Create a Media Center with your Raspberry PiI recently got my first Rev 2 Rasberry Pi with 512 mb of ram and decided it was time to give Raspbmc another try.  I have to say I am impressed.

You download a minimal image from the Raspbmc site (it is somewhere around 56mb) and it will perform a net install.  Raspbmc will also keep itself up to date nightly (a good thing and a bad thing – you can configure).

I learned a couple of things along the way.  The most critical, make sure you have a good power supply.  Raspbmc needs all the power it can get as it tries to maximize the performance of the GPU.  If you experience lag, long pauses or freezes – CHANGE YOUR POWER SUPPLY.

If you are going wireless, try using the ‘network-configure’ application within Raspbmc under programs.  For many adapters, this is all you need to do.  Do not forget that some wifi adapters need extra power to run.

If you have a tv that supports HDMI CEC, you are money.  You can control your entire Pi directly from your TV remote.  There is also a remote application for iOS (you must turn on ‘web server’ within settings to make it work).

During the course of testing, a UK 512mb Pi arrived.  This Pi seems to handle the power a little better and it was possible to run wireless without a hub.  Perfect for plugging in behind the TV.

The best insight during the testing,  I discovered that I could use the usb ports on the side of my Vizio tv to power the Pi with the Wifi card completely.  Runs great.

There are not a lot of add-on programs that are fully working but a few good ones exist beyond your personal media library.  Some of my favorites so far – Ted Talks, YouTube, and PBS.

I definitely consider this in the category of PreBakedPi.

Other PreBakedPi:

Open-Zwave Disk Image
GitPi – Super simple git repo solution


Comments

  1. Conrad Vassallo -

    Yea I agree with you. I have tried it on my 256 mb version and runs great. However, I found openelec to seem more complete and loads faster. The only thing I am still missing is the XVDR plugin which is not working fine at the moment. It can connect to my yavdr tv server but says incorrect protocol version. Once this gets fixed, this will replace my existing power hungry HTPCs in my house.

    Reply

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