Saturday, February 12, 2022

Raspberry Pi streamer Update 2

I mentioned earlier about a project to make a streaming device out of a Raspberry Pi. I ran into a couple of hiccups along the way, but found an excellent tutorial that really helped. (Thanks TripleM)

I left off with an issue with the remote. That's not fully resolved, but it's working better than it was. I don't like the remote, and ordered one that I think I will like. We'll see.

However, since the remote is working better -- still aggravating, just not as bad -- I've actually used the Raspberry Pi streamer a little bit. I've added YouTube, Movies Anywhere, Pluto TV, and Prime Video, since I'm currently using those apps. I also added HBO Max and Paramount+ to see if they would load.

You see, I found some videos about others using a Raspberry Pi as a streaming device. Some loaded apps that wouldn't run. I was worried about that, for a couple of reasons.

First, the fact that someone had a video of an app not running was pretty good proof that something like that could happen. Next, my current Raspberry Pi only has 2 GB RAM. The smallest recommended RAM for an Android TV streaming box is 4 GB, so I'm way under on that.

To my surprise, most of the apps I've tried seem to work. There is an issue with Pluto TV. I can't select a channel. Well, I can scroll around and see all of the channels on Pluto TV, but I can't change the channel via the large menu. I can scroll through the channels up and down, but that's the only way to change the channels. I can mark favorites, but can't select from the Favorites menu. I don't know if that's an app thing or a remote thing. When I get the new remote, I'll know.

Another app with issues is Amazon Prime Video. Nothing plays. I see my entire Amazon library. Content from my Amazon Prime subscription shows. It does everything but play. I get the little spinner and nothing more. I switched to my Chromecast with Google TV and every played, so I'm thinking it's the device. Could be the fact it's only 2 GB RAM, half the minimum recommended.

Hulu had problems as well. I currently have basic Hulu on demand service, with commercials. I couldn't get content to play. Ads would play, but after the last ad, it would hang up. Again, trying different things led me to think it's the device. Maybe it would perform better with more RAM.

Movies Anywhere works as I would expect. There are no issues I've had so far with that app. It's working well. Same with YouTube. Everything plays as expected. Same with HBO Max.

I didn't try a lot of apps because I didn't want to run out of space just yet. There is still space available. I filled up about ⅓ of the available space, and want to hold off filling up until I test a few more things.

For now, it's a mostly working device. Some issues could be the remote. Some issues could be the RAM. I'll have the remote issue resolved soon, I hope. I'm uncertain what to do about the RAM issue. I'd have to buy a new board with more RAM, and I'm not sure about that just yet.

Once the new remote arrives, I'll have a little better idea about how well, if at all, a Raspberry Pi streamer fits into my Streaming Life.

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