Raspberry Pi- Internet enable your TV, turn it into media centre

If you want to watch live streaming from internet to your non smart TV, you have an option to either to use it as a external display unit connected via HDMI from your computer or purchase something like Chromecast. I used Raspberry Pi.

Media centre Kodi on TV

Media centre Kodi on TV

Why RPi?

This $35 ‘computer’ continues to enjoy attention worldwide for educational purpose, DIY projects and home automation. I had bought one to play around and found how easy it is to turn TV into a media centre. It has turned my TV much smarter than my imagination

  • Watch HD quality streaming video from YouTube, Dailymotion and other channels
  • Download and record from these channels
  • Configure subtitles add-on
  • Play media stored in USB drive or from network share or from your mobile as well
  • Use your mobile as remote control for your TV
  • Download from transmission torrent app
  • And the best part is, you can still use other popular features of RPi like hooking up an IR or temperature sensor to the GPIO pins in RPi.

What you need?

  • Along with RPi, you need some accessories like USB mobile charger as power supply, connectors, etc. Check out my previous post for this.
  • Download and install RASPBMC, flavor of media center OS Kodi for Raspberry Pi.
  • If your TV doesn’t have HDMI port, you will a converter.
  • Additionally you may also want to install these Google Play apps or similar ones from your app store.
    • Fring – Without logging onto RPi, you can know the it’s IP address. The app will do a network scan and list down all the machines along with their IP and MAC addresses.
    • Juicy SSH – Turn your smart phone into SSH client. You will never feel like you are not using a computer while firing remote commands
    • Yatse – Kodi remote control for smartphone. No limitations of IR remote; control your ‘smart TV’ from anywhere in your home. You can also play media files stored in your phone wirelessly to your TV.

And this is it !

The best case is when your TV has a spare HDMI port, so you don’t need to use the existing cable or satellite connection port for Kodi. You may leave both of them connected to your TV and choose whether you want a watch conventional TV or a want to have a smart TV experience.

Setting up IR receiver on RPi is also not that difficult. Once setup and configured on Kodi, you can use the TV’s remote to send commands to RPi as well as your TV. It’s very exciting to learn how IR receiver and sender work and create a programmable transceiver using RPi. I’ll blog about it later.


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