Running Kodi on a Intel NUC5CPYH

After an intense year of non-stop studying I treated myself to a new mediaplayer. After some research I decided to go with a NUC, an Intel NUC5CPYH to be more specific.
I’ll do a quick write-up of the installation and my experience with the device up till now.

Upgrades

Memory
sodimm-kingston-ddr3-4gb-1600-kvr16ls114-135vFor memory I decided to go with a Kingston KVR16LS11/4 4GB Memory Module which should be enough to run Open-Elec.
 

 

 

SD-Card
Went with a king_sdcard Kingston 32GB SDHC, UHS-I Class 3 as base card for Open-Elec with a read capacity of 90 MB/s + write 80 MB/s this card is more than fast enough to run Open-Elec.

 

 

 

Open-Elec

Open-Elec is purpose build for Kodi so didn’t need to give that a 2nd thought (6.0 at the time of writing).
I used Rufus to create a bootable usb drive with Open-Elec and install it on the SD Card.

Remote
Since most of use have smart-phones these days, why not use ’em to control your Kodi NUC? Downloaded the Sybu and the “official” Kodi remote App and both are very good. Just a matter of preference which you like best.

Tweaks

After the installation there’re a few modifications you should do in the expert-settings to help with hardware decoding:

Video – Acceleration – Render method: Auto detect
Video – Acceleration – Enable HQ scalers for scalings above: 20%
Video – Acceleration – Allow hardware acceleration – VDPAU: Disabled
Video – Acceleration – Allow hardware acceleration – VAAPI: Enabled
Video – Acceleration – Use Mpeg-2 VAAPI: Enabled
Video – Acceleration – Use Mpeg-4 VAAPI: Enabled
Video – Acceleration – Use VC-1 VAAPI: Enabled
Video – Acceleration – Prefer VAAPI render method: Enabled
Video – Playback – Adjust display refresh rate: On start/stop
Video – Playback – Sync playback to display: Enabled

Buffering issues
Most videos play just fine, I did however notice that sometimes a certain type of mkv would make my nuc buffer the video. I was certain that my other components were not to blame because when I used my older Mede8er there where no issues. So after some digging around the Kodi forums I found a couple of custom settings that  seem to work.
These settings can be created using an addon called “Easy Advanced Settings” or just use nano or vi to edit the file /storage/.kodi/userdata/advancedsettings.xml

You’ll end up with a file that looks like this:
<advancedsettings>
<loglevel>3</loglevel>
<network>
<buffermode>1</buffermode>
<cachemembuffersize>805306368</cachemembuffersize>
<readbufferfactor>4.0</readbufferfactor>
</network>
</advancedsettings>

The loglevel can be used to create logging (in the /storage/.kodi/temp/kodi.log). You’ll need this  because the kodi forums are very persistent that these get created when you experience issues. If you don’t have issues just delete that line.

Cachemembuffersize is the setting you should look at but beware:  For the memory size set here, Kodi will require 3x the amount of RAM to be free. Setting this too high might cause Kodi to crash if it can’t get enough RAM.  For me 805306368 was enough to get Kodi to sufficiently buffer content to stop any stuttering but not every setup is the same so experiment!

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