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  1. Member
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    So, I recently found out that the PS3 I've been using is basically a POS when it comes to being a media player. I'm looking for something that might be better. I at least want it to be able to handle efficient h.264 settings (the PS3 has trouble with b-pyramid), but if it would support h.265 that'd be even better. Having a remote is a must for me (none of that chromecast-esque crap where I have to use my phone as a remote). I stream using Plex, but I've gotten comfortable using the PS3's DLNA functionality. I don't use the actual Plex app with it, I basically choose what I want to watch from a list that pops up.
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    Hmm... how about the Roku 4? It lists h.265 support. I'd imagine it could handle really high h.264 settings too, if it can decode h.265. I don't even know if I want to buy anything yet or not, but if I do I want to make sure it'll be a good investment. I thought the PS3 would be a good choice and, well, come to find out even b-pyramid does horrible things to it (which is present even in Handbrake's default "Normal" preset). The Roku would also use up a lot less power than the PS3 as well, so that's a good thing for us right there...
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    Originally Posted by Downgraded286 View Post
    Hmm... how about the Roku 4? It lists h.265 support. I'd imagine it could handle really high h.264 settings too, if it can decode h.265. I don't even know if I want to buy anything yet or not, but if I do I want to make sure it'll be a good investment. I thought the PS3 would be a good choice and, well, come to find out even b-pyramid does horrible things to it (which is present even in Handbrake's default "Normal" preset). The Roku would also use up a lot less power than the PS3 as well, so that's a good thing for us right there...
    Most streaming devices use a specific hardware decoder for specific codecs so just because it handles h265 does not correlate with any ability to playback h264 nor speak about its processing power.

    However, I would be surprised if it would choke on any h264 files that weren't encoded with some pretty bizarre settings. Same for the FireTV.

    You weren't completely clear on whether you are looking for something that requires streaming services (NetFlix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc) but if you just want something for playback of local media then an NUC or RaspPi 3 would be leaps and bounds better than any of the commercially available streaming boxes. The RaspPi3 will stutter on h265 encoded media if it is too ambitious but 1080p/30fps is doable from what I read. Something like a Chromebox would handle it fine.

    As far as a remote control, just add a cheap IR adapter or better yet a FLIRC.
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    Yeah, pretty much playback of local media. Netflix and that would be nice, but not useful at this point in time. We're used to the interface on these sorts of things, I'm not sure how an rPi would do that...
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    Originally Posted by Downgraded286 View Post
    Yeah, pretty much playback of local media. Netflix and that would be nice, but not useful at this point in time. We're used to the interface on these sorts of things, I'm not sure how an rPi would do that...
    Not sure if you specifically mean the interface of the Roku or just the streaming boxes in general.....
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    Streaming boxes in general. Everyone's already used to the PS3 DLNA menu (or whatever you would call it when I access my Plex server with the PS3 without using the actual plex app) and Netflix etc. I've run Windows Media player on a TV before but it was really cumbersome, I'm sure there has to be a way though.
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    Originally Posted by Downgraded286 View Post
    Streaming boxes in general. Everyone's already used to the PS3 DLNA menu (or whatever you would call it when I access my Plex server with the PS3 without using the actual plex app) and Netflix etc. I've run Windows Media player on a TV before but it was really cumbersome, I'm sure there has to be a way though.
    You'll find that Kodi is much the same. You can either set up the network shares and not even worry about DLNA or you can use Plex as a DLNA server. Either way, it will be really similar to the PS3, I had one for a couple of years before going the Kodi route.

    Try it on a laptop or PC to get a feel. If it works then great if not.....
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    So I take it the basic idea there would be to run Kodi on an rPI?
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    Originally Posted by Downgraded286 View Post
    So I take it the basic idea there would be to run Kodi on an rPI?
    Yes. Most people who use their rPi as a media player install Kodi.

    Although the rPi3 has only h.264 hardware decoding built-in, supposedly the rPi3 has a more capable CPU than earlier models and can do a better job using software decoding for other kinds of video. You can still buy a MPEG-2 or VC-1 license from the Raspberry Pi Foundation store to do hardware decoding for those types of video if you find you need one.
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    Would the rPi3 handle it better than the PS3? Could it handle high profile h.264 with the highest settings?
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  11. I recently picked up a Raspberry Pi 3 and have been playing with it for the last few days. I was able to play a 1920x1080p60 video encoded at x264's placebo preset (16 reference frames, 16 consecutive b-frames, etc.), High@5.1, without any problems. As you probably know, just because it was encoded with those settings doesn't mean the video actually ever used the full number of ref/bframes. It was only a 1 minute test clip with AC3 2.0 audio.

    It had no problems with SD MPEG 2, progressive or interlaced, but with 1920x1080i30 MPEG files it stuttered with software playback. I don't have the hardware MPEG 2 decoder license yet.
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  12. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    I use ums with my ps3 and have no streaming issues.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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    Originally Posted by Downgraded286 View Post
    Would the rPi3 handle it better than the PS3? Could it handle high profile h.264 with the highest settings?
    Yes, because with the PS3 you would still have to mess with the whole transcoding thing via Plex. With the plugin, the PS3 still has a lot of container and codec limitations that force your Plex server to transcode. I have used the RasPi2 for a couple of years to playback from my DLNA server, Mezzmo, and it is undoubtedly superior to my experience with the PS3. It plays a lot more formats and codecs (make sure you spring for the extra VC-1 and MPEG-2 licenses) than the PS3 and rarely needs any transcoding at all.

    If you set the RaspPi3 up to play directly from network shares instead of via DLNA (taking Plex out of the equation completely), then it will probably be even more smooth. I have mine set up with a Mezzmo plugin knowing that the DLNA/UPnP will always be there as a backup if necessary.

    Install Kodi on a PC and see if you like how it feels there before investing in any hardware. There will be a little bit of learning curve and some desire to experiment with different skins and things but I have had my Amazon FireTV sitting on a shelf since the 2nd day I bought it because the streaming box experience is still inferior to Kodi for local playback.
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    Plex never does any transcoding... the PS3 just plays it shitty. I've downgraded my Handbrake settings to Baseline profile, level 3.1 to ensure smoothness... naturally that results in some pretty crappy limitations. It appears that rPi would work better, but there's a part of me that just doesn't want to spend money on it (I'm cheap). I could either deal with the PS3's limitations, or spend the money to upgrade to something else with better options. (Not worried about MPEG-/VC-1, however, I do all my own transcoding of everything I have, so it's going to be h.264)
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