Linux Thanks! Successful Chromebox install
#1
I just wanted to report that I'm successfully running XBMC and MAME on an Asus Chromebox with only 2GB RAM and 16GB storage. The system is running Lubuntu for a more light-weight environment. With XBMC running, RAM use is at around 350MB, not bad. This is the fernetmenta PPA version (ppa:wsnipex/xbmc-fernetmenta-master). The MAME install comes from ppa:c.falco/mame.

The only hitch that is audio within XBMC works fine, but not outside XBMC. I had to install pulseaudio and use the pacmd command to set the default sink to #0 (HDMI out).

Thanks to everyone who helped me by answering my questions!
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#2
Doesn't pulseaudio stop you bit streaming HD Audio? I run two Chromeboxes at the moment. One runs OpenElec, the other runs Ubuntu (XFCE with the fernetmenta PPA build of XBMC). ISTR that I had to uninstall pulseaudio and reconfigure ALSA to get HD Audio bit streaming to work properly.
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#3
Not sure what constitutes HD audio. I've got several HD MKV files that play just fine with pulseaudio installed though.
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#4
(2014-08-04, 18:06)CaptSaltyJack Wrote: Not sure what constitutes HD audio. I've got several HD MKV files that play just fine with pulseaudio installed though.

an audio stream encoded with a lossless codec like DTS-HD-MA or Dolby TrueHD (vs the lossy DTS or DD)
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#5
HD Audio = Dolby Digital Plus (I think), Dolby True HD, DTS HD Master Audio and DTS HD High Resolution audio. DTS HD MA and Dolby True HD are lossless compression, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS HD HR are high quality lossy compression systems that perform better than DVD-quality DTS or Dolby Digital.

You can only bitstream these via HDMI if you are connected to a compatible amp via HDMI and have them enabled in System Audio settings and a passthrough device configured. AIUI PulseAudio only supports stereo PCM bitrates - so whilst it can handle DD/DTS stuff that can be bitstreamed over a standard PCM stereo connection, it can't handle DTS HD or Dolby True HD stuff losslesly bitstreamed? When I installed Ubuntu and the Fernetmenta PPA XBMC I didn't get the options of DTS HD, Dolby True HD etc. passthrough, I had to uninstall Pulse Audio and ensure ALSA was configured before they appeared.

If you don't bitstream HD audio to your amp over HDMI it's not a big issue.
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#6
sorry to hijack the thread but i can't find a solid answer anywhere... can the asus chromebox bitstream hd audio to a receiver? I'm seriously considering getting it, but hd audio is a necessity. would openelec bitstream or would i have to use ubuntu instead or is it just not possible?
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#7
Yes. My Asus Chromeboxes (I now have two) are both bit streaming HD Audio to my Onkyo. OpenElec worked out of the box, but with Ubuntu I had to remove PulseAudio and ensure ALSA was enabled.

I have played DTS HD MA and high bitrate/depth PCM FLACs with no problems. Can't say I've checked Dolby True HD (it's not as common in my collection) but there should be no problems with it.
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#8
perfect, thanks for the solid answer. i may just have to get one now!
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#9
(2014-08-05, 19:53)cavemandaveman Wrote: perfect, thanks for the solid answer. i may just have to get one now!

the HP version is on sale for $150 shipped from Amazon currently, a pretty solid deal
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#10
(2014-08-05, 20:08)Matt Devo Wrote: the HP version is on sale for $150 shipped from Amazon currently, a pretty solid deal

looks like hp's only got one ram slot, so i'd rather pay the premium for asus and have it be future proof. thanks though!
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#11
(2014-08-06, 20:01)cavemandaveman Wrote: looks like hp's only got one ram slot, so i'd rather pay the premium for asus and have it be future proof. thanks though!

true, but there's no way you'll need more than 8GB of RAM on a celeron-based XBMC/OpenELEC setup.
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#12
Has anyone in Australia managed to get either the ASUS or HP Chromebox for a decent price?


Australian MWAVE = $279 + Postage
http://www.mwave.com.au/product/asus-chr...pc-ab55706

Amazon = $182 + postage (but wont ship to Australia)
http://www.amazon.com/Asus-CHROMEBOX-M00...=chromebox

Seems that we are paying a huge premium in Australia for some reason?
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#13
(2014-08-07, 05:25)kortina Wrote: Has anyone in Australia managed to get either the ASUS or HP Chromebox for a decent price?


Australian MWAVE = $279 + Postage
http://www.mwave.com.au/product/asus-chr...pc-ab55706

Australian prices are ridiculous. Chromebox simply isn't worth it at those prices.

(2014-08-07, 05:25)kortina Wrote: Amazon = $182 + postage (but wont ship to Australia)
http://www.amazon.com/Asus-CHROMEBOX-M00...=chromebox

Seems that we are paying a huge premium in Australia for some reason?

Yes, we are paying a premium. I've gotten my first two Chromeboxes (1 x Asus Celeron and 1 x HP Celeron) from Amazon via a Shipping Forwarder, and it was still heaps cheaper than if I would have bought in Australia. I got two more (1 x Asus Celeron and 1 x Asus i3) off ebay when it was 15% off, which was a really good deal at the time.

I'm tempted to get a couple more in, seeing the HP Chromebox is only $150 at the moment from Amazon, but I really have to hold myself back now. Laugh

Edit: kortina, check this link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IT1W...PDKIKX0DER

If I got this right it's US$166.51, US$156.51 after rebate, and it does ship to Australia for a mere US$12.91! That should be less than A$200 delivered!! Beats A$279 + shipping! Just note that it's a US-based power adapter with integrated US pins, and it's very fiddly with US to AU adapters.

Edit 2: Do I see this right??

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JY4Q...PDKIKX0DER

Asus Chromebox i3 US$358.98, US$308.98 after rebate, and Australians can get that shipped for a mere US$18.45 as well!!

Now I do feel like I've paid way too much. Undecided These look like good prices to me!

Edit 3: Ok, seems it's a US promotion, so no rebate for us Australians. Still good prices.
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#14
Does the US HP model still come with a PSU with separate clover-leaf mains cable rather than with the integrated US 2-pin plug that the Asus PSU has?

The PSU for the Asus is the same spec and connects to the PC with the same connector as the i5 NUC PSU - and looks to use the same connector as some PicoPSU bricks if you consider changing it? I have found ClasOhlson in the UK do a much better UK->US plug adaptor than I had previously found, so at the moment am keeping with the US PSUs that came with my Chromeboxen.
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#15
(2014-08-07, 13:14)noggin Wrote: Does the US HP model still come with a PSU with separate clover-leaf mains cable rather than with the integrated US 2-pin plug that the Asus PSU has?

Doubt this would have changed, so yes, the HP Chromebox should come with a power adapter with clover-leaf connector and a clover-leaf to mains cable which can easily be replaced.

(2014-08-07, 13:14)noggin Wrote: The PSU for the Asus is the same spec and connects to the PC with the same connector as the i5 NUC PSU - and looks to use the same connector as some PicoPSU bricks if you consider changing it? I have found ClasOhlson in the UK do a much better UK->US plug adaptor than I had previously found, so at the moment am keeping with the US PSUs that came with my Chromeboxen.

I replaced mine with a Asus laptop PSU, as some Asus laptops do use the same PSU as the Chromebox.
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