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HTPC Questions

phillyman36

Golden Member
Jun 28, 2004
1,660
78
91
Hey I haven't been keeping up with Kodi and Openelec. I played around with a Nuc and Windows 7 a year or 2 ago. Thinking about building a small HTPC. My focus will be more on video quality. So should I

1) Run Kodi in Windows 10 or Openelec?
2) Use either a Kabylake Nuc (onboard graphics) or build using i3 cpu and say a Gtx 1050 or Gtx1060 gpu?
3) If using a gpu for a Htpc 1050 vs 1060 won't matter right? A Gtx 1050 should be fine?

All the Blu rays I buy are on a Nas. I convert them to mkv files(movie only). My tv is a Samsung 4k tv. Starting to look at Powerdvd and Plex as an alternative to Kodi/Openelec. Anyone ever compared the 3 option? If I build I assume since I would use a gpu there would be no need for using a i5 cpu correct?

One thing I don't like is film noise/grain, so the option to get rid of it would be nice (even if the film was made with it)
Thought, suggestions?
Thanks for any help
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,264
38
91
1) For Kodi use openelec is "thinner", less OS overhead.
2) either should be satisfactory for HD, UHD may prefer more than onboard.
3) either GPU is more than sufficient

Kodi vs PowerDVD vs Plex
Kodi would be the best for a single "point of consumption" with all it's configurability and functionality. Be prepared to spend a good chunk of time and energy getting things the way you want them.
Plex is better for a multiple point of consumption household- especially with technically challenged family members.
PowerDVD is not an alternative to Plex or Kodi- not built for the same capabilities. I don't envision any real utility to running PowerDVD when all your content is already ripped to NAS.
 

smithkt

Member
Oct 29, 2007
176
1
81
Use LibreElec instead of OpenElec. For whatever reason, most of the OpenElec devs left the project, forking it to LibreElec. LibreElec stays much closer to the Kodi release schedule and is currently better supported.

I agree with Kartajan that Plex is better for multiple point of consumption setups, but that does not preclude using Kodi as a front end if you prefer it. There is an 3rd party plugin called PlexKodiConnect which will allow Kodi to use a Plex server as the library source.

Another option is Emby. Emby and Plex are very feature comparable. Emby also has an official Kodi plugin that allows Kodi to use the Emby server as a library source. This is what I am using right now and it works pretty well.
 

Iron Woode

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 10, 1999
27,312
5,953
136
I don't like the new Kodi Krypton. I am still using Jarvis. I am using an I3 Haswell setup for my HTPC. I also use an HD6450 for my 1080P TV. I am running Win 8.1 with wmc.

You could also try Media Portal.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,264
38
91
Media Portal is kinda- sorta a "windows only" fork of Kodi. If you wanted to go in that direction I would probably lean more towards recommending the Openelec/ Kodi build if the point remains a single stand- alone HTPC because Windows Updates always seem to happen/ prompt at an inconvenient time.

Plex or Emby are still my recommendation for multiple point of consumption households.. (I neglected to mention Emby since the OP was asking about Plex specifically)
<BTW, I personally dislike Kodi- I think it takes too much to set it the way I want it whereas Plex is pretty close in the default configuration/ only need to do server config once>
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,481
451
126
My biggest complaint about Plex is probably the HTPC program, Plex for Home Theaters. Honestly, for normal content like TV and movies, you're usually fine, but I've had a heck of a time dealing with it and anime. The biggest problem is that it will run into issues when skipping around in a video during playback. At best, the video will simply stop playing, but at worst, Plex will crash to a black screen. If you're lucky, it will simply crash to desktop, but the black screen is very troublesome to get out of if you're using fullscreen mode. I had to improperly power down my HTPC this weekend because all the normal key combinations did nothing.

Plex is coming out with a new play, which is currently PlexPass only, but honestly... I don't like it and refuse to use it. It takes the same approach as the Xbox One and Windows UWP app, which means you have silly categories that you don't actually want ("Latest Horror Movies", etc.) rather than only showing you what's new (recently added) and what's on deck. Keep in mind that normal Plex for Home Theater isn't that pretty either, which is why I've been using the Aeon skin for quite a while.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,264
38
91
My biggest complaint about Plex is probably the HTPC program, Plex for Home Theaters....
I can feel you on PHT... I do, however, really like it on my NVidia Shield's... I usually do the web client when using a PC
(Note my PC is NOT hooked into a TV, and I never cared for the experience of running a PC on the TV- the experience never met my expectations regardless of the combination of HW and SW I tried....)
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,481
451
126
I can feel you on PHT... I do, however, really like it on my NVidia Shield's... I usually do the web client when using a PC
(Note my PC is NOT hooked into a TV, and I never cared for the experience of running a PC on the TV- the experience never met my expectations regardless of the combination of HW and SW I tried....)
I've used the web client a few times while on a PC. It's an easy way to ensure my progress is saved, but I usually just open the files in MPC-HC.

HTPCs can be a bit troublesome, but the one nice advantage is that it is just a PC. I'm not limited by whether or not an app exists for a specific service. Heck, sometimes, I'll just use my HTPC rather than going to use my main desktop. I do wish that I had a good 10-foot UI for really using it though.
 

phillyman36

Golden Member
Jun 28, 2004
1,660
78
91
One more question, between these 2 of these running LibreELEC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856102140&ignorebbr=1&cm_re=intel_nuc-_-56-102-140-_-Product

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856158053&cm_re=beebox-_-56-158-053-_-Product

as far as playing blu ray(HD) and dvd(SD) files would they be about the same as far as picture quality(i know the i3 has more horsepower)? If i understand it correctly the only reason to get the Kaby Lake Beebox would be for h.265 and native 4k files(which i dont have either of)
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,264
38
91
They should have comparable PQ, but I would likely lean towards the newer onboard video in the i3..
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
One more question, between these 2 of these running LibreELEC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856102140&ignorebbr=1&cm_re=intel_nuc-_-56-102-140-_-Product

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856158053&cm_re=beebox-_-56-158-053-_-Product

as far as playing blu ray(HD) and dvd(SD) files would they be about the same as far as picture quality(i know the i3 has more horsepower)? If i understand it correctly the only reason to get the Kaby Lake Beebox would be for h.265 and native 4k files(which i dont have either of)
For Libreelec use I would get the NUC. As a general rule the drivers for new Intel GPUs don't get hammered out (aka no problems, works fine with Kodi, bugs are found) until about 4-5 months after their release. Even then it might take a few months for them to be packaged properly into a distro.

Unless you want to be the guinea pig stick to older stuff when dealing with Linux. The picture quality will be the same for the same content.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,481
451
126
I took a look at them both, and they both support h.265, which was the only thing I would have been worried about. Apart from that, there shouldn't be an issue if you only want it to run OpenELEC.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
81,277
7,594
126
Run a Plex server, skip buying a Windows license. Buy a Raspberry Pi and flash it with RasPlex, skip buying a Roku/Chromecast/FireTV.
Pi is more expensive than cromecast when you factor in power supply and microsd.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
Pi is more expensive than cromecast when you factor in power supply and microsd.
But it will play HD Audio and the Kodi interface doesn't get weighed down by all of the extraneous crap from a streaming stick.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
81,277
7,594
126
But it will play HD Audio and the Kodi interface doesn't get weighed down by all of the extraneous crap from a streaming stick.
Was replying to someone talking about plex and rasplex. rasplex is horrid due to rpi bandwidth limit.
 

phillyman36

Golden Member
Jun 28, 2004
1,660
78
91
I think I may go the Windows 10 route and get a Asrock Beebox so I can use Kodi and watch 4k content via Netflix. The current Kably Lake Beebox use Intel Hd 620 gpu. Early next year there are supposed to be Nuc coming out with iris graphics. Isn't the iris graphics used more for gaming? Its not something that would make an impact on movie watching whether it be thru Kodi, Netflix or any sort of hd/4k video? The Beebox has a Cir so thats why im leaning towards that as opposed to a Brix or Msi nuc.
 

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