Raspberry Pi4 as HTPC?

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs & Equipment' started by ryanjg11, Oct 3, 2019.

  1. ryanjg11

    ryanjg11 Gawd

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    I have a full blown WIndows HTPC that really only gets used to watch streaming video through a web browser. Not YouTube, as the YouTube app built into modern TVs or my Fire Stick 4K is just a way better TV experience.

    Given that I only use my HTPC for that very limited function, I was wondering if the newer Raspberry Pi4 would be powerful enough to use as a browser-video-streamer or if it's still not quite there yet. I believe most streams are HTML5 these days.

    I don't have a 4K display, so max resolution would be 1920 x 1080 for the video playback.
     
  2. Chaddyboy

    Chaddyboy n00b

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    Also interested in this if anyone has any insight?
     
  3. defaultluser

    defaultluser [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This is the last major news site to review the unit, and even 2 months after launch, the browser video playback was still clunky.

    https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/raspberry-pi-4-b,6193.html

    Broadcom sneaked this one out the door, and that unfortunately means you're going to be waiting months more before they fix the issues with in-browser video acceleration.

    The hardware is capable, but it may take awhile for the software supporting the hardware to show up, and make it a decent HTPC..
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
  4. Jester1550

    Jester1550 Gawd

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    I realize this thread is... old but just wanted to chime in. I'm using a RPi4 for an HTPC x2 months. Gotta say it works quite well for just pushing DVD / Blu Ray quality stuff!
     
  5. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

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    Any good for UHD?
     
  6. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yup, I'm wondering the same thing: did they get the desktop experience figured?

    The RPI4 released with undercooked software and I have no idea how to track as to when it is updated to at least the level of functionality of the RPI3.
     
  7. defaultluser

    defaultluser [H]ardForum Junkie

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    And more specifically, how well does it play back video streamed from YouTube? All of the reviews said this didn't work at all. Has that experience changed?

    And while you could playback higher resolution files locally without stutter, the apps didn't make use of the hardware acceleration (really caps you at 1080p on that level of hardware).

    Is hardware acceleration working in any of the video applications yet?
     
  8. lightsout

    lightsout Gawd

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    There are plenty of other small devices for this purpose. I have an Odroid N2. It dual boots Android TV and Coreelec. YouTube app is way better than any browser from the couch.
     
  9. w1retap

    w1retap [H]ardForum Junkie

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    +1 - just built a Rock Pi 4 last night with Android TV 9. It works excellent.
     
  10. longblock454

    longblock454 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I've been using a Pi3+ with optional bought codecs (IIRC they are $2 total) for several years with no issues. LibreElec, 1080 playing MKVs.

    I believe the Pi4 includes the codecs at no extra charge.