Author Topic: Anyone here converted a Raspberry Pi 2B to a media centre?  (Read 400 times)

I have all the hardware in place and just need some guidance as to which is the best OS to go for. And a tutorial, if possible...
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Re: Anyone here converted a Raspberry Pi 2B to a media centre?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2020, 11:32:06 pm »
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: Anyone here converted a Raspberry Pi 2B to a media centre?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2020, 12:32:12 am »
Not sure if mine is a 2B, but I did the osmc /kodi route.

https://osmc.tv/about/
OSMC is the Linux derived OS. Kodi is the media player.

Mine does my DVDs that I've ripped, tv programmes that I've downloaded, CDs that I've ripped. I listen to the radio through it too using an addon.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: Anyone here converted a Raspberry Pi 2B to a media centre?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2020, 01:54:08 pm »
Thank you!
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

pdm

  • Sheffield hills? Nah... Just potholes.
Re: Anyone here converted a Raspberry Pi 2B to a media centre?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2020, 02:01:08 pm »
+1 for OSMC. Recent versions are reliable, easy to use and install, updates frequently and interfaces with a local TVHeadend live TV backend or Mythtv remote backend with impunity.

Re: Anyone here converted a Raspberry Pi 2B to a media centre?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2020, 03:58:19 pm »
Right, I've got OSMC installed & running and the DVTV Hat plugged in with a working feed. Do I now need to buy codecs from Raspberry Pi to enable the EPG to appear or have I gone astray?
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

321up

  • 59° N
Re: Anyone here converted a Raspberry Pi 2B to a media centre?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2020, 05:01:36 pm »
We are using Raspberry Pi 3 B+ running Raspbian with the RPi DVB-T2 TV HAT.
We use the over the air TV guide (broadcast with the tv signal), so no internet connection or subscription are required.  You can enable the OTA programme guide somewhere in the TV Head End settings.
I found that disabling the on board wifi and bluetooth reduced the occurrence of recording errors (don't know if is specific to Raspbian or if it also applies to other distros)
If you plan to do a lot of recording it's best to understand which frequency the channels are broadcast on.  Each frequency can carry a number of channels (multiplexed).  With a single decoder you can record a number of channels simultaneously if they are all on the frequency.  If you try to record two channels on different frequencies simultaneously then one will fail.  I have setup a favorite channels group of channels which are all on the same frequency.  The ultimate setup would be to have a RPi + decoder for each mux (frequency) and network them together (we have two, one headless which does most of the recording, and the other connected to a 2k monitor for playback and occasionally recording channels on a different mux).  I've set Raspbian to drive our monitor at 2560x2440, but kodi plays more smoothly at 720p (Kodi is setup to use it's own framebuffer at a lower resolution).  Each TV transmitter will use different frequencies (to avoid interfering with other nearby transmitters) so which frequencies are used will depend on your local transmitter.
Keep an eye on your ram usage.  We had a few crashes until I figured out that we were filling the ram.  Logging out and back in frees up the ram (possibly there is a memory leak in one of the programs we use).  Now they've been runing for >212 days without rebooting.
Also keep an eye on the RPi clock (time) as they tend to drift due to using a basic RC oscillator.  The time is broadcast with TV signal but I think TV Head End has to run as root to update the system clock running under Raspbian.  The recordings are controlled by the system clock so make sure that the time, date and timezone are correct.
I did our setup quite a while ago and haven't updated it recently so things may have changed.

Re: Anyone here converted a Raspberry Pi 2B to a media centre?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2020, 05:32:24 pm »
That's very useful , thanks.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Anyone here converted a Raspberry Pi 2B to a media centre?
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2020, 05:34:57 pm »
Also keep an eye on the RPi clock as they tend to drift due to using a basic RC oscillator.  The time is broadcast with TV signal but I think TV Head End has to run as root to update the system clock running under Raspbian.

Isn't this what ntp is for?
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

321up

  • 59° N
Re: Anyone here converted a Raspberry Pi 2B to a media centre?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2020, 05:49:49 pm »
Also keep an eye on the RPi clock as they tend to drift due to using a basic RC oscillator.  The time is broadcast with TV signal but I think TV Head End has to run as root to update the system clock running under Raspbian.

Isn't this what ntp is for?

Yes, I have a RPi setup with a RTC and NTP server but haven't got around to running a network cable to the room where it's located.  It would be nice to set the clock from the TV signal though - I tried to setup systemd to allow TVHeadend to set the clock but it didn't work for that user (same method did work for another non-root user).  I've got a RPi 4 B waiting to setup as a new media server so I'll see how that goes with up to date software rather than spend time on the old system that otherwise works ok.  Adjusting the clock every few weeks is less time consuming  in the short term!

tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Anyone here converted a Raspberry Pi 2B to a media centre?
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2020, 09:37:03 am »
If you are using Kodi (OSMC/Librelec) you don't need a media server - just a file server is fine. On a 2B  you might need the hardware PI codec licenses for some file formats on the KODI machines, but on the 3b they don't seem to be necessary, at least up to 1080P (or I no longer have those file types).

Re: Anyone here converted a Raspberry Pi 2B to a media centre?
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2020, 10:11:11 am »
The older Pis also have limited bus bandwidth as the Ethernet port was also linked via USB. With HDDs, network and TV Decoders all vying for a finite amount of bandwidth you're going to start to run into problems if you add more HDDs or decoders or want 4K instead of HD (1K).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Anyone here converted a Raspberry Pi 2B to a media centre?
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2020, 05:48:36 pm »
If you are using Kodi (OSMC/Librelec) you don't need a media server - just a file server is fine. On a 2B  you might need the hardware PI codec licenses for some file formats on the KODI machines, but on the 3b they don't seem to be necessary, at least up to 1080P (or I no longer have those file types).

You can also use Kodi as a front end for something like Jellyfin. There are a couple of media centre Pi's here that essentially stream from Jellyfin. It keeps watched/unwatch content in sync and I believe it supports TV tuners and the like.
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel