Schedule

Schedule

Thursday, January 29

1422554400 Tech News Today
1422558000 Know How...
1422561600 Marketing Mavericks
1422567000 Coding 101
1422570600 Home Theater Geeks
1422576000 Tech News 2Night
1422577800 The Giz Wiz

Friday, January 30

1422640800 Tech News Today
1422644400 This Week in Law
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Saturday, January 31

1422730800 The Tech Guy

Sunday, February 1

1422817200 The Tech Guy
1422828000 This Week in Tech

Monday, February 2

1422900000 Tech News Today
1422903600 Triangulation
1422909000 iPad Today
1422921600 Tech News 2Night

Tuesday, February 3

1422986400 Tech News Today
1422990000 MacBreak Weekly
1422997200 Security Now
1423004400 Before You Buy
1423008000 Tech News 2Night
1423011600 All About Android
1423020600 Padre's Corner

Wednesday, February 4

1423067400 FLOSS Weekly
1423072800 Tech News Today
1423076400 Windows Weekly
1423083600 This Week in Google
1423094400 Tech News 2Night
1423096200 Android App Arena
1423101600 Ham Nation

Thursday, February 5

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1423162800 Know How...
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1423171800 Coding 101
1423175400 Home Theater Geeks
1423180800 Tech News 2Night
1423182600 The Giz Wiz

Friday, February 6

1423245600 Tech News Today
1423249200 This Week in Law
1423267200 Tech News 2Night

Saturday, February 7

1423335600 The Tech Guy

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Know How... 31

Make a Raspberry Pi Media Center with XBMC

February 14 2013

Turn your Raspberry Pi into a $35 Media Center with XBMC!

Why XBMC?

We asked you guys what you would do if you had a Raspberry Pi and overwhelmingly, you wanted to make a media center. We did it and found some things out.

If you're unfamiliar with the Raspberry Pi, it's a $35 computer with a 700MHz processor, 2 USB ports, Ethernet, HDMI, analog video and audio out. You power it with a USB adapter. It's a pretty powerful machine at a low cost and it sips electricity.

We loaded RaspBMC on to our Raspberry Pi. It is a specially made version of XBMC. XBMC is a free media center piece of software that is available for all platforms. It originated on the Xbox (formerly known as "Xbox Media Center") and made its way to the PC. RaspBMC is a tiny version of XBMC that is made specially for the hardware on the Raspberry Pi.

Loading RaspBMC

You have to load RaspBMC onto an SD card. We suggest an 8GB Class 10 card. That SD card is used by the Raspberry Pi as its hard drive because the device does not have any onboard storage. You can use a command line or go with the easier GUI solutions. The official Windows installer is made by the RaspBMC guys. There's also a Mac installer called XPi.

RaspBMC on your Pi

Once you get your XBMC installer on the card, plug in your SD card to your Raspberry Pi. Then attach all the other cables (network, HDMI, USB devices and power). We highly suggest using a powered USB hub to support your wireless keyboard or mouse.

Once you power it up, the installation process will continue on the SD card. It ought to take about 30 minutes to download and update all the components.

Performance

The Raspberry Pi handles a lot of things well. Web streaming video, Airplay (audio better than video), local video file playback were all very good.

We did have issues with playing videos from a network resource. It wasn't an issue every time, but we found a workaround. If you have another PC, use it as a server and run a transcoder like PS3 Media Server or TVersity. PS3 Media Server is free and runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. TVersity costs $4 and runs on Windows Only.

Overall, the Raspberry Pi worked very well as a Media Center with XBMC. Responsiveness could be a little slow from time to time, but it's easy to forgive since the device is only $35.

Google+ Spotlight

We've got a great active community where you can discuss ideas with other folks over at Google Plus. Give it a look and get involved!

Reith Walls with a tip on Media Monkey
- you guys missed a MAJOR feature of Media Monkey. Once you have everything tagged, you can right click your ENTIRE library, tell it to auto-rename and organize the files, and Media Monkey will actually re-name all of your music based on the proper tags, and then organize them into Artist and Album folders. Not only does it get everything tagged, but it gets everything organized too.

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People: Leo Laporte