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Tuesday, 5 January 2016

A Cheap, Reliable Media Player and Streaming Solution - Raspberry Pi 2 + Kodi - #TipsTuesdays 19

A Cheap, Reliable Media Player and Streaming Solution
Raspberry Pi 2 + Kodi

Wittegen Press
$3.29 | £2.19
Amazon | Other
Rob and I have a NAS box for much of our media and we like to be able to watch it on the big screen upstairs. We have been using an Amazon Fire Stick, but that is wireless and has started not to get on with the Sky wireless router - the other night it finally refused to talk to it at all. In fact most things except for the actual Sky box don't seem to get on with the wireless router.

Hence we needed a wired system to view all our stored media. There are off the shelf options, but none of them did everything we wanted or had hang ups we didn't want to deal with.

Our solution, a Raspberry Pi 2 with a Linux install dedicated to Kodi Home Theatre Software, or rather OSMC as the nice people that developed it named it. Rob also bought this remote sized keyboard to control it so we don't have to have a normal keyboard lying around. (The remote is less than stellar, the touch pad is quite awful in fact, I don't recommend it - but there are others out there).

This post here: BUILD A KODI MEDIA PLAYER USING RASPBERRY PI 2 explains exactly how to do it and it works perfectly.

Wittegen Press
$3.98 | £2.98
Amazon | Other
We tried it out on a Raspberry Pi that Rob had lying around and it also worked, but it was slow because the poor little thing had barely any memory and a tiny processor, hence the reason for the Raspberry Pi 2, which is quad core and has 1Gb RAM.

The good thing about Kodi is that not only does it support almost every media format as well as music and photographs, but it also has plugins that can stream from various sources like iPlayer and the Smithsonian etc.

The only thing that was a little tricky was playing vobs - it has a delay. This is because it's processing the mpeg-2 codec in software not hardware. To get round this you just have to go purchase the hardware mpeg-2 codec from the Raspberry Pi Store for a whopping £2.40 :).

So far we have had it running for nearly a week and it is working really well. We also have other friends who have been using a similar system for quite a while now, with no problems. This is definitely a solution for those who are a little tech savvy, but I had to mention it because it works so well.


  1. Hubby got a Raspberry Pi and when he first told me about getting one I thought he meant he was getting an actual pie. LOL

    1. LOL - I was introduced to the concept in a situation where I couldn't make that mistake (as in someone was holding one at the time), but, yep, that's where my brain would have gone too :D


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