The most of the TV-s you can find in shops are with high-end built-in smart TV operations you can access YouTube, Twitter and so on. But these systems features are really limited and are meant to be used by common consumer. What if you want some more possibilities or have some older TV without all the smart TV functionality. But you still would like to see movies from external hard disk ?
There exists different Media Center building options:
- Create small Intel i3 based Micro ATX box
- Buy Media Player, like these http://www.xtreamer.net/
- Or last option, if you want something cheaper consider buying Raspberry Pi, this is the option that I liked most.
The Raspberry Pi gives freedom, you get computer and use as you like. You can create personal web server or torrent download center, there’s endless possibilities what you can do.
Here is my current setup, which certainly will change in near future:
- SD card 1GB Class 4 – really slow and if you want faster I/O, booting take at least class 10, also there are many SD Card models which are not supported.
- Power supply with at least 1A 5V, works also with 700mA but I have connected some external USB devices
- HDMI cable
- External hard disk – I use WD Passport 500GB
- Wireless Microsoft Arc keyboard – also the TV-s remote control works through the HDMI
- Cat 5 cable or if not possible use USB Wifi adapter
- Raspberry Pi comes without case so you need to buy one or build http://www.geek.com/chips/11-best-raspberry-pi-cases-1530907/ your own
As an operating system I am using OpenElec which is fast and does not come with any useless packages. If you would like to install some additional packages the better option is http://www.raspbmc.com.