Streamers...DIY

NBPK402

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I have been wanting to build a DIY Media Streamer for a while now, using a Intel i7 NUC. Now my i7 needs cooling badly or the fan screams. What I was thinking of doing was to use my 2nd big Krell KSA50 clone case for the Media server and stock it with some USB HDDs. Now searching around I see people use a Rasberry Pi for a Plex server and it got me to thinking...

1: Is a Rasberry Pi really powerful enough to stream 1 4k movie, or stream Tidal one stream at a time?
2: When is transcoding required?
3: is transcoding even required by the media server or will my TV, and AVP do it for me? I knownmy AVP and my TV both upscale to the highest resolution.

For the HDDs, I was planning on taking my 12TB USB HDDs, and pulling them from the plastic cases, and getting some HDD storage racks to put them in. Then I figured I could get a USB hub and mount it inside the case, and connect the HDDs via USB3. Does anyone see any problems with this solution...it avoids getting a big power supply (I can power the USB HDDs with the stock wall warts externally or get a larger one that will power all of them at once externally in another small case that I have for a DAC). I know it seems like a lot of work, but I think it would look nice jn the rack, and I do have that 30 kilo case just sitting there.
 
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No answers for you here, but very interested in watching it develop if you can figure it all out.
 

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It looks like the minimum data rate to stream 4k HD is a consistent 25MegaBits/Sec... Your USB 3 connections should be a theoretical transfer speed of 4.8 Gbit/s... However, it is an unknown what your actual throughput speed would be for your Hard Disk Devices across a multi USB hub... I would also be concerned with the quality of the USB hub in powering all your HDDs as well as providing a consistent USB 3 connection to all the connected devices... Remember, your only as fast as your slowest devices across busses...

As far as Tidal goes... What app would run on a Rasberry Pi that will Connect to the Tidal servers and would that app "decode" MQA? Or do you even care about that? I am not Pi expert but I don't think a Pi would make a very good server... They do seem to make a reasonable Roon network endpoint... There does seem to be some work to doing the software builds for it... Another area of concern would be the speeds across the various busses and to/from USB...

If it were me, I guess I would stick with the i7 and look for better cooling solution and quieter fans/enclosure... Which NUC do you have? Any chance you can slow it (clock and/or speed stepping) down a touch so it runs cooler... What cooling solution is on the i7 itself? Have you thought of a better CPU heatsink and thermal paste?
 
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NBPK402

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It looks like the minimum data rate to stream 4k HD is a consistent 25MegaBits/Sec... Your USB 3 connections should be a theoretical transfer speed of 4.8 Gbit/s... However, it is an unknown what your actual throughput speed would be for your Hard Disk Devices across a multi USB hub... I would also be concerned with the quality of the USB hub in powering all your HDDs as well as providing a consistent USB 3 connection to all the connected devices... Remember, your only as fast as your slowest devices across busses...

As far as Tidal goes... What app would run on a Rasberry Pi that will Connect to the Tidal servers and would that app "decode" MQA? Or do you even care about that? I am not Pi expert but I don't think a Pi would make a very good server... They do seem to make a reasonable Roon network endpoint... There does seem to be some work to doing the software builds for it... Another area of concern would be the speeds across the various busses and to/from USB...

If it were me, I guess I would stick with the i7 and look for better cooling solution and quieter fans/enclosure... Which NUC do you have? Any chance you can slow it (clock and/or speed stepping) down a touch so it runs cooler... What cooling solution is on the i7 itself? Have you thought of a better CPU heatsink and thermal paste?
I currently use a 4 port USB 3 hub and it works fine for streaming 4k movies. I think one advantage I have is my movies are alphabetically arranfed on the HDDs, and I only stream 1 at a time...if I was running multiple streams I would def have problems. I also have a Roon Rock that I have a USB HDD hooked directly up to it. I am not sure if Roon does MQA or not. When I play my music or Tidal it is ussually streamed through Rock to my Yamaha AVP 5100 via airplay, or it is streamed to Plex.

My Intel NUC is a NUC7I7BNH , which whenever the I am transferring files the fan kicks on in high. I looked on line and there were suggestions as to bios mods, and I did them all and it helped some, but the external fans were the only thing that got me close to quiet. When I bought the NUC , I watched a review and the reviewer recommended a fansless case for it and said it was fine. I ordered the same cersion NUC he suggested and looked at the case, and I did not get it due to a lack of funds at the time. Later kn I decided to get the case and saw that it is not recommended at all anymore for the i7 I have. I am stilled as the only reason I got the one I did was because it was suggested for use with that particular case.So I installed 2 Rack mount USB dual 4 1/2" fans on each side of it to quiet it down. It works 75% of the time from the CPU fan kicking on and the fans I have are pretty quiet. I wish that I knew of a way to hook my huge heatsinks on the sides of the KSA50 clone case to the CPU, as I am pretty sure it would hace enough heatsink area to eliminate the CPU fan. Each heatsink is 12" x 8" x 2".

I saw some pics somewhere where a heatpipe setup was used to cool a CPU to a case heatsink, but I cannot find it anymore. I thought that would look nice and cool it down a lot, but I have no clue on how to do it. I could mount the NUC MB on one of the heatsinks, but how do I transfer the heat to the heatsink?
 

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1. I believe it could up to a point.
2. You’d have to load LibreElec for H.265 I think.
3. I believe so, again.

I have a 4 sitting around that I intended to use for something different but never did. I’d try this but in the end, why? You can get an AppleTV 4K for around the same price and it will do these things flawlessly - out of the box. Apple TV not what you’re looking for? Maybe try Roku? It would be cheaper and it does these things - out of the box.

You would never get Dolby Vision via the Raspberry Pi. And I doubt it does HDR either.
 

mechman

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Ok wait! I may have misread your purpose! Are you intending to run it as a Plex server?
 

ddude003

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From what I understand, Roon does what is called the 1st unfold of Tidal MQA and then forwards to the DAC to do the additional magic if the DAC is MQA capable... Otherwise the DAC will just play whatever is in that "1st unfold", which is "suppose" to be equivalent to CD quality or there about... It has been years since I used Tidal and switched to Qobuz as soon as it was available... I did not really like Tidal for several reasons which don't have much to do with this thread...

I did not think you would have much of an issue with feeds and speeds with your NUC... However, the heat issues with the NUC seem pretty common when uses as media servers... Also seem to have dust issues with the way the fan blows across the heat sink... Whoever designed that had no clue... No wonder with the tiny internal fan and heat sink... I am surprised that none of the Heat Sink manufactures haven't stepped up with a standard product solution, that I can see...

So your left with a DYI Frankenstein solution... If your planing on putting it in another larger case, I would just mount a somewhat standard PC fan above the current fan and heat sink... Just cut a big hole in the top of the case and use Something like this Noctura... https://noctua.at/en/products/fan/nf-a9x14-pwm ... I have had pretty good luck with Noctura fans with my builds...

As far as the heat sinks/pipes are concerned, you are looking at metal to metal contact with thermal pads or thermal paste between the metal to metal contact which will provide the most thermal transfer between the metal to metal interface..
 
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NBPK402

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From what I understand, Roon does what is called the 1st unfold of Tidal MQA and then forwards to the DAC to do the additional magic if the DAC is MQA capable... Otherwise the DAC will just play whatever is in that "1st unfold", which is "suppose" to be equivalent to CD quality or there about... It has been years since I used Tidal and switched to Qobuz as soon as it was available... I did not really like Tidal for several reasons which don't have much to do with this thread...

I did not think you would have much of an issue with feeds and speeds with your NUC... However, the heat issues with the NUC seem pretty common when uses as media servers... Also seem to have dust issues with the way the fan blows across the heat sink... Whoever designed that had no clue... No wonder with the tiny internal fan and heat sink... I am surprised that none of the Heat Sink manufactures haven't stepped up with a standard product solution, that I can see...

So your left with a DYI Frankenstein solution... If your planing on putting it in another larger case, I would just mount a somewhat standard PC fan above the current fan and heat sink... Just cut a big hole in the top of the case and use Something like this Noctura... https://noctua.at/en/products/fan/nf-a9x14-pwm ... I have had pretty good luck with Noctura fans with my builds...

As far as the heat sinks/pipes are concerned, you are looking at metal to metal contact with thermal pads or thermal paste between the metal to metal contact which will provide the most thermal transfer between the metal to metal interface..
So for heat sinks/ pipes... I would just get copper pipes and use thermal paste on the CPU and heat sinks to cool, correct?
 

ddude003

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In theory you are essentially correct... Reminds me of a saying... "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." - Yogi Berra

I hope you are talking about the copper pipes used in a PC cooling system and not just some copper pipes you find at Home Depot...

You might want to see how to take your current heat sink off your CPU and what might be available from a vendor like Noctura that might get you a good fit between your CPU and a cooler block and if you need thermal pads and/or thermal paste... You need a good tight fit between the CPU, which might be 3 die (1 or 2 CPUs, cache and a GPU), and the cooler block... Or leave your current heat sink on and add another heat sink on top of it as a stack... Again, you need an exceptionally tight fit between your CPU dies and a cooler block... Spend some time looking around the web for how cooling solutions "fit" various CPUs and systems... And how you would replace your current fan and heat sink... If you don't get this fit/interface right you risk overheating and damaging your CPU!!! Note the De-lid part of My AV System...
 
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NBPK402

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I just win a i5 NUC on eBay so it is a go, now.

Next I need a 10" display for the front of the Krell KSA50 clone case.
https://www.amazon.com/Raspberry-Inch-Touch-Screen-Touchscreen/dp/B0776VNW9C

It looks like the above touch screen can be used via HDMI, so the next thing to do is see if I can wire the HDMI internally...or maybe I can just have the power plug (I think I already have the panel mount jack for a wall wart too.) on the rear of the case and a cat 6 connector.


What do you think? If that is all it would cost me...plus paying my friend about $50 CNC the case for the HDDs, and buying the display seems like it would be a nice setup for not much money, since I have the USB HDDs, and case already.
 
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NBPK402

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I have an idea...what if I install Plex server on the i5, and Roon Rock on my other i5...then I can use the touchscreen for displaying Roon track info. I have a ton of space in the case, and I could run Plex on one side of the case, and Roon on the other side, thereby keeping my audio and video separate.

The rear plate would be nice and neat with only 3 power jacks,1 per pc, 1 for all the USB HDDs, and 2 cat 6 jacks, Maybe a HDMI jack too. I can then use Plex for my movies, Tidal, and also my local music on Roon and Tidal with artist info displayed on the 10" touchscreen.
.
 
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NBPK402

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I ordered the 10.1 touchscreen. I have a spare HDD cage, so all I am waiting on now is the i5 NUC. When it arrives I will shuck the USB HDDs from their cases, install in the cage, and wire both PCs up. Knce I confirm they all work and the touchscreen works with the Roon Rock... I will get the case machined.
 

NBPK402

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Just ordered 2 HDMI passthrough jacks, and 2 network passthrough jacks. This will allow me to run video, and audio to my AVP in case I want to use this as a player too. I am waiting until I get the i5 NUC before I purchase the HDMI cable that goes from the 10" display to the i5. I am tempted to see if I can get a HDMI switcher to install in the case...it would need to be controllable with a switch. If I got that I could then also access the servers, and clients from the touchscreen when I wanted by selecting via a 2 way switch on the front panel. I think I will also have an extra hole or two drilled in the rear for USB in case I ever want to add additional devices.
 

NBPK402

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Here is my tablet on the faceplate...1" clearance top and 1" clearance on the bottom, which measures almost exactly that they advertise...if it is the wrong size I have till January to return it.
 

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My 2-cents worth:

I have messed with a Raspberry Pi 4 and it handled 4k video well - just brief experimenting, though.

If you go the RP way, get a good case. I liked the Argon One (original version is what I messed with) with active and passive cooling and fan thermal controls you can set yourself. The new v2 Argon One has full-sized HDMI ports, A MUST HAVE, I dislike those finicky mini HDMI connectors.
 

NBPK402

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My 2-cents worth:

I have messed with a Raspberry Pi 4 and it handled 4k video well - just brief experimenting, though.

If you go the RP way, get a good case. I liked the Argon One (original version is what I messed with) with active and passive cooling and fan thermal controls you can set yourself. The new v2 Argon One has full-sized HDMI ports, A MUST HAVE, I dislike those finicky mini HDMI connectors.
I decided to run 2 i5 NUCs in the case... I plan on moving my ROON ROCK i5 to the case and wiring it up to the touchscreen (I believe it can be a server and a endpoint), and a 2nd i5 for Plex. If this all works it should look great and do what I need for a Media server/streamer.
 

NBPK402

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I have been looking at power supplies now, and I am thinking of going with one in a separate box. I need a 200w 12v unit to be able to power 3 NUCs, the screen and at least 4 USB HDDs. I am thinking 200 watts should be enough as I will not have more than 2 HDDs on at a time. I originally was going to run 2 i5 NUCs, but i found out I have to have a separate NUC or the endpoint, and the logical one to have on the 10" touchscreen is the endpoint. Both of the I5s will be web based. So for the endpoint I will be using my old Celeron NUC.

On power supplies I have been thinking of using a Linear power supply, and it looks like the least expensive one I can find is $260+...looked real nice in a nice aluminum case..

Does anyone know how expensive it would be to make one in parts, and where to find some directions on making one... I might be able to get someone here to make one if I supply the parts.
 

ddude003

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The i5s are rated at ~125 watts maybe 130 peak... Did you say 2? And there is some memory and glue logic as well as some peripheral(s) draw from network interface(s), display, disks, fan(s), etc... I would give yourself a good 20% headroom beyond that... I would shoot for 300 to 350 watts from your power supply(s)... And thats just me not wanting a glitchy computer system... If these are directly/physically connected to your DAC/Processor you might want Linear Power Supplies (LPS)... If not then only the end point(s) might need LPS(s)...
 
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NBPK402

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The i5s are rated at ~125 watts maybe 130 peak... Did you say 2? And there is some memory and glue logic as well as some peripheral(s) draw from network interface(s), display, disks, fan(s), etc... I would give yourself a good 20% headroom beyond that... I would shoot for 300 to 350 watts from your power supply(s)... And thats just me not wanting a glitchy computer system... If these are directly/physically connected to your DAC/Processor you might want Linear Power Supplies (LPS)... If not then only the end point(s) might need LPS(s)...
You bring up some great info, and also makes me wonder about having all 3 NUCs in the same case with different power supplies externally. Now I run all of my equipment through a Furman,and then that is plugged into a UPS...would that negate the need for a Linear Power supply?
Well if I only need a Linear Power supply for the endpoint t PC...which is a Nuc Celeron... i can save a lot of money.

Question: if I use a seperate box for my power...can I have a switched power supply for all the other parts and a linear power supply in the same case? Or does that nwgate the advantages of a Linear power supply? In addition...do I need to shield the wires for the endpoint power lines, and route them on the other side of the case, since they will be on a Linear power supply, and the rest will not?

I could be wrong, but I think the NUCs are a different version of the i5. I have seen specs that say max power is 50w. This is why I buy the NUCs...you lose a little performance and save on power consumption. When I fire up my i7 NAS I see a huge drop in the amount of time my system will run if our power goes out...hence why I leave it off, unless I am transferring files to or from it.



Screenshot_20211102-192950_Chrome.jpg
 
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NBPK402

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Intel claims the Celeron NUC I will be using for an endpoint consumes 23w at max power...how big should the Linear power supply be for that? The SDD runs off of USB on the NUC.

Do I even need a Linear power supply...since I plug all my equipment i to a sinewave UPS?
 
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ddude003

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You bring up some great info, and also makes me wonder about having all 3 NUCs in the same case with different power supplies externally. Now I run all of my equipment through a Furman,and then that is plugged into a UPS...would that negate the need for a Linear Power supply?
Well if I only need a Linear Power supply for the endpoint t PC...which is a Nuc Celeron... i can save a lot of money.

Question: if I use a seperate box for my power...can I have a switched power supply for all the other parts and a linear power supply in the same case? Or does that nwgate the advantages of a Linear power supply? In addition...do I need to shield the wires for the endpoint power lines, and route them on the other side of the case, since they will be on a Linear power supply, and the rest will not?

I could be wrong, but I think the NUCs are a different version of the i5. I have seen specs that say max power is 50w. This is why I buy the NUCs...you lose a little performance and save on power consumption. When I fire up my i7 NAS I see a huge drop in the amount of time my system will run if our power goes out...hence why I leave it off, unless I am transferring files to or from it.



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I will try and answer your questions with what I know... First off, it depends on which Furman you have... Some have Linear Filtration Technology (LiFT™) not exactly a Linear Power Supply but gets you most of the way there... Next, any shielding you can supply/add will be beneficial... Remember all electrical noise is additive... Your not making a SCIF however Maxwell and Faraday will test you...

As far as your electrical power requirements go, it is an interesting way that Intel specs their devices... The TDP W spec makes for an interesting read... At any rate, google is your frenemy, if you take a look at a well designed Linear Power Supply like Teddy Pardo's TeddyNUC – A Power Supply compatible with all generations of Intel NUC, with CPU TDP up to 65W, this means i3/i5/i7 CPUs. Specifications are 19V DC, with up to 3.5A output current... I would attempt to shoot for this spec...

You will have to read the specs for yourself, for the peripherals you will use, adding their power requirements as you go... And give yourself some headroom... You can also find power supply calculators at power supply vendors like Cooler Master... Yep, just a few selections of cpu, memory and disk and voila there you have it...

Do you even need a LPS? Good question... It could help on the last leg to your DAC/Processor... And do you have an LPS on your DAC/Processor? Also depends on the connection to your DAC/Processor... If everything is digital and bits are just bits than you only need to electrically isolate your DAC/Processor... :T
 
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NBPK402

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I will try and answer your questions with what I know... First off, it depends on which Furman you have... Some have Linear Filtration Technology (LiFT™) not exactly a Linear Power Supply but gets you most of the way there... Next, any shielding you can supply/add will be beneficial... Remember all electrical noise is additive... Your not making a SCIF however Maxwell and Faraday will test you...

As far as your electrical power requirements go, it is an interesting way that Intel specs their devices... The TDP W spec makes for an interesting read... At any rate, google is your frenemy, if you take a look at a well designed Linear Power Supply like Teddy Pardo's TeddyNUC – A Power Supply compatible with all generations of Intel NUC, with CPU TDP up to 65W, this means i3/i5/i7 CPUs. Specifications are 19V DC, with up to 3.5A output current... I would attempt to shoot for this spec...

You will have to read the specs for yourself, for the peripherals you will use, adding their power requirements as you go... And give yourself some headroom... You can also find power supply calculators at power supply vendors like Cooler Master... Yep, just a few selections of cpu, memory and disk and voila there you have it...

Do you even need a LPS? Good question... It could help on the last leg to your DAC/Processor... And do you have an LPS on your DAC/Processor? Also depends on the connection to your DAC/Processor...
I have a Furman PL8, and a Furman PL8C. feeding into a CyberPower 1500AVRLCD .. Each Furman has its own UPS.

I am only using the Yamaha CXA5100, so far...no extetnal DAC. I tried a IFI Signature DAC, and returned it. I like the Sabre in the Yamah much better.

Originally all I was going to do was get something similar to the image i posted, but then I thought it would be better to put one in an extra case I have and run all the 12v as one pair and then run that pair of wires to to the other case, run another pair of 19v to the external case and hook them all up to the power supply.

A friend said that it might not be good to run a switched power supply and that is how I got in this predicament.. If a Linear Power supply is not needed...it will def save me money...that I can use for other projects in my setup.
power supply.PNG
 
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NBPK402

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Today, received rhe new 10" touchscreen. Now I will install Roon Rock as a endpoint on my Celeron NUC to see how this will work. Attached is the touchscreen facedown on the front faceplate that is also facedown. Once I verify this works the way I want I will get the faceplate CNC'd for it.
20211104_161118.jpg
 

ddude003

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Your Furman PL8, and a Furman PL8C has the Linear Filtration Technology (LiFT™)... As far as I have experienced, any digital component (read computer) that "touches" (read has a direct electrical connection) or is in near relation to (read inches to feet away) from an analogue stage (read DAC, Preamp and Power amp, as well as Speakers, might have an issue with noise ingres and/or egress... So, a linear power supply might help with a network endpoint that directly connects to a DAC/Processor and of course the DAC/Processor itself... Again, Maxwell and Faraday will test you...
 
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