Welcome to the htpcBeginner HTPC News Roundup 2017 Wk 35! This week saw tons of methods for watching college football online, 4K movies for the Apple TV, and new Plex photo features. Read on for the latest in HTPC news and updates!
- 1 htpcBeginner Recap
- 2 HTPC News Around the Web
- 2.1 4K movies on the new Apple TV will probably cost way too much
- 2.2 Intel adds Optane memory to Kaby Lake NUCs
- 2.3 Best Plex Client Devices
- 2.4 Happy anniversary, Linux: A look back at where it all began
- 2.5 Plex: Put your photos on the map
- 2.6 Plex gets tough over unofficial Kodi addon but crisis quickly averted
In case you missed them, here is a recap of all our interesting articles published last week:
- Complete guide to stream college football live in 2017
- How to stream college football on Kodi – 2017 streaming guide
- OSMC Vero 4K review: One of the best legal Kodi boxes available
- 5 different ways to watch ESPN live on any device using Kodi, OTT services, more
- 9 best websites to watch college football online for free in 2017
HTPC News Around the Web
The next big trend in the home theatre PC space is 4K video. While 4K Ultra HD Blu-Rays are currently coming out on a regular basis, streaming in 4K is a bit more complex. There’s the device issue and the matter of content providers. Rumors swirl that the Apple TV is slated for a new revision, this time with 4K support. However, Apple is reportedly negotiating with studios to bring the price of a 4K movie purchase through iTunes down to $20. That’s fairly high, and almost twice the price of a movie ticket. Still, the likes of Netflix and Vudu offer 4K streaming. Currently, the top 4K streaming devices available include the Nvidia Shield TV, OSMC Vero 4K, and WeTek Play 2. [Read: Plex live TV and DVR Apple TV and Android support: More DVR, live TV]
NUCs are tiny PCs which make excellent HTPCs. Notably, Intel’s NUCs are fantastic small form factor (SFF) Plex client and server devices. With the addition of Optane memory to its Kaby Lake NUCs, these tiny PCs just became even faster. Three of Intel’s new NUC offerings boast a 16 GB stick of Intel’s Optan memory. It’s supposedly a fusion of storage drive and system accelerator and connects via an M.2 slot. Rather than a stick of RAM, this Optane memory serves as a cache between storage and RAM. Intel states that Optane memory benefits systems with a 28% performance increase. Coupled with Optane memory, these Kaby Lake Inten NUCs just became some of the fastest SFF HTPCs available, albeit not necessarily the cheapest.
Best Plex Client Devices
Linux is 26 years old. It’s an awesome open-source landscape with tons of distributions (distros) tailored for everything from general use to servers, HTPCs, and more. Plus, many home theatre PC enthusiasts often prefer Linux for running media center programs. To celebrate its birthday, Open Source (by Red Hat) takes a look back at Linux by installing SLS 1.05. Considering how Linux continues to present a range of operating systems, from the Debian Linux-based Kodi to RetroPie and Recalbox and more, it’s a really neat read and a reminder of the humble origins of the Linux kernel. [Read: 8 best BitTorrent clients for Linux distros such as Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora]
The awesome folks over at Plex continue pumping out phenomenal features. In an Aug. 31, 2017, blog post, Plex revealed further details on its automatic image tagging. This employs deep neural networks to organize photos. Now Plex reveals Places, a means to view locations where photos were taken. This functions properly so long as a photo was taken on a GPS-enabled device. It’s kind of neat and a bit creepy at the same time.
The Kodi addon crackdown shifted the addon landscape drastically. This certainly disappointed many pirate streamers, but ultimately it’s been a positive change for the Kodi community. That’s because of its encouragement of legitimate streaming sources instead of illicit and unstable addons. As TorrentFreak reports, Plex issued a warning to former developer MetalKettle for his Kodi addon which presented an unofficial, unlocked version of the Plex Kodi addon. Currently, Plex for Kodi is only available to Plex Pass subscribers. This includes several premium features. However, there is a RasPLEX. Interestingly, its letter to MK concentrated on copyright infringement and intellectual property, not addon functionality. [Read: TVAddons returns for unofficial Kodi addons: TVAddons is back]
Did you find any interesting news stories or projects from around the HTPC space? Share them with us in the comments section below!