Celeron Chromebox best option?

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anthony74700 Offline
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Post: #1
Hi,

From what I have read in the "pick the right Kodi Box" thread it seems that Chrome box is the best option but I'm still hesitating.

I want to run Kodi with open elec, use themes, see 1080p movies, sometimes 3d.

I store my files in an WD My cloud EX2.

I have seen the Audio output of the chromebox is only a headphone jack? I currently connect my TV in optical to a Creative T4 2.1. I guess the audio will go through HDMI to the tv, use the TV as a bridge and send it back to the speaker through the optical cable? Do I loose sound quality?

Could you help me to choose the best solution at the best price please.

(not looking to build an HTPC etc)

Thanks
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southlegend Offline
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Post: #2
Quote:I guess the audio will go through HDMI to the tv, use the TV as a bridge and send it back to the speaker through the optical cable?

Yep! You may have to enable/disable some sounds settings but the Wiki/FAQ should sort you out there.

Quote:Do I loose sound quality?

As I understand it, most TV's don't output the full HD audio over their optical outs. It's normally downmixed into a PCM 2.0 output. So I guess technically you will "lose" quality but you're outputting into a Creative T4 system which doesn't seem to support HD Audio anyway.

I think you'll be fine and it'll still sound good to be honest. I used to run a similar setup a few years back with my PS3 and it sounded brilliant through the 2.1 system I had - even though it was only outputting PCM 2.0
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noggin Offline
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Post: #3
(2015-06-17 10:16)anthony74700 Wrote:  Hi,

From what I have read in the "pick the right Kodi Box" thread it seems that Chrome box is the best option but I'm still hesitating.

I want to run Kodi with open elec, use themes, see 1080p movies, sometimes 3d.
Just so you know - 3D SBS on the Chromebox will be OK. 3D Blu-ray ISOs won't work (Nor will 3D MVC MKVs)
Quote:I store my files in an WD My cloud EX2.

I have seen the Audio output of the chromebox is only a headphone jack? I currently connect my TV in optical to a Creative T4 2.1. I guess the audio will go through HDMI to the tv, use the TV as a bridge and send it back to the speaker through the optical cable? Do I loose sound quality?

That will depend whether your TV supports passthrough from HDMI to Optical output - some do, some don't, and many only support Dolby passthrough not DTS. Worst case with that interconnect setup is that you get 2.0 rather than 2.1 from Kodi to your Soundbar (as Kodi may have to decode DD/DTS to 2.0 PCM) Some TVs only output their internal TV tuner audio via their optical output - but I think they are increasingly rare these days.

Alternatively you could get a USB Sound card (more of a dongle) with an optical output and connect that directly to your sound bar. You may need to set a global audio delay in Kodi to counteract any delay in your display (as most displays will add a frame or multiple frames of vision delay)

If you check out the Chromexbox thread, or possibly wiki, there is a recommended USB optical audio solution - however I'd give the passthrough a try first.
(This post was last modified: 2015-06-17 10:29 by noggin.)
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anthony74700 Offline
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Post: #4
(2015-06-17 10:29)noggin Wrote:  
(2015-06-17 10:16)anthony74700 Wrote:  Hi,

From what I have read in the "pick the right Kodi Box" thread it seems that Chrome box is the best option but I'm still hesitating.

I want to run Kodi with open elec, use themes, see 1080p movies, sometimes 3d.
Just so you know - 3D SBS on the Chromebox will be OK. 3D Blu-ray ISOs won't work (Nor will 3D MVC MKVs)
Quote:I store my files in an WD My cloud EX2.

I have seen the Audio output of the chromebox is only a headphone jack? I currently connect my TV in optical to a Creative T4 2.1. I guess the audio will go through HDMI to the tv, use the TV as a bridge and send it back to the speaker through the optical cable? Do I loose sound quality?

That will depend whether your TV supports passthrough from HDMI to Optical output - some do, some don't, and many only support Dolby passthrough not DTS. Worst case with that interconnect setup is that you get 2.0 rather than 2.1 from Kodi to your Soundbar (as Kodi may have to decode DD/DTS to 2.0 PCM) Some TVs only output their internal TV tuner audio via their optical output - but I think they are increasingly rare these days.

Alternatively you could get a USB Sound card (more of a dongle) with an optical output and connect that directly to your sound bar. You may need to set a global audio delay in Kodi to counteract any delay in your display (as most displays will add a frame or multiple frames of vision delay)

If you check out the Chromexbox thread, or possibly wiki, there is a recommended USB optical audio solution - however I'd give the passthrough a try first.

Thanks for your reply, I don't want to buy additional equipment, I'm looking for a good out of the box solution. What if I connect the sound bar to the TV with headphone jack or RCA?

Or is there another option than the chromebox that would works better for me?
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southlegend Offline
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Post: #5
If that's the setup you want then your current setup will be fine as you're not gonna get the benefits of HD Audio with your speaker system.

If you're only playing 1080p and SBS 3D movies then you might be happy with a Pi 2. Any idea which skin you want to use? I'm not sure how the Pi 2 handles the super heavy ones.
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noggin Offline
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Post: #6
(2015-06-17 13:27)anthony74700 Wrote:  
(2015-06-17 10:29)noggin Wrote:  
(2015-06-17 10:16)anthony74700 Wrote:  Hi,

From what I have read in the "pick the right Kodi Box" thread it seems that Chrome box is the best option but I'm still hesitating.

I want to run Kodi with open elec, use themes, see 1080p movies, sometimes 3d.
Just so you know - 3D SBS on the Chromebox will be OK. 3D Blu-ray ISOs won't work (Nor will 3D MVC MKVs)
Quote:I store my files in an WD My cloud EX2.

I have seen the Audio output of the chromebox is only a headphone jack? I currently connect my TV in optical to a Creative T4 2.1. I guess the audio will go through HDMI to the tv, use the TV as a bridge and send it back to the speaker through the optical cable? Do I loose sound quality?

That will depend whether your TV supports passthrough from HDMI to Optical output - some do, some don't, and many only support Dolby passthrough not DTS. Worst case with that interconnect setup is that you get 2.0 rather than 2.1 from Kodi to your Soundbar (as Kodi may have to decode DD/DTS to 2.0 PCM) Some TVs only output their internal TV tuner audio via their optical output - but I think they are increasingly rare these days.

Alternatively you could get a USB Sound card (more of a dongle) with an optical output and connect that directly to your sound bar. You may need to set a global audio delay in Kodi to counteract any delay in your display (as most displays will add a frame or multiple frames of vision delay)

If you check out the Chromexbox thread, or possibly wiki, there is a recommended USB optical audio solution - however I'd give the passthrough a try first.

Thanks for your reply, I don't want to buy additional equipment, I'm looking for a good out of the box solution. What if I connect the sound bar to the TV with headphone jack or RCA?

Or is there another option than the chromebox that would works better for me?

The analogue audio output will be 2.0 only - same as if your TV only does PCM pass through. Not sure why you are averse to an external USB digital audio dongle - it's invisible behind the Chromebox (it's about the the size of a USB Flash stick with an optical output on it) This is the wiki recommended device : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0036VO4X4/ However it is entirely possible your TV will support HDMI to Optical passthrough.

Having said that if you aren't watching interlaced content - have a look at the Pi 2. (It will do Full HD 3D MVC MKVs - one of the only platforms that does within Kodi) To be fair the Pi 2 does an OK job with HD 1080i interlaced content - but the Celeron Haswell Chromeboxes do a much better job with MCDI.
(This post was last modified: 2015-06-17 16:50 by noggin.)
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anthony74700 Offline
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Post: #7
(2015-06-17 15:21)southlegend Wrote:  If that's the setup you want then your current setup will be fine as you're not gonna get the benefits of HD Audio with your speaker system.

If you're only playing 1080p and SBS 3D movies then you might be happy with a Pi 2. Any idea which skin you want to use? I'm not sure how the Pi 2 handles the super heavy ones.


I'm currently using Aeon Mq5 but if changing theme save me 100€.... I guess I can live with confluence or something:
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anthony74700 Offline
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Post: #8
(2015-06-17 16:28)noggin Wrote:  
(2015-06-17 13:27)anthony74700 Wrote:  
(2015-06-17 10:29)noggin Wrote:  Just so you know - 3D SBS on the Chromebox will be OK. 3D Blu-ray ISOs won't work (Nor will 3D MVC MKVs)

That will depend whether your TV supports passthrough from HDMI to Optical output - some do, some don't, and many only support Dolby passthrough not DTS. Worst case with that interconnect setup is that you get 2.0 rather than 2.1 from Kodi to your Soundbar (as Kodi may have to decode DD/DTS to 2.0 PCM) Some TVs only output their internal TV tuner audio via their optical output - but I think they are increasingly rare these days.

Alternatively you could get a USB Sound card (more of a dongle) with an optical output and connect that directly to your sound bar. You may need to set a global audio delay in Kodi to counteract any delay in your display (as most displays will add a frame or multiple frames of vision delay)

If you check out the Chromexbox thread, or possibly wiki, there is a recommended USB optical audio solution - however I'd give the passthrough a try first.

Thanks for your reply, I don't want to buy additional equipment, I'm looking for a good out of the box solution. What if I connect the sound bar to the TV with headphone jack or RCA?

Or is there another option than the chromebox that would works better for me?

The analogue audio output will be 2.0 only - same as if your TV only does PCM pass through. Not sure why you are averse to an external USB digital audio dongle - it's invisible behind the Chromebox (it's about the the size of a USB Flash stick with an optical output on it) This is the wiki recommended device : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0036VO4X4/ However it is entirely possible your TV will support HDMI to Optical passthrough.

Having said that if you aren't watching interlaced content - have a look at the Pi 2. (It will do Full HD 3D MVC MKVs - one of the only platforms that does within Kodi) To be fair the Pi 2 does an OK job with HD 1080i interlaced content - but the Celeron Haswell Chromeboxes do a much better job with MCDI.


I see, my TV is an LG 47LW4500, I have no idea if it supports HDMI optical passthrough.. The PI 2 look cheaper indeed. It has no problem if I want to stream a little and run my movices from my my book live EX2?

THanks a lot
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