Using a Raspberry Pi as a livestream player [2]

Last time when I wrote this column I was looking at updating the Model 3B Pi that I have to the latest version because the RPi3B seemed to be a little slow for playing live video streams off Youtube. Well a new RPi would cost around $120 including the case and a new power supply because it needs more power and uses a USB-C connector. It happens that I have yet to get around to replacing it due to struggling to have a spare $120 at the moment. Plus it uses micro HDMI which means adapter cables or because I generally use a 5 metre cable to the TV, the RPi would have to be mounted behind the TV to use a short cable and whilst that isn’t a major issue it does mean a bit of mucking around rigging up different cables for power and sound etc.
Fortunately I was reading through some of the documentation and discovered that RPis can actually have heat issues and unsurprisingly the standard case is not designed with heat dissipation in mind and being enclosed with no ventilation slots, it can cause the RPi to get quite warm. So whilst my RPi was freezing and locking up, I checked the temperature of the case and it was very warm, and a short time before it had been showing temperatures of 70 degrees on the chip which is uncomfortably close to the limit of 85 degrees that it will automatically self protect at.
Fortunately these official cases have a lid that you can just take off to open up the case and when I did that, the heat level overall dropped and the chip started behaving itself. When I first got this thing it was open air, it was actually secured with a little hook onto a piece of wood and had no case at all. It just hadn’t clicked that the case might be causing the problems as I often see it lock up which has been very frustrating. From here the course open to me is to either get a piece of fine plastic mesh to stick over the top of the case, or find some other kind of case that has vents or a heat sink built into it. So now I can put it back to work playing live streams that I can watch in bed, and whilst that might sound a bit decadent, I have the RPi set up to work headless, so that I can turn the screen off and just fall asleep listening to the soundtrack, and with the position of the screen at the foot of the bed it is a lot more convenient if I decide to watch it than turning my head to watch on a computer screen. Well with the RPi cooled down it was able to play 720p video stream off Youtube although a little jerky so I expect 360p as I usually use will be quite OK.
To make it more useful it needs a pen drive attached to be able to play videos or else a bigger SD card in the slot but probably the pen drive is easier and 128 GB is the best value at around $60. For now I will use a 16 GB one just for music playback, with GRSync to synchronise with the computer that has the music library stored on it.