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  #1  
Old 03-20-2015, 10:55 AM
valnar valnar is offline
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Intel NUC vs HD300 ?

So Intel NUC's have got to the point where they are as small as power efficient as our HD300 extenders. Has anyone done a video/audio quality comparison between a PC like a NUC running the Windows Sage Client vs just using an HD300? Those NUC's also have IR sensors, which makes the prospect more interesting.

Due to the lack of HD300's, I know many users have been forced to come up with a Sage Client solution on a PC, but I didn't know if that has passed the threshold of being preferred.

I love my Sigma based HD300's, but if the upscaling, video quality and deinterlacing of a full blown NUC PC happens to be better, that is something to consider....especially if I can get that PC to run other things like PlexHT.
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2015, 11:01 AM
mechling-burgh mechling-burgh is offline
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Andy, I believe did a review over at missing remote once on the NUC I5. I would go there and look for his review on it.
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  #3  
Old 03-20-2015, 11:10 AM
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I've never owned an HD300 and have used PC clients exclusively. I went from a fairly large HTPC in an Antec Fusion case to an Intel NUC and absolutely love it. The only downside is that they're a bit expensive after adding the memory, storage, and OS. I did find I needed to use LAV codecs on the NUC rather than the MS ones in Windows 7. In our house, we use the TV for web browsing nearly as much as for watching media. I can't tell you how many times we've been missing an episode for whatever reason and just fired up the browser and watched it on the network website, Hulu, or Amazon. Since it's a common question, yes, it does HD audio and even 3D.
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  #4  
Old 03-20-2015, 11:15 AM
valnar valnar is offline
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OK, that's cool. I wonder if I should fork out the money to buy one and see how it compares.

It would be nice to have a single box act as a Sage client, PlexHT client and Squeezebox client, assuming I can find a nice USB S/PDIF interface. I'm sure there is a way to run all clients and use a remote button to bring the appropriate one to the forefront in Windows.

It's quite upsetting the new (lower powered?) Broadwell NUC's require a fan.
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  #5  
Old 03-20-2015, 11:38 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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I've got a Chromebox (basically a Celeron NUC) running OpenELEC, and my HD300. I'd say for 1080p content, they are very close. The Intel GPU seems to drop/repeat frames occasionally (this is with 1080p24 output) as seems typical with PC based solutions.

I really haven't played with it much, but the deinterlacing seems pretty abysmal in OpenELEC/XBMC, that's one area where the HD300 shines, not in it's deinterlacing capabilities, but in it's ability to bypass them and output content at native resolution (ie 480i for 480i content) allowing external processors to handle it.

Chromeboxes are pretty cool, $150 and ready to go right out of the box. You have do have to "root" them (to use the "in" term these days), but I'm pretty sure you can run Windows on them. Apprarently there are some DRM issue, I think HDCP compatibility is not recognized, not available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by valnar View Post
It would be nice to have a single box act as a Sage client, PlexHT client and Squeezebox client, assuming I can find a nice USB S/PDIF interface. I'm sure there is a way to run all clients and use a remote button to bring the appropriate one to the forefront in Windows.
That's one reason I went to separate boxes. IMO it's easier, and cleaner to just switch inputs with a universal remote, than to try and keep your remote/control software synced with whatever app is running. But that was a while ago.
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  #6  
Old 03-20-2015, 11:45 AM
valnar valnar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
That's one reason I went to separate boxes. IMO it's easier, and cleaner to just switch inputs with a universal remote, than to try and keep your remote/control software synced with whatever app is running. But that was a while ago.
Normally I agree, except that I hit my HDMI limit on my TV. Cable tuner, Sage HD300, Bluray player, Rasplex. I only have three inputs, and the Bluray usually stays unplugged.

Going from Rasplex to PHT on a Windows box is probably a step up. My worry is Windows Sage Client compared to an HD300 is a step down. 'Not a fan of ever using XBMC natively. Not good at any one thing and a compromise on everything.
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  #7  
Old 03-20-2015, 11:55 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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If you're not using native output switching on your HD300, I probably wouldn't worry about it, especially under Windows which, IIRC, has better hardware deinterlacing support than OpenELEC/XBMC/Linux.

As for XBMC, I don't know, I've grown kind of fond of it. It's really nice (with the Ace skin) for browsing/watching my ripped content. I think everything I have loaded into it is either Blu-ray sourced or processed with AVISynth to 1080p (some special purpose processing on animated DVDs). And it's really nice that it reads MKV forced/default subtitle flags, instead of always having to toggle them on manually in Sage.

But if there's hope of getting MadVR going in Sage, and renewed UI development, I might have to look into a new PC based SageClient setup for my HT, and moving back to using SageTV for everything.
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  #8  
Old 03-20-2015, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valnar View Post
OK, that's cool. I wonder if I should fork out the money to buy one and see how it compares.

It would be nice to have a single box act as a Sage client, PlexHT client and Squeezebox client, assuming I can find a nice USB S/PDIF interface. I'm sure there is a way to run all clients and use a remote button to bring the appropriate one to the forefront in Windows.

It's quite upsetting the new (lower powered?) Broadwell NUC's require a fan.
I may not have the whole story here, but from a quote down a little further, it sounds like you're out of HDMI ports on your TV and that's why you need the SPDIF. If that's the only hurdle, you could remove the BR player from the equation and attach one to the NUC instead. Also, if you get a NUC, what purpose would the HD300 be serving attached to the same TV? That also frees up an HDMI port.
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  #9  
Old 03-20-2015, 01:33 PM
valnar valnar is offline
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The current HD300 uses HDMI to my TV, so when I want the option for surround sound to my AV receiver, I use S/PDIF (mute TV). I don't want the HD300 HDMI to my receiver because that means the kids can't easily use it, and surround isn't always needed.

I'd like to reconnect my Blu-ray player full time because it does my Netflix & Amazon. Yes, I hardly watch Blu-ray discs anymore. The NUC would replace my HD300 and Rasperry Plex device, so I gain back the HDMI port for Blu-ray.

My only concern is making the NUC seamless for family. I'll need to do some remote IR wizardry. By default, having it boot to the Sage Client interface would be preferred.

Edit: The S/PDIF would also be useful for a squeezebox client. I have that now on a Cubox with S/PDIF, but no HDMI is needed. it's currently headless
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  #10  
Old 03-20-2015, 02:52 PM
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The PC client is in many ways preferred to the HD300. For one, the UI is often much smoother on the client. It also allows as lot of customization. I use ffdshow and have tweaked the audio settings, channel levels, etc for each room.
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  #11  
Old 03-20-2015, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valnar View Post
The current HD300 uses HDMI to my TV, so when I want the option for surround sound to my AV receiver, I use S/PDIF (mute TV). I don't want the HD300 HDMI to my receiver because that means the kids can't easily use it, and surround isn't always needed.

I'd like to reconnect my Blu-ray player full time because it does my Netflix & Amazon. Yes, I hardly watch Blu-ray discs anymore. The NUC would replace my HD300 and Rasperry Plex device, so I gain back the HDMI port for Blu-ray.

My only concern is making the NUC seamless for family. I'll need to do some remote IR wizardry. By default, having it boot to the Sage Client interface would be preferred.

Edit: The S/PDIF would also be useful for a squeezebox client. I have that now on a Cubox with S/PDIF, but no HDMI is needed. it's currently headless
No wizardry needed; just time to setup Eventghost (or similar) and a programmable remote (e.g. Harmony). I've posted my EG config file on here a couple of times and it handles everything automatically: Kodi, Sage, TMT, VLC, MPC-HC. For example, if I launch VLC, EG automatically locks out remote commands to Sage and everything else and sends them only to VLC. When I click back to Sage (or press the "Watch TV" button on my remote, which also brings Sage front and center), commands are then sent only to Sage. If we used the other apps more frequently, I'd have remote buttons assigned to launch each app and bring them front and center, as well.

I love my Harmony 890, but the buttons aren't built to last. The new Harmony Home Control is very nice, too, especially for non-technical people. In fact, I just set that up for my in-laws to control their TV, STB, Soundbar, and Blu-ray player. They LOVE it. You no longer need IR blasters attached to your devices, which is great. I want something a little more advanced to replace my 890, but the Harmony Ultimate Home has a terrible button layout with the play/pause/ff/rew/stop/rec at the very top of the remote. At this point, I'll wait and see what Logitech comes out with next.
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  #12  
Old 03-20-2015, 03:09 PM
valnar valnar is offline
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OK thanks. I'm a die-hard MX700 remote user, but I'm sure I can make it work. I didn't even think about remote commands randomly changing things in the background on other running apps. I'm glad Eventghost handles that.
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  #13  
Old 03-20-2015, 06:06 PM
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+1 for using Chromebox
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  #14  
Old 03-21-2015, 05:22 AM
ccsmoke ccsmoke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skirge01 View Post
the Harmony Ultimate Home has a terrible button layout with the play/pause/ff/rew/stop/rec at the very top of the remote. At this point, I'll wait and see what Logitech comes out with next.
The pad around the ok button can be used for fwd/rew and the ok can be used for play/stop by default. Connecting it to the pc harmony app lets reprogram hard/touchscreen keys to do everything the harmony one can do...just not as easy to find as the app is not as intuitive. Later this summer they will be releasing a companion zigbee hub for so can directly control light scenes for an example.
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Old 03-21-2015, 07:02 AM
valnar valnar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsupport View Post
When you refer to pc client do you mean placeshifter? My HD200 died night before last leaving me with one HD300 and one HD200 and NO SPARES. We record TV OTA from three HDHR's and don't want to lose that capability or Comskip.
There are two PC based clients. Placeshifter (for remote use - not as good) and the Sage Client (for local use - almost as good as an HD300). Both required separate and different licenses.
http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56137
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Last edited by valnar; 03-21-2015 at 07:04 AM.
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  #16  
Old 03-21-2015, 08:49 AM
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Check MSI Cubi that come out look nice just wonder what it going to cost the choices include option are Core i5-5200U, Core i3-5005U, Pentium 3805U, and Celeron 3205U.
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccsmoke View Post
The pad around the ok button can be used for fwd/rew and the ok can be used for play/stop by default. Connecting it to the pc harmony app lets reprogram hard/touchscreen keys to do everything the harmony one can do...just not as easy to find as the app is not as intuitive.
That sounded good, but then I started thinking about it. If the directional buttons also function as play/stop/ff/rew, how would (e.g.) Sage know whether I want to move around the menus or begin playing something back or page through something? To be more specific, if I'm side-scrolling through a wall of movies using the left/right arrows, will it be doing a page-left/right or a single move left/right? If I click "ok" on the name of a TV show, will Sage be asking me if I want to play back every episode, playlist style, rather than going to the list of episodes and then I click "ok" to play the one I want?

I honestly appreciate the alternative control information you provided, so THANK YOU, but it just doesn't sound very intuitive. Given the separate play/pause/etc buttons at the top of the remote, it's almost like the designers of the hardware did their job and then the software engineers took one look at the button layout and went, "Oh crap" and had to find a workaround for a poor design.

It's truly a shame that Logitech is the only company making remotes like this (don't even get me started on URC).
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:47 AM
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Damn I just find out that hauppauge going have Tuner add-on that can be mount directly on top of new NUC by remover black NUC top cover
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Old 03-21-2015, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skirge01 View Post
That sounded good, but then I started thinking about it. If the directional buttons also function as play/stop/ff/rew, how would (e.g.) Sage know whether I want to move around the menus or begin playing something back or page through something? To be more specific, if I'm side-scrolling through a wall of movies using the left/right arrows, will it be doing a page-left/right or a single move left/right? If I click "ok" on the name of a TV show, will Sage be asking me if I want to play back every episode, playlist style, rather than going to the list of episodes and then I click "ok" to play the one I want?

I honestly appreciate the alternative control information you provided, so THANK YOU, but it just doesn't sound very intuitive. Given the separate play/pause/etc buttons at the top of the remote, it's almost like the designers of the hardware did their job and then the software engineers took one look at the button layout and went, "Oh crap" and had to find a workaround for a poor design.

It's truly a shame that Logitech is the only company making remotes like this (don't even get me started on URC).
Surely we can fine something that work just as good in Bluetooth or IR that close to what we need.

Last edited by SHS; 03-22-2015 at 01:43 PM.
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  #20  
Old 03-22-2015, 12:46 PM
taylormadearmy taylormadearmy is offline
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I wonder how the cheap Baytrail atom boxes will run the Sage Client..?

I've got a Baytrail tablet - and overall performance is just fine - except for running out of memory if I run too many programmes or too many browser tabs at once - for every day use or Plex playback it is flawless. Not really tried it with Sage - but I imagine they will play back anything I typically throw at it.

They are crazy good value. A touch over $100 including memory and storage, so probably getting onto a third of the price of a NUC once you add storage and memory.

I could/should probably do some testing on my tablet, but frankly don't have the time at the moment, but just talked myself into one as I had the urge to buy some new tech (don't you hate that feeling)... This is on the way (There must be something I can find a use for it with - even if not SageTV):

http://www.geekbuying.com/item/PIPO-...ck-340056.html
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