Which OS for HTPC and is 4k HDR possible?

Rambles

Distinguished Member
I have just got an Nvidia Shield, and have to admit that it does everything I need it to do with minimal fuss.

Namely, auto HDR on and off and auto resolution / refresh rate switching to match content.

I use Plex, and so far I'm preferring Plex for Kodi than Plex Media Player, also for one room I am integrating with frontview.

So, before I throw all of my HTPC's away, can I install a different OS on them to get a similar Plex / Kodi experience to the shield? If so, which one - Linux / libre elec / open source android / something else?

Thanks for any help!
 

razy60

Well-known Member
What do you use your htpc for? Storing movies ect or just as a streaming device same as the shield?
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
Hi, just streaming, I have a separate PC which acts as a server and a PVR, which is stacked full of hard drives.

I then have 5 TV's, all with HTPC's attached to them to act as playback devices.

The problem I am experiencing is that more of my content is becoming 4K / HDR, and not all / any of the clients, can play this back correctly and smoothly.

I forgot to mention that I also need HD audio / atmos passthrough.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Support for HDR is now present in latest development version of Kodi v19 but that is not ready for general use.

Support for HDR in Liberelec also requires a Linux kernel update but all the pieces are coming together.

The only option I know of is Windows + Kodi Matrix a custom fork of Kodi with HDR support but thats been discontinued with Kodi v19 in the works.
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
I have the Kodi Matrix fork on a Windows 10 HTPC, it works for HDR stuff, but not for anything else, and the Plex add-on doesn't work very well either.

I have been using that for HDR content and PMP for everything else, but it's not ideal. The Shield can do it all from one place - the plex add-on for Kodi, which is much more family friendly.

Libreelec sounds promising - does that mean that we are waiting for someone to code the linux kernel update?
 

razy60

Well-known Member
Without knowing your htpc hardware I can only guess but you need minimum 7th Gen Intel CPU with win 10 for Netflix streaming
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
Without knowing your htpc hardware I can only guess but you need minimum 7th Gen Intel CPU with win 10 for Netflix streaming
Thanks, it's a mixture of hardware across several PC's. It's not Netflix streaming, it's locally stored content.
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
My thinking is, that if the Shield can do it, with lesser hardware, can I emulate the Shield on a PC by installing android, or something else other than Windows?
 

razy60

Well-known Member
I have managed to play a 4k file with Atmos on my pc (6th Gen i7 with 1080ti GPU) using Kodi from my server(Linux mint OS) but I did upgrade the system codec to hvec.
I'll see if I can find the tutorial to do it.
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
I have managed to play a 4k file with Atmos on my pc (6th Gen i7 with 1080ti GPU) using Kodi from my server(Linux mint OS) but I did upgrade the system codec to hvec.
I'll see if I can find the tutorial to do it.
Hi Razy, thanks but I have that sorted already. Either using MadVR or the forked versions of Kodi 19.

What I am looking for is the ability to play all file types, so SD / HD / UHD / SDR / HDR with all audio types including atmos etc, from within one plex client app. And for the playback to autoswitch the refresh rate and resolution and HDR type according to the content playing.

The Nvidia Shield TV can do this with the Plex add-on in Kodi, which is good. But.. it isn't a perfect device, there are some characteristics that are annoying.

I don't really want to replace all of my HTPC's with Nvidia Shields, so I am looking at whether it is possible to replicate the Shield experience, on my current HTPC's, by running something other than Windows.
 

razy60

Well-known Member
I have tried some so called emulators and even an android OS but none have worked well and consistently enough to be viable alternatives, that said I just run a basic version of Kodi for local play back which copes well enough with 4k and Atmos, if you're running a stable system using madvr ect then you shouldn't need to use anything else, I would suggest you use Kodi only rather than Plex in Kodi even if it doesn't look as pretty.
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
I have tried some so called emulators and even an android OS but none have worked well and consistently enough to be viable alternatives, that said I just run a basic version of Kodi for local play back which copes well enough with 4k and Atmos, if you're running a stable system using madvr ect then you shouldn't need to use anything else, I would suggest you use Kodi only rather than Plex in Kodi even if it doesn't look as pretty.
Right, I am just installing an android OS on my NUC - it is horrible, but an interesting experiment!

As I said above my needs are.. The plex interface, so all of the family can access their content, and we have play and resume across multiple rooms, as well as on deck and playlists etc.

Plus all media types played back with auto switching across the differing audio and video characteristics of each file.

I don't think there is a Windows 10 player that can do all of that is there?
 

razy60

Well-known Member
Right, I am just installing an android OS on my NUC - it is horrible, but an interesting experiment!

As I said above my needs are.. The plex interface, so all of the family can access their content, and we have play and resume across multiple rooms, as well as on deck and playlists etc.

Plus all media types played back with auto switching across the differing audio and video characteristics of each file.

I don't think there is a Windows 10 player that can do all of that is there?
Interesting but horrible, yep my thoughts.
Your probably at the top end of what you can do in Windows currently so your final point is a Nope.
Only other options would be android TV boxes (cheap but work) or fire TV stick still cheap then your getting into the price point of Shield and Apple TV, and as many on these forums attest to, your current setups are the best.
I have tried open elec , geebox and mythbuntu, all work ok and allow you to boot straight to the media interface. The reason I don't use them now is I have the shield and a gaming PC as my main lounge systems the rest don't need them.
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
Thanks! I can't figure out what it is, but I'll have a play around with it.
 

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