Your own Raspberry Pi Media Center with KODI

Raspberry Pi projects

Gradually, over the last few years, we have had access to better and better technology. This has resulted in easier access to information and culture. The world of salon entertainment has also advanced. Today we can make ourselves a Raspberry Pi Media Centre Kodi (the old XBMC) for a more than affordable price.

All your favourite films, series, music and channels in one place and in the comfort of your own living room. There is no doubt that the advantages and results are incredible, but what can we really do with a Raspberry Pi Media Center?

If you don't want to complicate things, you have the best Media Center on the market already installed and configured.

If you already have everything you need, you can directly download and install our Updated Addons Distribution.

What is a Raspberry Pi Media Center?

Let's start with the simple, a Media centre or multimedia centre is a device that centrally manages your files. It is multimedia because it can manage videos, photos, music, etc..., all your digital entertainment in one place.

To make a Raspberry Pi Media Center you need two things. The software to run it all and a reduced hardware that is able to support it and does not bother too much in the TV cabinet. This is where we meet Kodi and Raspberry Pi.

Kodi is the most complete and advanced Media Center software available (and it is also free and Open Source). Together with its Addons system it is fully customisable and incredibly functional. The best version of Kodi compatible with Raspberry Pi, is called LibreELEC. We'll do a comparison of the other distributions later to show you why.

Raspberry Pi is the hardware in this case. It is a PC like the one you are using right now to read these lines, but with the difference that it is the size of a credit card. And it has just enough power to run our Media Center without any problems.

This is the most talked about project to do with our Raspberry Pi, but not the only one. The other star project is to make us a brand new Raspberry Pi Console. Capable of emulating 50 retro consoles with more than 50,000 games available.

OK, but what can I do with this Raspberry Pi Media Center?

Raspberry Pi Media Centre

I make a list for you to see the great functionalities of a complete system like this:

  • You can have all your films in one place. Either to watch them from your external hard disk, pendrive, micro SD card, or in streaming through the Internet with the help of an Addon.
  • Live TV. Save your favourite TV channels and enjoy them at any time.
  • Keep up to date with your favourite series. Extra information on the chapters, automatic availability of subtitlesThe new chapters, automatic downloads of new chapters and much more.
  • Exactly the same with your music. Listen to all your music and also enjoy extra content about your favourite groups.
  • See your photos on TV.
  • Customise the look and feel of your Media Center completely thanks to its incredible skin management.
  • Exploit the possibilities of the multimedia centre with its incredible Addons, the limit is almost in your imagination.
  • You will have the possibility to use the TV remote control itself (CEC) or your smartphone to manage it all.
  • And all this with a derisory consumption. Barely 12 watts maximum peak power (an ordinary energy-saving bulb is the same).

Materials needed

If you don't want to complicate things, you have the best Media Center on the market already installed and configured.

If you already have everything you need, you can directly download and install our Updated Addons Distribution.

Specially designed to make the whole system run smoothly and seamlessly. But you can make your own with the bare minimum:

  • Raspberry Pi 4 New!
  • uSD card with LibreELEC and our Addons pack mounted.
  • Power supply.
  • HDMI cable.
  • Box.

In addition, you can get more add-ons that will extend the functionality of your Raspberry Pi Media Center:

  • By default the uSD card of these kits comes with Kodi and our complete Addons pack. But if you want to install it on your own, we have prepared an Updated Addons Distribution for you to install it yourself.
  • Lightberry HD. As you can see in the video at the top of this article, it is a system which mimics Ambilight on Philips TVs. It gives amplitude to the image shown on the screen and a spectacular finish in our living room.
  • Wireless touchpad keyboard. If your TV is not compatible with CEC or if you want to have another remote control independently. It will make searching very comfortable as you don't have to use the virtual on-screen keyboard.
  • USB hub to expand the connection of devices to the system.
  • Network cable to keep your Media Center connected to the Internet. This last board comes with integrated Wifi and Bluetooth, but it will always be faster and more stable via cable.

If you work hard, you can make a great Raspberry Pi Media Center. capable of up to Full HD playback. For less than €90.

Comparison of Media Center OS for Raspberry Pi

OS Media Center Comparison

As I mentioned above, there are several Media Center operating systems for Raspberry Pi. Although for us LibreELEC is the most successful and optimised. We are going to make a mini-comparison so you can choose your favourite one.

So as not to make a mess of this. Kodi is the main system and LibreELEC or OpenELEC, the system that adapts them correctly to run on Raspberry Pi. They are different but interconnected.

LibreELEC

LibreELEC

It is a derivative of OpenELEC that they have put more care into. They have more exhaustive control over the updates and keep up to date with the main version of Kodi.

Very fast, smooth and easy to set up and configure.

In our Media Center and the updated Addons Distribution for download, it comes already assembled by us and with all our Addons pack. Just plug and play.

In our view it is currently the best for mounting a Media Center Raspberry Pi. Optimised to the maximum to achieve unbeatable performance.

LibreELEC latest version changes (v8.2.5 - 13/04/2018)

  • Firmware updates to fix minor issues with Raspberry Pi 3B+.
  • Added support for different remote controls.
  • Some minor repairs.

OpenELEC

openelec

It is very fast and smooth but the installation is a bit more complicated. Perfect for those who simply want a multimedia centre and also want it optimised.

It is very similar to LibreELEC and the one we used before to assemble our kits. Its update rate and community are not up to par.

OSMC (formerly Raspbmc)

osmc

It is very tough competition for LibreELEC and OpenELEC. Especially because of its very neat appearance and how quickly it has developed.

It used to be a bit more versatile than when it was Raspbmc. Besides having Kodi, you could use the system like a normal PC with windows and so on, but with the big disadvantage of losing speed. Now they have learned from the rest and have created an exclusive multimedia system making it faster and more efficient.

xbian

xbian

Very fast, configurable and easy to install. With the big disadvantage of having the possibility of having many failures due to the fact that it is continuously updated to the latest versions.

This can lead to the emergence of bugs and incompatibilities with Addons. We can say that it is the most suitable distribution for betatesters.

Installation procedure

LibreELEC Installer

With LibreELEC it is as simple as downloading the installer that they have prepared themselves. And follow the steps indicated in the program and have everything ready in a very short time.

It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux 32 and 64bits.

With our updated Media Center and Addons Distribution you are all set. Take it out of the package, plug it in and enjoy it. You can also do it the old-fashioned way with the steps below:

We have done it with WindowsIf you have another system, you can follow the steps in English on their official wiki.

  • Download the installer from LibreELEC for our operating system from its official website.
  • Put the micro SD card into your PC, make sure there is nothing on it or you will lose it. Download SD Formatter and when we open it we select our micro SD card. If there is only one device it will select it automatically.
SD Card Formatter screenshot
  • We give Format and we accept everything, we wait for it to end.
Installing LibreELEC on micro SD Raspberry Pi
  • Normally you will not have the image on your system, so we select the platform on which we are going to mount LibreELEC (in our case Raspberry Pi 3). We select the latest version available and hit Download.
  • If we already have it downloaded, we skip the version selection and click on Select file. As in the case shown in the photo above.
  • Select the unit in which we have inserted the micro SD card where we want to perform the installation (if there is only one, it will be automatic).
  • Finally we hit Write and we wait for it to end.
Inserting config.txt
  • If we need to insert the custom file config.txt at the root of the system, now is the time.
Safely Remove Device Windows 10
  • Safely remove the micro SD card and it will be functional for your Raspberry Pi, it's as simple as that.

What is the config.txt file?

Config.txt for Batocera Raspberry Pi

It is a document *.txt in which we can change some settings to give extra functionality to our system. Those of you who have already dealt with Raspberry Pi will be familiar with this file and its functions.

The default configuration for LibreELEC is as follows:

################################################################################
#      Este archivo es parte de LibreELEC - https://libreelec.tv/
#      Copyright (C) 2016 Equipo LibreELEC
#
#  LibreELEC es un software gratuito: puede redistribuirlo y / o 
# modificarlo según los términos de la Licencia Pública General de GNU 
# tal como lo publica Free Software Foundation, ya sea la versión 2 de 
# la Licencia o (a su elección) cualquier versión posterior.
#
#  LibreELEC se distribuye con la esperanza de que sea útil, pero SIN 
# NINGUNA GARANTÍA; sin ni siquiera la garantía implícita de 
# COMERCIABILIDAD o APTITUD PARA UN PROPÓSITO PARTICULAR. Vea la 
# Licencia Pública General de GNU para más detalles.
#
#  Debería haber recibido una copia de la Licencia Pública General de 
# GNU junto con LibreELEC. Si no, vea <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.
################################################################################
# Configuración del Bootloader - config.txt
################################################################################

################################################################################
# Memoria (Configuración de Sistema/GPU)
################################################################################

# División de memoria de GPU predeterminada (no cambiar si no sabe lo que está haciendo)
  gpu_mem=128

# Configure la memoria de la GPU según el tamaño de SDRAM: anula la configuración anterior
  gpu_mem_256=112
  gpu_mem_512=160
  gpu_mem_1024=256

################################################################################
# Para overclocking y varias otras configuraciones, vea:
# https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/config-txt.md
################################################################################
# Configure 'force_turbo = 1' para deshabilitar el overclocking dinámico y habilitar el overclocking siempre.
force_turbo=0

# Haga que la pantalla sea más pequeña para evitar que el texto salga de la pantalla
#
# Tenga en cuenta que la configuración de overscan solo afecta a la pantalla de inicio y no a Kodi.
#
# Si experimenta problemas de overscan/underscan, la mejor solución es ajustar
# las opciones de tu TV ("pixel completo", "pixel 1-1l" etc.).
# Alternativamente, hay un menú de calibración en la GUI de Kodi.
# disable_overscan=1

# Fuerza la salida HDMI
# hdmi_force_hotplug=1

# No ha enviado el mensaje de origen activo inicial. Evita que CEC (TV 
# habilitada) salga del modo de espera y del interruptor de canal al 
# reiniciar.
hdmi_ignore_cec_init=1

################################################################################
# Claves de licencia para habilitar la decodificación de hardware de 
# GPU para varios códecs para obtener claves visite la tienda en http://www.raspberrypi.com
################################################################################

# decode_MPG2=0x00000000
# decode_WVC1=0x00000000

################################################################################
# Fin de la configuración por defecto
################################################################################

################################################################################
# Incluir el archivo de configuración específico de la distribución si existe.
################################################################################
[all]
include distroconfig.txt

We have translated the explanations of each section to adapt it to the article.

The # means that this line is in comment mode and is not functional. 

All the official information about the config.txt file can be found on the web site of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Getting started with Kodi

The first time you get into this system if you have never touched it before it can be a bit tricky. So let's take a walk through the basics to start getting our Raspberry Pi Media Center up and running:

Ways to move around the system

Wireless touchpad keyboard
  • The ideal is to use a common keyboard and mouse as they are compatible without any problems, plug and play. If you want it all integrated, wireless and compact. Get a a touchpad keyboard you'll have it all in one.

Take a look at ours which is tested and works like a charm. Just plug it in and off it goes.

  • On the other hand, you can use your own TV remote control, so you don't need to have several gadgets in between. For this you have to make sure of several things.

First your TV is compatible with CEC and have it activated (check the user manual). Secondly your HDMI cable supports it (the one in our Media Center kits is 100% compatible). If you have these two things ready, once you have Kodi started, you will see that it comes up on its own. You'll be able to operate it from the TV remote control itself, which is a real luxury.

home-Kore
  • The third and also very practical method is to use our smartphone as a remote control. It is a little more complicated to set up but has a very good finish and operation.

It is available for both Android as to iPhone/iPad.

Kodi Browser Controller
  • Finally, we have the possibility to control the system through the browser of our personal computer if we have it all on our home network.

We find out the IP address of the media centre from System in LibreELEC and put it in our browser like this http://IP-DEL-MEDIA-CENTER:8080/. We will access a menu that will allow us to manage almost everything. We will even find a command to capture the keystrokes of our PC keyboard and manage the system from there.

The Kodi environment

welcome-LibreELEC-first-screen

In the first boot we can configure some things. The Wifi connection, activate Samba and SSH and change the name of the system, which by default is LibreELEC. Once we can get around the system without any problems, we realise that the system is in English. If we want to put it in Spanish we go to System > Interface settings > Regional > Language. There you can change the language, but you will need to be connected to the Internet as you will need to download it.

Going back to the beginning, we see that we have several sections. Movies, Series, Music, Video Clips, TV, Radio, Add-ons, Images, Videos, Favourites and Weather. These will be in charge of managing our entire multimedia collection. The first three will obviously have the greatest relevance in the day-to-day running of the system. Thanks to the Addons, programmes that add extra functionalities to the Media CenterIf you want to play back your library in many different ways, you can do so:

  • From a external device. Whether it is a hard disk via USB, a pendrive, an SD card, etc... It will all depend on the hardware that we have connected.
  • By streamingThe best known example is YouTube and its derivatives. This type of playback does not host the file in question on your device, but downloads it at the same time as you are playing it.

It saves space and makes it faster and easier to use. You need to have a fairly good connection for this to work well. An ADSL connection with 7 megabits or more will work quite well.

  • Direct downloads or torrent. We can manage and download the films or chapters we want and play them later. You can even watch them in streaming with an addon.
  • With a DVB-T antenna via USB. We will also be able to watch normal TV channels through our Raspberry Pi.

The section on Add-ons you can add extra features to our Media Center Kodi Raspberry Pi. They do not necessarily have to do with the playback of multimedia content.

LibreELEC settings and configurations

This system has a special feature and that is that we have several places to find the settings. On the one hand, we have those that correspond to Kodi, and on the other hand, those that LibreELEC has taken care of. This is something we need to learn early on to avoid confusion, as it can be a bit confusing at first.

We love the skin Aeon Nox (in the next point we show how to change it easily). We are going to show the menus as they appear in it, although they should not change too much. The actual Kodi configurations and settings can be found at System where we will find:

aeon-nox-kodi-configurations
  • Interface. Where we can change all the skins, languages, keyboards, time zone, etc....
  • Player. Here everything related to the playback of the content itself. Subtitles, viewing configurations, etc...
  • Live TV. This is in case we have installed a PVR client to watch live TV from an external source, such as DTT, etc...
  • Contents. Basically, this is where we manage our favourite collections and content.
  • Profiles. To add different users to the system. Very interesting if we use the Media Center as a family.
  • Services. Interface settings per browser, UPnP, AirPlay, weather settings.
  • System. All the big system stuff, video and audio inputs, resolutions, addon updates, etc...
  • System info.. Here we will have all the relevant information about the system. IP address, free space, system version, memory and CPU usage, etc...

On the other hand, we have LibreELEC's own configurations, which can be found at Applications > Software add-ons > LibreELEC Configuration:

configurations-libreelec-kodi
  • System. We will have the option to change the language here as well. As well as the way we want updates, make or load system backups, etc...
  • Web. All settings related to Internet access.
  • Connections. Here we will see the connections, both wired and wireless. We will be able to choose the desired connection and enter our password.
  • Services. Activate or deactivate services, SSH, Samba, etc...
  • Bluetooth. If Bluetooth is enabled, you can connect devices.
  • About. Interesting information from LibreELEC.

Recommended system changes

Like any other system that we install for the first time, it will come with default settings. We will have to change them to have our Media Center better prepared and with more functionalities.

All the settings and changes you'll see below are included by default in our Updated Addons Distribution. Along with a lot of addons that we will see later.

samba-ssh-libreelec
  • Samba and SSH. Firstly, we can activate Samba, to share files over the network. SSH, to access the guts of our device using this secure method.

This step is quite simple as it gives us the option as soon as we start the system for the first time. If for whatever reason we don't see it or we want to activate them later, you will find them in the following section: Applications > Software addons > LibreELEC Configuration > Services.

  • Full configuration in your language. We will have to configure the system languageof the keyboardof the subtitles and the time zone.

The system language will have to be downloaded, as to save space they have left only English at the beginning. We simply connect to the Internet and go to Addons > Install from repository > All repositories > Look and feel > Languages. There you will be given the option to select the one that suits you best.

For the keyboard we go to Applications > Program Addons > LibreELEC Configuration > System > Keyboard. There we will select the one that corresponds to us, in our case "en". At System > Interface > RegionalIf you do not select your own, you will also have to select your own, normally Spanish QWERTYHere you can also select the time zone.

Subtitles will be available in System > Player Settings > Language. If we want, we can also change the interface language in the browser by accessing the options in the browser.

change-skin-libreelec
  • Change skin, wallpaper and thumbnail view. If we feel like having another interface, we can choose from the multitude available for Kodi.

We have particularly used for our distribution the skin Aeon Nox. To change it, go to System > Interface > Skinclick on Get more... Select the one you like the most, once it is downloaded the changes will be applied.

To change the wallpaper (in Aeon Nox), we will go to System > Skin Settings > Main Screen > Aeon Nox Main Menu Settings. For each of the elements we can choose a different wallpaper in Set background element.

Within each of the start menu items, by pulling down the menu on the left (clicking to the left will display it), we can customise the background at Fund. The thumbnail view can also be changed in this menu for each item by selecting the desired setting under View: List.

  • USB power boost and force boot via HDMI. Increasing the power of the USBs will allow us to connect somewhat larger devices (hard disks, etc...). Forcing the HDMI boot will make it always boot via HDMI and not try to boot in analogue.

For these configurations we will have to enter the file config.txtexplained above. Connect the micro SD card directly to your PC and add the following lines. Lines with # are considered as comments and will not be applied by the system. None of these changes affect the warranty. We recommend using Notepad++ to edit it correctly:

#An increase the power delivered by the USBs

max_usb_current=1

#Forces HDMI startup even if not connected

hdmi_force_hotplug=1

Extra accessories to extend the functionalities

We are talking about such a complete system, with such a large community and with such a large number of hardware accessories available that the possibilities are endless. In this section we will see the available accessories to expand the functionality of our Raspberry Pi Media Center.

Raspberry Pi overclocking and cooling system assembly

Raspberry Pi cooling kit

All Raspberry Pi boards have an incredible ability to withstand heat and overclocking. They also feature an auto shut-off system to prevent frying. That is why we have been given the necessary tools to improve performance without losing the warranty. But we can even go a step further if we don't mind losing it if something goes wrong.

To do the overclocking we will have to go to the file config.txt which we will see in the root of our uSD card and use a plain text editor like Notepad++. Below is the overclocking configuration we use in our updated Media Center Addons Distribution. With the # you have the comments explaining each point:

#Overclocking

arm_freq=1300

core_freq=500

sdram_freq=500

over_voltage=4

over_voltage_sdram=4

#No effect on warranty and increases speed at start-up

initial_turbo=30

#SHighlights the start-up colours

disable_splash=1

#M Improves RAM performance

sdram_schmoo=0x02000020

#M Improves SD performance

dtparam=sd_overclock=83

#SIf this temperature is reached, it returns the CPU to normal speed.

temp_limit=80

Raspberry Pi cooling kit

With this configuration it is not necessary to provide cooling support to the system. However, it is possible that it could happen on a very hot day or that the board is working harder than normal and we have constant shutdowns.

It is composed of 1 gram of thermal paste, 2 mini-sinks of the exact size with adhesive underneath and 1 fan at 5v to connect internally on the board itself:

  • First we will place a thin layer of thermal paste in both the microprocessor as in the input/output controller.

They are very easy to identify, the micro is the biggest one, you will see it in the centre of the board. The controller is glued to the back of the four USBs.

You may wonder why thermal paste is used if the heatsinks have adhesive underneath. It's just to fill in any microscopic gaps between the adhesive and the micro. This is why a thin layer should be applied, so that the adhesive's bonding capacity is not affected to any great extent.

Press with moderate force, just enough so that it sticks well and does not come loose.

  • Once we have this ready, we will place the fan on top of the microphone making it the air flow is downwards.

It will be easily identified as the part where the air goes to. they usually have a sticker and it is the flat part. Connect the wires to GPIO 4 (positive, red) and GPIO 6 (negative, black). As shown in the following image:

  • Finally we will a hole in the box in which the Raspberry Pi will be mounted. in such a way that the entire air inlet is free.

Optionally we have two ways to fix the fan on the inside so that it doesn't move around. Either by drilling two more holes for two screws or by adding a couple of drops of instant glue on the inside.

Once finished, it would look as follows:

Raspberry Pi cooling kit assembly

Note that the fan will be on at constant speed as long as the Raspberry Pi is powered. There will be no way to turn it off unless it is switched off internally.

Lightberry HD, assembly and installation of the Raspberry Pi Media Center Ambilight

Lightberry HD for Media Center Raspberry Pi

One of the accessories that make the Raspberry Pi Media Center project a blast is Lightberry in its new HD version.

It is available for screens up to 54" and up to 75". You can see it in operation in the video at the top of this article. (Temporarily out of stock)

With each new version it has become easier and easier to install and configure until it is almost child's play. On the software side, everything is already configured in our kits. All you have to do is mount the kit on your TV and give the information to the addon of the measurements of your assembly.

Technology Ambilight is a system that aims to give continuity to the images projected on your TV. To substantially improve the user experience in our Media Centers with Raspberry Pi. As if this were not enough, it is also good for our eyes. You can read more about it at ScienceDaily y HealthGuidance.

Before we begin, let us take into account some important considerations:

  • Do not cover any grids ventilation system of your TV.
  • If you have little space at the edge of the TV you will have to move the LEDs to the centre. This way you can avoid seeing them from the other side and better distribute the light from the LEDs.
  • You can buy the large version for a small TV if you expect to change your TV. Surplus LEDs can be stored curled up behind the TV.
  • Cable length: 40cm from Raspberry Pi to converter, 1m from converter to LEDs.
  • First we will assemble everything, Raspberry Pi and Lightberry HD and then we will connect the power supplies to avoid problems.
Parts of Lightberry HD

The physical assembly is very simple. First we take the LED stripthe fasteners adhesives and the rubber buffers. First of all, we wipe the back of the TV with a damp cloth. Damp cloth almost dry, don't let it drip or it could get messy. This will remove dust residues and the adhesive will be well fixed.

We place the fasteners around the edges of the TV. Remove the protections from the lower part to leave the adhesive in the air. We will place the ones we see that are necessary so that it is not loose but also not tight.

We place the LED strip starting from these 4 options which are the ones that the software gives us later in the configuration. The point of view is as follows in front of the TV. The starting point of the LED strip is the part of the cable four-wire:

  • Right, bottom corner and goes upwards. (Recommended)
  • Left, bottom corner and goes upwards.
  • Centre, lower part and goes to the right.
  • Centre, lower part and goes to the left.

Obviously we place the LEDs facing to the outside of the TV. Preventing restraints cover up or are too close to of the LEDs to avoid shadows. We will also avoid tension in the LED strip so that the LED strip does not suffer and so that the fasteners do not come unstuck.

Lightberry HD mounted

We went on to do the remaining wiring leaving the power supply unconnected until the end. Below is the schematic:

Lightberry HD wiring diagram

Versions with more LEDs may come with an extra Y-shaped cable. It is connected from the power supply to the end of the LED strip.

With this we will have the hardware part assembled, now we move on to the installation and configuration of the software. Connect everything to the power supply and start the Raspberry Pi Media Center. The sequence of colours should appear, red, green and blue, each colour lasting about half a second.

  • Download and install the addon for the Lightberry HD configuration. To install it, we put it on a pendrive and connect it to one of the USB ports of the Raspberry Pi Media Center.

We will Applications > Addons Explorer > Install from a .zip file we look for it and install it. We wait for it to finish and we will find it in Applications > Software addons under the name of Hyperion Config Creator. Later on we will need to have the system connected to the Internet, so now is a good time to do this if we have not already done so.

  • As soon as you open it, you will get a welcome message and it will ask if you want to proceed with the installation. We wait for it to finish.
Lightberry configuration
  • In this step we select our model of Lightberry, in our case it is the latest model, the Lightberry HD USB (apa102).
  • It warns us that in the next step we will have to enter the number of LEDs horizontally and then vertically. We enter them by counting only those on one side in each case.
  • We will be prompted to download the optimal configuration for our case. For this we need the Internet. Click on yes.
Lightberry configuration
  • Now it will ask us for what we had already prepared from the assembly, the direction in which the LEDs go and from where they start. Remember, the point of view is being in front of the TV. The starting point of the LED strip is the part of the cable of four threads. We select our case. Recommended: Derecha, esquina inferior y va hacia arriba - Right/bottom corner and goes up.
  • Accept the message that will appear and now the addon will restart and the test rainbow will appear. We accept the following confirmation message.
  • Let's go to the calibration step. For ten seconds, four coloured rectangles will appear and we must confirm that they correspond to the lights shown by the LEDs

If everything went well, we select Yes and if not, we will restart the configurator to provide the correct data.

IMPORTANT: Sometimes the rainbow does not appear but the configuration has been done correctly. To see our Lightberry in operation, we will restart the system and we will play some content.

On the other hand, if you want to use Ambilight with sources external to your Raspberry Pi (your console, another Media Center, etc...). You can use the Lightberry HD HDMI Converter. It is very easy to install, here is a diagram of how it would look like:

Lightberry HD HDMI Converter

Characteristics of the Lightberry HD HDMI Converter:

  • Supports HDMI 1.4 (up to 4K x 2K@30Hz, 1080P@120Hz, and 1080P 3D@60Hz).
  • Compatible with CEC.
  • Supports 4K/UHD and 3D.
  • EDID.
  • Supports HDCP1.4.
  • 100% Plug and play.
  • Supports deep/true colour 30bit, 36bit, 48bit per pixel.
  • Digital audio format, DTS-HD/Dolby-true-HD/LPCM 7.1/DTS/Dolby-AC3/DSD.
  • UTV007 Capturer.

Installation and configuration of a USB DTT (DVB USB)

USB DVB-T for Raspberry Pi

There is the possibility of watching the open DTT channels that come through the antenna at home. Thanks to a USB DTT Antenna that we can connect to our Raspberry Pi Media Center and the MCX Adapter that will allow us to connect it to the wall coaxial.

In this section we are going to configure the device step by step in order to be able to use it as soon as it is connected.

In our Updated Addons Distribution you have it already configured without having to do anything else. You only have to set the frequencies specific to your province.

  • First we need to download and install the addon in our Media Center. TVHeadend. We are going to Applications > Addons Explorer > Search and write it there. We will see two versions, the Services - Tvheadend 4.0 and the 4.2.

Apparently the latter works better with Raspberry Pi as well as incorporating a startup guide that will help us in the configuration. It is up to you to choose, in this case we are going to do it with 4.2. We give it to install and wait for it to download.

Later on we will need to install another addon. So that we understand each other, this is the one that will translate the signals and make them understandable for the system.

TVHeadend Raspberry Pi
  • Now we are going to enter the configuration from our PC. To do this we will have to be connected to the same network as the Media Center and enter the IP of the device. You can find it in System > System Info > Overview and place it in the browser of your PC like this: http://IP-DEL-MEDIA-CENTER:9981/.

The start-up guide will open and we select the language we prefer. Click on Save and Continue.

  • In the next step you will be asked to register some credentials to the system. This is not a mandatory step if you are on your private network at home. At this point we connect our USB DVB-T to Raspberry Pi Media Center if we had not already done so.

We move on to the next point and we should see it reflected in the list of devices. We click on Select Network Type and we choose DVB-T network. Save and Continue.

  • Now let's choose the list of pre-defined muxes that we will later change as they are not updated correctly. We write Spain and we look for our province, in our case Spain: en-Cadiz. Save and Continue.
  • Now the scan will start and we can cancel it or leave it to check that it works. Later we will repeat the process with the correct muxes.

In the next step we will not touch anything as we will map the channels correctly when we have them updated.

  • We now go to Configuration > DVB Inputs > Muxes and we will see all the muxes we have preloaded. We enter the website TDT1 and look for the frequencies of our province, in the MUX column we have them in order.

We go back to TVHeadend and delete all the ones that do not match the column. Name and add the missing frequencies from the button Add above.

In the following image you have the example configuration, the only thing that we will have to change is the section Frequency (Hz). Remember to add six zeros to convert from MHz to Hz.

  • We move on to the tab Networks and select our network. At the top, click on Force Scan and wait. If everything went well in the Services our channels will be appearing.

Once everything is in place, click on Mapping services and we will have all the configuration of our DTT channels ready.

  • We return to search TVHeadend at Applications > Addons Explorer > Search, and select and install PVR Clients - Tvheadend HTSP Client. Enter the addon configuration by clicking on it. In Tvheadend name or IP address set the IP of the device itself.
  • We now go to Live TV in the main menu of the system and we will have listed all the channels previously found.
Raspberry Pi live TV

Addons Management

Best Kodi Addons 2019

Everything you will find below has already been added and configured in our Updated Addons Distribution.

Like any self-respecting software, Kodi also has small jewels that expand to a greater or lesser extent its functionality. Thus increasing what we can enjoy in our Media Center Raspberry Pi.

In Kodi, these Apps or Plugins are called Addons. We are going to show you how to install them and the best ones. Addons for Kodi in 2019.

How to install Addons on Kodi

There are two main ways in which we can install Addons on our Raspberry Pi Media Center. The first and most direct of these is through the repository that comes by default with the system, or a repository that we install separately.

Repositories are App Stores of Addons for Kodi. They can be official, or created by people with their own or third party addons.

It has quite a few, but they are very simple and ethically correct. Such as streaming of official channels, viewing of video magazines, etc...

On the other hand, we can download Addons directly from their official websites and install them from USB or through our own network.

Install Addons from repository

For the repository method you can wait for the system to update and go directly to the section Add-ons.

In our case, we will install SuperRepo. It is one of the largest repositories of really useful Addons for our Kodi. To do this we follow the steps explained below.

This repository and many others have already been added to our Updated Addons Distribution.

Install Addons from a .zip file

To install from our USB flash drive or network, we simply download the *.zip from the official website of the addon you want to install.

Then on the Raspberry Pi we go to Add-ons > My add-onsClick on the colon to go back and then select Install from a ZIP file. It will ask us to activate it. We look for it in our pendirve and select it.

Once installed, it will appear in our Add-ons, in the corresponding section. It may take a while to download and install it. We will be notified on the screen when it is ready.

If we do it over the network, it is very similar. We go to the Windows explorer and in network we will have to see LibreELEC or the name we have given to the Raspberry Pi device. We enter and leave the ZIP in the folder Downloads for example.

From the Raspberry Pi we look for it and install it in the same way. For this we must have Samba activated, which normally comes by default.

How to add new repositories

By adding repositories in addition to the official ones, we will greatly expand access to a multitude of addons that we would otherwise not be able to. The main advantage of installing from the repository is that we will be notified when there is an update of one of the Addons.

Here's how to install a repository, which ones are the best and how to manage them to find these great software gems:

Fusion y SuperRepo stand out from the rest of the repositories. OneNationMegatron and MTLFreeTV are also interesting.

install-repository-kodi

To install them, go to System > File manager and click on Add sources. Here we will have to enter the path and name of each repository.

Name: Fusion

Route: http://fusion.tvaddons.co/

Name: SuperRepo

Route: http://srp.nu/

Name: OneNation

Route: http://www.onenation.info/

Name: Megatron

Route: http://transform.mega-tron.tv

Name: MTLFreeTV

Route: http://upgrades.montrealandroidtv.com/

We will now go into each of them and look for the *.zip corresponding to the addon in the repository. First we have to link to your website and then install a small addon so that the repository is included in the system list.

Each one has its own name, but they are easily identifiable because they will include in the name repo o repository.

Once added we will see the results in Applications > Addons Explorer > Install from repository. From there we can browse addons by repository or open them all at once (thus eliminating duplications).

All these repositories are already installed in our Updated Addons Distribution.

10 Top Addons for Kodi in 2019

Raspberry Pi Kodi Addons

The Addons and functionalities you will find below are already included in our Updated Addons Distribution and all our Media Centers.

Movistar+ and more pay-TV (Magellan)

Kodi Magellan Addon

With this addon we will be able to have access to an infinite number of pay channels. This is an addon that we will not find in the official repositories, so we will have to download and install it from one of the repositories that we have installed above.

The list of pay channels that we can see with this addon is infinite as it relies on a system of XML lists that are created and updated by the addon's creators. It is the best and most updated list in this regard to date.

If you want to have access to all the content you have to install a few extra support addons such as Quasar, P2P-Streams and f4mTester. We already include them configured in our Updated Addons Distribution.

Films, series and documentaries in streaming (ALFA, Palantir and Cine)

ALFA addon for Kodi

Worthy successor of Pelis a la carte. With this addon we will have access to a database of films, series and documentaries incredible. It brings together some 70 websites (called channels) of content, arranged in an easy-to-navigate way.

Its reproduction is in streaming so we will have to have the Raspberry Pi connected to the Internet. We have streaming content both by torrent (with the help of Quasar) and by the usual means of direct download. The content can be found in Spanish, Latin Spanish or VOSE.

Live Sports (SportsDevil)

Sports Devil Raspberry Pi

Undoubtedly an indispensable addon in any installation we have. It offers us the power to watch live matches of all kinds of sports and with a very good quality.

SportsDevil has much more content from all sports and countries than other similar addons.

Desktop applications and console emulators (Advanced Emulator Launcher)

Advanced Emulator Launcher

Incredible as it may seem, there is an addon to bridge the gap between our desktop applications on our PC and our TV via Kodi. Steam Link style.

It allows you to play your PC games on your TV. And as if that wasn't enough, it also includes a complete retro console emulation system.

Do not confuse AEL (Advanced Emulator Launcher) with AML (Advanced MAME Launcher). Both are developed by the same team, but AML is only intended to emulate the MAME system, making the addon much easier.

AEL is very complete and at the same time complex, we leave you below the official wiki where you have all the information you need to learn how to set up and use the system.

Characteristics of AEL

  • It is able to start any application of Windows, Linux, Android and OS X.
  • Integrated data and cover sheet manager.
  • Powerful bookmarks manager so you don't get lost among thousands of ROMs.
  • Powerful search by Title, Year, Genre and Developer.
  • Integrated backup system.

Streaming from Torrent (Quasar)

Quasar Raspberry Pi

This Addon is in charge of "translating" to the system all the torrent links that we find in other Addons such as ALFA o Maguellan, and play them directly in streaming without downloading.

It used to be known as XBMCtorrent and was later renamed Pulsar until it finally got its current name. The great advantage that this system has with respect to ALFA to play content is that normally offers higher video quality. The big disadvantage is that some old torrents may die over time and may not load properly or may load very slowly.

TV channel content on your Raspberry Pi (TV on demand)

TV on demand on Raspberry Pi

From the same creators of Films on demandThis addon gets the content that the TV channels have uploaded online to their respective platforms (RTVE, Atresmedia, Mitele, etc...) and shows them in a very orderly way and totally free of advertising.

YouTube

Youtube on Raspberry Pi

It needs no introduction, the Addon that will allow you to view the entire library of videos hosted on YouTube from your TV and where you can log in to have all your content at your fingertips.

The Weather

The Weather on Kodi Raspberry Pi

It is available officially and integrates seamlessly with our skin giving weather information city that we previously set up for you.

With our Updated Addons Distribution you don't have to worry about it, you already have everything installed and configured perfectly.

Radio

Listen to your radio station from your Raspberry Pi Media Center. It has around 7000 international stations and you can sort them as you like and browse by genre, location, topic, country, city and language. It is available in the official repository as Radio.

With all these addons you'll have all the unimaginable content you can imagine at your fingertips and in the comfort of your living room. Undoubtedly an incredible platform that does not stop growing and upgrading on a daily basis.

Keep your Raspberry Pi Media Centre up to date

Upgrade Kodi Raspberry Pi

By entering Add-ons > LibreELEC Configuration > System > Upgrades you can change these options. There are three ways to keep your Kodi up to date:

  • Automatic updates. It is the recommended option as it will keep your Media Center Kodi Raspberry Pi fully up to date.

In previous versions, these automatic updates also included test and beta versions, so it was not ideal if we wanted to avoid bugs. Today it will only download and install the final and tested versions. When there is a new update, the system will warn us, download and unzip the new version and tell us that we need to restart the system to apply it. This option is not activated by default.

  • Manual updates. In this method we will be notified that there is a new update but it will not install it until we give the go-ahead. This is the default option and the one we have kept in our Updated Addons Distribution.
  • No updates. If for any reason you do not want to have updates, by deactivating the Show update notifications will not update the system for any reason and will not notify you either. It is possible that you know about the incompatibility of some of your Addons with the new version and prefer not to upgrade.

So much for everything you need to have a great Multimedia Centre made with the small and powerful Raspberry Pi. With the security of having a software like Kodi, integrated in LibreELEC.

I don't want to say goodbye without reminding you that if you want to support us you can buy directly our Media Center or our Updated Addons Distribution with everything ready to connect and start enjoying.

Thank you very much for reading this far and enjoy! Don't forget to leave your comment with any questions or suggestions you may have.

180 thoughts on “Tu propio Media Center Raspberry Pi con KODI”

  1. luis roso julve

    Desde hace mucho que vengo utilizando Kodi y me parece fantstico por su estructura y libertad.
    Quisiera poder esplicarte que es lo que no llego a configurar bien en Kodi y me da algun que otro
    inconveniente. Me esplicare utilizando Balandro puedo ver cualquier video porno y las peliculas
    se me cortan a falta de buffer. Que crees que tendria que buscar o cambiar para tener una recepcion
    optima y ver la pelicula nitida sin cortes.
    Un articulo muy interesante y practico.
    Salud Luis

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