Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Ergroilnin

Cheapest HTPC for 4k TV?

Recommended Posts

Posted · Original PosterOP

Hello,

 

I want to ask, what would probably be the (close to) cheapest way to achieve seamless video playback, streaming online platforms, browsing web, no gaming whatsoever for my 4k 60hz LG OLED TV over HDMI?

 

I tried to look for some answers online but I found either outdated info, conflicting info or seemingly too expensive choices for basic 4k, so I kinda want to ask here, if anyone else was getting a cheap HTPC to fulfill this.

 

Of course it is a smart TV, so a lot of stuff can be done just with the applications already in the TV, but there are definitely times that I would enjoy PC experience on it. 

 

Obviously I would use that with wireless keyboard and mouse combo.

 

Also not necessarily a requirement, but it would be extra nice, if it could be had for maybe just a bit more money in somewhat SFF format, so it would fit on it's side in the cabinet underneath the TV (so kinda... consolish).

 

And one more question that is more like total curiosity than something I would actually want, but if, for example in the future I decided to get some 4k UHD Blu-Ray movies, can that be done and would it be economical to solve by getting a blu-ray reader for the PC (are there even any for 4k UHD?) or in that case a standalone blue-ray player would alway be a superior and more seamless solution? I guess this might not even matter since physical mediums are on decline, but I just thought I would include this question in this thread as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect the answers you are seeing are old because these requirements were met some time ago.  They can be done not just with a cheap new system but with a cheap old system as well.  4K video playback is not difficult processor wise.  It does take a certain amount of memory but that memory does not need to be very fast, so an apu or iGPU is handy because they use system memory and the limits to how much system memory they can use are fairly high.  A cheap, used machine with no discrete video card, enough APU/iGPU to be able to power 4K with a good amount of memory in it (I’m thinking more than 8gb.  Could be wrong about that)  should be fine.  


Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

Link to post
Share on other sites

nVidia Shield TV Pro... the 2017 model is about £150 now and the newer 2019 Pro version is £199... don;t go for the cheaper tube shaped one... it's got a lot of issues and most people tend to think it's garbage.

 

I've got 2 of them.. both a 17 and 19 Pro... the onboard storage is only 16GB so grab a little flash drive.. I picked up a couple of 128GB samsung ones that are really small... and use those as internal storage.

 

It comes preinstalled with netflix and prime... and you can add kodi and a few plugins if you want to go that way... check out reddit r/shieldandroidtv or something like that.

 

There are cheaper android tv boxes... but to be honest... they're kinda garbage... they'll be advertised as having more storage or more ram... but none of them get any updates to android and a lot of them have the shitty rockchip chipset which is worthless.

 

If you want a proper HTPC, then just buy some second hand parts and build a cheap system... fill it with hard drives and install 'emby'... avoid plex... I know a lot of people use it and like it... but they've turned it into a massive data harvest app that monitors and reports back on what you do with it... at this moment... emby isn't doing that... and what plex does poorly, emby does very well and vice versa... so it's personal choice really.


System 1: Gigabyte Aorus B450 Pro, Ryzen 5 2600X, 32GB Corsair Vengeance 3200mhz, Sapphire 5700XT, 250GB NVME WD Black, 2x Crucial MX5001TB, 2x Seagate 3TB, H115i AIO, Sharkoon BW9000 case with corsair ML fans, EVGA G2 Gold 650W Modular PSU, liteon bluray/dvd/rw.. NO RGB aside from MB and AIO pump. Triple 27" Monitor setup (1x 144hz, 2x 75hz, all freesync/freesync 2)

System 2: Asus M5 MB, AMD FX8350, 16GB DDR3, Sapphire RX580, 30TB of storage, 250GB SSD, Silverstone HTPC chassis, Corsair 550W Modular PSU, Noctua cooler, liteon bluray/dvd/rw, 4K HDR display (Samsung TV)

System 3 & 4: nVidia shield TV (2017 & 2019) Pro with extra 128GB samsung flash drives.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP
22 minutes ago, Anomnomnomaly said:

...

Thanks for a nice and long answer.

 

My TV already has netflix and prime, it's not really about those or any other basic stuff.

 

There are however services (like for example... crunchyroll) that are not on the smart TV. And there are simply times, when I want to read manga, show off photos and overall enjoy true PC (okay that might sound weird... simply windows 10 machine). So that's why I am not looking for any android tvs, chromecasts etc.

 

I have never, ever used plex and I do not plan to anyway, but it's nice heads up, if I ever thought about that, so thanks for that.

 

That's the thing though.

 

Going second hand seems like a good idea for getting the cheapest possible way, but I am not sure what to look for. Bombastinator talked about APU/iGPU and if I have to, I will definitely do the "homework" myself and just check lots of them to see which one is capable of doing basic 4k/60hz but as I said, on the web I saw people saying that "this" or "that" is enough, then people saying it is not etc. so before I go and check out tons of APUs/iGPUs and in case they are capable enough, their perf/price and overall system perf/price (obv. this is based on my location, which is btw, czech republic, but I am not asking necessarily for an all around answer, just something I can base my own search about, so if something is best price/perf (if anyone actually looked that up for themselves, I do not ask anyone to actually do that now just for me!), I just wanted to ask, if anyone here had some easy answer or at least a basic guideline to set myself when searching for the best answer nowadays.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Almost any cpu these days can do 4k without any issues... but if you are going to be doing any transcoding on the fly... then obviously the better cpu you can have helps... But my HTPC is running an AMD FX8350 @ 4.4ghz on all 8 cores and is fine.

 

I've actually got a spare AM3+ board 4GB ram and quad core 4.2ghz CPU that I keep meaning to flog. It's been sat in a box for the last 12 months waiting for a new owner.


System 1: Gigabyte Aorus B450 Pro, Ryzen 5 2600X, 32GB Corsair Vengeance 3200mhz, Sapphire 5700XT, 250GB NVME WD Black, 2x Crucial MX5001TB, 2x Seagate 3TB, H115i AIO, Sharkoon BW9000 case with corsair ML fans, EVGA G2 Gold 650W Modular PSU, liteon bluray/dvd/rw.. NO RGB aside from MB and AIO pump. Triple 27" Monitor setup (1x 144hz, 2x 75hz, all freesync/freesync 2)

System 2: Asus M5 MB, AMD FX8350, 16GB DDR3, Sapphire RX580, 30TB of storage, 250GB SSD, Silverstone HTPC chassis, Corsair 550W Modular PSU, Noctua cooler, liteon bluray/dvd/rw, 4K HDR display (Samsung TV)

System 3 & 4: nVidia shield TV (2017 & 2019) Pro with extra 128GB samsung flash drives.

Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Anomnomnomaly said:

nVidia Shield TV Pro... the 2017 model is about £150 now and the newer 2019 Pro version is £199... don;t go for the cheaper tube shaped one... it's got a lot of issues and most people tend to think it's garbage.

 

I've got 2 of them.. both a 17 and 19 Pro... the onboard storage is only 16GB so grab a little flash drive.. I picked up a couple of 128GB samsung ones that are really small... and use those as internal storage.

 

It comes preinstalled with netflix and prime... and you can add kodi and a few plugins if you want to go that way... check out reddit r/shieldandroidtv or something like that.

 

There are cheaper android tv boxes... but to be honest... they're kinda garbage... they'll be advertised as having more storage or more ram... but none of them get any updates to android and a lot of them have the shitty rockchip chipset which is worthless.

 

If you want a proper HTPC, then just buy some second hand parts and build a cheap system... fill it with hard drives and install 'emby'... avoid plex... I know a lot of people use it and like it... but they've turned it into a massive data harvest app that monitors and reports back on what you do with it... at this moment... emby isn't doing that... and what plex does poorly, emby does very well and vice versa... so it's personal choice really.

Might be cheapest brand new device.  Almost any old used prebuilt office desktop with a generous amount of memory would also be able to do it.  Probably for a lot less money.  Larger and you have to deal with used though. £50 maybe?  Might even be free.  Depends on what the OP wants.


Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ergroilnin said:

 

I want to ask, what would probably be the (close to) cheapest way to achieve seamless video playback, streaming online platforms, browsing web, no gaming whatsoever for my 4k 60hz LG OLED TV over HDMI?

 

 

Playing 4K videos isn't the issue, but outputting 4K 60Hz 4:4:4 over HDMI is. Old GPUs will do it only over displayport, and newer ones will have to be HDMI 2.0 compliant, and even then half the "HDMI 2.0 4K" cables can't really handle it and limit you to 30Hz. Granted, if you're mostly watching movies, 30Hz will do, but since you asked about 4K 60Hz over HDMI specifically, I thought I'd better warn you that it's not as simple as "anything works", as others seem to suggest.

 

I'm about to test a DP to HDMI converter precisely for this reason (repurposing older hardware that should be OK for the job other than requiring displayport to do 4K 60Hz). The adapter doesn't add much to the cost (compared to shopping for HDMI 2.0 compliant GPUs, or finding out similar compatibility for iGPU+Motherboard combinations), but I did go over customer reviews looking for validated 40K 60Hz results before buying.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×