jonnyb
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Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:12 am

Hi
I'm just about to buy my first Raspberry Pi and would appreciate any help and advise. I'm going to get a 3B+ but after that I really don't know what to get.
Initially I'm going to use it as a way to recieve tv channels via KODI or another similar media centre software.
The problem is that I really don't know what set up to buy for the KODI. There are so many options with cables, SD cards, Cases, Heat Sinks and Fans.... I have a Passport Drive that I could use as a memory bank if it's possible to plugs it's usb cable into the Pi.
I can see loads of options on Amazon but I have no idea what I'll need for this Media Centre Project. The only minor thing that crossed my mind is that the cooling fan needs to be reasonably quiet!
Any help really appreciated.
Thanks
Jon
PS: At some point I will also probably also let my son have a go at trying to practice some coding on it and maybe add some components, etc.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:27 am

jonnyb wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:12 am
Hi
I'm just about to buy my first Raspberry Pi and would appreciate any help and advise. I'm going to get a 3B+ but after that I really don't know what to get.
Initially I'm going to use it as a way to recieve tv channels via KODI or another similar media centre software.
The problem is that I really don't know what set up to buy for the KODI. There are so many options with cables, SD cards, Cases, Heat Sinks and Fans.... I have a Passport Drive that I could use as a memory bank if it's possible to plugs it's usb cable into the Pi.
I can see loads of options on Amazon but I have no idea what I'll need for this Media Centre Project. The only minor thing that crossed my mind is that the cooling fan needs to be reasonably quiet!
Any help really appreciated.
Thanks
Jon
PS: At some point I will also probably also let my son have a go at trying to practice some coding on it and maybe add some components, etc.

Generally a Cooling Fan / Heatsink is not required.

Regards purchasing it is best to purchase from Official re-sellers, most offer starter kits like:

https://uk.farnell.com/raspberry-pi/rpi ... dp/2848199

https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/

https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/pro ... ng-started


If you install the supported Raspbian Stretch with Desktop Operating System, you can install Kodi Multimedia Software.
adieu

Asus CS10 Chromebit / HP Envy 4500 Wireless Printer / Raspberry Pi Model 2B v1.1 / RealVNC Software...

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topguy
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:28 am

- A good case is the "Flirc" case where the whole case is a heat-sink, you should not need a fan with that.
- Just buy a good SD card from a good manufaturer ( Samsung , Kingston, SanDisk .. ) and be aware of online fakes.
- The Pi supports external USB disks.. but be aware about the power needs of the disk.
- So a good 2.5A power supply to the Pi is the recommendation. If the disk has its own power or you use a USB-hub with power then the less is needed from the Pi.
PS: At some point I will also probably also let my son have a go at trying to practice some coding on it and maybe add some components, etc.
Buy a second Pi for that ;-)

skypi
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:34 am

how much money do you want to spend, just get the pi b+ and an sd card and a case, then install the openelec distro (or run it from the noobs sd)

edit: and get a wireless or bluetooth keyboard for couch control.

when an external usb drive is plugged in it will automatically be recognised by openelec and can then also be shared using samba with rest of your network for media files, you can also use the spare space on the sd card as another storage area for media.

Have a play with a minimal basic set up and see if it works for you.

The main beauty of the pi is the minimal amount of electricity it uses, so can be left on 24/7 but it is a bit underpowered in terms of cpu for say playing fast action 4k video.

jonnyb
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:47 am

I’ve got a nas already so I guess the media centre storage is less important. It’s more about access TV and films through the Raspberry..
So you think .. don’t buy a package.. buy what I need/want separately.
I guess I’d spend about £50 or so.. but I hadn’t factored in the keyboard.. so including that as well. Any specific keyboards recommended?

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:19 pm

jonnyb wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:47 am
I’ve got a nas already so I guess the media centre storage is less important. It’s more about access TV and films through the Raspberry..
So you think .. don’t buy a package.. buy what I need/want separately.
I guess I’d spend about £50 or so.. but I hadn’t factored in the keyboard.. so including that as well. Any specific keyboards recommended?

Any USB Keyboard & Mouse can be bought under £10.00

The 3 most important buys are:

Raspberry Pi 3B+
Official Power Supply
Good quality branded microSD Card

You also will need a Screen with HDMi or DVi input so a suitable cable is required.

IMO without Screen look at a budget of £70.00

;)
adieu

Asus CS10 Chromebit / HP Envy 4500 Wireless Printer / Raspberry Pi Model 2B v1.1 / RealVNC Software...

jonnyb
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:16 pm

I guess you can use the tv as a monitor via the hdmi?

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:32 pm

jonnyb wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:16 pm
I guess you can use the tv as a monitor via the hdmi?

Yes....
adieu

Asus CS10 Chromebit / HP Envy 4500 Wireless Printer / Raspberry Pi Model 2B v1.1 / RealVNC Software...

jonnyb
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:17 pm

Thanks people

Is there a suggested size of memory card.. ? I guess 32gb is ok?

jonnyb
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:21 pm

Also ..why do some of the bundle listings mention switches being included?

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topguy
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:00 pm

16GB is a good size, 32GB is more than most people need. If you at least want to keep your media in a NAS.
Also ..why do some of the bundle listings mention switches being included?
A link to such a bundle would be helpful for a definite answer. A power switch is often useful because then you dont need to unplug the usb-charger contact to turn it off.

grininmonkey
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:21 pm

jonnyb wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:21 pm
Also ..why do some of the bundle listings mention switches being included?
As topguy mentioned.... the Pi does not have a power switch... which in the context of Media Center is very much like a roku etc.. so if/when you ever need to power off and on the Pi (physically) .... you have to unplug the power source... so there are some power supplies that have an inline switch near the usb end of the power cable.

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Imperf3kt
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:25 pm

grininmonkey wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:21 pm
jonnyb wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:21 pm
Also ..why do some of the bundle listings mention switches being included?
As topguy mentioned.... the Pi does not have a power switch... which in the context of Media Center is very much like a roku etc.. so if/when you ever need to power off and on the Pi (physically) .... you have to unplug the power source... so there are some power supplies that have an inline switch near the usb end of the power cable.
After shutting down the system first, of course!

Most power supplies with a switch in the 5v side drop voltage and will probably give you headaches later on when you start getting the "lightning bolt"
Get the Pi, the official supply (its cheaper and far stronger than most other options anyway) and a decent A1 rated Micro SD card.
Last edited by Imperf3kt on Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
55:55:44:44:4C
52:4C:52:42:41

grininmonkey
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:31 pm

Imperf3kt wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:25 pm

After shutting down the system first, if course!

Most power supplies with a switch in the 5v side drop voltage and will probably give you headaches later on when you start getting the "lightning bolt"
Get the Pi, the official supply (its cheaper and far stronger than most other options anyway) and a decent A1 rated Micro SD card.
Yep.... agree.... I can remember my first Roku and thinking how nuts it was that there was no power on/off switch anywhere... but now with some Pi experience... It all makes a little more sense ;-)

jonnyb
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:11 pm

This advice is really helpful.

So ... my shopping list is:

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
Official Raspberry Pi 3 Universal Power Supply (5.1V 2.5A)
FLIRC Raspberry Pi Case - Looks good
16GB Sandisk Class 10 Micro SD card - Good enough or is there another spec I need to look at?
A USB Keyboard or Wireless Keyboard with wireless USB adapter

I have a USB mouse but I guess could get a wireless Mouse with wireless USB adapter
I will use the TV (HDMI) as a monitor
I have HDMI cables

Does this all look ok?

Would you guys get an SD card with NOOBS or KODI pre-installed or nothing installed?

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Imperf3kt
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:21 pm

That setup should work fine
55:55:44:44:4C
52:4C:52:42:41

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davidcoton
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:57 pm

If you can, get a Class A1 (or A2) SDCard rather than Class 10. It should last longer (and perform better) in the Pi environment.
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tpylkko
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:56 am

Here is a few things nobody mentioned. First there are standalone kodi images that you can install like libreelec, which might be handy if you are going to use it only as a media centre mostly.

Second, you don't even necessarily need a keyboard or mouse with kodi since you control it with other devices on your network. One way to do this is with a phone and and app for it. Another way is to have Kodi serve a webpage that allows you to control it. Although theaes might be handy for all kinds of other use. You can also use a wireless bluetooth keboard mouse combo.

You can buy a sd card with Noobs or kodi preinstalled, but it really is quite easy to download the image file and write it to the sd card.

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bensimmo
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:47 am

You mention Amazon so get the SD card from there, at the prices the 64GB is the one, the A1 rating is the thing the Pi uses (small file transfer). I don't think the Pi can uses the faster A2 cards yet, so no point spending more.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/SanDisk-microS ... B073JYVKNX


Write LebreELEC to the card yourself, if you have another computer that is. It's easier in the long run than a NOOBs card. (it's easy anyway, just download etcher, download the image, click button, select image, click another button and wait.)
If in the UK and near a Poundland (I think it's that one), pick up a £5 XBOX TV dongle and you have yourself a HD TV streaming device (that's what I'm using) with LibreELEC (Leia)

Use your current keyboard/mouse for now, get wireless if you find you need it. You can search around the compact keyboard with touchpad of used with a TV. I use the larger traditional Logitech Wireless keyboard and mouse (about 16-20 from the shops)

Get another SD card if you son is going to have a play, just switch the cards when needed.

There is a KODI case, a bit improved they say https://thepihut.com/products/kodi-edit ... ry-pi-case

You can always buy more later :-)
or some usb SNES style controllers and play some old game in RetroPie

jonnyb
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:35 pm

Thanks for allof this ... so the revised list is:


Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
Official Raspberry Pi 3 Universal Power Supply (5.1V 2.5A)
FLIRC Raspberry Pi Case or the KODI case
Blank 16GB Sandisk Class A1 Micro SD card
XBOX TV dongle (for HD TV Streaming) with LibreELEC (Does it work with NOOBS)

Then see how I get on with other keyboard options before buying:

A USB Keyboard/Wireless/Bluetooth Keyboard (with wireless USB adapter if needed) and maybe a wireless/bluetooth Mouse (with wireless USB adapter if needed) or even a compact keyboard with touchpad

Then use:
LebreELEC
NOOBS or KODI

Question : Am I right in thinking that LibreELEC does not wotk with KODI...?

HiassofT
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:55 pm

LibreELEC's tagline is "Just enough OS for Kodi".

It's a minimal Linux OS with a few essential services and, of course Kodi. You can do most system configuration stuff (like enabling/disabling Samba, configuring network etc) from within Kodi and it's basically plug-and-play.

The XBOX DVB-T dongle works fine with it BTW.

so long,

Hias

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bensimmo
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:57 pm

I only said the dongle as they are about £5 (MS Xbox One Digital TV Tuner), don't pay much more, I don't know if it works with the older Stable LibreElec, but it does with Leia
There is also the official TV uHAT to look at as an alternative.

Ignore NOOBS, you'll not be using it as a direct image of LibreElec is much easier and less problems down the line, get a few uSD cards while you are at it.
One for plain Raspbian Desktop so you can play with it :-)
Windows, Mac or Linux as your normal computer ?
or just an Android or iOS phone/tablet ?

jonnyb
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:54 pm

Thanks ...

I'd be using a laptop (Windows) and/or Iphone or ipad ....

Any suggestions in that dept?

I'm a newbie and so no idea really.

jonnyb
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Re: Just about to buy Raspberry Pi for Media Centre and would appreciate help

Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:36 pm

Great recommendation for a sd card. Thanks .. One thing bought!

I'm just trying to find out the difference between the KODI case and the FLIRC case.


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