Raspberry Pi Media Center

The media centre and remote control

The media centre and remote control

Myself and my friends regularly get together to watch films, usually of the ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ variety. We rotate locations for each film night and I am often in charge of picking and delivering the films. After a few of these nights I decided that I needed a more portable solution – some films were only available online, in certain formats or would not work in certain media players.

I turned to the trusty Raspberry Pi once again, this time a Raspberry Pi 2 Type B. With it’s four USB ports and more powerful quad-core processor, this was the perfect media-box computer. Installing XBMC (later known as Kodi) solved the software side of things with only minor configuration. Next I added support for TV-style remote control by attaching a tiny infra-red module to three pins on the Pi’s GPIO headers. I then needed the ability to carry lots of films and, for another project, record liveĀ digital TV. I added a 2.5″ laptop hard drive (using a USB adapter) and a USB TV tuner, both of which required some time-consumingĀ configuration. After some rigorous testing I then searched online for the smallest possible container to hold the components. I bought a small plastic two-part box, usually used for holding greetings cards. I then mounted the Pi, hard drive and relevant IO ports using careful drilling, screws and bolts.

The final result has been used many times and works perfectly each night. I only have to carry the small box, the remote control and a compact mobile phone charger.