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Bodging a "media centre"

As my cheap electrickery slowly sputters to a halt, I am wondering if a Raspberry Pi could somehow, with the right connecters, attach to a large monitor and some analogue speakers (shuddup, they still work fine from a normal headphone jack) and allow playback of:
- Chromecast
- Internet streaming (though Netflix goes via the Chromecast, and iPlayer should-but-won't)
- ye olde DVD player
- external hard drive of music, videos, etc.

If my phone could be the controlling device / "remote" that would be handy. Or possibly foolish. Hmm.

It should do. The latest Pi would be the best bet as it has a lot more oomph. I set up a trial media centre on the original Pi and it worked reasonably well. Can't remember how I did but it it might have involved wands and spells.

Just took ownership of a 2nd hand pi-2 today which I intend to use for this very thing.
There's lots of info on the raspberry pi website about this, it looks reasonably straight forward.

I've heard that the audio output quality isn't great, hardly up to HiFi standard, so the recomendation is to use a USB sound card. I use a cheap one already with a Debian laptop & it recognises it as plug & play so this shouldn't complicate matters much.

The more ancillary devices you put into the pi, the more USB ports you'll need: one for your hard disk (note: hard disks attached to pi's need a seperate powered supply), one for the DVD drive (again, seperate power source), one for the audio out. I believe chromecast uses an HDMI slot, which pi's have 1 of.

I'd like to control it from the phone/laptop also, so the whole lot just sits in a cupboard. I figure a simple way to do this would be to network it and then use a remote desktop access program such team-viewer to control it. A bit messy, and someone will no doubt have a better solution, but this would work...I think!

Interesting.... Smile

In the meantime I've downloaded an app called Videostream, that make casting video from hard drive to Chromecast much smoother. As a side, it has an android app which turns your phone into a remote. I haven't tested this bit yet but apparently as long as the computer is switched on and everything is wi-fi-ing happily you can use the phone to send what you need from computer to chromecast. Magic!

It does mean I need to rip any dvd I want to watch, but I can usually do that.
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