• Hello and Welcome to HiFiVision.com - an online community for the home entertainment and tech enthusiasts!

    If you would like to ask a question, participate in a discussion and view attachments please Register yourself.

Htpc for 4k movies

Wharfedale EVO4.4 Speaker

Neeraj0272

Active Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
748
Points
43
Location
delhi
Hi all
I had been using amd e350 htpc for past several years and it served me well for past 7 years. Now it has almost died and its time to move on.
Now I have got new 4k smart tv which is a complete package in itself. But I liked the versatility of my little htpc using it as a server for my squeezebox, download rig, movies playback, media, documents and file storage and occasionally doing duties as Windows pc. So I would like the same kind of little htpc but with 4k playback capability.
I want to look at 2 different options.
1. 4k upgraded version of e350 meaning low power pc which can be kept on 24/7.
2. Full gaming pc with a powerful graphics card.
Thing is that it will be in my bedroom and if I go with option 1 I want it to be absolutely quiet. I would prefer it to be fan less.
If I go for option 2 and then I will keep it on only when I use it so it should be very quiet. For option 2 I have another pc which will then do the duty of download rig and media server.
Now I have very limited space in my TV cabinet - 15" deep, 7.5" height, 20" width. I have to work within these constraints.
For option 1 I am willing to spend upto 15k for case, cpu + motherboard and ram. I have an hdd and keyboard with me.
For option 2 I can go higher upto 30 to 40k.
Please suggest options for me.
 

Bhoot

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2020
Messages
55
Points
18
Location
India
Hi all
I had been using amd e350 htpc for past several years and it served me well for past 7 years. Now it has almost died and its time to move on.
Now I have got new 4k smart tv which is a complete package in itself. But I liked the versatility of my little htpc using it as a server for my squeezebox, download rig, movies playback, media, documents and file storage and occasionally doing duties as Windows pc. So I would like the same kind of little htpc but with 4k playback capability.
I want to look at 2 different options.
1. 4k upgraded version of e350 meaning low power pc which can be kept on 24/7.
2. Full gaming pc with a powerful graphics card.
Thing is that it will be in my bedroom and if I go with option 1 I want it to be absolutely quiet. I would prefer it to be fan less.
If I go for option 2 and then I will keep it on only when I use it so it should be very quiet. For option 2 I have another pc which will then do the duty of download rig and media server.
Now I have very limited space in my TV cabinet - 15" deep, 7.5" height, 20" width. I have to work within these constraints.
For option 1 I am willing to spend upto 15k for case, cpu + motherboard and ram. I have an hdd and keyboard with me.
For option 2 I can go higher upto 30 to 40k.
Please suggest options for me.
I’d like to throw you on a tangent here. I’m not against what you say, but again my suggestion gives you best of both worlds.
go for Nvidia shield Pro (2019). It has an option of running Plex server and has 2 usb ports. 4K HDR is flawless and plex is probably the best platform for media consumption.you can also install kodi on it if that is your preference and external drive with media works on that too. For the rest of your requirements you can build a gaming rig and that can manage your files and your pc duties.
 

Prashob

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
57
Points
8
Location
Kerala
go for Nvidia shield Pro (2019). It has an option of running Plex server and has 2 usb ports. 4K HDR is flawless and plex is probably the best platform for media consumption.you can also install kodi on it if that is your preference and external drive with media works on that too. For the rest of your requirements you can build a gaming rig and that can manage your files and your pc duties.
But new shield have no usb right? And pro version cost 30k if imported via amazon.com i think.
Whats the best option now to bitstream local content? And also for streaming?
 

jagadeeshwarank

Active Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2018
Messages
110
Points
28
Location
Chennai
Please share your budget for both options you have in your mind.

nVidia Shield is best when you have contacts who can buy you one from US would cost you around 15k. Hes is referring to the Pro version that comes with 2 USB ports. This is the best for both streaming and local content in one box.

Not sure about the Amazon.com import cost, if buying from US is not an option then you would have to settle with Firetv/ any such streaming sticks. I have had experience with Firetvstick - decent one.

Since you already have smart TV with streaming options you can consider either of these.
  • For bitstreaming local contents, there are tonnes of Kodi based android boxes available, pick one that suites you.
  • Alternatively you can try the new Raspberry PI based Kodi box as well, heard good reviews about its capability to handle HDD in NAS setup as well. This would fit your bill as silent less power consuming HTPC.
Just my thoughts.
 

superczar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
578
Points
63
But new shield have no usb right? And pro version cost 30k if imported via amazon.com i think.
Whats the best option now to bitstream local content? And also for streaming?
Apple TV 4K - Install Infuse app for local content
I have used Kodi, MrMC (kodi fork) and Infuse - There is simply no comparison between the UI , speed and overall UX

PS: Ignore - just noticed that your HTPC is also your NAS
Although an alternate would be to use a RPI as a mini PC serving as a NAS , downloader and any other networked duties
Get any streamer of your choice (Fire TV 4K is a cheap option else ATV) and use that as an alternate for the HTPC duty of the current rig
Added benefit - far lower power consumption as well + the new RPI is gbe
 
Last edited:

Prashob

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
57
Points
8
Location
Kerala
Apple TV 4K - Install Infuse app for local content
I have used Kodi, MrMC (kodi fork) and Infuse - There is simply no comparison between the UI , speed and overall UX
Really? So with infuse or MrMC Apple tv can bitstream all formats like HDMA, True-HD, Atmos to AVR from a USB hardisk?
 

zhopudey

New Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
3
Points
3
Location
Thane
Mi Box is also a great option. It has android TV 9.0, and is certified for netflix, apv etc. You'll need to add a usb hub for ethernet.
 

superczar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
578
Points
63
Really? So with infuse or MrMC Apple tv can bitstream all formats like HDMA, True-HD, Atmos to AVR from a USB hardisk?
Anything from a Network disk - not from a USB disk.
Any particular reason to use a USB disk ? You already have the infrastructure to move it to a networked setup I presume
 

jagadeeshwarank

Active Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2018
Messages
110
Points
28
Location
Chennai
Mi Box is also a great option. It has android TV 9.0, and is certified for netflix, apv etc. You'll need to add a usb hub for ethernet.
Mi Box 3 used to be a great option. But the recent Mi Box S firmware updates are not allowing DTS-HD and Atmos audio to be bitstreamed. Atleast thats what I gathered from various forums.


https://www.reddit.com/r/AndroidTV/comments/bger38
 

zhopudey

New Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
3
Points
3
Location
Thane
Mi Box 3 used to be a great option. But the recent Mi Box S firmware updates are not allowing DTS-HD and Atmos audio to be bitstreamed. Atleast thats what I gathered from various forums.
Did not know that. Seems like firestick and Shield are the only options. Firestick will need a ethernet adpater as well.
 

Bhoot

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2020
Messages
55
Points
18
Location
India
Did not know that. Seems like firestick and Shield are the only options. Firestick will need a ethernet adpater as well.
I personally didn't like the fire products since they are running the Amazon OS which doesn't let a lot of content from the playstore come through.
I started with a raspberry pi 3 running kodi followed by osmc and finally rasplex (yes I love plex, I know) and stuck to that. I was having issues with streaming coz the ethernet port was limited to 100mbps. 4k streaming of local media was impossible and even the atmos was clunky at times. I have since repurposed the rpi to other duties in the house. I believe in the concept of spend once cry once. I have had a lot of bad experiences with a lot of Chinese company products advertising lots of BS.
I also read that you don't really have a surround sound (home theater) setup. In that case the I'd rate the mibox better than the firestick.
Roku again is something that you can look towards, but for that again you need a VPN network, since roku hasn't launched in India, most things are unsupported here.
 
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
95
Points
18
Location
Kerala
Apple TV 4K - Install Infuse app for local content
I have used Kodi, MrMC (kodi fork) and Infuse - There is simply no comparison between the UI , speed and overall UX

PS: Ignore - just noticed that your HTPC is also your NAS
Although an alternate would be to use a RPI as a mini PC serving as a NAS , downloader and any other networked duties
Get any streamer of your choice (Fire TV 4K is a cheap option else ATV) and use that as an alternate for the HTPC duty of the current rig
Added benefit - far lower power consumption as well + the new RPI is gbe
On a side note : can this stream bit perfect audio?
 

superczar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
578
Points
63
On a side note : can this stream bit perfect audio?
For streaming , yes
For Infuse (LAN playback) , most formats do LPCM but Atmos is a little finicky
Afaik, atmos encoded as E-ac3 works fine but dts-x doesn’t.

Edit: The above was for ATV 4K
Not sure about FireTV
My 2 cents never change: HTPC Forever! :)
Not anymore
Have built several HTPCs over the last two decades.
hell, I even setup a carputer in my car back in 2005 for GPS and music.
today, building car computers is a pointless hobby.
HTPCs are almost in the same boat now
 
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
95
Points
18
Location
Kerala
For streaming , yes
For Infuse (LAN playback) , most formats do LPCM but Atmos is a little finicky
Afaik, atmos encoded as E-ac3 works fine but dts-x doesn’t
I did some search on this part yesterday and many applte tv owners have complaints that the digital output of an Apple TV is restricted to 16/44 for music and 16/48 for video files. But since iPhone can pass through hi res with third party apps it should be doable . Did you try hi res audio on atv? As per reviews Apple Trasnsport everything to low res. It’s how it works on all iOS devices. Only Mac can natively do hi res in apples ecosystem
 

jagadeeshwarank

Active Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2018
Messages
110
Points
28
Location
Chennai
Not anymore
Have built several HTPCs over the last two decades.
hell, I even setup a carputer in my car back in 2005 for GPS and music.
today, building car computers is a pointless hobby.
HTPCs are almost in the same boat now
No to distract the discussions.

I agree with your point, there even talks of Apple Macs moving entirely to ARM based processors. So these boxes are here to stay and are the future.

 

superczar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
578
Points
63
I did some search on this part yesterday and many applte tv owners have complaints that the digital output of an Apple TV is restricted to 16/44 for music and 16/48 for video files. But since iPhone can pass through hi res with third party apps it should be doable . Did you try hi res audio on atv? As per reviews Apple Trasnsport everything to low res. It’s how it works on all iOS devices. Only Mac can natively do hi res in apples ecosystem
I am going to try and see if i can see the sampling data on the AVR menus

As for movies, I haven’t really bothered with local downloads in a long time now but will check tomorrow
However ATMOS playback on Netflix and Apple TV (the streaming service) is flawless via it- don’t think I will be able to check audio sampling rates anywhere in the playback chain
 
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
95
Points
18
Location
Kerala
I am going to try and see if i can see the sampling data on the AVR menus

As for movies, I haven’t really bothered with local downloads in a long time now but will check tomorrow
However ATMOS playback on Netflix and Apple TV (the streaming service) is flawless via it- don’t think I will be able to check audio sampling rates anywhere in the playback chain
I had a plan to get one for myself as the interface is amazing. But hi res playback was one of the main use case for me. Back then, I read this and then I gave up the idea and continued using An old laptop for music listening. Since iOS is limited to 44khz, it will be surprising to see the tvOS supporting more as they both are quite similar.
 

superczar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
578
Points
63
Perhaps it will be 16/44 as you said.
But I guess the question is how do you intend to pull the audio out from any of these devices HDMI out?
Reason I ask is if the o/p is going to go to any recent AVR then you could use that for your high Res playback needs, No?

Personally, I don’t care anymore about sampling rates as I have wasted enough and more time fiddling around with PC audio and umpteen number of DACs since 2004 .
However I completely get where you are coming from - But then your question is more of an audio playback chain question, Isn’t it?
 
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
95
Points
18
Location
Kerala
Perhaps it will be 16/44 as you said.
But I guess the question is how do you intend to pull the audio out from any of these devices HDMI out?
Reason I ask is if the o/p is going to go to any recent AVR then you could use that for your high Res playback needs, No?

Personally, I don’t care anymore about sampling rates as I have wasted enough and more time fiddling around with PC audio and umpteen number of DACs since 2004 .
However I completely get where you are coming from - But then your question is more of an audio playback chain question, Isn’t it?
Yes. It’s completely about audio. In terms of picture quality I think Apple TV already is on top spot with streaming devices. If OP is not having that as one of the primary criteria then I think it’s a no brainer although it’s bit expensive
 
Top