Media center with Airplay: How to home theater! (Guide Part 2 & draw)

Last week I showed you how to prepare her a network hard drive for use in the media center. In Part 2 of the tutorial series, we dedicate ourselves to the Raspberry Pi. He will play on your TV video, pictures and music.

Media center with Airplay: How to home theater! (Guide Part 2 & amp; draw)

First, you should take a Part 1 of the instructions for Media Center homemade look at. There is a shopping list with the most important components. I declare here the example of a Synology DiskStation DS214play, as provide it with your data on the network.

Today we learn how to connect the Raspberry Pi as a HTPC (home theater PC) to the TV and then plays content from the DiskStation. The mini-computer even serves as a highly inexpensive AirPlay receiver.

Also this week you have the chance winning DiskStation! More on this at the end of the manual.

From the shopping list we take now the Raspberry Pi to the chest. It is equipped with software and wired so that it uses the TV as a monitor. To this end, may you still need an HDMI cable if you do not have lying around somewhere that:

  • AmazonBasics HDMI cable (2m) for 6.99 EUR Buy *Media center with Airplay: How to home theater! (Guide Part 2 & draw).

First, a few notes:

The Raspberry Pi is a very cheap mini-computer that requires no hard disk. He relates his Operating system from an SD card.

He has no on or off switch - we control the Pi either a SSH connection from Mac / PC, with a directly connected keyboard or remote control.

On the subject of remote control: Many TVs supported the so-called HDMI CEC ( "consumer electronics control"). This technology allows the TV remote control via HDMI to control connected devices directly via the television. The control signals are transmitted from the TV via the HDMI port.

The stupid thing about it: Not every TV supports CEC. The Good: If your TV can CEC, control the Media Center software on the Pi is a breeze. Some manufacturers have their own names for CEC. So is the function in the different marks:

  • AOC: E-Link
  • LG: SimpLink
  • Mitsubishi: NetCommand for HDMI
  • Onkyo: RIHD
  • Panasonic: HDAVI Control / EZ-Sync / VIERA Link
  • Philips EasyLink
  • Pioneer: Kuro Link
  • Samsung: Anynet
  • Sharp: Aquos Link
  • Sony BRAVIA Link / BRAVIA Sync
  • Toshiba CE-Link / Regza Link

Supports your TV, the CEC function does not, you should get yourself a USB keyboard or a remote control with infrared receiver for the Pi.

For it has, for example, this Logitech Wireless Keyboard with integrated touchpad to:


  • Logitech K400 from Amazon *Media center with Airplay: How to home theater! (Guide Part 2 & draw) (About 29 euros,).

As IR remote control, this part is good:


  • Buy Hama MCE remote Amazon *Media center with Airplay: How to home theater! (Guide Part 2 & draw) (About 21 euros, current price: Euro in).

If you establish a wired network connection to the Pi from the beginning, you also can watch the XBMC apps for iOS or Android use. Physical remotes but I find most convenient.
Ideal is a combination of both, because for a long text entries (Youtube search, passwords, etc.) Keyboard on the smartphone or tablet is much better suited than any remote control.

Official Kodi RemotedownloadQR codeOfficial Kodi RemoteDeveloper: joethefox *Price: Free
The app was not found in the store.

So, enough preliminaries! Serve up some grub.

Finding the right software: Step 1

The question of the right software is not always easy to answer. Basically, you have the choice between three programs, with which you can use the Pi as a media center PC: XBMC, Plex and OpenELEC.


One of the oldest and most popular media center applications. XBMC is available for almost any platform, it was originally developed for the Xbox (hence the name, Xbox Media Center). However, on the Pi XBMC builds on a kind of Linux Debian distribution - that is resource-hungry.


&# 8230; is there more easily. Here the Linux foundation is missing, the system is therefore less power intensive and runs on the Pi liquid. The functions are almost identical. Moreover, the surface looks exactly as with XBMC. My favorite!


Even an old--established program that also finds its roots in the XBMC code. Separated into a server and a client component somewhat more complex in preparation - but great support for it from the Synology NAS. The Plex server is installed on the package manager that facilitates you already stuff.

Also, you can Plex many videos from the Disk Station directly to your iPhone, iPad or Android smart device stream - provided appropriate processor performance NAS. XBMC can only with a jailbreak IOS device (or Android).

Nevertheless, I have decided in this tutorial for OpenELEC.
It is the easiest option - and runs most fluid on the Raspberry Pi. If you want to try anyway Plex on the Pi, should Rasplex See, the porting of the client for the mini-computer.

Step 2: Install OpenELEC on the Pi

You need first, as described above, a Raspberry Pi Model B (512 MB Ram), a power adapter and an SD card. In addition, the Pi must either to the local network be connected, or you have a USB keyboard, it communicates via the directly to the Pi.

  • Invite you the installation file for OpenELEC down (current version at the time of writing: 3.2.4).
  • now uses the SD card into your reader on the Mac and formats it into an MS-DOS file system (FAT). How to do this, we will show you in a manual for formatting USB drives (also on SD cards transferable).
  • When the process is complete, you choose the newly created volume on the left and (not eject!) Click Disable in the menu bar.
  • Now you open up a terminal window and give the following command:

diskutil list

Showing you all existing volumes after pressing the Enter key. it looks something like this:

Screenshot 2014-03-29 16:47:29

Pay attention to the names of the displayed media / dev / DiskX. Look at exactly what number (instead of X) stands for the SD card. Here clearly disk1. Now you give this command (of course with your username to / Users /):

sudo dd if = / Users / Flavio / Downloads / OpenELEC-RPi.arm.-3.2.4.img of = / dev / disk1

Attention: Pays close attention to the number after disk (in this case 1) with indication of diskutil list matches. Give her the wrong number here, you can offer your Laying System lame!

You will be asked for your administrator password, and then the image is copied to the SD card. Meanwhile appear no progress indicator, you have to just have a moment of patience. When the process is complete, the prompt appears again.

Now you can eject, remove and insert into the Pi the SD card. Connects the Pi via HDMI cable to your TV, via cable or compatible wireless dongle to the network and plugged in the power cord.

configure Media Center on your TV: Step 3

You should see the OpenELEC device interface on your TV after the start. Here you choose now your Region, time zone and language out. If you equip your Pi with a wireless dongle, you also have the option to select a network and connect you with it here. Otherwise, the cable connection is detected automatically.

media center-tutorial instruction-OpenELEC-1

After the initial configuration steps are done, you can also reach her via SSH OpenELEC on the Pi. password: OpenELEC

The SSH access should be treated with caution. If you do not versed in a Linux console, you can here make "broken" different things. Of course it is still possible ultimately to format the SD card again with the above steps. Annoying it can be anyway.

Next, we share with the Raspberry Pi, where the contents are, we have previously transferred to the DiskStation.

media center-tutorial instruction-OpenELEC-2

To choose their videos -> files -> Add videos&# 8230; There you click Search and scans you further prior to network file system (NFS). Here you will find the first IP address of your DiskStation. Underlying this is the media folder that you have created before, together with the therein folder and file structure.

media center-tutorial instruction-OpenELEC-3

Let's start with the movies. Selects the Movies folder, and then the OK button. With the remote control you come on the arrow button to the left there. You can now get back to the previous dialog box.

media center-tutorial instruction-OpenELEC-4

Here you can change the name of the source. is automatically transferred to the folder name, therefore it was previously a good idea to call him directly films. So it saves you the tedious typing with the remote control here and do not have to separately bring out even the smartphone.

After clicking OK, it goes on. Now it tells the system what are for content in the specified folder. Searches using the arrow keys to select the (movies) out. Now white OpenELEC in which Internet databases for metadata as it Synopsis, actors and especially Cover Art to look.


The other options can you leave so and confirm the entries with OK. The now emerging question answered her yes. Thus, the contents precisely defined searched and provided with additional information.

continues&# 8217; s: Add more videos&# 8230;
Again you find yourselves on the network file system folder on the Disk Station out - but this time series. confirm again twice with OK and next choose the arrow keys to select (TV series). OpenELEC now search for information about data in this folder in the Internet database of

The ensuing interrogation after updating the database again answered her yes. The result you see when you back to the home screen replaced. Here are now two new riders see, for series and movies.

Do you choose from this, you should now see the previously loaded of you DiskStation content. Including cover, summaries, trailers, etc.

For music you can the process repeat in a similar manner - at first but changed the home screen on the tab Music.

Nomen est omen: Scoring with correct filename

If you miss the files in the newly created video collections you assert safely on DiskStation that can to the file name lie. Such films and series that have been downloaded from iTunes or other online digital video stores are usually named already correct. The so-called "scraper" is the relevant information easily.

User-created backups of DVDs or Blu-rays, however, you have to call themselves so that they are found. it is best to Title of the film, followed by the year number in parentheses to choose the file name.

About folder Series title as a name: for series applies Subfolder for each season ( "Scale 1", etc.) and a file name of the title of the series, followed by a numbered with "S01E04" (e.g., for the fourth sequence of season 1). When in doubt, you can see how the series named there, and the consequences are numbered on the respective sides of the databases and IMDB TheTVDB.

If you add new content, should you your refresh library. The corresponding entry is found in the context menu that can show you, for example, in the list of all movies (c on the keyboard, right click of the mouse, return button on the TV remote control).

Addons: even more video sources

Addons are small Additional programs for OpenELEC / XBMC, with which you can extend the functionality of your media center. Selected on the home screen the System tab -> Add-ons -> Other add-ons -> add-ons. Here you can find, especially in the video add-ons, some exciting things. Just look around and installed you what you like.

media center-tutorial instruction-OpenELEC-6

There is even a GIGA add-on, but that no longer works. Maybe someone feels even among our readers capable and has the will, a current GIGA add-on for XBMC to create&# 8230 ;?

Here are just a small selection of those addons that I myself like to use:

  • ARD library
  • ZDF Mediathek
  • The Daily Show
  • YouTube
  • TED Talks
  • daily News

Step 4: AirPlay!

OpenELEC can also receive via AirPlay content from iOS devices for a while. This function must activate it. Selects the home screen system -> Services -> AirPlay where it set the small blue dot.


So you should be able to on the iPhone or iPad in the control center Raspberry Pi from AirPlay receiving device to select. It may be that you can sometimes transmit sound - it's not entirely clear why. Some suspect that the iOS Quality and throughput of the network connection checked for AirPlay receiver. Is not enough high, only audio streaming is allowed. Sometimes it has helped me in this case, Wi-Fi off and on again. That too Restarting the iOS Device is said to have been remedied.

With one of the next updates the team wants around XBMC and OpenELEC restore the reliability of AirPlay connection to the media center. Until then, at least the video streaming is unfortunately limited. However, if it works once, it does so perfectly in my experience.

Step 5: aufhübschen Media Center

The surface of OpenELEC clear and simple. You can customize them your needs even further, for example, Remove riders from the home screen, that you do not need.

media center-tutorial instruction-OpenELEC-8

For this you choose the tab system -> Presentation -> skin -> &# 8211; settings -> Main window options to be hidden main menu buttons made. Here you can make various other settings.

In addition, the display of films and series it fits when you in the title-view left maneuvered to another menu appears. Since you can choose from several views of those who you like best.

media center-tutorial instruction-OpenELEC-7

new Skins for OpenELEC you can also install - but means the Limited power of the power Pi, that most will not run particularly smoothly. "Confluence" is the default skin, it conserves resources and is quite respectable.

That was&# 8217; s! Congratulations, you have now successfully your Raspberry Pi with your Disk Station and you can easily stream movies, series, music on your TV.

Your questions can you get rid of here in the comments. I will try as much as possible to help you.

Do not forget: The Synology DiskStation DS214play worth about 300 euros you can win at the end of this tutorial series! To participate here in the widget and with a little luck is a good piece shortly you. will be drawn after the appearance of the third part, Deadline for entries is April 15 is extended to 18 April.

Update: The winner is drawn! Congratulations and thank you for your numerous participation!
Rafflecopter a giveaway

The first part of our series Media center with a mini-PC: So expanding its your home theater we published last week. There I show you, we will prepare you your NAS for use in your media center. In Part 3 of the guide, you learn how Multiroom audio streaming Spotify, wireless radio and local music files with the Raspberry Pi works.


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