Most efficient tv box client beside Windows?

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Mobidic Offline
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Post: #1
I use mainly ServerWMC, and so recording are mainly from WMC (Windows Media Center).

It seems that when one of the client is a Windows machine, Kodi/ServerWMC are smart enough to not trigger video conversion on the ServerWMC box.

Do we know other 'gadget' that can allow ServerWMC to efficiently stream to it, so a 'gadget' where the WMC encoding is somehow compatible?

In other words, I want to determine if I'm stuck to have on all my clients be windows box with Kodi or I have other reasonable options.
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w84no1 Offline
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Post: #2
I use ServerWMC and I don't have a single windows client. I have one Raspberry PI, two Raspberry PI 2s, one Amazon FireTV, and a small PC running OpenELEC. They all give me LiveTV and recordings without issue.

WMC on Windows 10 as PVR Backend | 1 RaspberryPI Client (OSMC) | 2 RaspberryPI 2 Clients (OSMC) | Amazon FireTV box | Amazon FireTV stick | MiniITX PC (OpenELEC)
Tuners: 4 Hauppauge HD-PVRs (DirecTV) | 2 ATSC (OTA)
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krustyreturns Offline
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Post: #3
@mobidic,

Kodi does no transcoding of video streams, so it's never (always?) 'smart enough' - its very different then emby/plex in this regard.

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC)
http://bit.ly/serverwmc
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Mobidic Offline
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Post: #4
Taking for example w84no1 setup, if he use all his clients at the same time, and assuming Amazon FireTV and the other clients don't support the codec used by WMC recording, then ServerWMC will be very busy doing some trans-coding right?

So, I'm trying to understand which client, like Chromecast, and Amazon FireTV have support for the codec used by WMC so that ServerWMC doesn't need to do trans-coding.

List of codec supported by Chromecast listed here: https://developers.google.com/cast/docs/media

WMC uses the MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 standard and audio using MPEG-1 Layer II or Dolby Digital AC-3 (ATSC A/52), see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WTV_(Windo...d_TV_Show)

But the container/format/packaging of WMC is non standard. So, I don't know if ServerWMC is able to extract the MPEG-2/MPEG-4 in a usable format for the client.

A blog already answered the question, "What is the best client for Kodi?" saying it's "Amazon Fire TV", see http://www.htpcbeginner.com/install-kodi...n-fire-tv/

But this doesn't tell me if my server running ServerWMC is going to be so busy with trans-coding that my entire setup will walk to a crawl.

Also, if ServerWMC ever do trans-coding, can it leverage some of the fancy NVidia GPUs? I already have a decent NVidia graphic card on my server running ServerWMC.
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krustyreturns Offline
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Post: #5
Serverwmc doesn't ever transcode. It does have to remux live streams, but that is repackaging, not transcoding - and its due to the 'live' aspect of the data. Kodi itself has no trouble playing both types of wtv files. The only wrinkle is that some of the pi systems require you to buy an mpeg2 license - I don't know if that is still the case - but it was cheap anyway, something like 2 USD.

Obviously the more clients you want to run simultaneously the more the server cpu and disk will be taxed along with your network. But it is not near the server load that you would get with emby or plex's transcoding - but those require less network bandwidth.

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC)
http://bit.ly/serverwmc
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nickr Offline
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Post: #6
(2016-01-19 20:54)Mobidic Wrote:  Taking for example w84no1 setup, if he use all his clients at the same time, and assuming Amazon FireTV and the other clients don't support the codec used by WMC recording, then ServerWMC will be very busy doing some trans-coding right?
Wrong. Stop worrying

If I have helped you or increased your knowledge, click the 'thank user' button to give thanks :) (People with less than 20 posts won't see the "Thank you" button.)
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Mobidic Offline
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Post: #7
(2016-01-19 21:36)krustyreturns Wrote:  Serverwmc doesn't ever transcode.

Looks like I got the all things wrong. I guess, the way to understand it, is that tv recording codec used is so much standard that all client support it, and so in the stack of ServerWMC + Kodi, no trans-coding exist... at least when tv recording is involved.

What now if I have a 4k mkv file (not tv recording), and still want to use ServerWMC, and Kodi, do we have option of adding an trans-coder somewhere if my client cannot handle 4k decoding? I realize it's more of a Kodi question but that will make this thread more complete.
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krustyreturns Offline
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Post: #8
Files that aren't recorded wtv files don't use serverwmc at all. So the question is better asked as: Can these clients handle 4k video playback in Kodi?

My answer: I don't know.

If you don't get answers here I suggest trying the general Kodi forum.

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC)
http://bit.ly/serverwmc
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nickr Offline
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Post: #9
4k mkv doesn't even tell us a codec.

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Mobidic Offline
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Post: #10
(2016-01-19 17:51)w84no1 Wrote:  I use ServerWMC and I don't have a single windows client. I have one Raspberry PI, two Raspberry PI 2s, one Amazon FireTV, and a small PC running OpenELEC. They all give me LiveTV and recordings without issue.

My understanding is that the option of having Kodi client is larger if not requiring PVR plug-in needed to work with ServerWMC. I'm looking to get many clients that work with ServerWMC.

You mentions Amazon FireTV, but it's not clear the PVR plug-in works well on it. Add-on:PVR.WMC (wiki) mentions: "Android - Currently in Alpha testing."

Could you mentions the features missing of PVR (using ServerWMC) on Amazon FireTV compared to a Windows based client?
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krustyreturns Offline
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Post: #11
I'm not sure I understand what you are asking. But maybe this will help:

1) The wiki for pvr.wmc (and serverwmc) is vastly out of date, so do not worry about what it says on the current state of pvr.wmc for android.

2) I can't answer your question about the hardware performance of fire tv vs a windows box for obvious reasons. But I can tell you that the pvr.wmc code (c++) is the same between the two. So there are no missing features between the android version and the windows version.

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC)
http://bit.ly/serverwmc
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Mobidic Offline
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Post: #12
I bought the best Amazon FireTV I could find, the 4K version. I installed Kodi on it.

It's super fast when using FireTV provided software, and also when watching high resolution movie using Kodi, for example seeking back or forward on 1080p movie is so fast, it looks like it seek before I'm done clicking!

The remote has no back-lighting, cannot power on TV and sound system, and has no volume control... so pretty much stuck with more than one remote control.

But watching pre-recorded TV on FireTV has lot of buffering problem that my Windows machine doesn't have.

And watching live recorded TV is barely working on Kodi Amazon FireTV but is also fine on Windows machine.

Some use case are so slow, it's chocking. For example, if I'm watching a movie, then while the movie is running, I go to recording, and click on one (which mean start that), then the UI is frozen without any feedback. After 15 seconds it will show "Working..." then 10 second later, the recording will start to shows-up.

Then sometime when I restarted the FireTV box it kept saying "Loading Home..." on the official FireTV dashboard, and official app like HBOGO refuse to load but Netflix is fine.

And now, the FireTV box doesn't want to start at all, in a reboot loop where HDMI signal is present 1 second on two.

So, I'm back to the beginning. Since Kodi on Windows works so well, I will stick with Windows and try Tronsmart Ara X5 Windows.

It's so time consuming Kodi/PVR, the all thing, that if someone want to save hours of trying stuff, he could buy TiVo Roamio OTA DVR.
(This post was last modified: 2016-01-31 20:27 by Mobidic.)
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krustyreturns Offline
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Post: #13
Sorry it didn't work out. I wonder why. Was is the network connection to the Fire TV?

I am interested in the Tronsmart, please let me know what you find. What will you use for the remote?

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC)
http://bit.ly/serverwmc
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Mobidic Offline
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Post: #14
(2016-01-31 19:48)krustyreturns Wrote:  I am interested in the Tronsmart, please let me know what you find.

I'm have using Tronsmart Ara X5 Plus with a firmware that start the box on power, so that when my TV start, the box turn in. It's running Windows 10, and it's working great.But that box struggle a little with 4K...

So, I have a big house, and lot of TVs, and so now I just keep buying Nvidia Shield TV, running Android. NVidia is doing a great job of updating the box, and keep adding features.It's more expensive, but it come already with Kodi installed, compared to the Tronsmart I don't need to bother about Windows update, and it come with controller/remote... and work very well with 4K.
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