All this provides great popularity to third-party consoles, to navigate in the variety of which is quite difficult. There are Chinese nouns, the middle segment from Xiaomi is Apple’s expensive solutions.
The most interesting solution will be the self-assembly of a television set-top box, which, if possible, can overtake most competitors, but it will not hit the owner’s wallet.
Who needs such a TV set-top box
At first, for those who want to turn a regular TV into smart.
Secondly, such a solution is much more universal and when you change the TV in the future, it is flexibly rebuilt or transformed into a completely different module. Gadgets will appreciate it.
Thirdly, A homemade set-top box will cost less than ready-made proprietary solutions, but at the same time it will be more flexible in configuration. For those who want to save on the purchase of gadgets. just right.
Fourth, in parallel with a media server based on a homemade set-top box, you can run something else, for example, a hub for a smart home or a retro game console.
The house itself has a great 40-inch TV Sony bravia, which was purchased about 7 years ago and at the moment I am completely satisfied. One of the top models of its time has all the necessary features, but is not burdened by the presence of a smart module.
Now I want to add the ability to watch IPTV, YouTube and other network services to the TV, as well as get network storage for existing content.
With such tasks our homemade prefix will perfectly cope.
What you need to build the console
First you need to decide on the basis of the future assembly. We will not reinvent the wheel and choose a proven Raspberry pi. The community of owners of such a single-payer is really huge, in the vastness of the network you can find answers to any questions regarding the conversion of “raspberries” into any gadget, including a television set-top box.
Among the wide variety of Raspberry models, only two are suitable for our task: 3B and 4B. Only these modifications are equipped with an Ethernet interface, a Wi-Fi module with support for the standard 802.11ac, have a fairly powerful processor and the required amount of RAM.
You should not rely on more affordable versions of Raspberry, they simply will not pull playback without brakes.
When choosing between the Raspberry Pi 3B and the Raspberry Pi 4, you should focus on the maximum necessary resolution for the content being played. Model 3B will pull Full hd resolution, and the new “four” with two or four GB of RAM will cope with 4K resolution.
▪️ Buy Raspberry pi 3b. from 2,609 rubles.
▪️ Buy Raspberry Pi 4B. from 3,617 rubles.
▪️ Buy an HDMI cable. from 68 rubles.
▪️ Buy a MicroSD memory card. from 207 rubles.
Choose a model with a case and a cooling cooler, and the power supply can not be bought, almost any charge from a smartphone is suitable.
How to set up a prefix
Following the choice of iron, we proceed to the choice of software. Suitable for our tasks Kodi. This is a free, open source cross-platform media player.
A powerful community of users has long acquired modules and extensions for KODI that solve all sorts of tasks. You can install KODI on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and even Apple TV.
Raspberry owners have two ways to launch KODI. You can install a media player on top of an existing Raspbian system, but you can use the available optimized builds.
The first method is more complicated, because it involves installing the player, the necessary plug-ins and add-ons in turn through the command line. However, this solution is more universal and allows KODI to get along in one system, for example, with Homebridge.
The second method is faster and easier. The special assembly is maximally optimized for the player to work on Raspberry, it already has most of the necessary extensions and plug-ins, it is installed by loading the image onto a memory card, and further configuration is done through the graphical interface.
It is worth noting that in this case, on a stripped-down version of the operating system for “raspberry,” you can run additional services like HomeBridge, but they will work in so-called containers without gaining full access to the hardware and having a number of restrictions.
Now we will focus on the second simpler installation method. To do this, we need a system image for the Raspberry Pi called Libreelec.
1. Download the special utility from the official assembly site.
2. We launch the utility, select the version of our “raspberry” and the firmware version.
3. Download the software and write to the installed memory card.
4. When the recording is complete, remove the memory card and install it in the Raspberry Pi.
5. We launch the “raspberry” and make the initial setup.
To enter the parameters, you need a mouse and keyboard, it is best to use a suitable universal remote control, which is recognized by the console without additional settings.
You will be immediately prompted to connect to the wireless home network and install the localization package.
What to do next
At the moment, the console can only plays from connected drives or from the built-in memory. The device is quite omnivorous, recognizing most common formats without problems.
Holders of a large library will love the built-in file identification system. Using one of the services (TMDb or TVDB), KODI will automatically pull data from the network about all the films and TV shows on the device.
To expand the capabilities you will need to install the appropriate add-ons. Search and installation of plugins occurs in the menu Settings. Add-ons. Search.
I recommend finding and installing such plugins:
▪️ YouTube. to view from the most popular resource on the console. You can search fors directly on the device or log in to your account and watch your favorite or added to a separate playlist.
▪️ PVR IPTV Simple Client. to view IPTV. Most services support viewing through m3u format playlists, for this, this plugin as well as most analogs are suitable.
▪️ Keymap editor. to reassign buttons on connected remote controls, mice or gamepads.
▪️ Estuary MOD. for easy customization of the standard theme. I sorted out third-party skins for a long time, but in the end I returned back to the standard one using this plugin. The main convenience for me is the ability to create duplicate items in the main menu. So in a couple of minutes, four galleries are configured (two with and one with a series) for children’s content and for the rest.
▪️ Aerial. A cool screen saver for standby with 4Ks from Apple TV.
Do not forget to configure the web interface and remote access to data on the console. Plugins and extensions are not needed for this, everything you need is in the system settings.
Web-based management via browser
Along the way Settings. Services. Management turn on web interface and select the theme. Now, directly from a computer or smartphone, you can control playback on the console.
For data access Support for the smb protocol is useful. You can enable on the way: Settings. Services. SMB Client. Do not forget to disable the restriction on the minimum and maximum version of the protocol.
Now a new device will appear in the home network with full access to its internal memory and connected drives. So you can quickly reset the or photo to the console through the Finder or Explorer.
Remote connection to the player for data transfer
The inclusion of the service will be the cherry on the cake Airplay to transfer music. On the menu Settings. Services. AirPlay We activate the corresponding option and on the console you can stream tracks directly from the iPhone or iPad.
Users of streaming services like Netflix, Megogo, Okko, Ivi and others easily find plugins for viewing content through KODI.
Here’s a powerful and functional set-top box with quick setup and a huge database of extension plug-ins can be obtained on the basis of our beloved Raspberry Pi.