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The Little Black Box (with XBMC): Possible Boxee Box Replacement? - Page 2

post #31 of 58
Thread Starter 
They may be able to improve the firmware and make it better, but I don't want to wait months or however long for it to happen. On HD audio, they've already acknowledged that licensing won't permit bitstreaming. I'd say this box is perfect for those who want something like a jailbroken AppleTV 2, but don't want to pay outrageous eBay prices.

I'm now looking at the following for XBMC:
- ecosmartpc.com (with Core i3-3220T)
- Zotac ID88
- Zotac ID89
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

I'm now looking at the following for XBMC:
- ecosmartpc.com (with Core i3-3220T)
- Zotac ID88
- Zotac ID89
Have you looked at the Intel NUC barebones? The "basic" version (DC3217IYE) perfect for a HTPC has the i3-3217U (Ivy Bridge) for a pretty attractive price but it needs a SSD as there is no space for a 2.5" HD.
Edited by bluechunks - 7/29/13 at 11:40am
post #33 of 58
Thread Starter 
No, I didn't know about them, thanks. Form factor is very nice. I know we're veering off into HTPC territory, but you're referring to this model right? Or, I was thinking this model (w/SSD drive and 8GB RAM to be added) for more horsepower, hopefully some not too intensive games.
post #34 of 58
(Yeah, sorry everybody for the thread drift.)

Yes, I was thinking even the less expensive one would have the horsepower for a pretty awesome HTPC/server with the built-in H.264 encoder (QuickSync) and Intel's GPU accelerated HD video decoding and support for HD audio pass-through/bit-streaming. The Core i5 would be nice but I'd have to wonder if games would be pushing it?
post #35 of 58
Thread Starter 
I think I'm going to go for the i3 model you recommend. Just read through Assassin's review thread in the HTPC section. Sounds like a winner. Thanks.
post #36 of 58
Excellent. I'm only about 1/2 through that thread. I'll be interested to hear about your experience.

smile.gif
post #37 of 58
Thread Starter 
This will be my build...
- Intel Next Unit of Computing Kit with Dual HDMI, Gigabit LAN, Core i3-3217U DC3217IYE
- Crucial m4 128GB mSATA Internal Solid State Drive CT128M4SSD3
- Crucial 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL11 SODIMM 204-Pin 1.35V/1.5V Notebook Memory Modules CT2CP51264BF160B
- Belkin 6ft / 3 Prong Notebook Power Cord

Total cost: $471.37 shipped via Amazon. No doubt quite a bit more money than TLBB, but you get what you pay for (I hope) smile.gif.
post #38 of 58
I have been down the same road, you can build a solution for local media that is really good for not much.
Celeron NUC $165 new egg
4gb ram ebay, 20-25$
32gb msata 30-35$ ebay or a usb thumbstick for 10-15$
Openelec, free
IR dongle. 10-15$ ebay.
Around $250
This system is awesome, Full HD audio, high bitrate mkv,etc. I am using it as my main playback in my theater, plexbmc works great, mq4 looks awesome, NO windows issues, setup, updates, etc.
Unless you need to play netflix etc, i would way go with openelec. I have used both but openelec is a sweet headache free awesome option!!
3D is the only thing it lacks. But that is dying anyway, I just use the ps3 when I want a 3d Movie.
post #39 of 58
post #40 of 58
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I may do something similar for a secondary system later. I disagree about your 3D statement however as I love it and see it quite prevalent these days (many movies being released in 3D). smile.gif

Re: OpenELEC, does it support live TV and PVR via XBMC?
post #41 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

Thanks, I may do something similar for a secondary system later. I disagree about your 3D statement however as I love it and see it quite prevalent these days (many movies being released in 3D). smile.gif

Re: OpenELEC, does it support live TV and PVR via XBMC?

I was about to say roughly the same thing about 3D. My next player has to be able to play 3D rips. (Yet another reason I'm thinking of putting the Boxee back on the main TV!) I just saw Despicable Me 2 recently and that had some killer 3D effects, I think it's actually getting better, and more affordable passive sets will only cement it further.
post #42 of 58
Thread Starter 
I'm a sucker for 3D, even watching 2D-to-3D converted movies (as long as they're done halfway well) smile.gif. Just makes the experience really immersive on a big screen.
post #43 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

This will be my build...
- Intel Next Unit of Computing Kit with Dual HDMI, Gigabit LAN, Core i3-3217U DC3217IYE
- Crucial m4 128GB mSATA Internal Solid State Drive CT128M4SSD3
- Crucial 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL11 SODIMM 204-Pin 1.35V/1.5V Notebook Memory Modules CT2CP51264BF160B
- Belkin 6ft / 3 Prong Notebook Power Cord

Total cost: $471.37 shipped via Amazon. No doubt quite a bit more money than TLBB, but you get what you pay for (I hope) smile.gif.

What's the benefit of this over a Dune?
post #44 of 58
xbmc...
post #45 of 58
Thread Starter 
...yep, closer to that 'one box to rule them all' solution smile.gif ... local media, Internet streaming (Netflix, Amazon, etc.), OTA HD viewing and PVR, and light games. And, XBMC is still the ultimate jukebox solution.
post #46 of 58
What do you suggest then. I am a video/moviephile and I have a large collection of videos, and would love to play them on my TV with XBMC. What do you suggest for $100-$200 tops. I was hoping this Little Black Box would do it sufficently (i.e run with skins, stream with NaviX, and obviously run 1080p video files). I do not want to build a PC - i would like something small and portable.
post #47 of 58
Thread Starter 
Large collections is another issue with TLBB. I have over 1,300 movies and it took a long time to scan, and then the box was very sluggish when viewing the jukebox, occasionally freezing. For $200 or less, I hear the Pivos XIOS is pretty good, especially under Linux. But, haven't tried myself. Ouya running XBMC is another option, but I've read uncompressed BD rips don't play well. Given all this, I decided not to waste my time with Android boxes and go for a decent PC. Not sure if anyone can recommend you a decent pre-built PC for $200, but for a little more, you can build one yourself. I know you said you don't want to, but as kpump noted above for his Intel NUC system for about $250, you'll get a solid system and all you need to do is pop-in memory stick(s) and a mSATA SSD hard drive. You then put OpenELEC on a USB stick and boot/install from there.

This thread in the HTPC forum is worth a read. It's for the i3 NUC version instead of Celeron, but kpump and others have said this is perfectly fine as long as you don't need frame-packed 3D support or Netflix.
Edited by Brajesh - 7/31/13 at 8:20am
post #48 of 58
Brijesh, I came across your thread when searching for TLBB. I was looking for a solution for my parents. I personally have the intel nuc as well. I got the i5 with 8gb of RAM and 256 on SSD with wifi / bluetooth combo.

I must say I did an overkill as I wanted the usb3 for no apparent reason. I built an xbmc PC for a friend on an i3 version of the nuc with 8 and 128gb and his isint any slower. I guess you learn along the way.

In your purchase it would be good if you add the Logitech keyboard and mouse pad combo. I use the ps3 blumote as my remote solution and as much I think it's a great remote solution when it works I feel it's finiky and I'm back looking for the perfect remote.

I have since purchased the Sony Black MCE remote with the Lenovo dongle from eBay. Since the dongle is coming from ebay I don't have my hopes up on it arriving anytime soon.

Be careful with the i3 version of NUC and test out the network speed when plugged into the hdmi one at a time. There are a few reported issues there.

What remote solution are you planning?

As for openElec I prefer to go with windows 7 as the solution as you can shortcut into Netflix with WMC through the remote. The easynews plugin is also very nice with a few tweaks
post #49 of 58
Thread Starter 
I now have a similar set-up to yours: i3 NUC w/Windows 7, this cheap WMC remote (but, works well for XBMC and WMC) and the nice Logitech K400 keyboard. Via XBMC, I use TotalMedia Theatre 6 as my external player to play 2D and 3D BD-ISO's. The i3 NUC can also handle some games. I installed Joe Danger 1 and 2, and use an XBOX360 USB controller. Overall, very satisfied, but took some effort to set-up and get working right.
post #50 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

I now have a similar set-up to yours: i3 NUC w/Windows 7, this cheap WMC remote (but, works well for XBMC and WMC) and the nice Logitech K400 keyboard. Via XBMC, I use TotalMedia Theatre 6 as my external player to play 2D and 3D BD-ISO's. The i3 NUC can also handle some games. I installed Joe Danger 1 and 2, and use an XBOX360 USB controller. Overall, very satisfied, but took some effort to set-up and get working right.

Nice I will look into TotalMedia Theatre 6. Don't have any BD ISO's yet. Did you do your netflix. Also look into HotkeyP for keyboard shortcuts for launch. I'm still looking for a perfect remote solution and hope that the MCE remote would work well. I don't mind spending as long as the remote works flawlessly. Why did you go with a wired controller. I believe you can go wireless or bluetooth as well on that. Wouldn't a bluetooth controller be nice.? I don't have any games loaded onto the NUC as of yet.
post #51 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

I now have a similar set-up to yours: i3 NUC w/Windows 7, this cheap WMC remote (but, works well for XBMC and WMC) and the nice Logitech K400 keyboard. Via XBMC, I use TotalMedia Theatre 6 as my external player to play 2D and 3D BD-ISO's. The i3 NUC can also handle some games. I installed Joe Danger 1 and 2, and use an XBOX360 USB controller. Overall, very satisfied, but took some effort to set-up and get working right.

I just got done putting together an i5 NUC, Crucial m4 128GB mSATA, 16GB Corsair DDR3. So far I like it and the XBMC interface a LOT and I do mean a LOT. I had an MCE remote (RC6) and IR adapter laying around so I used one of those and I also added a wireless Logitech keyboard (K360) and mouse (M325) to round it out. I had originally started with the Celeron Nuc w/Win7 but it would not play back my M2TS files smoothly, no idea what the deal was probably a video driver issue but as I didn't feel like messing with it I returned it and purchased the i5. I have it running through a Denon 4311 and JVC X30.......I think I am done trying other media players, lol.

Bill
post #52 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Did you do your netflix.
I couldn't make XBMCFlicks via XBMC work, so I'm looking for another (easier) solution. Maybe this.
Quote:
i5 NUC
I considered it, but i3 is working fine for me for Netflix and full 2D and 3D Blu-ray content. The upcoming Intel 'Haswell' version sounds promising, especially perfect 23.976 playback and integrated remote control functionality.
post #53 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

I couldn't make XBMCFlicks via XBMC work, so I'm looking for another (easier) solution. Maybe this.
I considered it, but i3 is working fine for me for Netflix and full 2D and 3D Blu-ray content. The upcoming Intel 'Haswell' version sounds promising, especially perfect 23.976 playback and integrated remote control functionality.

I may replace the i5 with the Haswell, I have a buddy that is wanting to replace a b-rad modded WDTV.

Bill
post #54 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

I couldn't make XBMCFlicks via XBMC work, so I'm looking for another (easier) solution. Maybe this.
I considered it, but i3 is working fine for me for Netflix and full 2D and 3D Blu-ray content. The upcoming Intel 'Haswell' version sounds promising, especially perfect 23.976 playback and integrated remote control functionality.

xbmcflicks does not work. use netflix on windows media center. You can launch it with assigning a button with hotkeyp and then starting the wmc netflix native. It works flawlessly. Once done. kill it with another shortcut made with alt+f4 and you are back into xbmc. so best of both worlds.
post #55 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfattbill View Post

I may replace the i5 with the Haswell, I have a buddy that is wanting to replace a b-rad modded WDTV.

Bill

Why would you want to replace the i5 with a haswell. Would there be any additional benefit? I do wish they had a hole where I would put in an IR into it. There is a way to mod it but I don't like modifying the originality of the product.

I just recently purchased the sony vaio i7 ultrabook with haswell. Its fast but see not much difference in performance when compared to the nuc.
post #56 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by navigates View Post

Why would you want to replace the i5 with a haswell. Would there be any additional benefit? I do wish they had a hole where I would put in an IR into it. There is a way to mod it but I don't like modifying the originality of the product.
For starters, the Haswell NUC is rumored to include an integrated IR receiver. In addition, Haswell includes better 1080i de-interlacing for TV programs (although the most recent beta version of OpenELEC includes some improvements for Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge with more improvements in the pipeline) and proper 23.976Hz playback.
Edited by bluechunks - 8/22/13 at 2:05pm
post #57 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by navigates View Post

xbmcflicks does not work. use netflix on windows media center. You can launch it with assigning a button with hotkeyp and then starting the wmc netflix native. It works flawlessly. Once done. kill it with another shortcut made with alt+f4 and you are back into xbmc. so best of both worlds.
Are there instructions on this posted somewhere? Step-by-step? smile.gif Thanks.
post #58 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

Are there instructions on this posted somewhere? Step-by-step? smile.gif Thanks.

I'm travelling and will be back on Saturday. I'll post the shortcut I created for netflix but for starters, start up Windows Media Center and do the update. If you are in the US, you will get Netflix. Launch netflix and setup your account and there you have it. I use a small software called hotkeyp to create keyboard shortcuts for the batch files and then assign those keyboard shortcuts to the remote software.

@bluechunks: It does not look like a rumor. frown.gif sad to know that they will now have the IR sensor. I am ok with an external sensor as the NUC really works well. There will always be something new coming out. but I wish they had the IR in the existing version of the i5 Nuc. There are a few fanless cases that have the IR but I haven't found one for the i5 version of the NUC. If I can buy a factory NUC case, I don't mind modding it for the IR.

This is the link to the 3rd generation:
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Intel-NUC-Haswell-SATA,22989.html
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