9 Replies Latest reply on Jul 20, 2020 2:14 PM by colporteur

    Resources to Configure a Pi4B to Stream Internet Content

    colporteur

      I am looking to the E14 community members for their suggestion on how best to configuring a Pi4B to stream content from Internet providers.

       

      My definition of best is, you have first hand knowledge (i.e. done it yourself and got it working), you have second hand knowledge (i.e. you have seen a reliable source get it working) or you read a source you trust and figured why not share the link. If there are caveats (i.e. purchase license codex) can you please highlight.

       

      I'm looking for a way to stream content from Britbox. [britbox.com] I have a Samsung set-top box that struggles to just provide Netflix. The company pushed a firmware upgrade that has put the unit into a state that sometime it works and sometimes doesn't. I have narrowed the issue down to networking but have received little support from the vendor. The hardware is no longer manufacture supported so I am kinda on my own. Oh they did suggest I purchase a newer model.

       

      I really enjoy British television. We get some  British content here in Canada. How can you not enjoy Vera. I got great satisfaction faking Netflix to use the British service but that ended. I find the U.K. content producers don't rely on flash and bang to entertain but rather development character, crooked teeth an all, that far exceeds the quality of north american producers.

       

      I'm doing some reading on Kodi and LibreELEC. My son in-law suggests I purchase an XBox since that is what he uses for Netflix. I just think he would like to have a XBox at my house so he has something to do when he is here:)

       

      I did configure a Pi to provide Netflix through a browser once. It worked great but my family never got the confidence to use it. I also got tired of having to set it up for the grand children. I'm thinking maybe a more permanent solutions using the Pi4B I inherited after my last RoadTest Raspberry Pi4B (4GB) plus POE Hat - Review would be a rewarding place for it to reside and deliver steaming content.

       

      I just received a gift card from Amazon ( thanks lui_gough , grand daughter be damned) that I plan to use to fund a solution. What Raspberry Pi solutions have you folks used to stream content? I'm thinking streaming Netflix is no different than the other providers. Streaming Britbox is my ultimate goal, if I can do Netflix also then the Samsung box gets kicked to the curb.

        • Re: Resources to Configure a Pi4B to Stream Internet Content
          lui_gough

          I recently tackled this one for a friend with a Pi4B. Unfortunately, the default Raspbian install would not play DRM streams due to a lack of Widevine L1 support, and unprotected streams played with an annoying amount of video tearing.

           

          I then discovered the efforts of this blogger to make it a one-line setup:

          https://blog.vpetkov.net/2020/03/30/raspberry-pi-netflix-one-line-easy-install-along-with-hulu-amazon-prime-disney-plus-…

           

          It installs a new "Chromium (Media Edition)" and tweaks some system settings so even Widevine requiring sites will play properly. Tearing is gone, although some UI lag, especially with YouTube seems unavoidable. Of course, this is just a web browser.

           

          Some other people prefer setting up Kodi and making it more user friendly with a full screen UI navigation, media library and plugins to support various online services. I didn't find that necessary for my needs, as streaming was the target and the services we wanted were not available via the Kodi route.

           

          - Gough

           

          EDIT: After further thought, yes, our friend also was a bit hesitant about using the browser. The 'fix' for that was to make the browser autostart on every boot-up, store the video streaming sites in the bookmarks toolbar so they could be accessed with one click and remember all the login usernames and passwords in case they ever got booted out of the account. That was enough to make it more usable. It was also necessary to tune the overscan parameters to get it to display on the TV without the edges being cut off and without black borders - the default overscan correction was not good for their TV, but that's a simple case of trial and error editing of /boot/config.txt

           

          Another non-RPi option that seems to get a lot of positive coverage is using an Nvidia Shield. They're quite expensive though ...

          2 of 2 people found this helpful
            • Re: Resources to Configure a Pi4B to Stream Internet Content
              colporteur

              Thanks L-G, I will follow up on the browser idea. The autostart feature may help overcome the obstacles.

               

              I am currently researching Kodi and have a few questions. My understanding is I have to license two drivers from raspberry.org. I stumbled across a link in my preliminary research that indicates Pi4B are not supported. I can't find that reference.

               

              Would I need to purchase drivers to use Kodi to support Netflix?

              Are the drivers supported on the Pi4B?

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: Resources to Configure a Pi4B to Stream Internet Content
                  lui_gough

                  The paid codec licenses were for MPEG-2 and VC-1 decoding. If you didn't intend to play either format and stick to H.264/AVC streams, then you wouldn't need either license. The licenses, however, do not apply to the Pi 4 as it doesn't have the hardware accelerated decode units that would be unlocked by those licenses. You will find this on the codec license pages on the store itself - MPEG-2, VC-1. It's not something you really need to worry about unless you specifically wanted to play rips of Blu-Ray/HD-DVD content in its native VC-1 video or older titles in MPEG-2. The increased CPU power on the Pi 4 may be able to cope with SD MPEG-2 in software, but the other option is just to transcode everything you intend to watch into H.264/AVC on a desktop computer.

                   

                  As for Kodi, I can't really say as I don't use Kodi myself (last I touched it, it was still XBMC) and I don't use Netflix either. That being said, ideally you should be able to install a Kodi Plugin to handle Netflix, but it's not officially supported and may break over time, so be warned. I suppose this is why I usually prefer the browser approach as that is perhaps less fiddly and less likely to break. The downside seems to be that the plugin uses software decoding, so it probably can't play high resolutions smoothly on the Pi 4 at all - the rendering architecture of the Pi is rather unusual (at least, compared to desktop machines), thus maybe there's a better way but I haven't looked for it. Perhaps other members may know better.

                   

                  - Gough

                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Resources to Configure a Pi4B to Stream Internet Content
                      colporteur

                      Thanks for sharing your insight L-G. I don't know what I don't know. Nice to gain tidbits of knowledge from a trusted source.

                       

                      I'm working on the browser solution at the moment. It is a possible workable solution.

                       

                      I don't know enough about Kodi to feel confident it will work. Your mention of work arounds that have the potential to break is really what I am trying to avoid.

                       

                      Part of me is thinking maybe a dedicated hardware solution is the "best" . I have little experience with hardware devices for delivering content. I really don't want to make this a, keep purchasing exercise, until I find something that works, like my recent RoadTest Raspberry Pi4B (4GB) plus POE Hat - Review .

                       

                      With all different streaming services coming online, I figured there would more Pi solutions to work the problem. I will continue to work on the browser option while this post percolates.

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Resources to Configure a Pi4B to Stream Internet Content
                    colporteur

                    I have successfully configured a Pi3B+ to support Netflix using the resource link you provided.

                     

                    I'm now going to try setting up the Britbox service.

                    • Re: Resources to Configure a Pi4B to Stream Internet Content
                      colporteur

                      I have successfully configured a Pi3B+ using the resource link provided by L-G to access and play content from britbox.com streaming service. One word of note: Audio played through Bluetooth lags the picture by over a second. HDMI audio didn't suffer this issue.

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • Re: Resources to Configure a Pi4B to Stream Internet Content
                          lui_gough

                          Generally, Bluetooth connections will have latency of 300ms and up due to the SBC encoding, compression, transmission, reception and decoding processes. Certain RPis can suffer issues (3B) due to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth coexistence issues causing Bluetooth audio to be unstable as well. It can be better for certain optimised cases (around 50-100ms) say for a phone and headset supporting the proprietary Apt-X LL profile. I generally don't recommend Bluetooth at all for this reason, although for offline content, some media players can delay the video to improve the sync.

                           

                          - Gough

                          1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • Re: Resources to Configure a Pi4B to Stream Internet Content
                          colporteur

                          I have received no more responses to my query so I will post your solution as the answer.

                           

                          I have been using the Pi configuration for a week accessing Britbox streaming service. All appears to be working. The demand for another solution has passed. Other than myself, nobody in my household is interested in this content.

                           

                          It is working for me so I'm going to move onto another project. Thanks.

                        • Re: Resources to Configure a Pi4B to Stream Internet Content
                          colporteur

                          G'Day,

                          I have been using your link resource since you made your post with great success. I received the following note today from the sites mailing list.

                           

                          @@@ GREAT NEWS POTENTIALLY @@@

                          1.) Raspberry Pi foundation reached out about creating an official package for the Pi!!

                          2.) There are conversations happening with Netflix about official support of the Pi.

                          To be honest, I am looking forward to both of these as I don’t think I can keep up with the volume of comments/emails recently

                          https://blog.vpetkov.net/2020/03/30/raspberry-pi-netflix-one-line-easy-install-along-with-hulu-amazon-prime-disney-plus-…