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

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Raspberry Pi 4 as netbook replacement 

(in the event that reviews are positive, the plan is to just mount the pi 4 case and an external SSD on the nexdock's lid with heavy-duty velcro strips)

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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 (blog.vpetkov.net/2019/07/12/ne), 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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Raspberry Pi 3B+ as non-Kodi media center 

"Just get a Roku box, Chromecast, or Fire TV stick" Functional solution, but I have an effective counter-argument: No

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Raspberry Pi 3B+ as non-Kodi media center 

I ended up cutting the Noctua fan cable to 30% its original length and connecting the cables to the Pi's GPIO with Dupont jumper wires and Scotchlok connectors. The resulting setup continues to work absurdly well; enough that upgrading to a Pi 4 is more of a "would-be-nice-to-have" at the moment than an absolute necessity. Upgrade path is likely going to be case -> USB SSD -> base hardware, and I'll be doing it incrementally over the next month or two

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Raspberry Pi 3B+ as non-Kodi media center 

The C4Labs case came in and it took one evening's worth of use with the Scotchloks sticking out of the GPIO access port before I decided to snip them off and twist the wires together with electrical tape. And it still works, hooray!

As expected, the fan goes with this case incredibly well. I wonder if they make PCs with woodgrain panels often in Austria, and that's why Noctua fans ship looking like this

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Raspberry Pi 3B+ as non-Kodi media center 

@Lobst what case is it?

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Raspberry Pi 3B+ as non-Kodi media center 

@Pegasus The Zebra Bagel (c4labs.com/product/zebra-bagel); I picked it because it came with 3B+ and 4B-compatible port cutouts, so I can keep using it after the upgrade

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