Should I get a Raspberry Pi (4) ?

  • Thread starter sbtm
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137
Germany
Germany
Hellooo,

I thought a little about getting a Raspberry Pi as a home media center / renderer. Does anyone already have experience with this?

I have a NAS in my living room which holds some music, movies and tv series. I used to stream them via my phone (android) with BubbleUPnP to my Chromecast stick (which is attached to an HDMI input on my Marantz AV-Receiver) but this combination seems to struggle with some content, resulting in constant buffering and stuttering. So I thought it had something to do with the Wifi signal to the Chromecast.
I bought an RJ45 network adapter for the chromecast and an Ethernet Switch (TP-Link TL-SG105E) because only a single cord goes to the AV-Receiver and I have no LAN ports left on my router.
Sooo, the connections work like a charm and the chromecast is now in my LAN. BUT, the stuttering is still there. So it has nothing to do with the connection quality. (But I'm still happy that I bought the switch, because I could connect some more stuff to it). So maybe it has something to do with the transcoding (BubbleUPnP Server is running on the NAS) but no matter if I let my Android phone transcode the file or my NAS, it's always the same result. BubbleUPnP transcodes files automatically if they are not supported by Chromecast (or other renderers connected).
So I think I have to ditch Chromecast for that (will still use it for Netflix etc) and maybe get a Raspberry Pi for that.

At the moment I can use VLC on my computer and control it with the Android app "VLC Mobile Remote" with "VMR Connect" running on my PC. So I can remotely start VLC, browse my harddrives and the NAS, and shut down the computer, all from my phone. The computer is connected to my AV-Receiver via HDMI.
But I don't always want to have my PC running just to watch some stuff from my NAS so a Raspi would be cool.

Now I thought about getting it with Raspbian and install VLC on it so I could still use my android remote app for VLC, but there are also other options like libreELEC or OSMC.
But I love the functionality of the VLC Remote App and definetly want to use my phone as a remote. But maybe OSMC or libreELEC are better for this purpose and have better and wider range of functions. But with Raspbian I maybe could extend the range of tasks of the raspi if needed (but shouldn't be a problem with the other two distros as well I think). Maybe there is a way I can still use BubbleUPnP on my phone and the Raspi only as renderer, I love the Bubble app.
I just don't know if it's worth it to get a raspi for just this situation. And would it be possible to watch Netflix etc via the Raspi too?

I used Linux on my notebook many years ago.. I think last distro I used was Linux Mint 13 (Maya), so I'm a bit rusty in regards of Linux.


Any suggestions?
 
137
Germany
Germany
ok I figured it out myself now.
I just tested Kodi on my PC and it worked like a charm with the NAS, wake-on-lan included.
I can control Kodi with the "Kore" app on Android, I can use it as a remote and also can browse everything in the library directly in the app.
Netflix also works good, but only have the issue that some movies are only SD (540p) while most others are 1080p.

I can still use Bubble UPnP app and stream almost everything I want to Kodi, from other sources.

So today I bought the Raspberry Pi 4 B (with 8 Gig of Ram), a heatsink case made of aluminum, some cables and a power supply. Just have to wait for delivery. So still have time to figure out if I use Kodi on libreelec or use Raspbian with Kodi to have some more possibilities for other future tasks.
 
137
Germany
Germany
libreELEC it is. runs perfectly fine. I also ordered a 16GB SD card with NOOBS (the official Raspberry Pi OS collection, also I got the 32GB card instead hehe) but the Pi didn't boot correctly with NOOBS (stuck in the "rainbow screen"). While searching for a solution I read that NOOBS isn't very reliable and it happens sometimes.
So I wiped the SD card and put libreELEC with Kodi on it. No problems after that. Works like a charm. I also ordered a cheap remote control for Kodi, it is programmable and can use IR or RF (2,4GHz with the included dongle). Works also out of the box.
 

GilesGuthrie

Staff Emeritus
10,991
United Kingdom
Edinburgh, UK
CMDRTheDarkLord
I have a Pi 4 which I’m using as a DHCP & DNS server. It connects to Cloudflare’s DNS-over-HTTPS, and runs PiHole for ad & tracker blocking.

I too ditched the plastic case with a fan and installed it into a fanless aluminium case. It runs 5 deg cooler and doesn’t sound like it’s about to ingest itself.

Thumbs up from me
 

JohnBM01

JohnMarineDesigns
Premium
24,669
United States
Houston, Texas, USA
JMarine25
I have entertained the thought of getting a Raspberry Pi 4 lately to get into the Raspberry Pi experience and to try Linux. I was already thinking about what my cart would be like picking options for the Pi 4... then, it all changed when I looked at the Raspberry Pi 400. I saw a few videos about the top-of-the-line 8GB model. And really, most of what I've seen boils down to saying the 4GB model works just fine if you are not a hardcore PC user or even a hardcore PC gamer. The RPi 400 is essentially all you need along with Raspian bundled on a Class 10 microSD card. All the RPi 400 really needs is a monitor. So if I were to get a Raspberry Pi, I'm considering the RPi 400.
 

BobK

Premium
6,984
United States
Massachusetts, USA
I have entertained the thought of getting a Raspberry Pi 4 lately to get into the Raspberry Pi experience and to try Linux. I was already thinking about what my cart would be like picking options for the Pi 4... then, it all changed when I looked at the Raspberry Pi 400. I saw a few videos about the top-of-the-line 8GB model. And really, most of what I've seen boils down to saying the 4GB model works just fine if you are not a hardcore PC user or even a hardcore PC gamer. The RPi 400 is essentially all you need along with Raspian bundled on a Class 10 microSD card. All the RPi 400 really needs is a monitor. So if I were to get a Raspberry Pi, I'm considering the RPi 400.
In addition to the Pi400, you will also need an SD card of absolute minimum 32GB, a 5V power supply capable of 3.5 amps, an HDMI cable, possibly an audio cable depending on how you set it up, heat sinks,and a mouse. A fan would be very highly recommended.

My choice would be a Cankit Raspberry Pi 4 4GB Starter PRO Kit, I've purchased several of them over the years (not all Model 4 of course). You will now need a keyboard as well as a mouse and monitor.
 
1,259
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
In addition to the Pi400, you will also need an SD card of absolute minimum 32GB, a 5V power supply capable of 3.5 amps, an HDMI cable, possibly an audio cable depending on how you set it up, heat sinks,and a mouse. A fan would be very highly recommended.

My choice would be a Cankit Raspberry Pi 4 4GB Starter PRO Kit, I've purchased several of them over the years (not all Model 4 of course). You will now need a keyboard as well as a mouse and monitor.
If buying the Pi400 there is no requirement for additional cooling. The starter kit from someone like PiHut will fit the needs of most people: https://thepihut.com/collections/featured-products/products/raspberry-pi-400-personal-computer-kit