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HTPC for TV / living room 4k streaming and web browsing?

Djuntas
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So I recently acquired an LG oled A1 TV. Worth every cent now that price dropped to reasonable levels. 

 

But for many years I just used my shitty old 720x1366 (something) laptop with HDMI to my old TV. And while webOS on the TV allows for scaling, aka avoiding blackbars when I do the same now, the stretched image + the low resolution is not gonna cut it anymore.

 

I want something smart, honestly if I had the money Id buy something like https://store.minisforum.com/products/minisforum-deskmini-um700?variant=36909371457697

which I saw in a Jayztwocents video some months ago. But If I could find something thats cheaper, but still good enough Id be happy. That vesa mount thing would be epic through.

 

So maybe an Intel NUC? I want a complete system with windows installed, something simple but reliable. It just needs to be able to handle web browsing, 4k streaming and maybe some other light workloads such as old games on very low settings games. I thought about just getting a new laptop, but...Erhm stupid question, if I bought 1080p laptop wouldn't that also just be a small thing on my screen as my current laptop is then? Aka having to also stretch that too on my 4k TV 🙂

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3 minutes ago, Djuntas said:

So I recently acquired an LG oled A1 TV. Worth every cent now that price dropped to reasonable levels. 

 

But for many years I just used my shitty old 720x1366 (something) laptop with HDMI to my old TV. And while webOS on the TV allows for scaling, aka avoiding blackbars when I do the same now, the stretched image + the low resolution is not gonna cut it anymore.

 

I want something smart, honestly if I had the money Id buy something like https://store.minisforum.com/products/minisforum-deskmini-um700?variant=36909371457697

which I saw in a Jayztwocents video some months ago. But If I could find something thats cheaper, but still good enough Id be happy. That vesa mount thing would be epic through.

 

So maybe an Intel NUC? I want a complete system with windows installed, something simple but reliable. It just needs to be able to handle web browsing, 4k streaming and maybe some light workloads such as games. I thought about just getting a new laptop, but...Erhm stupid question, if I bought 1080p laptop wouldn't that also just be a small thing on my screen as my current laptop is then? Aka having to also stretch that too on my 4k TV 🙂

Many laptops can drive a higher resolution than their native screen can handle. Just ask MacBook owners running 6K displays. 😬 It's quite common to see reasonably modern laptops that can drive 4K. 

 

What about a dedicated media player device, probably using Android TV? You'd want to use a TV-optimized browser like Puffin (you can sideload Chrome, but it's really not meant for a remote), but it might cover the bases.

 

I was going to suggest an Apple TV 4K if it weren't for the web browsing requirement, since it's a great 4K streamer and can handle games from the App Store and Apple Arcade (yes, there's Bluetooth gamepad support).

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1 hour ago, Commodus said:

Many laptops can drive a higher resolution than their native screen can handle. Just ask MacBook owners running 6K displays. 😬 It's quite common to see reasonably modern laptops that can drive 4K. 

 

What about a dedicated media player device, probably using Android TV? You'd want to use a TV-optimized browser like Puffin (you can sideload Chrome, but it's really not meant for a remote), but it might cover the bases.

 

I was going to suggest an Apple TV 4K if it weren't for the web browsing requirement, since it's a great 4K streamer and can handle games from the App Store and Apple Arcade (yes, there's Bluetooth gamepad support).

Hm, good question on the laptop. I didn't quit know about that, I figured HDMI was just 100% duplicate 1:1. I was recently taking a look at:

 

It has all the features Id like, maybe I would had liked AMD cpu, but honestly its all fine. Especially because it also has a damn ethernet port...Many laptops dont have that, and I dont wanna run WiFi at home, its just not what I like. I guess it could also go up to 4k then.

 

Can you link to these android TV boxes/media players? I want it to run normal x86 apps, such as 100% standard chrome browser. I dont like say the youtube app on my TV compared to the browser...WebOS browser on my TV is also "OK", but its not where near as good as a normal browser...Also another thing is I like Flux for better bluefilter and WebOS bluefilter is not strong enough for late night viewing...hench why I just like a HTPC...Anyway the TV is epic, but software not good enough 🙂

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Hey again - So I was looking into it. It seems like im semi-sold on the laptop idea, unless somebody can suggest me a good viable soulotion? I just worry that if I buy a cheap intel nuc it wont have quit the performance?

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What ya think people. Are there any real solutions to my needs on a budget friendly case? Should I perhapse look into a...idk 9th gen intel nuc, or is there a something else cheap that can give me the freedom of a normal chrome browser?

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2 hours ago, Djuntas said:

What ya think people. Are there any real solutions to my needs on a budget friendly case? Should I perhapse look into a...idk 9th gen intel nuc, or is there a something else cheap that can give me the freedom of a normal chrome browser?

A NUC might be an option if you don't mind the integrated video. As for those Android TV devices? Well, there's the Chromecast with Google TV if you want no frills, and NVIDIA's Shield TV line (both currently the same price, so Pro obviously) if you want lots of frills. There are others, but those are the ones I think of first.

 

If it were me, I'd get a Mac mini as it'd be faster than all Windows PCs in that category and effectively silent (there's a fan, but it rarely spins up). In the US, at least, you can get a refurb M1 Mac mini (i.e. the current model) for $589 as I write this — that's a pretty good deal if you want a full-fledged computer in your living room.

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On 12/2/2021 at 2:24 PM, Commodus said:

A NUC might be an option if you don't mind the integrated video. As for those Android TV devices? Well, there's the Chromecast with Google TV if you want no frills, and NVIDIA's Shield TV line (both currently the same price, so Pro obviously) if you want lots of frills. There are others, but those are the ones I think of first.

 

If it were me, I'd get a Mac mini as it'd be faster than all Windows PCs in that category and effectively silent (there's a fan, but it rarely spins up). In the US, at least, you can get a refurb M1 Mac mini (i.e. the current model) for $589 as I write this — that's a pretty good deal if you want a full-fledged computer in your living room.

Yeah but will the chromecast be bad UI like mobile/TV apps? Or has google been smart and actually made it run x86 apps aka normal chrome browser? I might actually wish for a chromecast this year, to make my old TV useable in perhapse my bedroom so it wont go to waste...idk. All I want is just be able to use everything through a normal browser - Like for instance..:How the fuck do you see the comment section on my youtube TV app, and why is everything a nightmare to navigate to...I just cant, I give up.

 

But yes, if I knew anything about macOS it would make great sense. Sadly the only time I tried a mac was like 2 years ago, and I coulden't even understand how to close or open a program...Was clueless. 

 

Its funny how Im such a old school guy at 28, I feel like a tech boomer - It seems like my viewpoint is completely non-existent ^^ It also just because when I watch youtube I bookmark all my sub's videos, and I cant acces bookmarks in gut damn apps...I live through bookmarks, not gonna use the watch later feature or whatever its called.

 

Sorry for long ramble...Its like therapy lol.

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Djuntas said:

Yeah but will the chromecast be bad UI like mobile/TV apps? Or has google been smart and actually made it run x86 apps aka normal chrome browser? I might actually wish for a chromecast this year, to make my old TV useable in perhapse my bedroom so it wont go to waste...idk. All I want is just be able to use everything through a normal browser - Like for instance..:How the fuck do you see the comment section on my youtube TV app, and why is everything a nightmare to navigate to...I just cant, I give up.

 

But yes, if I knew anything about macOS it would make great sense. Sadly the only time I tried a mac was like 2 years ago, and I coulden't even understand how to close or open a program...Was clueless. 

 

Its funny how Im such a old school guy at 28, I feel like a tech boomer - It seems like my viewpoint is completely non-existent ^^ It also just because when I watch youtube I bookmark all my sub's videos, and I cant acces bookmarks in gut damn apps...I live through bookmarks, not gonna use the watch later feature or whatever its called.

 

Sorry for long ramble...Its like therapy lol.

 

 

 

Android TV apps are either much like or identical to their mobile counterparts, so if you're concerned ... you'll probably want to stay away. If you want computer apps, you need a computer. (You can see the comments section in the YouTube TV mobile app, but I believe it requires an extra tap or two).

 

MacOS is fairly easy, but it takes a bit of adjustment if you've built up years of muscle memory from Windows. The main things to know are a few quirks, such as needing to go to the menu bar up top to truly quit an app (you can close the last window for an app without necessarily quitting — yes, that has its advantages), and installing apps usually involves downloading a drive image and dragging the app to where you want it to live.

 

As for YouTube videos... I just visit the Subscriptions tab (app or browser) and, if I need to dive deep, click on a specific creator to see just their clips. I'd only bookmark a video if it was a particularly important one I expected to revisit often.

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On 12/4/2021 at 2:47 PM, Commodus said:

Android TV apps are either much like or identical to their mobile counterparts, so if you're concerned ... you'll probably want to stay away. If you want computer apps, you need a computer. (You can see the comments section in the YouTube TV mobile app, but I believe it requires an extra tap or two).

 

MacOS is fairly easy, but it takes a bit of adjustment if you've built up years of muscle memory from Windows. The main things to know are a few quirks, such as needing to go to the menu bar up top to truly quit an app (you can close the last window for an app without necessarily quitting — yes, that has its advantages), and installing apps usually involves downloading a drive image and dragging the app to where you want it to live.

 

As for YouTube videos... I just visit the Subscriptions tab (app or browser) and, if I need to dive deep, click on a specific creator to see just their clips. I'd only bookmark a video if it was a particularly important one I expected to revisit often.

Thanks man. I will stay on the HTPC or laptop solution then. I bookmark videos cause I have like 10-20 videos a day to go through, cant watch it all ^^ To many relevant subs...Honestly, I should watch less youtube, but it just keeps being better and better with creators improving, better money going to them also helps...Youtube is great.

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