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Thinking of investing in a Rasperry Pi for Emby Server


Arly (Sprinkles)

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Arly (Sprinkles)

So, looking to invest in a Pi, been thinking about it for a while now.

I am completely new to Pis and would love to get more into them.

 

What is the best model for Emby Server, and which operating system is best to use with it?

 

Any other info I'd need to know?

 

Currently I am running Emby Sever from a desktop PC running Windows 10 with about 8TB of content.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

- Arly

Edited by Arly (Sprinkles)
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Sadly, the Raspberry PI 3b Plus is the slowest PI available out on the market currently.  There's are others which offer USB-3, 4GB of RAM as well as eMMC; I'll cover them later.

 

I current run an Emby server on a Raspberry PI 3b Plus, with a 32GB Class 10 SD, a Seagate 5tb Personal Cloud NAS, and use Xbox One and Roku as clients.  I run DietPI as the OS; it's a stripped down version of Debian for PI.  The other nice thing about this is that during the software installation portion, it has Emby listed as a package and will install Emby 3.5.2.0 for you and configure it to work properly (creates the Emby user/group, etc).  I haven't had any issue upgrading Emby to the latest version after installing this package.  I used this as a guide to setup and configure DietPI and Emby.

In testing on my PI3bP, you can't play a RAW MKV file on Emby; plays for about 1-2 seconds, then buffer for 5-10, play, buffer, etc.

Also, if you pre-encode your movies, which I do (using Handbrake and H.264), it'll work fine.  When I encode, I configure them for H.264 and constant quality set to 20, and for audio, I go ahead and tell it to auto-pass-through the DTS HD 7.1 as well as add an AAC (avcodec) channel configured for 192k.

In testing, I attempted a movie recently for H.265 and like the MKV, the PI would not play the movie without constant buffering.  Appears as though it can't handle this.

So, I began looking at other PI type servers which could handle H.265 and two came up.  One is the RockPro64 and the other is the Odroid XU4.  In looking at testing and reviews, I'm leaning toward the RockPro64 and sticking with DietPI as it's OS.

 

I hope this helps and if you have any other questions, feel free to respond.  Thank you..

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  • 2 weeks later...
jmartin516@gmail.com

Purchased a Raspberry Pi a week ago specifically to run a media server. Want it to be available at home (most of the time); but also when on the road in the RV (2-3 months...possibly...without internet access...possibly). Been working on Plex server for a few days - but can't get it to work without internet. (This is in spite of the blog posts that say it is possible). This is a deal breaker for me. So...now working on Emby on the Pi (already installed on my Windows PC to verify it will work with the media I've already gotten setup).

 

Hoping that this will work for me...

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jmartin516@gmail.com

So far...not so much. I've tried 2-3 distros of OS on the Pi. Used PuTTY to setup software, auto-launch. Even after supposedly installing Emby and setting to start via the browser...still doesn't work. I've seen sometimes where the display shows Kodi as not being available...even though it was Emby that was installed...maybe. Once...I was able to see somewhat of a browser window...it even said to wait while Emby server was loading...but nothing. I do like how Emby is easier working with my media (TV shows and movies)...takes less work than Plex for it to recognize and sort it.  Maybe I'll just put the whole Rasberry Pi server stuff on hold while I continue to get my media setup...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just for reference, I've been using a setup similar to JaScoMa above. RPI 3b+, DietPi, several terabyte drives. I also moved the dietpi startup to the external drive (instead of the SD card) because it's a lot smoother when run off of a drive in my experience. I used a manual install of the latest version of Emby beta rather than the version that Dietpi will install. I converted my own DVDs at H264 and they play fine, CDs @320, Home movies, MKVs from Blu-Ray rips. I've been running emby off of a Pi3b or 3b+ now for over a year and use it daily.

 

The main thing that helped me run the most stuff off of Emby Server on the Pi without buffering was installing the biggest fan that the Pi can run as well as heat sinks with real heat sink transfer tape. It used to ALWAYS run hot. With the fan it always reports a pretty cool temp.

 

To be honest, I don't care about the highest quality viewing, I just like the convenience of running Roku boxes on all my TVs, and watching movies on my phone when I'm out of town. So, I'm sure at some point in the past I probably dropped transcoding levels down and tried to cut out anything that might cause a lot of transcoding in the settings. In any case, fan + heat sinks made a HUGE difference.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
carloss66

@@JaScoMa I got a Rockpro64.  Emby server is very unstable on the RockPro64 running DietPi, even though it is supposed to be optimized for the OS.  I tried many times, and on different SD cards.  As soon as I add libraries, doing anything on the Emby web page, i.e. going to the settings page, will make Emby crash on DietPi.

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Luke

@@JaScoMa I got a Rockpro64.  Emby server is very unstable on the RockPro64 running DietPi, even though it is supposed to be optimized for the OS.  I tried many times, and on different SD cards.  As soon as I add libraries, doing anything on the Emby web page, i.e. going to the settings page, will make Emby crash on DietPi.

Server log? There are many here running dietpi

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carloss66

@@Luke Unfortunately I gave up and used the RockPro64 for something else.  I moved Emby Server to a Synology DS1019+.  I don't think the problem is DietPi per se, I am pretty sure the problem is DietPi for the RockPro64(ARMv8).  I tested Emby server on a Raspberry Pi 3B+ with DietPi (ARMv6), and besides not being able to transcode, it worked perfectly.  If I order another RockPro64 I will test again and provide the server logs.

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Luke

Thanks for the feedback. We'll be doing some new RockPro testing very soon as we're going to add support for hardware transcoding with it.

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JaScoMa

@@JaScoMa I got a Rockpro64.  Emby server is very unstable on the RockPro64 running DietPi, even though it is supposed to be optimized for the OS.  I tried many times, and on different SD cards.  As soon as I add libraries, doing anything on the Emby web page, i.e. going to the settings page, will make Emby crash on DietPi.

 

Hello Carlos..

I've never had any issue running DietPi nor Emby on my RockPro64.  The only difference between my setup and yours is that I purchased the 32GB eMMC and installed and am running DietPi using this.

 

But too up until recent versions of DietPi, even through DietPi is running on ARM64 with the RockPro64, if you installed the Emby package using dietpi-config, it would install the wrong version; it would install Emby version 3.5.x armhf version instead of the aarch64 version.  I posted to the DietPi forums about this and they fixed it.

 

I recently redid my old Pi3b+ for my son and the dietpi-config installation of Emby downloaded (from github) and installed the armvh version of Emby 4.1.1.0; the proper version for the Raspberry Pi3b+.

 

I would check to see that the proper architecture package is installed.  I noticed that the incorrect version was installed when I setup my RockPro64, but simply un-installed the incorrect architecture package then downloaded and installed the aarch64 version from the emby website.  This has worked great for me and I've switched over and have updated the beta versions as they have been released.

 

Hope this helps..

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carloss66

@JaScoMa  Dietpi installing the wrong version of Emby explains the problem.  I will try again by installing the software manually.  Thanks.

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  • 2 weeks later...
JaScoMa

Thanks for the feedback. We'll be doing some new RockPro testing very soon as we're going to add support for hardware transcoding with it.

 

Looking forward to seeing this feature added.  Sounds good.

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  • 3 weeks later...
DFWjih3rt7h

@@softworkz will be working on it soon.

 

Are there any plans for supporting Raspberry Pi hardware encoding. I've tried in the past on a Pi 3 to get it working but couldn't but the hardware is capable of easily hardware transcoding in real-time but without support transcoding is very slow. I believe the native ffmpeg allows for hardware transcoding but your build does not. The new pi4 has been released which I'm going to look at, the extra performance will be great but it could still do with hardware transcoding. The Rock devices look good but the market must be small compared to Raspberry pi. Thanks.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, yes we are looking into RPI4 hardware acceleration. Thanks.

 

Any word on the RockPro64 hardware acceleration?

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