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Old 04-09-2018, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,540 posts, read 55,453,855 times
Reputation: 32271

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I've been using my win-10 laptop with VLC to push my MP4 videos and DVDs to my projector through the HDMI cable. VLC brings everything up to full screen and the general experience is visually very good. However... Win-10 never used to push updates while I was using VLC, but was behaved enough to wait. It no longer does that, and that is the final straw for me. I'm now on the lookout for an inexpensive small computer that:
1. Will NOT be Windows
2. Will accept VLC player
3. Will output to HDMI 1080p
4. Will play MP4s from an external drive without stuttering action sequences or higher res video
5. Will accept DVDs (via external USB and drive)
6. Will not take time and fiddling to set up.
7. Will not force updates

There is no need for this computer to connect to the net. Literally, I'm seeing indications that even Raspberry Pi and other micro-computers may have the capabilities, but separating hype from real-world seems increasingly difficult these days.

Are there serious contenders out there? Price is an issue, so cost of the complete setup is important.
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:17 PM
 
Location: (six-cent-dix-sept)
4,884 posts, read 2,500,163 times
Reputation: 3142
kodi ?

also, this mite work:
re-purposing old fone as media center pc
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:34 PM
 
Location: McAllen, TX
3,972 posts, read 2,614,010 times
Reputation: 4741
I think you mean media player and not server?

I would recommend an Nvidia Shield TV. It is an android box, so you can install VLC, Kodi or just about anything on Android. I have been thinking of getting one myself. My Gen 1 Fire stick is getting a bit dated and slow and I know I can factory reset it but I would like something better.

https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/shield/
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Old 04-09-2018, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Wandering.
3,545 posts, read 5,679,592 times
Reputation: 2654
With that list of requirements, you're basically down to a small Linux PC, a Raspberry Pi, an Android TV box, or some other small computer running on a Linux / Android platform.

A desktop Linux distro will give you the most items from your list, with the least tinkering, as you'll probably have VLC and DVD support out of the box, or can add them from a UI based package manager.

Android based applications will give you the least control IMO, as you'll have issues getting DVD / external drive support to some degree.

A Raspberry Pi should work, but it won't be without some amount of setup. You'll need to download a Windows based app to flash the OS onto an SD card, and that will get you a very basic running OS. But it may take some work to get external media mounted, especially if you want to have a static media folder. It's also not a horribly fast bit of equipment, so you may have issues with very large files.
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Old 04-10-2018, 09:34 AM
 
Location: McAllen, TX
3,972 posts, read 2,614,010 times
Reputation: 4741
I missed the part about the DVD's. Get a Windows 7 laptop with HDMI. Problem solved. Keep all of the functionality and disable updates completely.
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:11 AM
 
Location: USA
701 posts, read 993,994 times
Reputation: 651
Just use your current win-10 laptop, dual boot it with Ubuntu Linux, use VLC the same way you've used it before. Just create live USB/disk of Ubuntu and try it before you install Linux on the laptop.
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:31 AM
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Location: Ohio
16,897 posts, read 33,634,159 times
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Maybe you should use a NAS device for this purpose?

I used one of these as a media server until my collection outgrew it.

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Old 04-10-2018, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,540 posts, read 55,453,855 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastninja500 View Post
Just use your current win-10 laptop, dual boot it with Ubuntu Linux, use VLC the same way you've used it before. Just create live USB/disk of Ubuntu and try it before you install Linux on the laptop.
doh! I shoulda thought of that! Yes, I need to try that first, before exploring the other ideas. Even if it doesn't work, I'm not out any money. Thanks.
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:44 PM
 
Location: USA
701 posts, read 993,994 times
Reputation: 651
Sorry, my post was a bit mis-leading - VLC (nor other players and video codecs) does not come with Ubuntu right off the bat. So you can't "try" it with live USB/disk of Ubuntu.

For it to work, you disable the Win 10 secure boot, then you would have to actually install Ubuntu, making sure to click on the option of including all the media codecs you want. Then, after installing Ubuntu, you would have to install VLC.

Not as simple as my post made it out to be. But real easy for your caliber.
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