newbie questions

I'm thinking of buying the Pi 4 to use for web surfing and watching
anime and YouTube videos. I don't have any intentions to do video
editing or other such productivity tasks.
I've followed reviews from the "Explaining Computers" YouTube channel
and from ETA Prime. I realized that neither, as far as I remember,
have discussed how well the audio performs.
My intention would be to put the Pi 4 next to my Roku TV, run a cable
to the Pi 4 from my internet router and connect the Pi 4 to the TV
using HDMI. The TV would act as both monitor and as sound output. I
would use a browser, preferably Firefox, to surf the net using the Pi
4. I intend to keep it isolated as much as possible from my primary pc.
how feasible does this configuration seem? Again, I intend to use the
TV as both monitor and sound output for the Pi 4. My TV has HDMI
ports, and I'm using my current pc with it for web surfing (both audio
and video).
Does Firefox work in the Pi 4 O/S? I've had problems before using FF
with Mint where the vertical scroll bar of FF failed to work. I've
also frequently have times when audio would disappear until you reboot.
Also, these days I frequently use magnifying s/w to help me read stuff
on the screen. Does the Pi 4 O/S have a function like that?
Thanks,
John
Reply to
Yes
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On Thu, 5 Nov 2020 21:46:33 -0000 (UTC), "Yes" declaimed the following:
It might -- but the "native" installed browser is Chrome/Chromium.
The R-Pi OS is a customized version of Debian (10 currently) with a highly customized desktop. However, you can either configure the desktop font sizes -- the trade-off being that even with a 1920x1080 (HD TV) display, it will act as if it were fit to a 1280x800 or so, meaning fewer lines of text will be visible. OR -- you can search for Debian packages that provide such magnifier features.
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	Wulfraed                 Dennis Lee Bieber         AF6VN 
	wlfraed@ix.netcom.com    http://wlfraed.microdiversity.freeddns.org/
Reply to
Dennis Lee Bieber
"Yes" wrote
| My intention would be to put the Pi 4 next to my Roku TV, run a cable | to the Pi 4 from my internet router and connect the Pi 4 to the TV | using HDMI. The TV would act as both monitor and as sound output. I | would use a browser, preferably Firefox, to surf the net using the Pi | 4. I intend to keep it isolated as much as possible from my primary pc. |
I'm doing exactly that, minus the Roku. It works fine. I got a wireless USB keyboard and mouse, which I set up on a tray. So when I switch to the Pi4 on the TV I get the Linux desktop. I also set up a custom Chrome using drivers someone came up with, so that I can stream movies that use Widevine DRM, such as Hoopla.
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Widevine is a Google invention that they seem to want to control. So there's no version for ARM Chrome or for Firefox. But the man at the link above worked it out.
It all works great. You don't need the customization for Youtube. Firefox works. With a second TV I've done similar with a Win7 box. I play a movie or video on Win7 and pipe it via HDMI as a second monitor.
Zoom functions? I don't know. But in general the Pi4 acts like any PC. I got it mainly because it allows me to have a computer the size of a deck of cards hooked into the TV. And it's very cheap compared to providing a dedicated PC for the job.
Reply to
Mayayana
The new Raspberry Pi 400 sounds ideal for you. I wouldn't bother with a direct LAN connection - just use Wi-Fi.
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The Chrome works OK.
The Pi supports 1920 x 1080. There is a magnifier (I read) started by Ctrl-Alt-M.
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Reply to
David Taylor
Audio over HDMI works perfectly on any Pi from the very first model to the latest. It's a digital connection, so the quality is as good as it gets (i.e. it still depends on the recording quality, of course, and on the speakers in your TV).
Yes, a magnifying glass is part of the Recommended Software selection which can be accessed from the Preferences menu. The magnifier is not installed by default so it must be installed manually using that tool, and requires a reboot.
I would recommend buying the new Raspberry Pi 400 Kit, where the Pi comes inside a keyboard. It is a neat package which also comes with a power plug, a mouse, an hdmi cable, a ready-to-use SD card with the RaspiOS and a printed user manual. It also has a slightly faster version of the chip (1.8 instead of 1.5 GHZ, not much but every little bit helps) and it has a massive heatsink built into the system so that it has no overheating trouble whatsoever, even when overclocking. They really fixed that. Not that the latest Pi 4 still overheats easily, but it can, especially in a closed case. (Nothing bad happens, it just slows down when overheating.)
Reply to
A. Dumas
Completely feasible, I have either a Pi 4B or an earlier model connected to each TV in the house. The 4B with 4GB (or more) is very much a leap forward in usability for desktop and browsing, from the previous models which had less memory and slower processors.
Firefox does work, but I use Chromium as it has hardware acceleration of video, plus the h264ify plugin to turn Youtube VP8/9 videos in to H264 which can be accelerated.
There is accessibility software which can magnify parts of the screen, but you can also customise the desktop to use large fonts which easier to read at TV viewing distances.
---druck
Reply to
druck
I'm a bit confused by the other responses. I tested Raspbian desktop on my Pi4 4GB just over a year ago and it wasn't utilising hardware graphics acceleration in the Chrome ("Chromium"?) browser. HD video, fullscreen, youtube, was unwatchable in Chrome. None of the other browsers seemed better, I think Firefox was "experimental".
Sure, you could set it up to play video with something like KODI that does use x264 hardware acceleration (maybe even x265), but the default youtube browser experience was unwatchable.
Maybe things have improved in the last year, but I would confirm that is true before going ahead. The problems did seem to be software/drivers rather than hardware.
I now use my Pi 4 headless.
Reply to
Pancho
According to this:
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Pi0-3 have hardware accelerated decode for H264, MPEG4, H263, and through optional codec licences for MPEG2 and VC1. Pi4 has the same hardware accelerated decode for H264, but not the other codecs. It also has a separate block for HEVC.
The block for H264 etc can only be accessed via the VPU firmware, which means either MMAL or IL. That applies to all platforms.
More info at the above URL and here:
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--

Chris Elvidge, England
Reply to
Chris Elvidge
Yes I know it had hardware acceleration, KODI, was good for HD H264 full screen. My point was that Chrome wasn't using it.
OK so this guy is say Chrome still doesn't use hardware GPU acceleration by default, but if you are willing to follow his guide you can get it to work.
I'm a little bit sceptical about how well it works. If it really worked well wouldn't Raspbian do it by default. It is astonishing that such a critical issue would not be addressed.
In the past when I have tried this type of stuff I have found non-standard solutions to be fragile, particularly with HTPC.
Reply to
Pancho
"Pancho" wrote
| I'm a bit confused by the other responses. I tested Raspbian desktop on | my Pi4 4GB just over a year ago and it wasn't utilising hardware | graphics acceleration in the Chrome ("Chromium"?) browser. HD video, | fullscreen, youtube, was unwatchable in Chrome. None of the other | browsers seemed better, I think Firefox was "experimental". |
I don't know from hardware acceleration, but I got a Pi4 kit and it worked great from the start. I don't use Chrome, except the custom version for streaming movies. Youtube works fine on FF. (Though it's easier to use youtube-dl for large videos, put the video on a stick, and walk it over to the Pi.)
What about your network setup? I think all Pi4s have an ethernet input, which is how I'm using it. Wifi is for the birds if you can reasonably easily get a cable to the Pi. In my case I've run cables around the house because I have an open cellar ceiling and lots of pipe chases/heat vents. For some people it's not so easy.
Reply to
Mayayana
No, the Zero does not
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Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
I'll say it ... a zero isn't a 4
Reply to
Andy Burns
"The Natural Philosopher" wrote
| | > I think all Pi4s | > have an ethernet input, | | No, the Zero does not |
Maybe I'm mistaken, but I don't think a Zero is a 4:
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There are 3 Pi4s, varying in terms of RAM. I don't think anyone would be wise to consider anything but a Pi4 if they want to stream video, run Firefox, etc. I'm not an expert on this, but it seems that the capacity to realistically do such things is pretty much a Pi4 development.
Reply to
Mayayana
Ah. speed read and missed the 4...
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Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
On Fri, 6 Nov 2020 07:05:45 +0000, David Taylor declaimed the following:
The return of the TRS-80 Model 1
* in that the keyboard held the main processor and RAM, and connected to a TV (yes, that monitor was nothing more than a B/W Sony TV with the tuner section removed and holes where the channel dials would have been covered by a plate with the TRS-80 Logo).
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	Wulfraed                 Dennis Lee Bieber         AF6VN 
	wlfraed@ix.netcom.com    http://wlfraed.microdiversity.freeddns.org/
Reply to
Dennis Lee Bieber
On Fri, 6 Nov 2020 10:12:37 -0500, "Mayayana" declaimed the following:
Four variants... Originally in 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB, subsequently they are 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB.
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	Wulfraed                 Dennis Lee Bieber         AF6VN 
	wlfraed@ix.netcom.com    http://wlfraed.microdiversity.freeddns.org/
Reply to
Dennis Lee Bieber
It's a fraction of the weight with a million times the memory, tens of thousands of times the processing power and millions of times the I/O
that was my first thought too.
Not bad progress for a bit over four decades.
I worked in Tandy Cambridge at the time the TRS-80 came out in the UK and knew BASIC so I got to program the demo one a month before they went on sale. "Make it do something eye catching" - that set an early record for vague requirements that has never been beaten in a long career of programming.
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Steve O'Hara-Smith                          |   Directable Mirror Arrays 
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Reply to
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
There's a Kodi add-on for YouTube that works like a champ. A small number of older videos won't play (not transcoded to H.264, perhaps?), but the vast majority play flawlessly, full-screen. I ran it under LibreELEC for a long time, switched to Raspbian recently to try to get LBRY working, and am currently working on getting 64-bit Gentoo running again. (That'll enable newer versions of Kodi, and can easily be cross-compiled on more powerful hardware...and it might also have better support for windowed video.)
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Reply to
Scott Alfter
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That's what I'm thinking too.
Reply to
Yes
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Thanks. Seen reviews of it, but my tv sits more than six feet away from me, so not interested in the Pi 400
Reply to
Yes

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