So after my popcorn Hour A110 died I had a problem. How do I stream my media upstair without breaking the bank? My answer was A Raspberry Pi running OpenELEC XBMC it cost me £52 at the time and to set it up i bought the following
RASPBERRY PI, DELUXE BERRY CASE
RASPBERRY PI, MODEL B, 512MB SDRAM
HAMA GOLD SDHC CARD 8GB CLASS 10
RASPBERRY PI POWER SUPPLY, 5V, 1A, UK
I used my original USB mouse and keyboard for xbmc setup so no need to buy them. I connected my internet with a rj45 cable for more reliable speeds which saves on the wifi dongle. I also already had the hdmi cable off the popcorn hour so you will need one of these if you haven’t got one spare.Setting it all up is childs play! The most difficult thing to do is setup you sdhc card for this you will need a card reader.
- Download SDformatter for windows or mac which ever you run link here https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_3/
- Install the program then run it.
- Select the drive your card is in then format this of course will wipe your SD card
- Then download http://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/
- Also download the latest image of elec http://openelec.thestateofme.com/
- So now you have to write the image you have downloaded to the sdcard using the win32diskimager very simple just open up the program select the image and sdcard then write.
- Once you have done this it should say write successful now your finished put it in your pi and it should boot straight into XBMC
Once you have done all that you should have it up and running you just need to start adding your music, pictures and video I stream all of mine from my main htpc but you could add a hard drive or usb straight to the pi if you wanted.
A couple of things to add is its not exactly fast in the menus which could annoy you it plays video fine but if you’re after a fast transition between the menus then think again it can get frustrating also If you want to play MPEG 2 you will have to buy a license £2.40 when i last looked link here http://www.raspberrypi.com/mpeg-2-license-key/ myself i dont play mpeg 2 so thats not a problem for me.
To get around the keyboard and mouse issue you can set-up XBMC to use a compatible remote or what I use is an Ipad or a Android compatible device yatse for android and XBMC Constellation and XBmoteC for Ipad I recommend for you to do this if you have any of them.
Overall I find this to be a really good streaming option XBMC is a very powerful media center itself and I have not began to cover the things it can do.