Using Raspberry pi and a hdmi/vga display from a old desktop monitor, you can create you own home media center. This is a very simple project and requires minimum prerequisite knowledge of programming/embedded systems design. All components used are off the shelf
Here are the fun stuff that you can do with your home media center
1) Use it as a digital photo album to do a slideshow of photos from USB storage or from an online repository like dropbox, picassa, flickr !
2) Play Media files(music, video) from USB storage or an online repo like pandora, youtube, netflix etc.
3) Get weather updates
4) Alarm feature – I have configured it to play a custom mp3 file or radio stream as alarm in the morning 🙂
5) Play some cool games
6) And much more .. – The home media center uses kodi which is a free and open-source media player software developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium.
What all do u need to create your home media center ?
1) Rapberry pi computer
2) USB based Wifi Dongle for network access for your ras. pi
3) A case for raspberry pi
4) Power supply for raspberry pi- You can use a 2.5- 5A usb power supply
5) HDMI cable
6) 8GB sd card to hold the operating system and other system software for your home media center
7) A Display for your home media center. You can use an old LED/LCD monitor with HDMI or VGA display
Loading Kodi software on your raspberry pi
1) Download Kodi software
2) Plug the sd card onto your laptop.
3) Once you have downloaded the file onto laptop . Execute it. Select the option to install the software on sd card.
4) Plug out the power supply from raspberry pi
5) Once the installation is complete , remove the sd card and plug it into raspberry pi
6) Plug in the power supply of raspberry pi. The raspberry pi is configured to boot from sd card by default and it will boot to Kodi homescreen . Connect the raspberry pi onto your LCD monitor to see the Kodi home screen !!
7) Change the theme to confluence by navigating to System–>Settings –> Appearance –> Skin –> Confluence. you would need a USB mouse to navigate . Plug the USB mouse to one of the USB ports of raspberry pi.
8) Now you can control your home media center using your android/apple phone !