Today I spent more time than I'd like to admit putting a Raspberry Pi 3B through its paces as a web media box (mostly Youtube and Twitch VODs). Running Raspbian it's surprisingly capable; there's screen tearing on anything higher than 720p30, but it's leagues better than the 2011-era netbook I was planning to use for this
Raspberry Pi 4 as netbook replacement
Thinking about this; one of the bummer aspects of selling my old netbook was recognizing that many aspects of it (the display, chassis, and I/O) are still totally fine, it's really just the parts that'd be otherwise housed in an ITX case that'd have to be replaced. At this point I'm waiting for the Nexdock 2 to come out so I can find out how feasible this actually is for my solderless lifestyle
Raspberry Pi 3B+ as non-Kodi media center
I'm finding this to work well for Youtube, though I have to copy-paste URLs into a VLC playlist to get a reliable 720p60. I was also able to get Widevine video content working in Chromium (https://blog.vpetkov.net/2019/07/12/netflix-and-spotify-on-a-raspberry-pi-4-with-latest-default-chromium/), though as expected from a software decoder on an underpowered CPU, there's occasional screen tearing. Still functional enough as a stopgap until I upgrade, at least for online video platforms that don't block Linux outright.
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