Question Need help for buying simple media box for my dad

Nomadski

Novice Member
Am wanting to update my dads media player so he can enjoy the tv shows and movies I send him as the one he currently has doesn't support h.265 / HEVC files and that is becoming quite popular (plus low file sizes).

I send him the files on a USB stick he plugs into the player - he does NOT have broadband / internet at all ( he's 83 and has never been dragged into the internet age) and his current media player has a very simple menu for video / photos.

A lot of media players I'm seeing, especially those around the £30 mark, obviously all seem to be Android based with fancy menus and a glute of options. Ideally I would like something simpler - for an 82 yr old with zero interest or knowledge of internetery.

All I'm looking for is a media player, no more than £50 (I'm UK based) that supports h.265, can run media off a USB stick, and has a simple menu.

Anyone have any suggestions?
 

next010

Distinguished Member
From what I can see the super cheap stuff that supports h265 is android based.

The only other approach I know is to spend a little more money on a Raspberry Pi 4 kit and install liberelec to an SD card to boot from that. You can then alter the stock Kodi skin hide most of the menus (settings->interface->configure skin).

That leaves you with two menu items
Videos & Favorites

USB drives auto appear under videos->files->auto mounted drives

So what you can do is add the USB drive folder holding videos (or the auto mounted drive section) to the favorites menu then hide the videos section leaving only one choice on screen.

Try it out with the PC version of Kodi you can replicate what I suggest that way.

As for controlling the R-Pi if TV supports HDMI-CEC that will do but an easier option for your dad would be to get a Flirc adapter and take the remote from the old media player and map its buttons to kodi controls via the Flirc software.

That way he keeps the old remote he had with the R-Pi.
 

JabbaNut

Member
How much for a RPI, case, power supply and flirc adaptor?

Pity there is no Blu ray player with USB input, to play the files.
 
Last edited:

razy60

Well-known Member
How much for a RPI, case, power supply and flirc adaptor?

Pity there is no Blu ray player with USB input, to play the files.
About £50.00
@Nomadski has his tv got usb or is it an older model.
 

Nomadski

Novice Member
Unfortunately my dads setup is extremely archaic. He has never had internet, and likes his dvd+VHS combo player. No, I'm not joking.

His TV has no USB ports that will play video (only for looking at jpgs) so what I found last year was perfect, it was a small box, sat under his TV I could give him a USB stick with films and TV shows and he just switched HDMI and played the one he wanted. It was slow but it worked.

With everything apart from HEVC files. I'm finding a lot more content is coming in HEVC these days, and also the file size is much smaller which makes things easier.

As you might tell, too much complexity is out of the window, and something which needs updates etc (like Kodi based players) when new content is brought in is also out of the window.

It needs to be, essentially, a DVD player where the DVD is a USB.

Looking around I may have to plump for an Android box and maybe see if there is someway of removing everything from the home screen bar the USB when it is plugged in.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
As you might tell, too much complexity is out of the window, and something which needs updates etc (like Kodi based players) when new content is brought in is also out of the window.

It needs to be, essentially, a DVD player where the DVD is a USB.

Looking around I may have to plump for an Android box and maybe see if there is someway of removing everything from the home screen bar the USB when it is plugged in.

Try getting a BD-player, some of these have USB video players but they don't have great compatibility with a wide range of media formats.


Kodi running on a R-Pi does not need to be updated, once the image is written to the SD card it stays that way without manually changing it, the liberelec OS automatically boots into Kodi so your farther will see nothing other than Kodi home screen.

The R-Pi 4 supports HEVC video, USB drives, customized home screen, there's nothing else that comes close for under £80 as far as I know.

Or just stick to h.264, HEVC is never going to be that common as its a dead end codec in a sense. Once AV1 encoders get more popular HEVC will be phased out over the coming decade, too many devices support h.264 for it to disappear.
 

chopples

Distinguished Member
Or just stick to h.264, HEVC is never going to be that common as its a dead end codec in a sense. Once AV1 encoders get more popular HEVC will be phased out over the coming decade, too many devices support h.264 for it to disappear.

Indeed, when ripping content you should consider the playback devices being used, ripping normal hd files with h264 whilst they may be a little bigger in size it at least ensures compatibility.

If you are not ripping and just pirating and on top of not paying for content you are reluctant to spend the money needed on a compatible playback device then the best thing to do imo is to just put the files through software such as handbrake prior to giving them to your dad, the only cost for this is time.
 

JabbaNut

Member
Does not work on every device but you could try

" Lunch On Boot " , by Felker Tech, it is on Google Play. Starts chosen app 30 to 60 secs after Android launcher. Video player " Simple Video Player " by Victor Rivera.

Other option is a Android player with editable launcher IMO.
 

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