Replacing multiple Rasp Pi with One Vero4K

Hello team,
I’ve been running OSMC now for a number of years, starting as a small hobby of streaming Eastenders from the HUMAX freesat box, to now a quite important part of our media experience across the house. Since this starting point with using Raspberry Pi’s we moved to Australia and now rent a house.

Current set up.
Rented house - Use power line adapters were possible to provide stable LAN, and generally this works okay. Noting that I’m not going to install CAT6 cables. Also use an apple extreme router, latest model with AC WiFi.
One raspberry pi - OSMC - WiFi connected to allow us to stream live TV into the kitchen. No real problem, minimum cables and a low powered Wifi N signal dongle, but sufficient for our streaming needs, without using a modern power hungry WiFi dongle.
Now the cable mess in the lounge.
One Raspberry Pi - OSMC - LAN (power line) connected, PiHut 1A usb hub. Running TVheadend in mostly a headless mode. I have 1 TV Haupage Dual Win tunner (but I’m looking to plug in 2 more OSMC TV runners) and one 1TB WD PiKit hdd (as advertised on OSMC a few years ago).
One Raspberry Pi - OSMC - LAN connected, Running EMBY server (mostly for parental controls & library management) and TVheadend client. I connect the portable DVD player directly into the PI, rather than through a separate hub.

Noted issues.

  1. In Australia I note that the CPU’s tend to overheat and with EMBY sync on start up I get the thermometer warning sign. So I’ve installed cooling fans so that I can close the Rasp Pi case lids and prevent my little ones from putting there fingers into the electronics (or yogurt for that matter)
  2. A little fed up of mess of cables and the need to marry up power supplies. I use apple iPad chargers 5V, 12W for the PI units.

So long winded but here are my questions

  1. Can the Vero 4K comfortably work as a TVheadend server and client in one, without freezing. (Which was the principal for having two machines in the first place)?
  2. Will there be over temp issues on the CPU if I’m recording TV and streaming TV to the second set and streaming 1080p video to primary set?
  3. With regards to use of a hub, if as I plan to use 3 TV tunner dongles, I presume I will need to have a powered hub (noting that Vero 4K has 2USB items). I’m eyeing up your 2A hub to be fair? I presume that the Vero 4K can not power 2 OSMC tuners alone.
  4. When I used to record TV to a NAS unit (Synology) then I used to have infrequent video breakup (less than a secord for video picture to fail). I then moved to a local hdd (WD PiKit) and no more video breakdown. I presumed at the time this must be a power line LAN issue. Will the Vero 4K be able to record to the NAS without video breakdown issues.
  5. Final question and heading into the wish list topics. But I keep looking at Vero 4K and then an Intel NUC, as I would really like to have Skype. I noticed on a update blog you mentioned that you are developing OSMC 2.0 with an enhanced app store. Would such a store contain a Skype option, or similar offering that grandparents in the UK with apple tablets could use? My goal is a one stop media centre, with one operating system.

Many thanks
Dave

Yes

Unless you are doing encoding the CPU utilisation for that would not cause overtemp

I doubt that the USB bandwidth would be sufficient for streams from 3 Dongles.

That would be very marginal and using the Hub would be suggested

Well if you have an unstable LAN the Vero4k will have the same issues

Unlikely unless there will be a Kodi Skype Addon as the “normal” Skype client would require a X-Server (Desktop environment). But you could install that in parallel to the mediacenter if you want to.

Thanks Fzinken,
2) With the overtemp issues, do you mean playing video streams that have been compressed with the H.265 compression could still cause CPU overtemperature issues. I mostly compress files with H.264 (older compression) but I was interested in the higher compression offered with H.265.

  1. I was wondering with the larger memory, whether the Vero 4K would be able to buffer recording streams better prior to transferring the stream to be recorded to a NAS (albeit I was not sure of the original cause of the video picture loss)? Does the LAN need to be consistent and steady transfer rates at all time? This may lead me to a Wifi solution.

Cheers
Dave

We ship a large number of units to Australia, and Aussies are in the top five largest market. Overheating won’t be a problem. HEVC is fully accelerated by hardware. No overheating.

WiFi should be adequate for PVR. You’d only want to used Wired for very high bitrate 4K rips. Even then – you may get away with it.

The OSMC tuners are DVB-T2. I’m not sure if that works for you in Australia so please check before purchasing.

Skype is not planned, but could be achieved via a web browser (there is already Chromium) in theory.

As Sam wrote H.265 is fully supported with Hardware acceleration on the Vero4k so that would not impact the CPU at all.
But I am a bit concerned about you writing " I mostly compress files" do you mean you are not just recording the streams as they are coming from the TV tuner but recoding them on the fly?

Sorry no I don’t do anything clever with the TV streams and recording. Just normal TS files.

What I meant was I store DVDs using handbrake and H.264 compression on a NAS. About 6 months ago I tried H.265 and had over heating issues on the raspberry pi during playback I reverted to H.264 and cooling fans for the PI. But H.265 seems to be in the immeadiate future.
Cheers
Dave

So if you are just playing H.265 then the 4K will handle that in hardware. But if you plan on keeping some of the Pi’s for other room usage, then 265 isn’t they way to go. If you are really completely removing the Pi’s, (or reusing them as file servers) then you should be fine.

I assume that you are ripping your DVDs on a PC and doing the conversion there with Handbrake.

Yes handbrake on my Mac to store the file on the nas. But I believe the raspberry pi will be around on the kitchen tv hence probably no change to the h.264 codec for a while yet.

Thanks Sam on the plus side I know now why the 2osmc sticks will not work here. I completely forgot about the DVB T vs T2 issue here in Aus.

Also I found the osmc wifi dongle has power demand issues on a raspberry pi fed off a 12W supply. So I reverted back to an older spec wifi dongle and it works fine.

You shouldn’t power your Pi with an iPad charger. This isn’t ideal at all

Thanks Sam, a little surprise by what you have written.

Does the extra current for the output make all the difference for the stability of the device? Or is it something else I’m missing.

I have had freeze issues (once a month and typically when the pi is not being watched) so what you have written would fit

This is covered in more detail on the Pi FAQ in the Wiki. An iPad PSU isn’t sufficient to power a Pi

Thanks for the note Sam, much appreciated. Looks like I need to upgrade quite a few items
Cheers
Dave

Following the note re-power supplies. Second time this month this weekend, I had a OSMC pi freeze on me and wipe the Config file (yes backups to be made soon). Now I know the reason, I decided to take the plunge and buy two Vero 4K units, in part to simplify the TV server/client arrangement (i.e. one single unit), and in part to have good power supplies.

Bonus is the extra video / sound capability.
Cheers
Dave

You should enjoy them! We’ll get them out for you tomorrow morning and you’ll receive an email with tracking details when they ship.

Sam

Thanks Sam,
Looking forward to getting them online. From early days of hobby media centre through to now with an almost “part of the family feel” with TV online, the raspberry Pi has served well, but its now time to upgrade and move to a dedicated reliable system. And Kodi 18 seems to be getting even more exciting.

We stream with the OSMC / TV Headend software live TV through the house without the need to run TV cable through the house, and playback of videos through from our NAS, it almost feels like an essential upgrade.
Cheers
Dave

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