Gigabyte Brix HTPC w/ Logitech K400r

Discussion in 'Technology' started by cmdrmonkey, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. For HTPC folks out there, I would highly recommend the Logitech K400r. It's typically around $25-30. It's lightweight, has good range and responsiveness, and gives you about the same level of control over your HTPC that you would have with a laptop keyboard and touchpad. I think it also has some compatibility with consoles, smart TVs, and streaming boxes.

    I also just built a second HTPC for my bedroom. It's a Core i3 based Gigabyte Brix S. It's as small or smaller than a streaming box, but it's a full PC. Tons of power from something that's not much bigger than a small book or deck of cards. It uses ultrabook hardware, which is how they were able to make it so tiny. And it makes no noise. Compare that to the PS3 I had in there before that sounded like a jet turbine when doing anything intensive, like playing back HD content.

  2. In before AppleTV...

    That Logitech K400 is a notorious POS. Starts off great but it will flake and you will chuck it for Bluetooth. I will bet bfuns life on that. I prefer the MiniITX sized multi-purpose box, but that Brix looks perfect for a more discreet setup.
  3. Weird because my brother has been using one for several years and says it's fine. Also has 4.5/5 out of 6,000 reviews on Amazon. Maybe you're confusing it with something else? My brother and a lot of people online swear it's the best HTPC/XBMC controller they've used.

    The Brix or NUC are great for confined spaces. But not worth the premium price if you have more space. In the living room I would still do a MicroATX or MiniITX setup. I had a $100 NewEgg giftcard, and already had spare ddr3 sodimms and a spare SSD from a laptop that croaked, so it was $160 out of pocket for me, which isn't bad for something that's a lot more capable than a streaming box.
  4. I had a K400 for probably 2-3 years hooked up to a HTPC that died last year. Not sure how much the 'r' version has improved. It got the job done, but I'm super picky.

    The trackpad just got worse and worse. Started with occasional lag / non-response and escalated to scratching away at it in frustration. I even had a corded mouse hooked up towards the end as backup. I chalked it up to interference... when I replaced the PC I went Bluetooth.
  5. They quietly started shipping a revised version, the K400r, so I'm wondering if the earlier ones like you had had known issues.
  6. I use the original K400 and have not run into issues.. but I do not use it regularly at all. It's mostly only used when i'm distanced away from my display or when I need to use my UEFI (it's picky). Had it for about 2 years.
  7. Is this the one with the i3-4010u and Intel 4000? You said your setup was to stream from the desktop right. I would probably do local playback, does that make even easier on the device? Have you tried high bit-rate BluRay files?
  8. Yes, it's the i3-4010u/HD4400 version. It has plenty of power and will play back anything without issue. When I rip a Blu-ray, I don't use any compression. The Brix can play back full bit-rate ~30GB Blu-ray rips without a problem. If you have a problem it will be with your network. Gigabit ethernet or playing things locally will be preferable to wifi.
  9. Even if you're playing scene releases (not that I'm condoning that type of behavior), that cpu and integrated video combo is plenty fine. I have been doing this type of streaming since my early 2010 laptop (first gen mobile core i3) and it handles everything fine. We're at an age that even atom cpu's (especially bay trail and after) handle high resolution videos perfectly fine.

    Draft N wifi can handle 1080p DTS scene releases like a champ. I haven't tested full bitrate bluray rips yet.
  10. Are you running W7 or W8? What is the cheapest place to buy a license?
  11. W7. No idea. Still using my Technet keys.
  12. You could do some poor man stuff like I did on my laptop during windows 8 beta.

    Just use Windows 10 tech preview on it until Windows 10 releases. Win10 tech preview doesn't expire until October 2015. Win10 should hit retail sometime this summer.

    MS has been doing huge discounts on windows preorders since windows 7 release so just wait until this summer to get a new license.
  13. You called it. Both of them started off great and are now flaky and unresponsive half the time. I think they're just really cheaply made and fail after awhile. Will probably replace them both with the more expensive bluetooth version at some point.