Pi 4 + Ambilight + Optical Audio output Setup assistance request

  • Hi everyone! Hope everyone is doing ok.

    I'm very new to the tech DIY scene, and I'm currently working on a project for my father. He has a rather old HD movie box (maybe that's how you'd call it - it's just a machine that reads movie files from hard drives. Brand name is TViX, if you're interested), and has been used for years now. Now, it's pretty slow performance wise. Still can play FHD movie files just fine, but that's pretty much it - no H265 decoding, no internet connection, no YouTube/Netflix/etc., no addons. The discovery that a Raspberry Pi can do all of these things and more gets me so excited for this project. But, as you may know, I'm not really good with these things. I have a whole bunch of queries, which I will list right here:

    1. I know, I know: this is a LibreElec forum, which is for people who prefers LibreElec. But as a newbie, I'm confused by the options out there. What do you guys think would be nice for me to use? I heard about OSMC, but that's pretty much it.

    2. Do I need special hardware to decode H265 movie files?

    3. Can I play .mkv files? My dad reports some issues reading these files on the current movie box, so I want to eradicate it right away.

    4. My dad has a home theatre speaker setup, which, as he states, uses optical audio. And as far as I know, it's not available straight onto the Pi 4. Is there any hat / addons I can give hardware-wise in order to give my Pi the capability to do this?

    5. How do you setup an Ambilight system that runs along side the Pi? I have an Arduino board at home, so I was thinking of a way to utilize it. There are more, smaller issues like which LED strip, which program / addon (Boblight/Hyperion/...), how to mount, do I need to solder, power requirement, sync between LED strip and media that is being played on the Pi,.... @@ I'm so lost


    That's it for now. Sorry if my query sounded a bit...demanding. But, even after trying to Google information for myself, it's still so difficult for me to comprehend. So I hope that asking the community directly would be a much better idea. Hope that anyone that looked over this thread can help me out. Anything would be nice to have. Thanks and have a nice day!

  • I can give you answers for some of the questions since I am not an expert, yes you can play h265 files (but unfortunately I have noticed the temperature lf the pi4 goes up a lot while playing h265 files)and mkv files without crashes or anything, about the ambilight ,there is addon for that and last but not least openlec libreelec and osmc are kinda the same with small differences but I personally prefer libreelec

  • I can give you answers for some of the questions since I am not an expert, yes you can play h265 files (but unfortunately I have noticed the temperature lf the pi4 goes up a lot while playing h265 files)and mkv files without crashes or anything, about the ambilight ,there is addon for that and last but not least openlec libreelec and osmc are kinda the same with small differences but I personally prefer libreelec

    Thank you so much for your contribution. I'll note down your answers right away! Thanks again!

    • Official Post

    The RPi4 can become a hotheaded device, so either a case + heat spreader + fan, or a fully aluminum box (e.g. Flirc case), is recommended.