Kodi (XBMC) via Chromebox - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 80 Old 08-11-2014, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Kodi (XBMC) via Chromebox

I found a thread for the Chromebox in the HTPC forum although I consider it more of a streamer than PC so I decided to start/post a thread here. As far as I know the ASUS and HP models are identical outside of their respective cases. I happen to prefer the HP and wanted to get Smoke Silver which Amazon has for $150 (at the time of my purchase). I noticed Best Buy has the HP (Snow White) and decided I could live with it and priced match Amazon. If I decide to punt I can return it to Best Buy without a restocking fee and I believe Amazon charges one.

The process is very simple and very well documented at the following two URLS...

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=194362
http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=ASUS_Chromebox

I had zero issues setting up dual boot as I didn't want to "gut" the device before my return period expired. Total time was roughly 30 minutes and only requires a small USB flash drive. I did the installation in my den. The only thing that wasn't install friendly is my wireless keyboard isn't recognized at boot time. Perhaps a BIOS setting can be changed. Once booted it worked like a champ as well as my Harmony remote via a IR sensor.

The debate as been going on for a while now whether the NUC or Chromebox is better. My take is they are more apples and oranges and based on your needs one will be the clear winner. In this case I went with the Chromebox for two reasons. I have played with a good dozen NUCs and I know I wouldn't get a desire to install Windows on the Chromebox. It would require too many upgrades... but never say never.

First pass XBMC is running great and has already upgraded itself. Yes HD audio is supported. Beyond that I can't comment at least for a few days.
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post #2 of 80 Old 08-11-2014, 04:36 PM
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I have the Asus Chromebox and love how it works with XBMC. The setup took a little time to complete, but it was well worth it. It plays any and every file I throw at it, and it does HD audio, including multichannel FLAC perfectly. I also did dual boot and use Chrome for full screen video in browser when needed.

For the price, this is a true winner. It replaced an Oppo BDP-103, and I don't miss the Oppo at all. I just use a (much) cheaper Blu-Ray player for discs and the Chromebox for everything else. I sold the Oppo and will use the leftover cash for other toys.
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post #3 of 80 Old 08-11-2014, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenrod View Post
The setup took a little time to complete, but it was well worth it.
The most difficult part for me was finding a paper clip small enough to fit inside the reset hole.

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post #4 of 80 Old 08-11-2014, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post
The most difficult part for me was finding a paper clip small enough to fit inside the reset hole.
I got one last week and put Ubuntu server on it along with Plex. I'm currently watching something and its perfect. Pretty amazing how well it works. Easily worth the $165.
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post #5 of 80 Old 08-14-2014, 09:29 AM
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Here is my setup using Asus Chromebox and Standalone OPENELEC:

http://youtu.be/7gKnTf_Akaw?list=UU-...lkBCOuRJi9n8Rw

Best thing I ever bought!!
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post #6 of 80 Old 08-15-2014, 12:12 PM
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I was thinking of going with a Chromebox since apparently it supports HD audio, but it also want to watch and record OTA local channels. I don't think I can do that with the Chromebox, can I?

Media Server: UnRaid Server: 15TB of storage and growing :).


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Home Theater Set Up:


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post #7 of 80 Old 08-15-2014, 12:26 PM
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You can if you have a PVR backend. I was thinking of using pvr.wmc, but it looked like quite some effort to set-up and you need WMC either running under Window 7/8 on the HTPC or another PC you're using as the WMC server.

Instead, what I do is use Simple.tv (I have a Simple.tv gen 1 box) with the Android app for it sideloaded on my Fire TV with XBMC. From XBMC, I have a direct shortcut to Simple.tv. Only caveat is that you need a mouse inside Simple.tv app.

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post #8 of 80 Old 08-15-2014, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post
I was thinking of going with a Chromebox since apparently it supports HD audio, but it also want to watch and record OTA local channels. I don't think I can do that with the Chromebox, can I?
With Ubuntu/XBMC you can use NextPVR or some such back-end and record/view OTA. It works great although you would have to subscribe to a guide service. However I would recommend viewing on the Chromebox via OpenELEC/XBMC and letting another PC (Windows) do the recordings via WMC. With ServerWMC installed on the PC it will stream live TV and recordings to the Chromebox. You can schedule recordings and virtually everything else inside of XBMC.

If you search my WMC thread there are images of the XBMC's Live TV interface and lots of related information.

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post #9 of 80 Old 08-15-2014, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post
I was thinking of using pvr.wmc, but it looked like quite some effort to set-up and you need WMC either running under Window 7/8 on the HTPC or another PC you're using as the WMC server.
To flush this out some... ServerWMC takes about 2 minutes to install and configure on your WMC PC. And the client Add-on about three minutes to install and configure within XBMC.

https://0df317251eddfb99d4fce96eecb4...T2c/index.html

So a good five minutes and your channels, recordings and everything else magically appear and you are good to go. Very impressive apps!

A few images from the WMC thread...
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Last edited by Charles R; 08-15-2014 at 12:53 PM.
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post #10 of 80 Old 08-15-2014, 01:25 PM
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Okay, you may have pushed me to finally give this a go over the weekend . I've read about issues with permissions; is it common, and how do you get around it? What I'd like to do is use my old Win7 laptop with WMC and have that be the server that my Chromebox and Fire TV's access. Will this work, and with these multiple clients? Also, where do the actual recordings get stored? I'm guessing on the server/PC with WMC? Thanks.

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post #11 of 80 Old 08-15-2014, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post
I've read about issues with permissions; is it common, and how do you get around it?
  • Only permission to be concerned about is the Recorded TV folder (per WMC). You need to provide access to this directory. You do this via the tab shown in the image below. If something is wrong it will let you know when you try to enter the values.
  • WMC uses very little resources and will happily run on just about anything. It's very stable and even an external USB 2.0 drive is fast enough to record four recordings and stream concurrently.
  • The recordings have to be stored locally. You can't use a network drive. With the exception being iSCSI. You can record directly to your NAS or other device using iSCSI.

On the client side be sure to enter the IP address or Host name for the WMC PC (server) when you configure the Add-on. As shown in the image.
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Last edited by Charles R; 08-15-2014 at 01:51 PM.
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post #12 of 80 Old 08-15-2014, 01:42 PM
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Thanks, I'll try this weekend and report back.

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post #13 of 80 Old 08-15-2014, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post
Thanks, I'll try this weekend and report back.
Great. Feel free to PM with any questions. I'm not an expert but I have bumped into most of the mistakes and Googled my way out of them.

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post #14 of 80 Old 08-19-2014, 12:12 PM
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Anything further to report? I'm thinking of going with either NUC or Chromebox and the Chromebox sure would be easier on the budget right now. By the time I get a known good configuration of the NUC with something other than Celeron I'm looking at $300 plus. I don't care about recording television or anything like that. I want to be able to play my BD-ISO and MKV files with HD audio and problem free 24p from my unRaid server and do occasional streaming of add-on content through XBMC.


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post #15 of 80 Old 08-19-2014, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone7 View Post
Anything further to report?

I want to be able to play my BD-ISO and MKV files with HD audio and problem free 24p from my unRaid server and do occasional streaming of add-on content through XBMC.
Such as? Just spent three hours calibrating, testing and overall playing around with my Chromebox's OpenELEC installation. Works like a champ with MKV 24Hz and HD audio.

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post #16 of 80 Old 08-19-2014, 03:31 PM
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Charles, sent you PM. I'm having trouble with ServerWMC set-up.

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post #17 of 80 Old 08-19-2014, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post
Charles, sent you PM. I'm having trouble with ServerWMC set-up.
I have seen this on several occasions. Set the permissions per the PM I sent and I think you'll be good to go.

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post #18 of 80 Old 08-19-2014, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone7 View Post
Anything further to report? I'm thinking of going with either NUC or Chromebox and the Chromebox sure would be easier on the budget right now. By the time I get a known good configuration of the NUC with something other than Celeron I'm looking at $300 plus. I don't care about recording television or anything like that. I want to be able to play my BD-ISO and MKV files with HD audio and problem free 24p from my unRaid server and do occasional streaming of add-on content through XBMC.
Any particular questions that you have about the Chromebox. Been using mine with OpenELEC since May and I love it. The hardest part is the installation, but use the guides from the XBMC forum (the one led by Matt Devo) and you'll be fine.

I was thinking of NUC, too, but I went with the Chromebox because I just wanted a media appliance. The fact that it comes with an SSD and the memory already installed was awesome. Cold start to OpenELEC takes about 5 seconds and running XBMC is smooth as butter.

The only issue I had was that harware acceleration was causing the video to occasionally freeze during playback, but the latest Gotham Beta has that fixed and I haven't seen a single issue since upgrading.

My recommendation is Chromebox + FLIRC. Let's you pretty much customize the remote control to work any way you'd like.
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post #19 of 80 Old 08-19-2014, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by smitbret View Post
The only issue I had was that harware acceleration was causing the video to occasionally freeze during playback, but the latest Gotham Beta has that fixed and I haven't seen a single issue since upgrading.
Did you select Limited Colour Range via XBMC?

On my first pass calibrating I did along with setting my projector to...

HDMI Input - Normal
Image Setup - 7.5% (in theory Auto would set it to the same value)

Which should get me Video levels (not PC). Both Contrast and Brightness tweaked nicely. Using the Forum's test patterns the APL test pattern looked great. No clipping of black or white. Although Contrast was nearly maxed before it began clipping white. I guess I should try using PC levels as well to see how it works out.

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post #20 of 80 Old 08-20-2014, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I decided the Chromebox is a keeper and as such I had to switch to Smoke Silver. I know it doesn't matter but...
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post #21 of 80 Old 08-20-2014, 12:22 PM
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Charles, thanks again for your help via PM in my setting up ServerWMC for use by my Fire TV clients. I still have a Chromebox, but thinking of eBaying it. FTV is more of an all-in-one box (Netflix, Amazon, XBMC w/live TV and occasional games). Also, I think FTV's YouTube app is nicer than trying to use YouTube via XBMC. For dedicated home theater use, I still rely on Mede8er X3D (full 3D playback, proper 23.976 and hd audio).

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post #22 of 80 Old 08-20-2014, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post
Charles, thanks again for your help via PM in my setting up ServerWMC for use by my Fire TV clients. I still have a Chromebox, but thinking of eBaying it. FTV is more of an all-in-one box (Netflix, Amazon, XBMC w/live TV and occasional games). Also, I think FTV's YouTube app is nicer than trying to use YouTube via XBMC. For dedicated home theater use, I still rely on Mede8er X3D (full 3D playback, proper 23.976 and hd audio).

Let me know if you decide to sell the Chromebox, I might be interested. I like the FireTV but I have started getting messages about full memory and I keep having to change video settings when going from XBMC streaming video content to my local content (BD-ISO and MKV). It doesn't play VC1 encoded files and I don't think it's really handling 24p properly. I have a Mede8er (450X2 I think is the model). That little player has been about the best I have had besides my Dune and if I could get a jukebox working on it I might move it to the theater room instead of the bedroom where it currently sits.


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post #23 of 80 Old 08-20-2014, 12:37 PM
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With FTV (I have 4x of them), I always leave about 1GB or so of space unused. Too bad they only have 5GB or so of usable space to begin with.

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post #24 of 80 Old 08-20-2014, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post
I decided the Chromebox is a keeper and as such I had to switch to Smoke Silver. I know it doesn't matter but...

Oh, it matters.
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post #25 of 80 Old 08-20-2014, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post
With FTV (I have 4x of them), I always leave about 1GB or so of space unused. Too bad they only have 5GB or so of usable space to begin with.

I just started seeing the message in the last few days. I haven't added any apps, games or anything so I'm not really sure what I can delete. Do you have yours setup for "0 cache" or something else? I found mine buffers less that way on XBMC content. I'm finding that all of that stuff is very source dependent. Movies seem to work pretty well but TV shows (not live), seem to always want to buffer. I'm using Navix for most of the TV stuff (this is my wife's only interest in the FireTV and XBMC).


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post #26 of 80 Old 08-20-2014, 01:33 PM
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Hmm, no, haven't done anything special. Disabling 'Mediacodec' under video acceleration in XBMC may help with playback. Never had the cache full issues you mention though.

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post #27 of 80 Old 08-20-2014, 11:07 PM
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fire tv vs Samsung Chromebox

I have a fire TV running XBMC very nicely I might say.. I didn't root it.

I was offered a Samsung Chromebox I5 for $120

I was curious if anyone has or knows how to but XBMC on it..


I want a second Box to stream XBMC mainly.

Any thoughts????
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post #28 of 80 Old 08-21-2014, 04:43 AM
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Although meant for the ASUS Chromebox, this guide should work for Samsung and HP versions. Or, post in the thread I linked to. Matt Devo, who, started it, is responsive and very helpful.

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post #29 of 80 Old 08-22-2014, 04:01 PM
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Can the Chromebox running OpenELEC be woken up from sleep or turned on from a IR remote using FLIRC by chance?
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post #30 of 80 Old 08-22-2014, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Can the Chromebox running OpenELEC be woken up from sleep or turned on from a IR remote using FLIRC by chance?
Yes.

For me this is a mute issue as I use it in a dedicated room and I kill the power (via a Brickwall) when I'm done. However I did some testing with the following results...

  • Under System Power Saving you can configure if and when the display is turned off after x minutes of being idle. Works fine.
  • When I exit XBMC and select Suspend I can "wake" it up with my harmony remote. In my case I have the standard BIOS with dual boot so once it wakes up it goes to the screen where I select (Crtl L) OpenELEC. I presume if you changed the default boot to OpenELEC or wasn't using dual boot at all it would automatically resume into OpenELEC.

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Charles R is offline  
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