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Raspberry Pi 2 is fantastic

Pheran

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2001
5,849
48
91
I just got hold of a couple of Raspberry Pi 2 systems and I've loaded them with OpenELEC 5.0.8 (a lightweight Kodi distribution) for use as media boxes. I never got the original Raspberry Pi because they were kind of slow for this purpose, but I'm loving the Pi2.

In the living room with my main HT system I'm using the Pi2 in a Flirc case (this is a really nice case, looks just like a smaller Intel NUC) and the Flirc IR receiver, which works great with my Harmony One remote.

In the den I have another Pi2 with OpenELEC in a more basic case, this time just using HDMI CEC with the remote for the Sony TV, which works really well except there's no remote key that corresponds to the Kodi context menu, which is annoying. From what I've read this should be fixable by doing some text hacking in the Kodi config.

I'm still trying to figure out if I should purchase the MPEG2 hardware decoder license or if it makes much difference with the Pi2 horsepower.
 
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chubbyfatazn

Golden Member
Oct 14, 2006
1,617
34
91
Heh, pretty much the same config I got running for my dad, right down to the Flirc IR receiver. Those things are great.

Does yours get fairly hot under the hood? Ours came with a free heatsink for the SoC but even then it's a lot warmer than I expected.

Also trying to figure out why wifi passwords aren't being saved after power-off.
 

Pheran

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2001
5,849
48
91
Heh, pretty much the same config I got running for my dad, right down to the Flirc IR receiver. Those things are great.

Does yours get fairly hot under the hood? Ours came with a free heatsink for the SoC but even then it's a lot warmer than I expected.

Also trying to figure out why wifi passwords aren't being saved after power-off.
I haven't noticed much heat, but I guess I'd have to feel it during playback to really tell. The Flirc case has a builtin heatsink. No idea about the wifi since I don't use it.
 

Kneedragger

Golden Member
Feb 18, 2013
1,192
45
91
I've been thinking about getting a couple of these for the same thing. Do either of you guys have receivers that DTS MA or TrueHD? I'm curious how the Raspberry Pi 2 handles these..
 

Pheran

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2001
5,849
48
91
I've been thinking about getting a couple of these for the same thing. Do either of you guys have receivers that DTS MA or TrueHD? I'm curious how the Raspberry Pi 2 handles these..
Unfortunately it doesn't - that's probably the most significant limitation of the Raspberry Pi - lack of support for HD audio formats. If you must have that then I would recommend a Chromebox instead of the Pi.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
I just got hold of a couple of Raspberry Pi 2 systems and I've loaded them with OpenELEC 5.0.8 (a lightweight Kodi distribution) for use as media boxes. I never got the original Raspberry Pi because they were kind of slow for this purpose, but I'm loving the Pi2.

In the living room with my main HT system I'm using the Pi2 in a Flirc case (this is a really nice case, looks just like a smaller Intel NUC) and the Flirc IR receiver, which works great with my Harmony One remote.

In the den I have another Pi2 with OpenELEC in a more basic case, this time just using HDMI CEC with the remote for the Sony TV, which works really well except there's no remote key that corresponds to the Kodi context menu, which is annoying. From what I've read this should be fixable by doing some text hacking in the Kodi config.

I'm still trying to figure out if I should purchase the MPEG2 hardware decoder license or if it makes much difference with the Pi2 horsepower.
I got the licenses for mine. It's only like $3 for the ability to decode DVD rips (MPEG-2) and the occasional Blu-ray that is VC-1 encoded.

You're right though, with the FLIRC and FLIRC case these new ones are pretty awesome. My only issue is that by the time I buy the Pi, the FLIRC, the case and a Wifi adapter I could have bought a FireTV, although the FLIRC will undoubtedly give a better remote control experience.
 

Pheran

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2001
5,849
48
91
It will decode Dolby True HD and pass it along as PCM. Thats about it though, nothing for DTS HD.
My understanding is that multichannel (more than 2) PCM is limited to 48 kHz sampling rates, so it can't do 192 kHz content. But I haven't tried any of that myself.
 

deanx0r

Senior member
Oct 1, 2002
890
20
76
I wouldnt even bother with the IR receiver & remote because they make navigation so clunky in xbmc. Enable the http remote under services and grab the official kodi/xbmc remote app on iOS or Android for a much better experience.
 

luv2liv

Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2001
3,375
89
91
the case is nice but still not presentable because you have wires going in and out from all the sides. i hope rpi3 with have all the ports on 1 side.
not an issue for me. since the pi is so small, i just piggy back it onto the monitor without a case. working fine so far.
 

Pheran

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2001
5,849
48
91
I wouldnt even bother with the IR receiver & remote because they make navigation so clunky in xbmc. Enable the http remote under services and grab the official kodi/xbmc remote app on iOS or Android for a much better experience.
I don't find anything clunky about using the Harmony and Flirc with Kodi, it works just like any other home theater component.
 
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Pheran

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2001
5,849
48
91
the case is nice but still not presentable because you have wires going in and out from all the sides. i hope rpi3 with have all the ports on 1 side.
not an issue for me. since the pi is so small, i just piggy back it onto the monitor without a case. working fine so far.
I only have wires on 2 sides of the case - the network & USB side and the power & HDMI side. One problem is that you need the Flirc receiver to be facing forward. In order to avoid having the USB and network ports (which has annoying blinking lights) also facing forward, I use this simple USB right angle adapter with Flirc. This way I have a nice clean silver surface facing forward, with the Flirc receiver alongside.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
My understanding is that multichannel (more than 2) PCM is limited to 48 kHz sampling rates, so it can't do 192 kHz content. But I haven't tried any of that myself.
Yeah, if you really really care about HD Audio the Chromebox is the answer.

But for secondary stations where you just want the file to play the Pi 2 is amazing.

I don't find anything clunky about using the Harmony and Flirc with Kodi, it works just like any other home theater component.
Can't be said enough. I love Yatse, but it doesn't switch the TV inputs for my wife like a Harmony does.
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
27,623
7,388
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Is there any reason why you can't use audio passthrough for your HD audio? Especially if you have a receiver that supports the needed formats?
 

Maximilian

Lifer
Feb 8, 2004
12,607
5
76
Pi2 definitely is fantastic :thumbsup: I had a pi model B as my media center front end for a year and it was pretty good but the speed increase with the pi 2 is really noticeable. Im also using openelec.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
But I thought that audio pass through eliminated any hardware limitations, since it offloads the decoding to an external receiver?
Yeah but only if the HDMI port of the device supports passing along that audio. The hardware has to support HD audio bitstreaming, which takes more bandwidth than non-HD audio.

Maybe someone will figure out a work around, but not all HDMI is equal. I have a Nvidia card with an HDMI port that can't bitstream more than regular DTS.
 

Pheran

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2001
5,849
48
91
Yeah but only if the HDMI port of the device supports passing along that audio. The hardware has to support HD audio bitstreaming, which takes more bandwidth than non-HD audio.

Maybe someone will figure out a work around, but not all HDMI is equal. I have a Nvidia card with an HDMI port that can't bitstream more than regular DTS.
Versions of the PS3 before the slim had the same problem. Regular Dolby Digital and DTS work fine, you just can't pass through DTS HD-MA or Dolby TrueHD.
 
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ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
27,623
7,388
136
How would you test this? Is there a dolby trueHD file one can use? If kodi is set to hdmi audio passthrough and my receiver plays the file then it works right?
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
How would you test this? Is there a dolby trueHD file one can use? If kodi is set to hdmi audio passthrough and my receiver plays the file then it works right?
It only matters if you have such a file ripped off a bluray. It works if the receiver's True HD light goes on.
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
27,623
7,388
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It only matters if you have such a file ripped off a bluray. It works if the receiver's True HD light goes on.
All of my blurays are ripped, uncompressed and have the best audio channel saved. Is there a bluray that has TrueHD that you know of off the top of your head that I could test?
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
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All of my blurays are ripped, uncompressed and have the best audio channel saved. Is there a bluray that has TrueHD that you know of off the top of your head that I could test?
Here is the thing- if it doesn't work it will just say Dolby Digital or AC3 instead because it will bitstream the compressed audio track instead. So try a couple and look for the light. You will get 5.1 no matter what, just a slightly lower quality if its the compressed streams. If that is the case don't bitstream and decode it on the box for True HD (leave DTS HD to bitstream always).

My go-to True HD Blu Ray to test new boxes is the first Kung Fu Panda. I love the Anime intro.
 

Pheran

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2001
5,849
48
91
Yeah, it's not like you are going to have no sound, you'll just get Dolby Digital instead of Dolby TrueHD.
 

slag

Lifer
Dec 14, 2000
10,468
78
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dumb question. Can i use one of these as a media extender to my kodi setup in the basement? I need an endpoint to stream to.
 

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