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Intel NUC - HTPC (Haswell Late 2013 edition) - Printable Version

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Intel NUC - HTPC (Haswell Late 2013 edition) - sheva7 - 2013-10-28 07:16

Hi guys,

I am planning to build a HTPC that will be able to play full HD with HD Audio 7.1 smoothly. I'd like it to be future-proof also, e.g. 4K support etc.

For this, I am thinking to get the new Haswell-based i5 NUC (D54250WYK).
From what I understand, the requirements above can be fulfilled by this small but powerful box. Please correct me if this is not right.

The setup that I have in mind:

The NUC is connected to my Samsung Blu-Ray Home Theatre System via HDMI (and the Home Theatre System is connected to my TV via HDMI).
The NUC will be connected to my router via Gigabit Ethernet cable, which will connect to my PC, where my media files are stored.

I am planning to use XBMC for the media centre software. However, I am not sure if I should install Windows in the NUC or just run off OpenELEC from a USB stick.

If I am to install Windows, I believe I need to buy mSATA SSD drive, which at the moment quite pricey..
On the other hand, I read that if running OpenELEC from a USB stick, it can be slow in loading the artworks graphics, etc. Is that right?

This is where I need your advice and suggestions because I am really new to HTPC world.

Thank you heaps in advance.

Cheers

EDIT zag: Please read the wiki here for more info on the NUC hardware

http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Intel_NUC

Power usage
StandBy: 1,2W
Power Off: 0,6W
Default Theme: about 6W-7W with short spikes up to 33W on Win 8.1 and OpenElec spikes up to 22W.
Aeon Nox: about 6W-7W with short spikes up to 33W on Win 8.1 and OpenElec.
Playback: about 8W to 9W on Win 8.1 and around 8W on OpenElec.

Boot problems
If you cant get into the bios then maybe your monitor is not displaying the boot option screen. It needs to support a full resolution. They key is F2 to enter the bios.

Booting from a USB3 stick has problems. Use a USB2 stick for now.

Latest Bios
https://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=23563&lang=eng&OSVersion=OS%20Independent&DownloadType=BIOS

Changing settings in the bios sometimes crashes with the keyboard. Its better to use the mouse.

HD Audio problems
If "Adjust display refresh rate to match video" is enabled in the System -> Video Settings, HD-Sound doesn´t work any more.

Windows 8 Notes
none yet...

Windows 7 Notes
none yet...

Mint + Ubuntu

Mint Install guide

(2013-12-11 16:33)BLKMGK Wrote:  Mint and Ubuntu both have issues with UEFI. The files simply aren't in the right directory after install for some reason. Fixing this was easy for me, I found a GRUB rescue distro that I put on a USB stick. After install I run this and it does a reinstall of GRUB which puts the files in the right place - problem solved. I'll try to lookup the name of this distro when I'm home, google is how I found it but I'm not finding it again as easily right now.

If this is too hard then I'd suggest Openelec. The UEFI boot is no issue, the video is fine, sound just works without having to update to an ALSA bleeding edge, and issues are being worked out quickly. The cost is certainly right and it boots quickly! The way the shares are setup makes updating and configuring it really easy too.

OpenSUSE
(2014-01-20 05:53)frostie Wrote:  I have the IR device working on opensuse 13.1. I discovered reading an intel forum (https://communities.intel.com/message/216302) that the BIOS has the device disabled after it is enabled. The solution posted was to do the following at boot time on Linux. I put these commands in the /etc/rc.d/boot.local file and IR started working.

modprobe -r nuvoton-cir
echo "auto" > /sys/bus/acpi/devices/NTN0530:00/physical_node/resources
modprobe nuvoton-cir


Openelec Notes

Download: Frodo Stable - http://openelec.tv/get-openelec/download/viewcategory/5-intel-builds
Download: Gotham Nightly - http://sources.openelec.tv/tmp/image/

Colour problems:
(2013-12-05 02:17)lmyllari Wrote:  The banding comes from expanding luma from 16-235 to 0-255. This is done for typical PC monitors, which expect a full range signal. New Intel linux drivers by default give TVs a limited range signal, taking the expanded 0-255 and scaling it to 16-235. This does not eliminate the banding that was created by the original expansion, and original information below 16 and above 235 was already lost in that same step. (Why do they do it? It's the right thing according to the standards, and some TVs don't like full range -> crushed blacks.)

If the player software (xbmc in this case) decodes to 16-235 (meaning "don't change luminance, keep black at 16 and white at 235"), the video card outputs full range 0-255 (meaning "don't scale the levels, just output what you're given"), and display is set to limited range input (meaning "16 is black, 235 white"), we eliminate the banding in greyscale ramp (because the range is not scaled at any point) and keep blacker-than-black (luma values under 16) and white-than-white (luma values above 235).

If your plasma defaults to limited range RGB (and doesn't listen to the infoframes in the HDMI stream) or you can set limited range manually, you don't need anything special. Just set your player software to 16-235 (which you can now do with Gotham and software decoding) and make sure the video card doesn't change the signal (the xrandr broadcast range "Full" setting mentioned a lot in this thread). In my case, the monitor obeys the infoframes (and there are other devices connected to the same input preventing a manual setting), so I need a patch to switch it to limited range without altering the video signal.


Remote:
(2013-12-02 10:19)Dogboltt Wrote:  SSH to openelec box and type:

cd /storage/.config
touch autostart.sh
chmod 0777 autostart.sh
nano autostart.sh


# IR fix
modprobe -r nuvoton-cir
echo "auto" > /sys/bus/acpi/devices/NTN0530\:00/physical_node/resources
modprobe nuvoton-cir

Suspend/shutdown Problems in Linux

Turn off "Wake on Lan" in the bios to prevent any shutdown problems


Haswell NUC + XBMC - solamnic - 2013-10-28 08:14

Buy the i3 and a msata..

I5 only if you need to install windows and play some games...

I3 can play everything..

Whatever you buy dont rely on usb...

Sata-msata really improves artwork downloading times and boot time...


RE: Haswell NUC + XBMC - joelbaby - 2013-10-28 12:32

For the NUC you only need D34010WYK.

There are cheap mSata SSDs which are slow, just like there are cheap USB sticks which are slow.
You can buy faster USB sticks (e.g. Sandisk Extreme), and standard mSATA SSDs - and then the price becomes about the same.

If you are concerned about cost of mSATA SSD (about $40 for 32Gb), then you could just get an old USB stick and see how OpenElec works for you.
Even before you buy the NUC, just put OpenElec on a 4Gb or 8Gb stick and see how you go on your PC. Then you will see the speed for yourself.


RE: Haswell NUC + XBMC - sheva7 - 2013-10-28 15:11

thanks for the replies.

sounds like i5 is an overkill eh.. might get the i3 version then.

which model of msata that cost $40? is it good? 32GB prob more than enough considering I'll be using this primarily for HTPC, even windows only need 20GB i think.

btw has D34010WYK come out yet and how much? im going to hong kong in 2 weeks time and planning to buy there (thinking cheaper electronics stuffs there..)

cheers


RE: Haswell NUC + XBMC - mgmcube - 2013-10-28 16:21

(2013-10-28 15:11)sheva7 Wrote:  thanks for the replies.

sounds like i5 is an overkill eh.. might get the i3 version then.

which model of msata that cost $40? is it good? 32GB prob more than enough considering I'll be using this primarily for HTPC, even windows only need 20GB i think.

btw has D34010WYK come out yet and how much? im going to hong kong in 2 weeks time and planning to buy there (thinking cheaper electronics stuffs there..)

cheers

I'm thinking about buying this msata ssd: Adata Premier Pro SP310 32GB
Is a new model, and pretty fast for a 32GB model.


RE: Haswell NUC + XBMC - cecemf - 2013-10-28 17:21

Would you guy's recommend 4Go Ram or 8go ?


RE: Haswell NUC + XBMC - floydje07 - 2013-10-28 17:56

I've been searching these forums lately cause i'm interested in getting a NUC myself. Now I'm currently looking for 4K support as well, and it seems that it's recommended to use Intel HD5000 for 4K.

"Two of the i3 models above have HD 4600 graphics while one has HD 4400 graphics. HD 4600 integrated graphics are rated for 4K usage while HD 4400 is only recommended for 1600P usage."

Source: eteknix

Can someone tell me if HD 4400 is enough voor 4K support?


RE: Haswell NUC + XBMC - zag - 2013-10-28 19:37

4gb is fine
Use openelec
Get a 32gb Msata drive, its easily enough

The only other question is what remote to use with this computer, it has an IR sensor apparently which is pretty cool.


RE: Haswell NUC + XBMC - voip-ninja - 2013-10-28 23:58

You don't even need 4GB for OpenElec. When I check mine it is usually only using about 1GB and change. 2GB should be more than plenty.


RE: Haswell NUC + XBMC - joelbaby - 2013-10-29 04:09

(2013-10-28 17:56)floydje07 Wrote:  Can someone tell me if HD 4400 is enough voor 4K support?

Intel website says this: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/nuc/nuc-kit-d34010wyk-product-brief.html?wapkw=d34010wyk

D34010WYK

PROCESSOR
• Intel® Core™ i3 4010U Processor
GRAPHICS
• Intel® HD Graphics 4400
• One Mini DisplayPort* 1.2 supporting ultra-high definition 4K displays and multiple monitor functionality
• One Mini HDMI* 1.4a port


RE: Haswell NUC + XBMC - mgmcube - 2013-10-29 08:55

(2013-10-28 17:56)floydje07 Wrote:  Can someone tell me if HD 4400 is enough voor 4K support?

In another topic they said this: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=173407&pid=1510519#pid1510519


RE: Haswell NUC + XBMC - floydje07 - 2013-10-29 09:42

(2013-10-29 04:09)joelbaby Wrote:  Intel website says this: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/nuc/nuc-kit-d34010wyk-product-brief.html?wapkw=d34010wyk

D34010WYK

PROCESSOR
• Intel® Core™ i3 4010U Processor
GRAPHICS
• Intel® HD Graphics 4400
• One Mini DisplayPort* 1.2 supporting ultra-high definition 4K displays and multiple monitor functionality
• One Mini HDMI* 1.4a port

Yeah, I saw that one too. Thanks for the info though. Reason I was asking is cause of the word 'supporting'. I've bought an onkyo receiver, thinking that it supports 4K. Never read the small letters, which say hdmi 4K pass through is not supported. Sleepy


Haswell NUC + XBMC - solamnic - 2013-10-29 11:29

Onkyo receivers do have those small letters Smile ( had the same problem with DTSHD pass through on the only I receiver I bought some years ago )


RE: Haswell NUC + XBMC - joelbaby - 2013-10-29 13:20

You just need to be aware that HDMI 1.4a supports UHD at 30Hz, not 60Hz. HDMI 2.0 is not available on many devices.
However, it should work out of the DisplayPort. Video content does not need to be played at 60fps.
http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/hdmi-2-0-explained/


RE: Haswell NUC + XBMC - sheva7 - 2013-10-29 15:02

does anyone know if D34010WYK has been released or the availability date and how much it costs?