The Raspberry Pi, thanks to the Videocore 4 GPU integrated in the Broadcom BCM2835 chip, is perfect for a home mediacenter; the GPU is indeed capable to decode full HD videos. In this tutorial I’m going to explain how to install and use Raspbmc.
What you need
Your home mediacenter will be composed of:
- a Type B Raspberry Pi (you need ethernet connectivity);
- a micro USB 2A power supply;
- a 4Gb SD card.
Optional elements are:
- a case for your Raspberry Pi (on eBay and webstores you can find plexiglass and metal cases);
- a multimedia keyboard, better if wireless, to control the mediacenter from the confort of your sofa.
I brought all the components from RS Online, an official distributor.
The installation is very simple: first download the setup program from the official website (available for Windows, Linux and MacOSX):
Next, insert the SD card in your reader and start the setup. Select the volume that corresponds to your card, accept the license and click Install:
The setup program will download the needed files from Internet and install the base system on your SD. Wait for the confirmation dialog:
Insert the SD card in the Raspberry Pi slot; then connect the ethernet cable (it needs an Internet connection for installing the software), the video cable (composite or HDMI), the power supply and USB keyboard and mouse:
Raspbmc will download from Internet the most updated versions of the root partition and the XBMC software; after some minutes and some reboots, XBMC will be ready to play your media files!