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Home Miscellaneous Computer Programming and Co. My Media Center: XBMC on Raspberry pi with Raspbmc

My Media Center: XBMC on Raspberry pi with Raspbmc

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Hello,

It has been a long time I wanted to have XBMC on a device other than my computer. Before my hard disk crashed, I had XBMC on the computer, linked to 1 monitor and 1 TV. I had a config that launches XBMC on the TV instead of the monitor.

It worked well, but I always had to have my computer switched on to launch XBMC and watch my favorite series.

I decided to get a Raspberry Pi and install XBMC on it. Well a Raspberry pi alone is useless. I had to buy:

  • a SD Card of 4 Gb minimum (it's the "hard drive" of the mini PC)
  • a HDMI cable male/male to link the raspberry Pi and my TV. Video AND Audio data will route through it. It's a wonderful thing, no need to get another cable to get the audio data!
  • a SD card reader: I needed it to install Raspbmc on the SD card with my PC.

I already had:

  • Raspberry pi
  • Ethernet cable to link the raspberry pi and my switch (where is connected the NAS which contains all my series)
  • the TV
  • a mouse
  • a keyboard (not necessary)
  • the alimentation block: I took the one I had with my Nexus 7.

I inserted the SD card on the SD card reader, and plugged it in my PC. I did the install on Windows because there are some problems on the Linux install script, because of the language (French).

The soft used to install Raspbmc on the SD card is great, you just have to select the SD card drive, the image file of Raspbmc, I did a live install (not persistant).

Once Raspbmc is installed on the SD card, I plugged the SD card on the Raspberry pi, linked the HDMI cable with the PC, linked the Ethernet Cable to my switch.

And then I plugged the alimentation block to get the current to the rasberry pi. On the TV, I watch the HDMI2 source and see the installation progress. After some reboots (take about 30 mn), it's ready, The raspberry pi is on a IP given with the DHCP protocol.

I prefer to get a Fixed IP, so you can set that with the "Programs" menu.

First configure with the mouse the web server and make sure it's on. Then I use my Nexus 7 where I installed Yatse to use it as a remote control. Then you can remove the mouse. One extra with Yatse is that you can use the Virtual keyboard to type what you want, very useful instead of typing letter by letter with the arrows.

Then I had to configure the time zone, it was not correct.

Then I configured the NAS to get the NFS protocol work: on a synology NAS, there is a bug on the /etc/exports file. (insecure_locks -> insecure) Log in by SSH (use Putty on Windows) with the root user, and use the admin password to login.

http://wiki.xbmc.org/?title=NFS

Then I could access to my files on the NAS with XBMC when I wanted to add Videos, by using the NFS protocol.

I tried a bit the indexation of the media, but it's slow.

I then tried some extensions, but Youtube doesn't work, it makes the raspberry pi reboot. I don't recommend using these internet extensions since it's too slow to use. I even tried the Passion-XBMC extensions, which are a good addon for french people (Replay for TV channels). But very slow to use here.

If the navigation is a bit slow, the video playing is good. However, some problems when you want to move the cursor of the video: the subtitles disappear. It's better to use the fast rewind/forward to keep the subtitles on.

To conclude, it's wonderful, because when I need to watch something without using my PC, I only have to plug the alimentation block to get the current, get my Nexus 7, and then choose the video to watch. To switch off, I log out on Raspbmc and then plug out the current. The raspberry pi is very small, so in a little box, it's discreet.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 October 2013 10:44  

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