Making a Raspberry Pi Smart TV has now been the most popular project to work on. It is very simple and at the same time fun to make. Since, Raspberry pi have enormous application and there are a ton of Media Centered project one can make with it. Here, you will get the easy to follow step by step guide on making your first smart TV using Raspberry pi.
For this project we are using Raspberry PI 3 but you can follow this for other previous version too with some add-on(s) like WiFi and Bluetooth dongle.
- Raspberry Pi 3
- Keyboard and Mouse
- Either HDMI to HDMI connector (if you monitor or TV supports HDMI) or HDMI to VGA convertor for VGA screens.
- Micro SD Card (16GB recommended but 8 GB can do the job.)
- External Speakers (if it’s a non HDMI Speaker supported screen )
Here, we will be using a popular open source media software that will be like the soul of this project.
Brief Introduction to Kodi:
It is a free media centre open source software for playing games, music, pictures, videos, and other media related stuffs which runs on Linux, OS X, Windows OS, IOS, and even on Android. This is going to be the soul of our Smart TV. Want to know about it? (Click).
Installing Kodi on Raspberry PI:
Step 1: Go to https://osmc.tv/download/ and download the latest image file of it as per the PI board you are using. Here, we are choosing Raspberry Pi 2/3.
Step 2: We need to write this downloaded image file to SD Card (recommended 8GB class 10) using Win32DiskImager. But, before that format the SD Card.
- Visit the SD Association’s website and download SD Formatter 4.0 for either Windows or Mac.
- Follow the instructions to install the software.
- Insert your SD card into the computer or laptop’s SD card reader and make a note of the drive letter allocated to it, e.g. F:/
- In SD Formatter, select the drive letter for your SD card and format it.
Step 3: Once our SD Card it ready with Kodi image file on it. The next step is to insert it in the sd card slot and power on the PI with all the peripheral devices connected. Since, PI 3 inbuilt WiFi cannot be used initially during the installation process, so an Ethernet cable is needs to connected for Internet.
Step 4: Booting Process starts and the installation screen opens. Just follow the steps shown in the monitor and complete the further installation. It will take around 10-15 minutes to do that.
Step 5: Now the PI will restart and a screen will appear asking the Language. Choose your language from the list and confirm it.
Step 6: Then, new welcome screen opens that looks similar to the one shown below. Here, we need to initialise Kodi settings like TimeZone, HotSpot, SSH and other.
Step 7: After that Desktop UI appears as the one shown below:
Step 8: Customize the GUI of Kodi .
Go to settings —> Appearance –> Skin and choose the one as per preference. By Default there are two Skin Suits available : OSMC and Confluence.
Select Confluence and click Ok to keep the skin. Other Skin suits can also be used but you have download and install them. GIF image given below shows briefly show the steps involved.
The Confluence Desktop screen will look similar to this:
Setting Android Remote Controller:
Smart TV cannot be smarter until it can be operated by an Android device. So, we don’t need mouse and keyboard further for operating the PI. So, in order to do that we are going to use Android phone as our smart controller.
Step 1: Go to Playstore and download the official app from Kodi i.e. Yatse.
Step 2: We have to create a WiFi connection between the raspberry Pi and the smartphone. Create a portable WiFi hotspot on phone.
Now select the programs menu from Pi desktop and then select My OSMC. Screen appears as shown below.
Step 3: From the newly open Network screen, set the network parameters as shown in the image below and then select the wireless option.
Click “Enable Adapter” option to enable the WiFi adapter. On the right side we see the available networks and from that list choose the desired network. Enter the correct password for the selected network and start the connection
Step 4: Now, on smartphone open the Yatse app and click on Add Host.
Step 5: Select the first option from the Add Host window naming as XBMC/KODI.
A new screen appears with a notification as no hosts detected. Click on the next button.
Step 6: In the next window type the Host IP, i.e Raspberry Pi IP and also give a port number.
Step 7: Once, connected to the host, our PI Smart TV is ready and you can start playing with it.