sam5280
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:19 am

Is the RPi 4 A Viable Media Center?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:55 am

I was wondering if the RPi 4 is a good option for a media center. It would be used for:
-- Watching live OTA TV
-- PVR
-- (Maybe) DVD
-- Family Videos/Pics

Also, I wondered what I would need in addition to the RPi. I was planning on:
-- An actively cooled case (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TT ... 2MJX&psc=1)
-- A HDD (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06VV ... 0DER&psc=1)
-- The 2Gb RAM Pi
-- (Maybe a USB 3.0 DVD PLayer)

I was planning on running either OSMC or LibreElec.
Do I need a USB hub?

Thanks for your time

beta-tester
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Re: Is the RPi 4 A Viable Media Center?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:45 am

when i use a media center, i prefere a silent one...
no active cooling, use passive cooling like Kodi, Flirc or Heatsink case
and no HDD, use a USB-Stick or SSD

i use LibreELEC, with a Heatsink case, but the flirc/kodi case seems to be a bit more effective in heat dissipation and looks nicer.
i can use the remote control of my TV to control theLibreELEC... passing CEC signals over HDMI cable.
but i use a RPi3B, at the moment. i have no need of 1Gb/s network and 4k for media center.
i never tried my new RPi4B as media center. it has also a Heatsink case and i never reached the temperature where is throttled down the speed.

playing DVD/BluRay i never tried on LibreELEC.
PVR i did via a USB TV receiver (SD & HD) (add-on TVHeadEnd PVR-Server).
watching live TV via TV card (SD & HD) no problem (add-on TvHeadEnd PVR-Client).
watching online TV, depends on the available add-ons and what you want to watch.
videos/pictures is no problem.
playing old games (add-ons, not always as performant as with Lakka/RetroPie, but mostely playable).

all add-ons are the official ones from LibreELEC & Kodi.
setting up the TvHeadEnd Server was a bit tricky, but once its done its ok.

all devices (USB-dongle for wireless Joysticks, USB-dongle for wireles keyboard/mouse, USB- TV card, USB-memory stick) are connected directly to the RPi (no external powered hub), but it depends what you connect.
my USB-BluRay drive will not work without external powered hub.
{ I only give negative feedback }
RPi B (256MB), B (512MB), B+, ZeroW; 2B; 3B, 3B+; 4B (4GB)

sam5280
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:19 am

Re: Is the RPi 4 A Viable Media Center?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:14 pm

do the heat sink cases get hot?

dustnbone
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:49 am

Re: Is the RPi 4 A Viable Media Center?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:44 pm

My Pi4 running LibreELEC has no additional cooling at all, just sits in open air behind the TV. It's never become even remotely hot doing that job. Just don't seal it up tight inside a case.

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Is the RPi 4 A Viable Media Center?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:04 pm

sam5280 wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:14 pm
do the heat sink cases get hot?
The case should get warm to the touch (if it doesn't, it's not doing its job). It won't get hot, as in dangerous, but it will definitely feel very warm when the system is working hard. I have a 4B4 in a Flirc and it works well.
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

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Imperf3kt
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Re: Is the RPi 4 A Viable Media Center?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:21 pm

sam5280 wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:14 pm
do the heat sink cases get hot?
That would depend on the ambient temperature where you are and environment where you stick it.

I've got a Pi4b4 in a Flirc case and the other day it was over 44°C here. I had the Pi on my TV table with no air blowing over it, but plenty of room around it.
I was only watching videos on YouTube (which were screen tearing terribly) but the SOC was reporting temperatures of over 70°C.
The case, needless to say, was probably about the same.

All I can say for sure is, when I touched it, it was incredibly hot and I couldn't hold it for more than a split second.

E; no, thr videos weren't stuttering, the screen was tearing. A completely different issue.
Last edited by Imperf3kt on Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
55:55:44:44:4C
52:4C:52:42:41

dustnbone
Posts: 158
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Re: Is the RPi 4 A Viable Media Center?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:35 pm

If the youtube videos were stuttering/tearing the CPU was most likely maxed out. Try the kweb suite which can offload the video decoding on web pages to the GPU properly. It will look better and run barely warmer than idle.

The youtube plugin for Kodi running under LibreELEC also works fine.

beta-tester
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Re: Is the RPi 4 A Viable Media Center?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:35 pm

sam5280 wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:14 pm
do the heat sink cases get hot?
it is confortable to touch... the CPU never reached 60°C

stress test made right now, RPi4B 4GB, newest rpi-eeprom firmware. room temperature 20°C...
out.png
out.png (28.86 KiB) Viewed 766 times
EDIT: the first test was too short... i did a second test ... now its got hotter... 63°C...
out2400.png
out2400.png (23.01 KiB) Viewed 742 times
Last edited by beta-tester on Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
{ I only give negative feedback }
RPi B (256MB), B (512MB), B+, ZeroW; 2B; 3B, 3B+; 4B (4GB)

beta-tester
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Re: Is the RPi 4 A Viable Media Center?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:39 pm

Imperf3kt wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:21 pm
sam5280 wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:14 pm
do the heat sink cases get hot?
All I can say for sure is, when I touched it, it was incredibly hot and I couldn't hold it for more than a split second.
did you updated to the newest rpi-eeprom firmware ?
{ I only give negative feedback }
RPi B (256MB), B (512MB), B+, ZeroW; 2B; 3B, 3B+; 4B (4GB)

LTolledo
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Re: Is the RPi 4 A Viable Media Center?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:26 pm

My RPi4B-4G media center (foreground, the other one is a RPi3B+)
RPiDesktopSetups.jpg
RPiDesktopSetups.jpg (195.4 KiB) Viewed 739 times
connected to a 1080p HDMI monitor
as its already have a DAC Amp, its connected to a good pair of bookshelf speakers
temp maxes at 40C at 27C ambient

so in my case..... its viable (even for a RPi3B system its still viable)

oh, I even made a Media center using RPi1B (c)2011.12
as well as RPiZW
RPi1B Media Player FrontView.jpg
RPi1B Media Player FrontView.jpg (190.71 KiB) Viewed 739 times
RPiB_KodiMediaPlayer_TopView.jpg
RPiB_KodiMediaPlayer_TopView.jpg (165.89 KiB) Viewed 739 times
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Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

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Imperf3kt
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Re: Is the RPi 4 A Viable Media Center?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:51 pm

beta-tester wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:39 pm
Imperf3kt wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:21 pm
sam5280 wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:14 pm
do the heat sink cases get hot?
All I can say for sure is, when I touched it, it was incredibly hot and I couldn't hold it for more than a split second.
did you updated to the newest rpi-eeprom firmware ?
If you're asking if I manually updated it, no I never have. I don't even know how to.
I do however, run regular apt update apt upgrade commands in a terminal every time I use my Pi.
55:55:44:44:4C
52:4C:52:42:41

sam5280
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:19 am

Re: Is the RPi 4 A Viable Media Center?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:43 am

Thank you all for your time!

beta-tester
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Re: Is the RPi 4 A Viable Media Center?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:59 am

Imperf3kt wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:51 pm
beta-tester wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:39 pm
did you updated to the newest rpi-eeprom firmware ?
If you're asking if I manually updated it, no I never have. I don't even know how to.
I do however, run regular apt update apt upgrade commands in a terminal every time I use my Pi.
i asked, because i always can hold my Heatsink case in my hand. even the CPU shows 63°C...
it is like a pocket/hand heater like in winter... :lol: (ok, depends on the temperatur of the environment)

so my thought was that yours is so hot, because it is running with an old firmware.
i don't know if you get those updates under LibreELEC.

on a RPi4 under Raspbian, if you run sudo rpi-eeprom-update and current and latest is the same, everything is ok.

EDIT: here a long stresstest...
the drop in the CPU temperatur curve to the middle-end was because of temperature drop of the room at night.
(from 20°C down to 18°C, here is winter at the moment)
out15000.png
out15000.png (19.62 KiB) Viewed 662 times
.. but as i said, there was a test that said, the Kodi/Flirc case performs even better in passive heat dissipation and it looks nicer for a Media Center than the Heatsink case i use.
{ I only give negative feedback }
RPi B (256MB), B (512MB), B+, ZeroW; 2B; 3B, 3B+; 4B (4GB)

Shadowmeph
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:22 pm

Re: Is the RPi 4 A Viable Media Center?

Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:10 pm

I run pi4 libreelec with no real issues sometimes when I am changing from say general menu t oa different menu it lags but other then that it seems ok I haven't streamed anything from the net only from my hard drive that is connected to my router the one thing that bugs me is ( I use my tablet and have Kore installed on it to control Kodi) the having to scroll through everything on my hard drive list so say I want to watch something that is in the middle I have to scroll all the way until I get there lol I am using pi 4 4 gb ram and not using wifi buy cable to connct to my router. I used to use a pi 3 but was having issues at times not sure why but I stopped using pi3 and used one of my spare PC's but the pi4 works decent enough for me I dont like how I had to buy a different power supply cable my old one wouldn't work :( but t hat has nothing to do with performance .

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