Sam has now released the final release version of Raspbmc so I thought I’d give it a go.
My criteria in trying this out is, is this something I could use everyday and is this something I could set up for an older relative and just leave in place…
The updated release version of Raspmbc now has a very easy to use installer, and is really simple to get running. Just prepare your SD card using the appropriate installer (I’ve been using the Mac version) pop it into your Raspberry Pi (ensuring it has an ethernet connection) switch on the power and then go and have a cup of tea.
Everything’s lovely and smooth – the menus work slickly, and the behind the scenes hard work on Raspbmc has really paid off. It behaves like a commercial product, and although it does pause occasionally it’s still far superior to the bundled apps that come with a lot of (often very expensive) smart TVs.
It also works well on a Motorola Lapdock (adjusting the screen size automatically from the HDMI monitor I originally installed it on).
In face you often have to remind yourself that this is running off a $25 computer.
Once you’ve got it running adding WiFi is nice and straightforward – I’ve been using the Edimax EW-7711UAN 150Mbps Wireless adapter which is detected and works with my BT hub without any issues. You just need to enter your network SSID and login using the Raspbmc settings option which is under programs.
Installing iPlayer on RaspBMC
Youtube and Vimeo plugins can be found in the ‘add plugins’ section and work out of the box.
To add iplayer – possibly the main thing I use my streaming box for these days there are a few additional steps (for just iplayer follow the step by step guide see this blog)
You’ll need to add some additional repositories -
There’s actually a handy plugin which automates the addition of new repositories, so we’ll install that first.
With the Raspberry Pi connected to the internet:
Home Screen to Settings > System Information. You need to locate and take note of your Pi’s IP address – this usually starts with 192.168.1.(then a number)
Next on another computer, you’ll need to connect via SSH – on a Mac or Linux PC open the console and use:
ssh pi@(your IP address)
the standard password is raspberry. Select yes and enter your locale details in the menus that appear – this will then end up with a pi@raspbmc prompt.
On a PC you’ll need an SSH tool like PuttY
Copy and paste the following into your terminal window:
Then back on the pi go to system -> addons (in XBMC backspace moves up through sub-menus, so you might have to hit this a few times to find the top menu) and select install from zip file option.
Select homefolder and then plugin.program.repo.installer-1.9.5.zip
you should get a little message in the bottom right hand corner to say it’s been installed.
then select the programs icon and run the Repositories Installer
There’s a long list – iplayer can be found in Hitchers Repo, 4OD in the Mossy repo. Once this is installed you can navigate to system – settings – add-ons to install, and then video- Add-ons to watch.
For much more – including things like setting this up for airplay, using an ipad as a remote – and to support this excellent project – check out Sam Nazarko’s book for more info: Raspberry Pi Media Center