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Cheap HT PC for streaming (1 Viewer)

Dennis Nicholls

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I've never been a fan of the home theater PC, but now I have one. Almost by accident.
Look in the computers forum and you'll find my thread about my going nuts buying used Win 11 compatible PCs off eBay and fixing them up.
I bought four extras and gave three away to friends of mine. Today I had the revelation that the last remaining extra PC could be used as a streaming source for my downstairs HT gear. My smart TV has a really crummy internet browser and hand interface. I thought a PC with a real keyboard would be much better, and I had one just sitting there.
So I hooked it up to my Onkyo HT receiver and TCL "smart" 4k TV via two HDMI cables. Wow. I hadn't realized that some of the youtube video was in 4k with 5.1 sound.
Windows 11 determined via the two HDMI cables that I was connected to a 4k TV so it adjusted video to match. The audio then said it was connected to an "AV receiver" over the first HDMI cable. Win 11 can determine this serial connection as long as you turn on the receiver and TV first, so the PC can handshake during its power-on self test.
Try this with the youtube videos of the Netherlands Bach organization. I'm pretty sure it's in 4k.
 

John Dirk

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Sounds like your AVR is simply up-converting to 4K to match your displays capabilities. You Tube videos are never available in HD via PC browsers.

 

DaveF

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Sounds like your AVR is simply up-converting to 4K to match your displays capabilities. You Tube videos are never available in HD via PC browsers.

I think that’s specific to licensed movies and shows. Not YouTube in general. Browser still supports HD and even 4K material and maybe even 8k with subscription?

Generally, Best cheap streaming source is a $25 Roku or such.

Streaming from Windows PC has many compromises. Except for niche hobbyist purposes, dedicated streaming box is much better across the board, I believe.

But pretty sure YouTube allows 4k on PC
 

Dennis Nicholls

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I checked the display parameters on "settings" and the PC is outputting 3840 x 2160 (4K).
Some examples of 4k on you tube:

My TCL set has Roku built in, but the human interface is terrible. I want a full size keyboard so I can search online for really obscure classical music performances. I'm ordering up a wireless keyboard with touch pad so I can surf from the sofa.
 
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John Dirk

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I think that’s specific to licensed movies and shows. Not YouTube in general. Browser still supports HD and even 4K material and maybe even 8k with subscription?

Generally, Best cheap streaming source is a $25 Roku or such.

Streaming from Windows PC has many compromises. Except for niche hobbyist purposes, dedicated streaming box is much better across the board, I believe.

But pretty sure YouTube allows 4k on PC
Did you read the attached support article? Seemed pretty clear to me PC browsers don't get native 4K YouTube.
 

John Dirk

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I checked the display parameters on "settings" and the PC is outputting 3840 x 2160 (4K).
Some examples of 4k on you tube:

My TCL set has Roku built in, but the human interface is terrible. I want a full size keyboard so I can search online for really obscure classical music performances. I'm ordering up a wireless keyboard with touch pad so I can surf from the sofa.

You're right. I wasn't clear in my previous post. Any device will generally output at its native resolution unless you configure it to use a lower supported one but the feed from YouTube is not native HD on a PC, so it has to be upconverted.

UPDATE: I may have been wrong here. I've done some investigating and, like you, found plenty of YouTube videos that "appear" to be native 4K and also play that way. At the moment I'm confused since Google clearly says they don't allow their content to play in 4K from PC browsers.

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DaveF

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The giveaway is that suport article talks about HD being restricted and I've been watching HD YouTube for years. And people online talk about 4k and 8K content all the time. So that help page is outdated or about purchased / rented "hollywood" content. :)
 

John Dirk

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