My regular financial program (Marketplace) was more interested in their music streaming service than the accessories. The price they paid would be far too high for a cheap headphone company.Beats is a hardware/accessories/branding player. Beats is more about the next lifestyle gadget accessory Apple wants to come out with.
Your NUC uses Intel graphics in one of the Core i_ processors right? Those definitely support 1080p24. My Haswell notebook supports 23p, 24p, 29p, 30p, 30i, 50p, 50i, 59p, 60p, 60i when plugged into my PN64F8500.It's a Samsung UN65ES8000. It's supposed to though I admit that I've never messed with it.
What OS does it run? I gave the rundown for Win 7 x64 with reasonably current drivers.There's probably a video driver update I haven't bothered to do since the day I set the thing up.
My music is pretty well tagged. It is also well organized into folders by Artist - Album. I have a really old first gen Roku, as in the M500. It's cumbersome to use with the size of my music library with only a small 2 line passive LCD display. Pushing from the Slimserver PC side server interface isn't all that much better and I have to turn on a PC. As a result, I don't use it much. I'd like something with a workable 10' interface on my TV that doesn't involve turning on my HTPC. I would be okay with an interface that navigates via the data from the tags, but it needs to not bog down to a crawl if you have a very large music library.Music playback is going to depend a lot on how you organize and how you've chosen to preserve metadata. I do a lot of my playback in XBMC, but my collection is well organized to browse by the filesystem and almost always involves simply navigating a folder and playing the first track rather than relying on scrapers or ID3 tags (both of which will completely puke on the sorts of music I like). I can see someone whose media needs involve a lot of playlist management using something like Foobar and I'm not sure what the 10' interface options are for that.
Server 2012r2. Gotta do something with those Technet licenses. I know I installed an Intel driver and I have the Desktop Experience installed. When I get home I'll check.What OS does it run? I gave the rundown for Win 7 x64 with reasonably current drivers.
No STB I'm aware of does local music collections WELL. Your options boil down to browsing a folder structure somehow or finding something that shares playlists, which is basically going to be a shell that sits over DLNA or maybe MPD. And there's nothing but library management programs that handle tag filtering, which means using a PC somewhere. Now, you can have XBMC or Plex send output to connected clients if you're set up for that, but that (or DLNA, for that matter) is going to transcode to either MP3 or AAC, which is going to kill any audiophile grade source. Further, mobile-device Plex doesn't support high resolution output AFAIK. Audio is ALWAYS transcoded to stereo.My music is pretty well tagged. It is also well organized into folders by Artist - Album. I have a really old first gen Roku, as in the M500. It's cumbersome to use with the size of my music library with only a small 2 line passive LCD display. Pushing from the Slimserver PC side server interface isn't all that much better and I have to turn on a PC. As a result, I don't use it much. I'd like something with a workable 10' interface on my TV that doesn't involve turning on my HTPC. I would be okay with an interface that navigates via the data from the tags, but it needs to not bog down to a crawl if you have a very large music library.
By local you mean on a USB attached HD? That's not really what I'm after. The music is on a "server" in the basement. I am okay with running some sort of "server" software on it with the appliance accessing it over wired ethernet.No STB I'm aware of does local music collections WELL. Your options boil down to browsing a folder structure somehow or finding something that shares playlists, which is basically going to be a shell that sits over DLNA or maybe MPD. And there's nothing but library management programs that handle tag filtering, which means using a PC somewhere. Now, you can have XBMC or Plex send output to connected clients if you're set up for that, but that (or DLNA, for that matter) is going to transcode to either MP3 or AAC, which is going to kill any audiophile grade source. Further, mobile-device Plex doesn't support high resolution output AFAIK. Audio is ALWAYS transcoded to stereo.
A NUC pretty much puts me right back to a PC. I've already got a HTPC (though I don't have a 10' interface on it). What non-PC hardware do you recommend for running XBMC on?Personally, I think NAS + XBMC might be the right answer since you have good a good folder structure and you're willing to work with a 10' interface instead of a two line LED, but XBMC's audio format support can be a little weird. It doesn't play some multichannel .FLACs or any .DTS files, for example. Even with that, you'll run in to some issues for outliers in your music collection and XBMC is lacking in searching and filtering (Plex does that better but doesn't otherwise do music as well; lots of file format support problems in my experience).
The usual suspects of Roku/FireTV/AppleTV are barely functional in that respect without falling back on Plex/XBMC anyway. If you go the STB route, you'll find that interface lag is going to be as big or bigger annoyance than a crummy UI.
The NUC is entirely silent. It has shit-tons of horsepower for current video playback and I do know that it can render 4k acceptably, at least on an i3-class CPU. You have a zillion ways to control the stupid thing. It's just that it uses more electricity than an AppleTV and managing a desktop OS might be more work than you want to bother with, especially if you let yours sleep and occasionally want to interact with something outside your 10' interface.
After playing around with it more, it seems like a headless XBMC setup running on a fanless low power PC with a USB coax SPDIF output controlled by the Yatse Android app might be just the music playing "appliance" I'm after.Thanks for the help and answering my questions. Rather than ask you a bunch more questions I decided to put XBMC on my HTPC and try it out. I'm not sold on it's 10' interface for music handling. It's clearly better than simply using Windows Explorer + foobar2000, but...
08-11-2014, 09:19 PMStereodude said:So I ordered a smoke silver Haswell based Celeron HP Chromebox (yes I know it's not fanless) to install XBMC (OpenELEC) on along with a MCE/RC6 IR receiver and a CM6631A USB to SPDIF adapter.
Being someone who has to go overboard I also ordered a 7" wide viewing angle 1280x800 LCD to put on top of my component stack so I can see what's playing just by glancing up without having to leave my TV on.
08-12-2014, 08:22 AMStereodude said:So I got the display from Adafruit (still waiting on the Chromebox). I wasn't pleased to have to troubleshoot their apparent incompetence. The short version is they said the display interface board could be powered between 5-24V. They recommended several voltage supply options. I chose the recommended 12V supply as a result. The reality is only 5V will work properly. 12V causes the LEDs/LED driver in the display to overheat causing part of the LCD to "clear' and also results in the backlight never powering off. I started a thread on their forum.
08-16-2014, 11:44 PMStereodude said:I added a microcontroller board in between the DISP_EN signal from the controller to the display. Now I can dim the display via a variable duty cycle 20kHz PWM. The MCU pulls 3.3V from the HDMI interface board. It basically superimposes a PWM on top of the DISP_EN signal. There is a pushbutton switch to cycle through the brightness levels. The microcontroller board only consumes ~1.25mA which is pretty thrifty. I wrote the C-code for the micro so I can do pretty much whatever I want. I am thinking to connect some sort of ambient light sensor.
Stereodude said:Today I got my 5V wallwart power supply for the HDMI interface board so I don't have to use a bench top supply any more. Yesterday I got my ambient light sensor. I wrote the software to make this all work on Friday. I got it connected up today. I had to modify a few scaling factors in the software to adjust how aggressively it changes the brightness and the baseline light level but the SW worked as expected. I wish the ambient light sensor and automatic brightness adjustment on my Nexus 7 (2013) worked nearly as well.
My ChromeBox and USB to SPDIF also arrived. I haven't put OpenELEC on it yet. It boots to ChromeOS in only a few seconds.
I haven't tried any video content. The 2955U has the Quick Sync engine which is used for decoding. My understanding is that it can decode pretty much anything real time including very high bitrate UHD H.264 content. Other people were testing with 100Mbit/sec "4K" H.264 files on Chromeboxes and discussing their results on another forum. They were not driving a UHD display though they reported no playback issues.Since you now have your cool little HP box up and running, have you tried it out for video content yet? Or is it dedicated just to audio at this point? I'm curious to know whether it behaves well enough for high bit-rate video playback.
Ignoring the legal aspects, that sounds pretty neat, but potentially troublesome from a buffering standpoint. I imagine it doesn't leave you with a very good ratio either.Not to advocate something totally, completely that is blatantly illegal and completely awesome, but Popcorn Time basically lets users stream torrents. On a decent-ish connection (I saw it used on a 10Mbit DSL line), it's functionally not different from Netflix; you hit play and it downloads and begins playing a torrent as if it were streaming content. It's not something I need but I was impressed by how well it actually works.
These went away after a few tweaks. I made a few changes to the registry of my Windows XP x64 system that runs all the time based on some information I found in a guide, and I also told OpenELEC to delay starting until the network was up. It takes a few seconds longer to start from a cold boot, but I haven't had any SMB connection issues out of suspend / standby since.I've been trying to chase down some sporadic gremlins on my SMB network shares not working when the box is booted or when it's brought out of suspend / standby. Sometimes it just doesn't work until the box has sat a few minutes. I found lots of complaints about this sort of issue about 1.5 years ago on the forums for SMB and NFS shares, but apparently quite a few patches were made to it and the issues were resolved for most people.
Be glad you don't deal with much Classical music, where the "authoritative" sources might list an album's artist by the composer, soloist, conductor or ensemble; albums are frequently untitled and will almost never have anything in the Composer or album artist fields; non-English characters in tags are downright common and obscure imports, LP-only releases that pre-date the computer age by 20 years and fly-by-night collections are the order of the day.Tagging has become the bane of my existence now. I thought my music was well tagged, and it may have been compared to some collections, but it had a lot of room for improvement. I've been trying to systematically work my way through my collection to fix various issues as I find them.