making a media client from a pi....

I did this already for audio, and now am looking to do it for video as well.
What I want it to do is
- connect to the network with wifi
- have a web server whose interface with a laptop or a smartphone
becomes the 'remote'
- can play H264 /AAC encoded video at full frame rate up to HD
- can play webm/vorbis encoded live TV at full frame rate and possibly HD.
I am really looking for feedback on how powerful the thing needs to be
to do this - a pi zero W was well OK for just audio.
Also, how might one kill the process after a few hours so I don't wake
up at 3 a.m. to really loud adverts for mattresses that will eliminate
sleepless nights :=-)
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Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
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I gave up on a rpi4. It should work but good HD video depends on hardware acceleration and Raspbian distro software compatibility with acceleration was poor when I tried (i.e. Chrome and VLC didn't support it fully)
If you just want media try KODI.
Reply to
Pancho
This was the case after rpi4 was released.but later it was fixed. Firefox+ youtube, mplayer, kplayer works fine
I was also after KODI (not for the RPI4, but for the PC, or VM), however it was not possible to compile.
Reply to
Deloptes
As I understand it, H264 decodes fine, but not webm/vorbis... trying to get a feel for the support...
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Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
As a SMB file server (with the decoding and display on *another* PC) the Pi3 or Pi4 is fast enough. Likewise for recording to spinning HDD (not SD because of the small size and heavy write activity) - I use TVHeadend to record from one DVB-S2, one DVB-T2 and one DVB-T tuner: I've had all three recording at once (on one occasion, one tuner was being used for two HD programmes).
Using the Pi to decode and play HD videos is a bit more of a problem. The Pi3 definitely wasn't up to the job - lots of stuttering even on SD. The Pi4 seems to be able to do SD and HD, but it uses a lot of CPU power and raises the temperature from the normal 60 deg C to about 75 deg C, and I'm not sure what the maximum sustained temperature of an ARM CPU is.
Likewise, using a Pi4 as a Plex server is a bit of a non-starter. It's fine for SD, but HD seems to require transcoding which puts the CPU and temp into the danger zone. I wish there was player hardware that could drive a TV over HDMI and which could read a file from an SMB server. But Plex seems to require the server to transcode stuff, rather than handling native TS files as MPEG-2, H264 or H265. I'd use the Pi4 running VLC if this didn't push the temp a bit high.
All this is with Raspbian Stretch on the Pi3, and RaspiOS Buster on the Pi4. Other distros of Linux may be better.
So the gist of what I'm saying is "the Pi is fine for recording to TS files and then serving them by SMB to another playing device (Windows), but using the Pi as the actual video player is a bit dicey".
Reply to
NY
Try OSMC on Pi3
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England
Reply to
Chris Elvidge
That's perfectly plain and a good answer and thank you
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Karl Marx said religion is the opium of the people. 
But Marxism is the crack cocaine.
Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
I am not sure what formats I have tested. The issue was definitely in youtube video - could have been format related, but was solved at least somewhen beginning of last year
Reply to
Deloptes
Yep, you are correct, I tried immediately after the Pi4 came out. However, I seem to recall a thread a month or two complaining that hardware acceleration had been turned off again in the recent distro release.
I also have a fair bit of prejudice. About 10-15 years ago I tried to run an underpowered AMD cpu based HTPC. It was supposed to work due to hardware acceleration, but it was constantly getting glitches and breaking. Hardware acceleration would fail, TV would stutter.
Since then I've used powerful chips and the headache goes away.
Something like a Pi that could do video (including x265) and remote desktop would be ideal, *if* it worked reliably.
Yebbut, for the Pi4 you get prebuilt images. I've not played with VMs recently but I would think you would want passthru video for KODI.
FWIW, I don't see the attraction, I like a proper PC desktop on my main TV, I use a mouse and keyboard not a remote. The I can watch TV or do a spot of programming from the comfy chair.
Reply to
Pancho
Even on a 3B+ I had no issues with librelec/kodi/widevine/netflix/iplayer/tvheadend HD playback ...
Reply to
Andy Burns
It seems to default to VP8/VP9 codec whenever I take notice
Reply to
Andy Burns
Yes. However, it is still possible to request h.264 streams. For browsers, you might need a plugin like "h.264ify". It could be that the RPi modified version of Chromium has that built in. The next link in the chain is if the browser will recognise the h.264 stream as such and offload it to the hardware decoder. Probably not if it's not the RPi amended Chromium...
The alternative is to use youtube-dl and pipe the output to omxplayer, e.g. I have this saved which used to work but haven't tried it in years, really:
youtube-dl -f 96 -o - 'https://youtube-url-goes-here' | omxplayer -b -r --timeout 100 -I --no-keys pipe:0
Reply to
A. Dumas
I was looking to replace the the Popcorn A100, but replacement is too expensive latest model ~500 Remote is part of the entertainment. May be I'll find time to compile the KODI software.
Reply to
Deloptes
I don't know - I configured the RPI4 to do a diskless boot PXI and put debian. I kept the original kernel and I use Firefox. As desktop I put Trinity (TDE) and everything seems just fine. The only blocker I hit in replacing the PC is the scanner software that is coming with some x86 prebuild binary :/
The video however works flawlessly.
Reply to
Deloptes
I don't know your scan usecase, but you can run OCRmypdf on the pi.
I scan directly to a network share and then ocrmypdf watches the folder and converts to searchable PDF.
Reply to
Pancho
I wanted to replace the PC with RPI4 as desktop. But on the PC I have the scanner attached, that I need very often, so for now I stick to the current setup. I don't need OCRmypdf I need a scan of an invoice or a document - this means put the paper into the device and press the button. When I have time, I'll have a look at the next version of the scanner software. It might be they have driver for aarch64.
Reply to
Deloptes
Which scanner? saned should support almost any...
Reply to
Nikolaj Lazic
EPSON Perfection V330 Photo scanner
Never bothered to try that. I tried saned in 2003/4 last time :) I have a process that works 100%. I do not put an effort to update the process if not needed. I could of course use something like USB to TCP converter and handle it on another machine that is i386, but there were few other issues, that I can not recall exactly now.
Reply to
Deloptes
NY seemed to cover only the case where HW acceleration is not used at all. While I haven't tried to use a Pi as a media player recently, even the original Pi worked fine as video player back almost a decade ago, for SD MPEG2 and h.264 content. I remember the thing had trouble running the XBMC (later KODI) GUI, but video and audio were fine. A quick Google shows the acceleration even in the first model was good enough to handle even 1080p content although only up to 1080p30.
Reply to
Anssi Saari
The issue is whether or not Webm/Vorbis encoding can utilise hardware acceleration. I might just get one and try it out
I am sure H264 can, which is my other standard
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  ?A leader is best When people barely know he exists. Of a good leader,  
who talks little,When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,They will say,  
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Reply to
The Natural Philosopher

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