View Full Version : NUC for HTPC purposes

5th December 2019, 01:51
Hi all,

So I want a small computer to hook up to the TV. Mostly netflix, streaming home videos from server, browsing a bit etc.

What I am wondering about is what kind of hardware is required to run 4K@60 nowadays over HDMI. Not that I am at 4K already but I tend to do with equipment for a long long time. I'd want it to be fanless. I can't imagine a Zen+ class processor, say 2C/4T with Vega 3 graphics embedded wouldn't be up to the task. Is that right though?

5th December 2019, 05:19
A recent NUC should be capable of 4K using its onboard graphics adapter: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000029357/intel-nuc.html
You may have limited HDR support: according to the tables on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI#Version_2.0 , at 4K and 60Hz, you only have HDR10 in some compressed format.

It may depend on the format of the file and on the codec if the computer is capable, and the above link mentions Microsofts HEVC codec. If you would e.g. like to use MadVR as a decoder, then it can have such processing settings to optimize quality that virtually no videocard is suitable.

One thing: check for HDMI CEC support : https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000023500/intel-nuc/intel-nuc-kits.html

This would allow you to control playback using the remote of the TV. I've tried it with a RaspberryPI, and it works surprisingly well.

10th December 2019, 00:54
I'd go AMD/Nvidia if I had to use a x86 PC, just for the full decode possibilities.
Waaay better than Intel integrated, even though that should be "sufficient" in most cases, bar HDR at High Res/Refresh.

I use a Pi4 at the moment.
Its still not fully functional, but works really well.
I run it at 2560x1440, and it upscales OK, very happy with it.
But, as I said, its not finished yet, Bios wise, especially Hardware/Software fucntionality etc.
The Audio section is still the same as the Pi3 etc, even though the hardware is capable of much much more...

Have tried some UHD videos (but not over 23.97/30 FPS), and they work fine without a hitch.
Will have to try the Jellyfish and Birds tests later.

I Have used an Intel J3355 (ASRock J3355B ITX) as a media center for a short while, and it just works fine (Integrated CPU on ITX Mobo).
Had Windows as an overhead though, whereas the Pi4 is "Just enough OS" using Libreelec.

10th December 2019, 12:27
Yeah, I have been thinking about a Pi4. The stupid thing though is that Netflix is still an issue on that thing AFAIK.

11th December 2019, 06:54
Afaik for movies and such, an nvidia shield beats most low cost HTPCs.