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Raspberry Pi as Media Center – OSMC

Introduction

Hello Raspberian! Are you enjoying playing with Raspberry Pi? It is exciting isn’t?  

Today, we want to share more on how you can turn your Raspberry Pi into a media center, another popular use of this SBC (Single Board Computer). You can directly play any type (almost) of media file on it and stream video from Internet like Youtube! We will be using OSMC (Open Source Media Center) as a captain to handle Raspberry Pi. What is OSMC? It is basically a media center operating system that support Raspberry Pi. The best thing is, the Raspberry Pi NOOBS (New Out Of Box Software) support the installation of OSMC 🙂 That is pretty helpful. 

Why OSMC? Here are some of our reasons:

  • User Interface is simple and easy to use
  • It’s free and open source
  • As Raspberry Pi User, it is quite straight forward to install OSMC, it can be done in just a few minutes
  • It gets updates and apps easily
  • The are huge community using OSMC
  • It can basically lay any media files from anywhere
  • It looks fantastic !

On the other hand, you can also try LibreELEC, which is also supported by Raspberry Pi NOOBS.

Now, just follow these simple steps to build your own media center! Let’s start!

Basic Setup

You might already have a Raspberry Pi. Alternatively, you might also get our Raspberry Pi Media Kit. Anyway, we recommend the following item:

  1. Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ (or other models but we recommend Pi 3 model B+)
  2. 16GB Micro SD Card with NOOBS for RPI
  3. Raspberry PI 3 Case (Black), enclosure (Optional).
  4. 5V 3A Adapter w/ micro USB cable (UK type), to power the Raspberry Pi
  5. High Speed HDMI Cable 1.5m
  6. Display devices (TV, monitor, display, screen and projector etc.)
  7. USB Keyboard and Mouse, during installation and setup, and during navigation.
  8. High Speed Internet, WiFi or LAN, to download the OSMC for installation and also to view media streaming.

Connect Things Up

We do not need any wiring or jumper wires in this project. Just connect all the devices as follow:

 

We are using VGA monitor which does not come with speaker, therefore an additional USB speaker is connected. If you are using HDMI to TV or monitor, additional USB speaker is NOT necessary. Do make sure you connect at least a keyboard during installation and setup. Once power up (from the adapter) and make sure your monitor is power up too, you should see some text appears on monitor.

How to install OSMC on your Raspberry Pi

Assuming you are getting the Media Kit, the microSD card should have been pre-loaded with NOOBS. Your Raspberry pi will boot up, you will see NOOBS interface at the beginning. Choose Wi-Fi Network tab then choose your Wi-Fi to connect to the internet. Check all connections, switch on adapter (5V 3A adapter comes with push on /push off switch on the cable).

Yet, in case you did not see the  NOOBS windows asking for Network connection and Raspbian desktop appears, do not panic. That is the new NOOBS 🙂 The NOOBS released in April 2018 will install Raspbian by default, the OS selection windows will not appears by default.  Just restart the Raspberry Pi (Go to menu and choose shutdown -> Reboot). Press “SHIFT” key on keyboard when Raspberry Pi boot up (When the text appears on monitor). Then the OS selection table will appears.

You will need to configure the network connection. If you are using Ethernet/RJ45/LAN, no configuration is needed. Most of people will choose WiFi connection because it is more flexible and everyone has WiFi, right? Choose your WiFi SSID and key-in the password.

 

Next, you will see the list of the OS(Operating System) available to be downloaded and you should choose OSMC_Pi2. Make sure the box on left is ticked, and click the install icon at the top left corner of windows. It will take several minutes to download the files for installation, of course it depends a lot on your Internet speed. 

Well, be patient and wait for the download to complete, the installation of OSMC will start automatically after the download is complete.

You will get a message of installation is completed once it is done. Welcome to OSMC!

Setup OSMC for First Time

Right after the installation is completed, you need to setup the language.  

 

Secondly, choose your current time zone.

 

Then, you need to set a hostname for this media center.

 

 

Next, you need to set up your network.

 

After the setup finishes, you will get notification to update the system.

Your Media Center is complete! You’re ready to be entertained!

Adding Another Browser, like YouTube

From the home screen, go to Settings Add-on browser Install from repository  Video add-ons → then choose whatever video channel you want to install, and clink install. Wait for it to finish the installation. 

To watch your video channel, go back to home screen, and go to Videos  Video add-ons → then choose whatever video channel you watch and follow the directory. I normally choose YouTube and most popular to randomly watch movie. So enjoy your media box. You build it!

To properly shutdown the OSMC, from home screen, go all the way down under Settings, the Power, click it and choose Power off system to shut it down.

Better Quality Audio?

If you need better quality audio to your media center, you can check out JustBoom because it is designed to improve the audio and to experience the true clarity of high definition music. You can refer here on the steps to set it up.

 

Note: For further inquiry, please visit our technical forum as we seldom check the comment here. ?

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