Raspberry Pi Media center

I was a big believer of HTPC (Home Theater Personal computer) and therefore upgraded my desktop some time back so that it could be connected to my Yamaha AV receiver. I also custom built/modified a custom remote using a old DVD player remote so that I could operate it without using a keyboard/mouse. In case you are interested in details of that build here is the post.

I used this setup for some time but later came to the conclusion that the desktop form factor does not fit well in a living room media player setup. At this point I decided to give Raspberry pi a try. I had an Model B+ lying around which was just used by me once in a while for my experiments. I had the impression that it would crash or in worst case burnout with the “heavy” media files i was going to throw at it. I still went ahead withe the following setup

  1. Media – A USB portable hard disk which had my media files.
  2. USB remote – The one i mentioned above
  3. Display – HDMI output connected to TV.
  4. Audio – USB to Optical / TOSLINK audio sound card which is then connected to my AV receiver.
  5. Internet (Optional) – A USB WIFI adapter which can be used for installing additional software or getting updates.
  6. Operating System – OSMC – https://osmc.tv

I was blown away by the performance of the setup. It was performing exactly like my desktop computer without any slowness.The audio and video play back was super smooth. I was also able to get Dolby Digital output from the sound card without any effort. OSMC is a beauty and works like a charm. Full marks to its developers.

I am extremely happy with the current setup and also proud of myself (especially the remote 🙂 for getting this setup working.