Originally Posted by xb1032
A NUC running XBMC seems like the most flexible option.
Having said that I have a couple questions:
1. My HTPC seems as if it's not powerful enough to run XBMC smoothly because it locks up fairly easily I can't play an Blu-Ray MKV at all but the same movie can be played using the VLC player. Is this simply because of the overhead it takes to run Windows 7? For the record I have an Intel I3 with 16GB of RAM.
2. What should I specifically be looking for when it comes to audio on the NUC? In my HPTV my video card supports both A/V out over HDMI which I assume I'll have to look for the same in the NUC. It will have to support the latest HD audio formats.
3. In installed OpenElec on a flash drive but when I boot from it I have the option to install (which I can't test this since I presently don't have a spare HD) or boot to test but when I choose this option it appears it either locks or is booting very slow (waited 10 minutes). Not sure if a file needs edited on the flash drive or not when booting directly from the flash drive.
Any ideas is appreciated. Making this change is definitely something that takes a bit of research!
1) The CPU is only a very small part of the equation. More important perhaps is the GPU (i.e. the "graphics card") that can off load the hardware decoding of the video. All the NUCs have this "hardware acceleration" built into the system. Even my low-end NUC with a Celeron sits around 15% CPU utilization while playing 1080p video...and it only has 4GB of ram with 2.5GB unused while running OpenELEC.
Also, in XBMC you may have to specifically adjust the method used for video decoding for optimum performance on your specific HTPC.
2) No need to look---bit streaming of all HD audio formats is standard via HDMI with current Intel graphics, and thus all NUCs. Or you can let the NUC do the unpacking to LPCM.
3) It should boot within 30 seconds. Try a faster USB flash drive and/or a different version of OpenELEC that is better suited for your hardware.