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Pick the Right Kodi Box (UPDATED FEB 2015)
Question 
Thanks for the great thread and first post. It helped me tremendously, but before I start buying hardware, I was wondering if you all could look over my HTPC/PVR plan and see if I've come to the right conclusions. Please feel free to poke holes and offer your own opinions. I've tried my best to research this subject, but it seems that there's a lot of older information on HTPC's and a lot less current information. This seems especially true for PVR solutions. I apologize if this isn't the right place for this, but since this is a thread about choosing the right hardware, it seems like a good fit. I'm sorry it's a little long-winded, I tried to keep it succinct. There's a TL;DR at the bottom if you need it.

My plan is to have a wife-friendly PVR and media center that works in two rooms: the living room and the bedroom. I also plan to buy the hardware in steps, so that it eases the expense a bit. So I'll start with a main HTPC frontend/backend combo, then buy the bedroom box further down the line, and then maybe upgrade to an NAS for storage and PVR backend, someday. The network will most likely be Powerline based, CAT6 probably won't be an option.

Step 1 - Main Box
Since we're cutting cable entirely, we're going to rely on streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV) and OTA ATSC Live TV and PVR. For us, reliable recording, series recording, time-shifting, and quick channel changes are important. This will be a PVR box first, and a Kodi box second. This box will always be on, so power consumption and noise are a concern. I'd like to keep it small and quiet. I'll use a separate box for streaming services.

From what I understand, WMC is still hard to beat as a PVR. I'm open to trying out different backends (even Linux based backends) but I want a box that can run Windows 7 so that I can fall back to WMC if I need to. I'll probably just map WMC and Kodi to remote buttons so that I can easily switch back and forth. Unfortunately that rules out the Chromebox (at least for the main box). I created a spreadsheet comparing costs of all the different boxes, and it seems like an NUC with i3 and a small SSD is my best bet. I don't have faith that a Celeron or Pentium processor can handle the overhead of Windows and being both a backend and a frontend. My plan is to attach a USB 3.0 external HDD dock and use that as a networked shared drive. I'm hoping to choose a HDD that can later be used in an NAS array, so I'm not entirely sure what to buy, but the current plan is a Western Digital Green 3TB. Obviously a Chromebox would be much cheaper, so if there's a backend that can rival WMC that can be run on that, I'd love to hear about it.

As for a tuner, I'm kind of at a loss. I was planning on an HD Homerun Extend, but that's a pretty steep price for a network tuner that will only be used on two devices. And really, I could get by with only one on the main box. In the bedroom, we could just watch TV over antennae or recorded content streamed through Kodi and schedule all recordings on the main box. If you have any other recommendations, I'd be open to them.

Step 2 - OpenELEC Bedroom Box
This would be pretty standard. Either a Chromebox or Raspberry Pi 2 that would play the media from the 3 TB HDD in the living room via Powerline adapters or WiFi. I'd use MCE Buddy so that I can play our recorded OTA shows through Kodi in the bedroom.

Step 3 - NAS
I'd most likely go with a Synology 2 drive array. It doesn't seem worth the expense to use a RAID configuration, so they'd both be data drives and I can upgrade them when I need to. I shoot and edit video, so one of these would be great for sharing videos to any screen in the house, but it's far from a necessity. I doubt the misses will ever okay this step, but a man can dream.

TL;DR
My plan is to use an Intel NUC with i3 and an external 3 TB HDD as shared storage in my living room. Windows 7 and WMC will be both frontend and backend for PVR, Kodi will be used for ripped movies and as a general media center. An HD Homerun Extend will be used to pick up ATSC OTA signals, but I'm open to other tuners. An OpenELEC box will be bought later for the bedroom, where we can watch recorded shows and anything else on the HDD in the living room. Someday I'll transfer the living room HDD into a Synology NAS and use it without any kind of RAID configuration. Please critique and share your opinions about this plan/setup.

Thanks in advance.
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Messages In This Thread
[No subject] - by ion_man - 2011-02-15, 13:48
[No subject] - by bmcclure937 - 2011-02-15, 17:34
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-02-15, 17:42
[No subject] - by Beer40oz - 2011-02-15, 17:49
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-15, 23:21
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-02-15, 23:25
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-16, 00:21
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-02-16, 00:36
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-16, 01:29
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-02-16, 01:48
[No subject] - by Knighthammer - 2011-02-16, 02:11
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-16, 02:43
[No subject] - by spartan711 - 2011-02-16, 02:57
[No subject] - by xecutionx - 2011-02-16, 03:53
[No subject] - by XxTRAINEExX - 2011-02-16, 04:19
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-16, 05:44
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-16, 05:45
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-16, 05:47
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-02-16, 06:07
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-16, 10:03
[No subject] - by spartan711 - 2011-02-16, 10:29
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-16, 10:35
[No subject] - by topfs2 - 2011-02-16, 10:48
[No subject] - by Nasa - 2011-02-16, 16:07
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-02-16, 16:17
[No subject] - by xecutionx - 2011-02-16, 22:02
[No subject] - by gabbott - 2011-02-16, 22:23
[No subject] - by wsume99 - 2011-02-16, 22:25
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-02-16, 22:50
[No subject] - by xecutionx - 2011-02-16, 23:01
[No subject] - by bmcclure937 - 2011-02-16, 23:09
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-17, 00:30
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-17, 00:31
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-17, 00:33
[No subject] - by Geeba - 2011-02-17, 00:45
[No subject] - by EarnheadJ - 2011-02-17, 03:36
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-02-17, 04:52
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-17, 05:41
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-17, 05:46
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-17, 05:48
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-02-17, 16:38
[No subject] - by XxTRAINEExX - 2011-02-18, 06:38
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-02-18, 07:19
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-18, 07:50
[No subject] - by IAmNotAUser - 2011-02-18, 18:01
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-02-18, 18:51
[No subject] - by bmcclure937 - 2011-02-18, 19:12
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-02-18, 19:15
[No subject] - by htpc guy - 2011-02-18, 19:48
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-02-18, 19:57
[No subject] - by wsume99 - 2011-02-18, 20:56
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-18, 22:14
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-02-18, 22:19
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-02-18, 22:55
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-02-18, 23:21
[No subject] - by IAmNotAUser - 2011-02-18, 23:42
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-02-18, 23:45
[No subject] - by spartan711 - 2011-02-19, 00:27
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-02-19, 00:39
[No subject] - by Dumb ? - 2011-02-19, 04:45
[No subject] - by maddog808 - 2011-02-19, 05:34
[No subject] - by maxinc - 2011-02-19, 09:06
[No subject] - by IAmNotAUser - 2011-02-23, 13:40
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-02-23, 16:58
[No subject] - by IAmNotAUser - 2011-02-23, 17:07
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-02-23, 17:13
[No subject] - by IAmNotAUser - 2011-02-23, 17:31
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-02-23, 17:33
[No subject] - by IAmNotAUser - 2011-02-23, 17:36
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-02-23, 17:48
[No subject] - by wsume99 - 2011-02-23, 17:56
[No subject] - by Chris! - 2011-02-25, 20:26
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-02-25, 20:45
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-02-26, 00:06
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-02-26, 00:07
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-02-26, 00:09
[No subject] - by Juno - 2011-03-03, 19:21
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-03-04, 01:19
[No subject] - by seanch87 - 2011-03-11, 16:26
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-03-11, 21:02
[No subject] - by Juno - 2011-03-14, 11:24
[No subject] - by T800 - 2011-03-14, 11:29
[No subject] - by bmcclure937 - 2011-03-14, 13:35
[No subject] - by T800 - 2011-03-14, 16:19
[No subject] - by gnif - 2011-04-10, 18:17
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-04-12, 09:29
[No subject] - by Choque - 2011-04-12, 09:43
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-04-12, 09:46
[No subject] - by xecutionx - 2011-04-12, 09:54
[No subject] - by Choque - 2011-04-12, 09:55
[No subject] - by ion_man - 2011-04-14, 13:34
2nd build - by flymods - 2011-04-19, 23:04
[No subject] - by Choque - 2011-04-20, 05:43
[No subject] - by flymods - 2011-04-20, 16:21
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-04-20, 16:26
[No subject] - by flymods - 2011-04-20, 16:52
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-04-20, 16:55
[No subject] - by nemek - 2011-04-20, 16:55
[No subject] - by flymods - 2011-04-20, 17:19
[No subject] - by rbrohman - 2011-04-24, 19:00
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-04-24, 19:03
[No subject] - by flymods - 2011-04-24, 21:34
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-04-24, 22:00
[No subject] - by flymods - 2011-04-25, 00:02
unraid - by flymods - 2011-05-08, 23:08
[No subject] - by maxinc - 2011-05-09, 07:10
Unraid Plus License - by maddog808 - 2011-05-09, 07:21
[No subject] - by IAmNotAUser - 2011-05-09, 12:45
[No subject] - by flymods - 2011-05-09, 15:19
[No subject] - by IAmNotAUser - 2011-05-09, 15:38
[No subject] - by olympia - 2011-05-09, 15:56
[No subject] - by flymods - 2011-05-09, 16:14
[No subject] - by flymods - 2011-05-09, 16:15
[No subject] - by IAmNotAUser - 2011-05-09, 16:27
[No subject] - by flymods - 2011-05-09, 16:54
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-05-09, 17:01
[No subject] - by IAmNotAUser - 2011-05-09, 17:09
[No subject] - by flymods - 2011-05-10, 02:27
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-05-10, 05:07
[No subject] - by flymods - 2011-05-10, 05:37
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-05-10, 06:14
NAS recommendations - by dopethrone - 2011-05-14, 04:04
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-05-14, 04:12
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-05-14, 04:43
[No subject] - by dopethrone - 2011-05-14, 06:45
[No subject] - by jwlb - 2011-05-14, 11:56
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-05-14, 16:11
[No subject] - by dopethrone - 2011-05-15, 00:26
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-05-15, 00:38
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-05-15, 01:10
[No subject] - by dopethrone - 2011-05-15, 01:15
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-05-15, 01:17
[No subject] - by bodhi - 2011-05-19, 11:43
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-05-19, 18:40
[No subject] - by mtense - 2011-05-23, 18:44
Latest Dell Zino HD PC's - by puulima - 2011-06-12, 05:05
[No subject] - by nemek - 2011-06-12, 09:05
64 vs 32 bit version of Windows? - by puulima - 2011-06-12, 16:43
[No subject] - by nemek - 2011-06-13, 09:44
[No subject] - by Gunserotti - 2011-06-23, 15:31
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-06-23, 15:46
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-06-24, 12:42
[No subject] - by Gunserotti - 2011-06-29, 08:03
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-06-29, 08:10
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-06-29, 08:46
[No subject] - by QLink - 2011-06-29, 09:37
[No subject] - by QLink - 2011-06-29, 09:40
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-06-29, 15:27
[No subject] - by poofyhairguy - 2011-06-29, 22:37
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-06-29, 22:40
[No subject] - by Gurney - 2011-06-30, 09:48
[No subject] - by phatgeek - 2011-07-05, 11:37
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-07-05, 15:47
[No subject] - by reta - 2011-07-09, 14:51
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-07-09, 17:02
[No subject] - by reta - 2011-07-09, 17:20
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-07-09, 17:23
[No subject] - by zwat - 2011-07-19, 01:13
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-07-19, 02:45
Poofy, please advise: - by nchall - 2011-07-20, 19:20
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-07-20, 19:45
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-07-20, 19:49
[No subject] - by nchall - 2011-07-20, 20:42
[No subject] - by ARCHA1C - 2011-08-05, 17:29
[No subject] - by ARCHA1C - 2011-08-05, 17:34
[No subject] - by LB06 - 2011-08-12, 17:36
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-08-12, 18:20
[No subject] - by LB06 - 2011-08-13, 00:04
[No subject] - by loady - 2011-09-09, 23:18
Please advise - by Peter42 - 2011-09-12, 20:39
[No subject] - by seand - 2011-09-12, 21:11
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-09-12, 21:20
[No subject] - by seand - 2011-09-12, 21:24
But is it enough for real 3D? - by Peter42 - 2011-09-12, 21:48
But can it do full 1080p 3D? - by Peter42 - 2011-09-12, 22:06
[No subject] - by seand - 2011-09-12, 23:00
Dedicated backup option W/unRAID - by CpTHOOK - 2011-10-10, 04:32
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-10-10, 17:31
[No subject] - by CpTHOOK - 2011-10-10, 17:41
[No subject] - by robla64 - 2011-10-23, 03:30
[No subject] - by bluray - 2011-10-23, 04:16
[No subject] - by robla64 - 2011-10-23, 19:00
[No subject] - by bluray - 2011-10-23, 19:55
[No subject] - by eskro - 2011-10-23, 23:34
[No subject] - by shateredsoul - 2011-10-26, 21:48
[No subject] - by Superorb - 2011-10-26, 22:03
[No subject] - by shateredsoul - 2011-10-26, 23:22
[No subject] - by jackh - 2011-10-26, 23:34
[No subject] - by shateredsoul - 2011-10-27, 17:17
[No subject] - by johnny87au - 2011-12-28, 11:04
FireTVs - by jac55 - 2015-01-30, 19:48
; - by jac55 - 2015-01-30, 21:18
RE: Advice on Kodi Boxes - by poofyhairguy - 2015-01-31, 07:19
Raspberry Pi - by KoopaTroopa - 2015-02-03, 04:50
RE - by poofyhairguy - 2015-02-03, 18:51
RE: RE - by bym007 - 2015-02-03, 19:41
RE: Pick the Right Kodi Box (UPDATED FEB 2015) - by RyLo2797 - 2015-04-11, 00:11
Pick the Right Kodi Box - by Carousel - 2015-10-22, 11:35


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