There have been so many words written about the Raspberry Pi in the last few weeks I thought it was about time I added my few hundred to the mix.
First off I am NOT a Linux guru by any stretch of the imagination , I know that ls -l will list a directory and mkdir will create one but that is about it . So i’ll leave the real technical stuff to others, what I want to focus on is using the Raspbery Pi as a Media Centre.
An Apple a day
I have to admit I have a bit of a thing about media centres, I’ve played around with various varieties but never really invested the cold hard cash in the top of the range components to make them successful.
So you can imagine how pleased I was when my son bought me an Apple TV (Mk 1) shortly after its release. Over the following years it got a lot of use , I even loaded XBMC & Boxee onto it to extend its usefulness. When the new improved Mk 2 came out one seemed to find its way into my living room rather swiftly and the Mk 1 was retired to the bedroom where it has continued to prove its worth.
Time for some Pi ?
I first heard of the Raspberry Pi toward the end of last year and reading the specification I thought the 1080p output was probably just a gimmick , that idea was soon dispelled when the videos started to appear on YouTube of prototype hardware running movies in 1080p, no stuttering or pixelation, very impressive. I began to think this Raspberry Pi thing might even catch on !
And the Nominations are …..
I was lucky enough to get one of the first batch of Raspberry Pi’s with the aim of checking out its capability as a Media Centre. So first a bit of research via our good friend the internet revealed the following were either available or soon to be available for the Raspberry Pi ;
Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center, or OpenELEC for short, is a small Linux distribution built from scratch as a platform to turn your computer into a complete XBMC media center. This is currently being massaged into shape for use on the Raspberry Pi
Stephan Raue the founder of OpenELEC and main developer has put up the source for OpenELEC along with instructions for compiling it and putting it on an SD card.
Part 1 - OpenELEC meets Raspberry Pi - Building from Source
Part 2 - OpenELEC meets Raspberry Pi - Creating a bootable SD card
Even if you don’t plan to compile your own copy it is worth reading the above posts as they are well written and provide a mini tutorial on compiling and linux, its so good to see developers taking the time to explain what's happening rather than just assuming everybody knows.
A minimal Linux distribution created by Sam Nazarko it’s based on Debian and brings XBMC to the Raspberry Pi. It is still in the early stages of being ported onto the Raspberry Pi. So this is a site to keep an eye on over the coming weeks.
In the next blog I’ll take you through the compiling and running of OpenELEC.
Other Blogs in this Series
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