Friday, 26 May 2017

Install a media center with OSMC on your Raspberry Pi!


It's been a long time since we wanted to talk to you about the Raspberry Pi as a media center , but we did not have it ourselves . However, with the arrival of the Raspberry Pi 3  and return of the Game Of Thrones series. we decided to use a Raspberry Pi to make a media center and be able to review the entire series on our video projector Without having wires in all the corners!

Today we will explain how to install Raspbmc (or rather OSMC) on your Raspberry Pi, to make it a media-cente r, what is Raspbmc , the hardware you will need, and finally how to install Raspbmc on your Raspberry Pi, from Windows, Linux and Mac!

Raspbmc, a mix between Raspbian and the XBMC media-center

Before we throw in the water by installing XBMC on our Raspberry Pi, let's make a little presentation of this system.
XBMC is a free multimedia player dedicated to media centers. It was originally designed for the Xbox but now runs on many platforms, including the Raspberry Pi. It is now one of the central media-center solutions!
As a reminder, a media center is a computer used in the context of multimedia use. Most often connected to a TV, it allows you to watch your movies, series, listen to your music, browse the internet, etc.
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XBMC is distributed under license GNU / GPL 2, so it is a perfectly free software. It should be noted that XBMC is now called "Kodi", or "Kodi Entertainment Center".
Kodi, therefore, also supports the addition of scripts in Python to increase its functionality (generally, if you plan to use Raspberry Pi in frames such as home automation, you may want to look at the python ).
Here we are talking about Raspbmc, and not just Kodi, Raspbmc is actually a distribution based on Raspbian, and that adds XBMC to Raspbian. This distribution is therefore a perfect choice to mount a media center! We will not install Raspbmc, but rather OSMC, which is the successor to Raspbmc.
Now that we have presented Raspbmc, let's look at the equipment we will need to set up our media center.

The equipment needed to set up a media center

Before you start installing the OSMC on your Raspberry Pi, we'll start by touring the accessories you'll need to turn your Raspberry Pi into a media center worthy of the name!
You can cut out the accessories in two parts, those required to operate your Raspberry Pi, and those optional that will simply bring you more comfort. We'll see them right away.

A Raspberry Pi with all accessories!

Mandatory equipment for your Raspberry Pi

At first you will need a Raspberry Pi, we advise you to take a Raspberry Pi 3 , this one is more powerful than the previous models and will offer you a more fluid experience!
You will also need a power supply for your Raspberry Pi, in order to properly power the ports of the Raspberry Pi 3 you will probably need a suitable power supply, such as this official power supply.
The Raspberry Pi uses a MicroSD card as a hard drive, as part of a media center we advise you to choose a fast card, and a size of at least 16GB. Our advice is to choose a 16GB card like this , and add an external desktop hard drive to store your movies, music, etc.

Materials you may already have

In addition to this essential hardware you will need, there are a few other accessories that will be essential for you to use your Raspberry Pi as a media center, but that you may already have.
First of all, this is obvious, you will need a screen, for example your TV screen. We advise you to choose a screen in HDMI , the Raspberry Pi having just an HDMI output.
It is also obvious that you will need a cable to connect your Raspberry Pi to your screen. There are two possibilities: you have an HDMI display, and you only need a HDMI cable , or you have a VGA monitor, and you will need an HDMI to VGA converter with audio output.

Useful material for your media center but not required

As previously mentioned, we advise you to take a self-powered external hard driveto store your movies, music, etc. This will allow you to store a much larger amount of data, SD cards being too small for such use.
In addition to your Raspberry Pi, you may need a case for this one. The goal of a media-center is to integrate into your home in a harmonious way. In addition to its protective function, a case will make your Raspberry Pi more aesthetically pleasing . We advise you this very good case , particularly elegant.

Last useful point, a mini wireless keyboard with trackpad that will allow you to control your media-center from your sofa.

Install OSMC on your Raspberry Pi

The list of accessories has been long, but remember that only some of them are mandatory, and that you possibly possess many optional accessories. For ease, also note that you can find kits already ready to set up a media-center.
We will now see how to install OSMC (formerly Raspbmc) on your Raspberry Pi, do not worry, since the transition from Raspbmc to OSMC, the installation is even simpler than before!

Download OSMC

To download OSMC you just have to go to the project site and choose the operating system from which you want to create the SD card.
Once the software is downloaded, launch it to begin the installation of the MicroSD card.

Installing OSMC on the MicroSD Card

At the launch of the software you will arrive on the following page:

Choose the type of machine on which you want to install OSMC (for us a Raspberry Pi 3)

Select the language of your choice from the first drop-down menu.
The second drop-down menu defines which type of Raspberry Pi you want to install OSMC.
If it is a Raspberry Pi 3 (or model 2), choose "Raspberry Pi 2/3", otherwise, choose "Raspberry Pi 1 / Zero". Once done, click Next.
You are now on the version selection page.

Choose the version of OSMC you want to install
Choose the most up-to-date version from the drop-down menu. Make sure the "Use a local build on my computer" check box is cleared, and then click Next.
You arrive at the window of choice of the installation device.

Choose the type of disk on which to install OSMC
Choose SD card installation and proceed to the next step.
You are now on the step of choosing the type of internet connection, choose the type of internet connection you want your Raspberry Pi media-center to use.

Define the type of connection to use
If you chose to use a Wi-Fi connection, the next step will ask you to enter the credentials of the Wi-Fi network to which you want to connect your media-center (this information must be Your box).
You are now on the step of choosing the device on which OSMC will be installed.

Choose the SD card on which OSMC will be installed
Click on your SD card in the list of available devices, then click Next. Accept the license and go to the next step.
The writing on the card starts. Once it is finished you can eject your MicroSD card.

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