Building a small PC receiver - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 2017-10-19, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Building a small PC receiver

Hi,

I have a PC that I use to watch Bell Fibe in a browser, but I wanted something smaller and not so loud (because of the fans).

Has anyone used a raspberry PI to watch Fibe?
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 2017-10-19, 11:08 AM
 
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Can't you use the Bell Fibe app and watch content on a cheap tablet with Android? That should be quiet, lightweight, and only a few dollars more than a Raspberry PI without having to buy a separate screen, and do all the programming.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 2017-10-19, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Doesn't Bell block the Fibe app from doing this?

Usually I cast content from my tablet to my TV, but I tried with the Fibe app and it says mirroring is blocked. Won't it be the same with an HDMI cable?

Q: Can I connect my smartphone or tablet to a television or another external display to watch my content?
A: No. The Bell TV app is not authorized to transmit and view content over displays other than a smartphone or tablet. This includes trying to connect to devices such as Apple AirPlay, Chromecast or using HDMI output cables.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 2017-10-19, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry re-read your post, are you saying not to output to a TV and just watch on a tablet?
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 2017-10-19, 12:59 PM
 
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Yes he was...
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 2017-10-19, 01:34 PM
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Why not build or buy a silent PC or modify the existing one to make it quieter?

Apple TV (4th generation) is supported. A Bell wireless receiver is another option.

Haven't tried a Raspberry Pi but given the restrictions placed on Fibe TV content it is not likely to work.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 2017-10-19, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Watching a hockey game with all your friends huddled around a tablet doesn't sound like a fun night

Building a silent PC or making the old one quieter wouldn't be a good option since it would be less expensive to just get a new receiver.

I thought a raspberry Pi is just like a computer so it would be able to launch a browser and I could access tv.bell.ca. I'm just wondering if it's powerful enough to play the video without any stuttering.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 2017-10-19, 02:20 PM
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The RasPi is quite capable of playing HD video. There is a dedicated KODI distribution which is very popular for using the RasPI as a media player. There are a a couple of CODECs required to enable full hardware video acceleration. The MPEG2 CODEC is required to play HD MPEG2 video such as OTA TV and will help with DVDs. It should not be necessary for Fibe TV.

The issue is not with the hardware, it is with restrictions placed by Bell on the content. Most Canadian broadcasters place severe restrictions on how their signals are viewed. That is made apparent by restrictions on video controls, the lack of streamed content in general and the lock down on viewing Fibe TV content using the HDMI ports with Android and iOS apps. The RasPi runs Linux which is not an approved platform for viewing Fibe TV content. Windows is approved and Windows browsers use approved Windows subsystems for decrypting video content with copy protection.

I don't know why Fibe TV allows the use of HDMI ports with Windows and not iOS or Android (or Chromecast.) I suspect it is a corporate decision or a technology shortcoming related to Bell and Canadian broadcasters because most other streaming apps and services allow it.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 2017-10-19, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExDilbert View Post
I don't know why Crave TV allows the use of HDMI ports with Windows and not iOS or Android (or Chromecast.) I suspect it is a corporate decision or a technology shortcoming related to Bell and Canadian broadcasters because most other streaming apps and services allow it.
From the CraveTV FAQ:
Quote:
Does CraveTV support AirPlay and Chromecast?
Yes! CraveTV supports both AirPlay and Chromecast.
Most Windows-based solutions from all providers allow HDMI because modern desktop computers use HDMI to connect the monitor. I wonder if it's even possible to differentiate between an HDMI monitor connection and an HDMI TV connection.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 2017-10-19, 03:12 PM
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From the tBell-TV-anywhere-FAQ.
Quote:
9. Q: Can I connect my smartphone or tablet to a television or another external
display to watch my content?
A: No. The Bell TV app is not authorized to transmit and view content over
displays other than a smartphone or tablet. This includes trying to connect to
devices such as Apple AirPlay, Chromecast or using HDMI output cables.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 2017-10-19, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Just to clarify, I'm not asking about Crave TV. I'm talking about Bell Fibe TV (tv.bell.ca)
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 2017-10-19, 04:42 PM
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I sent the thread off track in post #8 with what were basically typos. The info is correct, I typed Crave TV instead of Fibe TV. Sorry about that. I've gone back and made corrections.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 2017-10-19, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExDilbert View Post
The RasPi is quite capable of playing HD video. There is a dedicated KODI distribution which is very popular for using the RasPI as a media player. There are a a couple of CODECs required to enable full hardware video acceleration. The MPEG2 CODEC is required to play HD MPEG2 video such as OTA TV and will help with DVDs. It should not be necessary for Fibe TV.

The issue is not with the hardware, it is with restrictions placed by Bell on the content. Most Canadian broadcasters place severe restrictions on how their signals are viewed. That is made apparent by restrictions on video controls, the lack of streamed content in general and the lock down on viewing Fibe TV content using the HDMI ports with Android and iOS apps. The RasPi runs Linux which is not an approved platform for viewing Fibe TV content. Windows is approved and Windows browsers use approved Windows subsystems for decrypting video content with copy protection.

I don't know why Fibe TV allows the use of HDMI ports with Windows and not iOS or Android (or Chromecast.) I suspect it is a corporate decision or a technology shortcoming related to Bell and Canadian broadcasters because most other streaming apps and services allow it.
I am using a PC to watch Fibe TV now and there are very few restrictions (some channels aren't present and some on demand stuff won't play). So no problems with outputting from my PC using HDMI to TV.

Also, Bell Fibe TV works on Linux. So just wondering if the Raspberry Pi can handle Fibe.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 2017-10-19, 06:39 PM
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Can't say. The hardware is certainly capable of playing HD video. Whether it has enough horsepower to play Fibe TV in a browser is another question. Platforms with low power CPUs will sometimes be able to play video with an optimized app but choke on the overhead required by a browser. The best way to find out is to try.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 2017-10-19, 09:32 PM
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Agree best way to find out is try..
No clue what Fibe is... But I can say I have no problem playing high bitrate HD video feeds from C/Ku Band satellite on my Rpi3...
A raspberry pi will perform best when some steps are taken to keep it cool.
Recommend one of them Flirc cases, where the aluminum case assumes the
the role of heatsink. Doing that ya can get away without using a fan which you said ya wanted to do.
You can run them without any cooling at all but will be subject to the clock throttling down
as it heats up. Which in turn will cut in to performance.

Month or two ago I put together a desktop PC for my wife. Of course she HAS to have a Desktop...
Like OK, whatever...
It has a quad core Intel cpu, with No CPU fan at all, just a quiet fan on the power supply is all. Can't even tell it is on.
It consumes a total of 22 watts from the AC Line as measured on my Kill-A-Watt meter,
while sitting there, and about 30 watts when it's busy compiling the linux kernel.

I have it hooked up to a 22" TV that she uses as a Monitor.
There are some extremely efficient Motherboards out there.

DB4E/VHF Yagi rotor FM Bandstop ap-8700 preamp 4way split LG lcd.
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