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My KODI based media entertainment system - Success story - ulrich321 - 2020-04-04


just wanted to share my experiences and components I used to build up my next media entertainment system based on KODI.

I use KODI since years, the last system was a NUC N3700 based system with 55" LG screen (HD), it worked quite well but I now wanted 4K, more inches and more speed :-)

So, this is the hardware I use now:
- LG 75UK6200PLB 75" screen (https://www.amazon.de/dp/B07GFJYKWN/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_ZzhIEbK2PK0F3 )
- Intel NUC i3 NUC8i3BEH (https://www.amazon.de/dp/B07JB2M5JS/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_WBhIEbJE9QEKF ). No special firmware update needed, fan is silent enough for me.
- 256 GB SSD Sandisk
- HDMI 2.1 Cable
- HAMA MCE Remote
- Technotrend TT Connect S2 4600 DVB-S2 TV USB Adapter
- Harman Kardon AVR-330 DTS Receiver (kind of 15 years old, but still performing quite well), connected via optical link to ARC-out of TV
- Canton speakers: 2 front full range, 2 rear, 1 center, no subwoofer

And this is the software so far:

- Lubuntu 19.10
- KODI 18.6
- SAMBA Server for accessing media etc. from desktops/smartphones

I tried also (before) setup the system using normal Ubuntu 19.10. This at first sight seems to work quite fine but there weere two big problems, that I was not able to solve even after 2 days of research.
- HAMA MCE Remote was blocked by Gnome or underlying layer, so that most buttons (Stop, Play, Forward,...) were blocked before KODI can get them
- Autostart KODI by using a desktop icon in autostart left me with a power menu in KODI that only offers "Leave", but no power-down etc.

That made me re-install the whole stuff, but this time with lightweigth LUBUNTU, that also performed well on my former installation.

- installed LUBUNTU 19.10 from USB
- installed OpenSSH server for remote shell access
- copied Technotrend Firmware dvb-demod-m88ds3103.fw to /lib/firmware, checked working card with LSUSB and dmesg | grep -i dvb
- Installed KODI the normal way
- Installed TVHeadend using this extra repo: sudo add-apt-repository 'deb https://apt.tvheadend.org/stable bionic main'
- Removed Pulseaudio, because I won't get any digital audio with Pulseaudio. By removing it, automatically ALSA became the sound driver and allowed Passthrough audio.
- DO NOT INSTALL any LIRC or other IR stuff, HAMA MCE remote is supported out of the box
- Autostart KODI: Create file kodi.desktop in /home/lmb/.config/autostart
[Desktop Entry]

In order to remove stuttering and improve movie / TV performance, added these lines to /home/lmb/.kodi/userdata/advancesettings.xml
<buffermode> 1 </buffermode>
<readfactor> 4 </readfactor>
<memorysize> 1048576000 </memorysize>

No stuttering at all, even for 4K movies and TV shows (yes, there are UHD demo channels on Astra 19.2). Without those settings, I got stuttering every 10 secs.

Configuring TV card in TVHeadend is kinda complicated and time-consuming (channel sorting,...), pls. check instructions seperately.

In KODI, I configured audio to use passthrough, everything else is plain out-of-the-box as far as I remember

Since the old Harman Kardon receiver does not offer HDMI, digital audio is forwarded via ARC from TV to receiver wired with optical cable.

Results: Perfect!

By the way: The old NUC now serves as Lubuntu based VICE C64 box, kind of weird enjoying old C64 and Amiga games on 75" 4K screen :-)

Let me know, if you have any questions,

enjoy KODI


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