Once upon a time...

Once upon a time...
Christmas 2016

Friday, 24 April 2020

Creating a Raspberry Pi Media Centre

NOTE: I'm catching up on Blogger and decided to post these draft posts that I've had partially written. I'm not completing them at this point and probably won't revisit them, but as a big part of the reason for blogging is to remind myself of what I was thinking/doing, they're still valid in this sense. This draft was dated 04/01/2017.

This article is all about the approach I took to attempt to create a Raspberry Pi based Media Centre for my daughter.  It assumes some knowledge of Raspberry Pi's  (What they are, how to find information about them, etc) and is more a record for my own purposes than a step-by-step how-to guide.

There are numerous resources out there, even pre-installed SD cards to get you going.  One of the most common current bits of Media Centre software is Kodi, so I will be going with that.

What I realised though was that I would need a lot more storage and would prefer something self-contained.  I stumbled upon the WD PiDrive. This is a harddrive which is designed to work with the Pi.

What I have ended up with is the following (purchased from The Pi Hut):

  • Raspberry Pi 3 Media Centre Kit - 16GB
    • Latest Raspberry Pi 3 Model B (64bit Quad Core, 1GB RAM)
    • 16GB Sandisk Ultra Class 10 MicroSD (pre-imaged with Kodi)
    • Official Raspberry Pi 5.1V 2.5A International Power Supply (for UK, EU, USA & AUS)
    • Black Raspberry Pi 3 Case
    • 2M HDMI cable
    • 2M Ethernet Cable
  •  375GB Western Digital PiDrive - Foundation Edition
    • Native USB 7mm HDD
    • microSD™ card (preloaded)
    • WD PiDrive Cable
    • 2-year Limited Warranty
First, I backed up the SD cards using Win32DiskImager, just in case.

Next up I did a bit of reading, and wasn't sure if I would be using the 16GB Kodi SD card as I wanted things to run on the HDD.  Reading the PiDrive FAQ, I could see that the idea is that you normally install multiple OS's allowing you to keep messing around with different configs for different purposes.  That's not what I wanted.  What I did note however is the instructions for expanding a Raspian partition to use the entire drive. (FAQ #5)

Feeling I was ready to start, I dug out a keyboard, screen, etc to allow me to start setting up the basic system.

Step 1:
Installed Raspberry Pi into case, inserted PiDrive SD Card, connected up keyboard, mouse, screen and HDD as per the PiDrive instructions, and then finally turned on the power.

Step 2:
The Pi booted into the PiDrive NOOBS options, I realised that I couldn't install OSMC from there, so I figured I would try the 16GB pre-installed Kodi card.  FAIL!  It wouldn't boot, so, lots more reading and then I downloaded the latest OSMC image from Osmc.tv/download/ and booted from that.

Step 3:
Connected up the WiFi and went through the various settings to change these to things that made sense.

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