I returned? Also does this NUC have RGB (full/limited) settings under Display portion inside the Graphics Control Panel, not just for the Video portion? The Braswell NUC only let me set it for the Video portion which had no affect on the desktop image.

http://www.frys.com/product/8732571?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG
That one running Windows 10 would be fine. I wouldn't trust that graphics driver yet in Linux though.
 

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
984
15
81
I might buy the Chromebox and upgrade it to 4GB RAM and run Openelec on it. Does the image look hazy in Openelec when the Chromebox is connected to a PC monitor? I returned a NUC with a N3700 Pentium and I was getting a hazy image in Openelec on it even with 16-235 disabled. Will I get the same issue with the image in Openelec on the Chromebox if I'm using a PC monitor? My desktop PC with a GTX 780ti does not get a hazy image in Openelec using the same monitor, but I don't want to use my gaming/work PC as a HTPC and running Openelec on my PC with Windows 10 installed changed the time in Windows each time I run Openelec on it requiring me to reset the clock in Windows.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
I might buy the Chromebox and upgrade it to 4GB RAM and run Openelec on it. Does the image look hazy in Openelec when the Chromebox is connected to a PC monitor? I returned a NUC with a N3700 Pentium and I was getting a hazy image in Openelec on it even with 16-235 disabled. Will I get the same issue with the image in Openelec on the Chromebox if I'm using a PC monitor? My desktop PC with a GTX 780ti does not get a hazy image in Openelec using the same monitor, but I don't want to use my gaming/work PC as a HTPC and running Openelec on my PC with Windows 10 installed changed the time in Windows each time I run Openelec on it requiring me to reset the clock in Windows.
I use an EGL build of Openelec on the one I have hooked to a monitor and I don't have issues. Did you ever try an EGL build with that NUC?
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
I might buy the Chromebox and upgrade it to 4GB RAM and run Openelec on it. Does the image look hazy in Openelec when the Chromebox is connected to a PC monitor? I returned a NUC with a N3700 Pentium and I was getting a hazy image in Openelec on it even with 16-235 disabled. Will I get the same issue with the image in Openelec on the Chromebox if I'm using a PC monitor? My desktop PC with a GTX 780ti does not get a hazy image in Openelec using the same monitor, but I don't want to use my gaming/work PC as a HTPC and running Openelec on my PC with Windows 10 installed changed the time in Windows each time I run Openelec on it requiring me to reset the clock in Windows.
Why would you add more RAM to the Chromebox to run OpenELEC? It does just fine without it.
 

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
984
15
81
I did not try the EGL build on the NUC. I tried the latest official release listed on the Openelec website. I try to avoid beta and experiemental builds of software, especially when the EGL build is not listed in the Openelec website.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
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Fair enough.

Well only the EGL builds have the fixes needed for full color space, just FYI. The generic Openelec is meant to work on as many boxes as possible so it doesn't have many device specific fixes like that.
 

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
984
15
81
Today I bought the Intel NUC5PPYH since I bought a TV a few weeks ago and I rather watch movies through a TV than a monitor. This one is the one that came barebones and I added a 120GB SSD and 8GB memory to it. Now even connected to my TV the interface in Openelec seems a little faded when I choose the 16-235 setting with my TV's dynamic range set to limited but appears to look normal while playing a movie and the interface looks normal if I leave 16-235 unchecked with my TV's dynamic range set to limited which does not make sense. Setting my TV's dynamic range to Full and leaving 16-235 in Openelec unchecked makes the interface looks a little faded. Also I'm having an artifacting (pixelization) issue with VC1-VAAPI hardware acceleration left enabled while playing Batman Begins during the intro, a MKV 1080p rip from my blu-ray, in Openelec 6.0.3 and 7.0 beta. Should I have gone with the 6th Gen i3 NUC instead? Does the 6th Gen i3 NUC have the same issue in Openelec? Poofhairguy, as a last resort I want to try the EGL build of Openelec you mentioned but I could not find it anywhere and a link to it did not work.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
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LibreELEC is what you should use today. It is much more updated and comes with more fixes. Give it a shot.

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
 

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
984
15
81
LibreELEC is what you should use today. It is much more updated and comes with more fixes. Give it a shot.

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
I tried LibreElec 7.0 and I was still getting the artifacting in Batman Begins. Today I returned the NUC for a refund. I guess I might just stick with Plex on my Apple TV 4 for my ripped blu-rays and just deal with transcoding. I'm going to test out my Batman Begins blu-ray disc directly for those artifacts I experienced with the NUC.
 

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
984
15
81
https://libreelec.tv/download-temp/alpha-preview/

This is the one you want as it has the newer EGL builds. Regarding the Skylake NUC, it adds some 4k/HEVC abilities, but would really affect the RGB issues you are mentioning.
Well it's too late now because I returned the NUC for a refund. I'm not sure if I should try out the Skylake i3 NUC since it using a different graphics chipset than the Pentium N3700 NUC but I think I most likely will stick with Plex on my Apple TV 4.
 

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
984
15
81
I just tested my Batman Begins blu-ray disc directly on the blu-ray drive of my PC and it does not artifact in those places that I experienced in Openelec on the NUC.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
I just tested my Batman Begins blu-ray disc directly on the blu-ray drive of my PC and it does not artifact in those places that I experienced in Openelec on the NUC.
What GPU did you decode with on the PC?





I want to admit I myself am slowly moving away from my Chromebox army. More and more x265 content is out there every day and the Chromebox has problems playing some of it. Plus I have gotten hooked on MadVR upscaling which needs Windows and a real GPU. This is a very fast moving segment and today I don't see how I could recommend a Chromebox (or any NUC really) over a Shield in almost every use case when last year that wasn't the situation.
 

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
984
15
81
What GPU did you decode with on the PC?





I want to admit I myself am slowly moving away from my Chromebox army. More and more x265 content is out there every day and the Chromebox has problems playing some of it. Plus I have gotten hooked on MadVR upscaling which needs Windows and a real GPU. This is a very fast moving segment and today I don't see how I could recommend a Chromebox (or any NUC really) over a Shield in almost every use case when last year that wasn't the situation.
GTX 780 Ti
 

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
984
15
81
Tonight I bought the Intel NUC6i3SYH and I'm still having the same artifacting issue during the intro of Batman Begins with Openelec 7 beta 3. If I disable VC1-VAAPI acceleration, the artifacting is gone but the black levels look too light in Batman Begins just like it did with the NUC5PPYH I returned. Also I noticed that the Libreelec website says that in order to use Libreelec 8 Alpha Preview I must be willing to participate in reporting issues in their forum and help the developers search for bugs and deal with debug logs. I don't know if I should keep this NUC at least just before the return period is over and see how it goes. Batman Begins is the only VC1 encoded movie I tried that is giving me issues with VC1-VAAPI hardware acceleration. I have not watched a movie all the way through on my NUC yet, just playing a bit of the beginning of a few movies for testing purposes. I might end up buying Windows 10 Home and install it and install Kodi on this NUC.
 

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
984
15
81
Sometimes when I press All Off on my harmony 650 remote to end the Watch NUC activity while in LibreELEC 7.0.2, my NUC will turn back on 2 seconds after turning off. However, this issue does not happen if I manually select the Intel Media Player device programmed in my Harmony remote and select Power Off. Is this a Harmony issue during the process of shutting down the activity, maybe the Harmony is repeating the power off process twice for the NUC if I turn it off through All Off on my remote? Defective NUC? LibreELEC issue?
 

Dave3000

Senior member
Jan 10, 2011
984
15
81
Here's an update to my issue. I set the NUC device to not power on or off in the Harmony software and just assigned a Power Toggle button to the Watch Intel NUC activity on the remote. After watching a few minutes of a movie, pressing stop, then wait 2 seconds, then press Power Toggle on the remote, the NUC turns off but 2 seconds after turning off it turns back on and loads up LibreELEC once again. Also once in a while there will be no audio when playing a video, requiring me to exit the video and reenter the video. I remember having this same no audio issue before with a 4th generation i3 NUC I tried out 2 years ago but with OpenELEC. I had the audio device alive setting set to always but now I set it to off to see if that fixes that occasional no audio issue when playing a video.
 

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