So I recently move to California from Maryland and I moved into a lovely house with interesting roommates. I finished my exams for the III semester and was playing with my Raspberry Pi (Model B); which is a credit-card sized computer with infinite possibilities.
In the house that we live we have a large LG television but we recently disconnected the cable connection since the increased the charges and we hardly ever watched the TV – we would use our laptops in our rooms to watch videos online.
Now that the large TV was just not being used, I decided to do something with my Raspberry Pi to make it useful.
I don’t intend to document the details of the setup here since there are others who have done a great job in this respect and I will provide you links to the videos and documentation so you can try it yourself. On a difficulty scale, I would say for non-technical folks it is moderately difficult – all the wires and the bare-bone motherboard does make it look intimidating but it truly isn’t.
Here are some pictures to inspire you, 🙂
My Raspberry Pi – look how small it is!
Here you see all the accessories I purchased from Amazon.com – it includes (clockwise), a mini Wireless USB Keyboard; an 8 GB SD Card; a transparent plastic case for my Raspberry Pi; a Micro USB WiFi Adapter; the manual comes with the raspberry pi which is in the center; an HDMI Cord; and a charger. I will be posting links below for all of these products that I purchased.
Here’s another pic from a different angle,
In the next pic you see I have assembled all of them together – while you get SD cards on Amazon with pre-loaded Raspberry Pi OSs (upto 6 in some cases) I got a blank one and installed RaspBMC a Linux based XBMC Media Center. Once again I will provide you some links at the end to get software to format and Image the SD Card.
Time to plug it up, install some Ad-Ons, and play a some videos,
(The video above is from Glee singling American Boy – The image is for representation purpose only and all copyrights for the video rest with the Copyright Owner)
So here you have it converting an unused TV into a internet enabled Media Center and Home Theater system in less than $100!
The Links as promised above,
(Note I do not endorse any of the products or content in the external links and do not take any responsibility for any loss or damages caused by the assembly, installation or otherwise)
I purchased the Raspberry Pi Model B from Allied Electronics for $35 plus shipping – though you may want to consider the newer Model B+.
The accessories that I purchased from Amazon with the price (shipping not included),
- USB WiFi Adapter for $8.95.
- Raspberry Pi case for $5.89.
- Small Wireless USB Keyboard with Track-pad for $14.99.
- 5v charger for $6.81.
- HDMI cable for $5.09.
- 8 GB SD Card for $5.95.
Popular Raspberry Pi OSs can be downloaded from the Raspberry Pi Official site. You may additionally need software to format and image the SD card, I used SDFormatter and Win32DiskImager on my Windows Laptop to prepare the card to load RaspBMC OS.
Let me know if you have questions or comments and share you experience with the Raspberry Pi!