Greetings all. I'm in a holding pattern of sorts
As I've mentioned in various scattered threads, I only have two primary display (living room / bedroom). The bedroom htpc is running openelec on an i3. I ended up with that as an impulse buy of sorts, since sandy bridge i3's were selling for $80 and the G645 it replaced made a nice upgrade for my parent's PC. It runs quietly and sleeps/resumes okay. The only thing that bugs me about it is the relative value it still holds. It could be resold / configured above value to someone who's on the fence about having their own DVR filled with *first-time-HTPC-bliss* Also happen to have a spare copy of W7 that they could use. The only reasoning behind getting rid of it is my desire to replace it with a ATV/roku/small looking box that I could creatively hide and wall-mount the TV.
I'm kind of holding until I feel like a few issues are ironed out in some systems I've been eyeballing. The other reasoning for this is that I might be scaling up the number of rooms/displays soon and I don't intend on putting a full AMD/Intel setup next to each one.
So first to the things I've had my eyes on
- Pivos XIOS DS (or next iteration if one is rumored)
- G-Box midnight
- Arctic MC001-N
- MK803 II - or other "HDMI-dongle"
With the welcome XBMC on Android addition as well as OpenELEC images for RPi and Arctic, I continually think that I could setup, sell, and replace the bedroom HTPC with one of these with no WAF repercussions
Prior to listing the issues, I realize that most Pivos threads end up saying to rid the box of Android and run XBMC on Linux. Could be the same for G-Box. Don't really care, that's no issue for me. The questions I'd still have are as follows
- Are any/all capable of smooth network playback for full mkv BR rips with the following criteria
- There is no receiver and no intention of there ever being a receiver at this location
- Everything has to be decoded to TV speakers (no problem with this currently)
- A working solution will not be any sort of audio conversion for my existing rips (HD audio stays)
- NFS sharing will not be included
- How is menu performance compared to traditional AMD/Intel HTPC?
I realize the list contains some things that are boundaries rather than questions, but it doesn't look like the RPi will fit because of those boundaries. Maybe if they have an upgrade
I also realize there are tons of forums berating samba and suggesting NFS instead. I posted about this in the Linux Chat area as well, but I wonder if anybody has spent any real time tweaking their default windows sharing protocol. For example, I could see how samba has the *potential* for a much higher overhead compared to NFS, but I wonder how they compare when you turn 128-bit encrypted password protected sharing off ? I leave my LAN wide open, because I don't like to fiddle with it and I don't forward anything outside my router. In network/sharing center I turn off password protected sharing (using W8 as server) and leave it off on all other clients. The OpenELEC box has no problem finding the shares and it plays everything without a hiccup, so I don't think the protocol is a problem. I see a lot of comparisons that are "off-the-cuff" and say that samba uses more cpu, so it makes sense that a resource starved box might not be able to handle it. If this is the case I'm willing to wait for the next generation of SoC tv boxes.
Also, another poster here first hand confirmed that the MC001N will run flawless. I've seen their barebones units as low as $100, so it's a compelling alternative. I'd really rather get to ARM, and my reasoning is highly based on this Amazon Review
. I guess I listed that one with the other 4 just to make that point