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I've started getting into XBMC for a few days now and like it a lot. So much potential once set up properly. Currently, I'm using it on a Probox2 EX, but I'm wondering if I can get a better experience on a Chromebox or Lenovo tiny PC. The Probox2 has a funky air remote that keeps losing its connection and I have to unplug the receiver and plug it back in to use it. And I believe the version of XBMC isn't current and I've having issues updating it.

Now, I have a Lenovo M72e connected to my set up already. It has a 1TB HD, 8GB RAM, and an i5 Processor. It's pretty much used for browsing the web (only occasionally) and for torrents. It's connected via Display Port to a HDMI input on my Denon receiver. It has an on-board Intel graphics chip. No room to update the video card unfortunately.

Or should I purchase a Chromebox and call it a day? I'm only on page 3 of the 31 pages of the "KODI on a Chromebox" thread. So I've got a lot more reading to do. But was hoping for some quicker input in case I should order the Chromebox.

Thanks.
 

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Chromebox is the most popular. I read through the thread a couple of times at least before getting the chromebox and after setting it up, I read through it a couple of times again :D.
 

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Honestly, I don't know why Kodi wouldn't run better on that i5 computer you are talking about.

I wish my Chromebox had a i3 or i5... I wish it had a little more processor.

I think I would be willing to trade my Chromebox all setup for your Lenovo mini pc.

(The one and ONLY problem I have with my Chromebox is some VC1 titles play better with hardware acceleration and some have glitches with hardware acceleration. If I had a good way to keep all the quality and convert them into H264 then I guess I would have no problems. If the Chromebox had something like an i5 CPU then maybe it would playback all VC1 fine without the buggy hardware acceleration.)
 

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Honestly, I don't know why Kodi wouldn't run better on that i5 computer you are talking about.

I wish my Chromebox had a i3 or i5... I wish it had a little more processor.

I think I would be willing to trade my Chromebox all setup for your Lenovo mini pc.
The problem I have with this is that people just say "Chromebox" as if it were a singular item -- it is not. I went into Amazon and there are a bunch from different manufacturers and different models.

I'm going to assume -- foolish to dangerous -- that when people say Chromebox they are really saying "Asus Chromebox M004U" for $160 which has a Celeron processor.

I realize the whole purpose of using "Chomebox" is to keep it cheap but I like a little more power -- minimum i3 -- and not so concerned with absolute cheapest. Since you are blowing off Chrome OS and loading Openelec I would probably lean towards an i3 or i5 NUC as the base box.

What do you think?
 

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The problem I have with this is that people just say "Chromebox" as if it were a singular item -- it is not. I went into Amazon and there are a bunch from different manufacturers and different models.

I'm going to assume -- foolish to dangerous -- that when people say Chromebox they are really saying "Asus Chromebox M004U" for $160 which has a Celeron processor.

I realize the whole purpose of using "Chomebox" is to keep it cheap but I like a little more power -- minimum i3 -- and not so concerned with absolute cheapest. Since you are blowing off Chrome OS and loading Openelec I would probably lean towards an i3 or i5 NUC as the base box.

What do you think?
Yes, Most people are referring to the about $150 version. There are a few Chromebox's with i3, i5 even i7. Most people claim the Celeron model does everything you can imagine.

I have had one since October so about 6 months. Generally, it is fantastic and it does do everything with ease and style. However, the only problem that I personally can't solve is with VC1 titles.

Some VC1 titles (just BD Encodes to MKV no re-authering) have glitchy playback with VC1 hardware acceleration turned on. In fact, the wiki for Chromebox/Kodi recommends VC1 hardware acceleration turned off.

Which is fine and stuff... but without hardware acceleration other VC1 titles get choppy. 3 that I have seen get choppy are The Dark Knight, Fast Times at Ridgemnont High, and Girls, Guns, and Gambling. But, ... you know ... there could be more.

Short version (too late) is with a VC1 title you don't know if you need hardware acceleration on or off to play. And with it off you can peg both cores of the mighty celeron.

So,... I'm thinking of swapping out with a used PC with something like Pentium 3GHz and hopefully I can leave the glitchy VC1 acceleration off. (Or maybe I would run Kodi from Windows because Windows uses DVXA2 hardware accelration and does not have the problem at all.)

I personally don't agree with people who say the Chromebox will run any file you throw at it. IT's mostly true but there is a bug with VC1 that may not ever be fixed and the celeron can't keep up with software decoding.

-Brian
 

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Hey,

I was thinking about a used PC but having looked a bit at NUC's now I think I will hang onto my Chrombox till it's a year old then get a NUC and maybe take the Hard drive and Ram out of the Chromebox so it wasn't a total loss. :)

I hate trying to run on the lowest possible quality hardware ... though, Chromebox does do amazing stuff.
 

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I suspect Kodi/openelec will run very nicely on an i3 NUC. Quite a bit more pricey than a Chromebox so not for everyone but for those who feel better with some power in the box it is a nice step up.
 

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I suspect Kodi/openelec will run very nicely on an i3 NUC. Quite a bit more pricey than a Chromebox so not for everyone but for those who feel better with some power in the box it is a nice step up.
I have used several and OpenELEC is OpenELEC... one person noted "identical" performance with the Chromebox compared to his desktop i7 (in my Chromebox thread). My take is the NUCs aren't a good bang for the buck if you are looking for power. Since they use laptop processors they are relatively powerless compared to the desktop versions.
 

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I have an i3 NUC and Kodi flies on it.
I have a Celeron powered chrome box and kodi flies as well. Never any stutter or playback issues even over WiFi.
 

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Are you using Openelec or did you put a full distro (i.e. Ubuntu) on the NUC.
I'm actually running Windows 7 on it. Running it with 8 GBs of RAM and a 120 GB SSD. House is wired with gigabit ethernet throughout. Plays everything I throw at it. All my Blu-rays and DVDs are ripped 1:1 with MakeMKV and stored on my server. Haven't had any problems playing any codec, including MPEG2 and VC1.
 

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Fact is, I have no problem playing 1:1 blu-ray rip and VC1 content or any other codec on my Celeron Chromebox with 2G RAM and 16G SSD either :kiss:.

I just haven't come across some of the more obscure titles, and if there is a rare case that that ever happens, I know I can do the hardware/software decoding thing to fix it. So a tiny problem compared to where I came from.

Simplicity is good for the living room.
 
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Yes,... Simplicity rules for me as well.

However, If I see a movie has a problem with playback it's VC1 everytime and I just have to flip the hardware acceleration on or off to fix it....

So,..sadly ... as a guy with 1200 blus I have a lot of VC1 titles.

Those who say "it flies" could certainly be right if they are watching files that have been modified or re-encoded and like now the Blu Ray rip is 10GB. In my case I just want all my Blu on my NAS and want them all to play back with a single set of settings. I think a little bit more CPU is needed for that.

However,... I am hopeful that there is a chance the VC1 driver will be updated. That would solve it. These VC1 problems I see don't exist on a Mac Mini I have that runs Kodi or a Windows Laptop I have that runs Kodi. It's a bug with the VC1 acceleration and who knows... they may fix it. I uploaded a file to a developer and he confirmed it "wasn't trivial" and said he would give it to someone working on VC1 but that it may not be fixable.

Edit - I need VC1 acceleration off for Jurassic Park and on for The Dark Knight... (I don't think either of those is obscure) If you can play back those files with a single set of settings then we need to talk.

-Brian
 

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I'm actually running Windows 7 on it. Running it with 8 GBs of RAM and a 120 GB SSD. House is wired with gigabit ethernet throughout. Plays everything I throw at it. All my Blu-rays and DVDs are ripped 1:1 with MakeMKV and stored on my server. Haven't had any problems playing any codec, including MPEG2 and VC1.
THIS. This is exactly where I think I want to go. Some of the developers seem surprised that users run windows but windows doesn't have a bug with VC1 playback. I don't really love Windows or Microsoft but I have a problem that doesn't exist when I substitute my $200 laptop into the system for testing.

If windows worked on the Chromebox I would try that but no one can get sound from HDMI with that configuration for unknown reasons.
 

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I have several blu rays on my hard drive that play back seamlessly. None of the ones you have listed. I ripped them with makemkv EOT oblivion and several others. But for me I don't mind to make a small setting change if I ever have problems. For the price paid the chrome box can't be beat. The Nuc is just to expensive for what I would use it for. I have 2 chrome boxes both work great. As I always say it's your money. If its worth the money to you then you should buy what YOU want :)
 
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As I always say it's your money.
I think to some degree people see an "issue" with a cheap device and think if they throw money at it it will go away. When in fact the more expensive device may very well have its own issues. As I have seen on several occasions. These issues are more driver and chip firmware support related than power and or speed. As such spending more has no direct relationship to being better.
 
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I'm actually running Windows 7 on it. Running it with 8 GBs of RAM and a 120 GB SSD. House is wired with gigabit ethernet throughout. Plays everything I throw at it. All my Blu-rays and DVDs are ripped 1:1 with MakeMKV and stored on my server. Haven't had any problems playing any codec, including MPEG2 and VC1.
Getting more interesting.
I have absolutely nothing against a Chromebox for running Kodi/Openelec and have nothing to say against those who do. Whatever floats your boat. For my purposes, should I get bored or dissatisfied with Kodi, I see an i3 or i5 Haswell NUC as being more suitable hardware for re-purposing with full versions of Win-7 and/or Ubuntu. NUC's also look like a lot of fun and I've been looking for an excuse. I like no less than a certain minimum amount of horsepower in my boxes and if I were concerned about the performance differences between a low-power and full-power CPU I would build another Shuttle with a full-power CPU -- been there, done that, it's still running 24x7 as a server.
 

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I've decided to keep my Chromebox (for now) but I have bought an i5 desktop to put in it's place and I'll find out about it's limitations. :)
Which desktop did you end up getting?

I saw the post you deleted and I was interested in the outcome, because I basically have the same thought.

I currently have the Zbox Bi320 with 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD, and 2TB HD running Kodi through Windows 8.1

The only real playback issues I've had is lip sync, macro-blocking and aliasing when using DXVA2 acceleration. Everything plays smoothly, it just looks like crap for some reason. Using software mode everything syncs up fine and picture looks great. This includes The Dark Knight.

So I was wondering if maybe I built an HTPC using either an i3 or an i5 then I might have a better overall solution, but to build what I want would be close to $1k. I figure if I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it the way I want it. I just don't see it making that much of a difference. If I knew for sure it would then I'd do it.
 
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