Raspberry Pi as HTPC?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Joelburman, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. Joelburman macrumors regular


    Oct 31, 2014
    I'm seeing more and more advertising for the new Raspberry Pi. What are your thoughts on it as a cheaper alternative for a mac mini as HTPC? Give me your thoughts and feel free to link to possible articles and reviews.
  2. afd macrumors 65816

    Apr 12, 2005
    I have one of the first ones in my kitchen, it works fine if a bit laggy at times. Once a video starts playing it plays fine, picture quality similar to my Apple TV. I have my videos stored on a Synology DS213J most of them DVD rips or eyetv recordings. I'm planning on replacing it with one of the new ones, should be much more usable with the extra speed.
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I think a great place for you to start would be the XBMC forums. They cover considerable hardware there as well as being far more honest and less fanboi about hardware and software.
  4. cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    Pi's can run XBMC/Kodi well, but there is a slight lag when scrolling through menu's, hitting enter, etc. that isn't there on more powerful systems, even a Mac mini. There is no lag playing media though, and XBMC/Kodi can play every format.

    They are very good, inexpensive choices for many situations.

    If you're not familiar with XBMC/Kodi, put that on your current Mac or PC and play with it. While it has many features it does not do Netflix/Amazon Prime/most major streaming services. There are some plugins available that can make those services work but not as smoothly as people are used to with a Mac or PC, Apple TV, Roku, etc. Last I checked the Netflix workaround rarely worked properly.

    XBMC/Kodi mainly works best if you have a lot of your own media you want to watch.
  5. waw74 macrumors 68040

    May 27, 2008
    Plex is based on xbmc, but has moved to a client/server model.

    server runs on all the basics..
    linux, mac, windows, and some NAS devices

    client runs on...
    ios, android, windows, mac, linux, some smart TVs, roku, and with an easy tweak replaces the trailers app on your apple TV. and there's a dedicated RasPi distro that runs it

    it's nice in that you can watch a show, stop in the middle, change rooms/clients and pick up right where you left off.

    if the media file is not compatible with your client, then the server will convert on the fly to something your player can handle, even taking DTS 5.1 to dolby digital if needed.
    (this does mean you need a server with a decent processor if you have a lot of incompatible files)
  6. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    The original RPi with OpenElec was fine at playing most movies I tried but the menus were frustratingly slow.

    The new one should be much faster (I have ordered one).
  7. Joelburman thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 31, 2014
    Thanks for all the input guys! For you that are getting the new model and will be using them as media players please let me know what you think of it!

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6 February 9, 2015