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Thought that this might be worthy of its own topic, given that it comes up in lots of other places (consoles threads, streaming threads, etc).

 

What are you using for a media centre? One device? A couple? Any recommendations?

 

Although the nerve centre of my office is well appointed for playback devices, downstairs can be something of a riot. We've got around four or five things that plug into the TV now.

 

Going to get that down to two. Got the missus a Chromecast at Christmas, which is perfect for streaming stuff from tablets, etc (and if you didn't already know, you can continue to use your tablet! :D).

 

Think we'll complete that with a Raspberry Pi 2/Kodi setup. Will need an HDMI surround sound receiver to make it all sing, but tbh, been putting that off for years now anyway. If it turns out that the Pi 2 is not up to the job as main media centre, will probably go for a small form PC instead. With all that, we're covered for any streaming or downloaded stuff, even (cough) programmes you may wish to view at three 'o clock on a Saturday afternoon.

 

What are you rocking?

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I have a small pc I got off ebay for about 70 quid which was amazing value and plays everything I throw at it. Also plays all of my steam games flawlessly with an old 360 controller. I use that with kodi and the nbc app to watch the footie. Have combined this with two chromecasts, one for my bedroom and one for the kitchen and it works brilliantly. Combine it with showbox on my android or utorrent and I can watch anything I like (and it allows me to stream Spotify through my soundbar so I can extend my sonos). Have my tabletop arcade that I've put on here as well before that plays pretty much every game known to man so it keeps me occupied!

Edited by hypochondriac
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Probably a bit overkill for most, but I have a Proliant server under the stairs running ESXI, loads of VM's where I play with all my training materials generally etc - but I've also installed a media setup on it. I have Plex media server running on 1 of the VM's. All my media is stored on my general Qnap NAS (which is the storage device for everything) and Plex just scans from those folders, never had any issues. It's hidden away under the stairs and the media is available on any TV or Device inside or outside the house. The beauty is that I can be watching a film on my TV, but don't have time to finish watching it as I have to go out on the train etc - so i stop it on the TV, get on the train, load up the phone and it carries off from exactly where I stopped it on my TV. Plex is pure genius.

 

I can't recommend plex highly enough by the way, genius bit of software that has changed my viewing habits!

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Mine is a bit of a mish Mash but it works well enough. Got a Smart TV with a Chromecast and a ps4. The other room has a 1TB laptop with Plex and a Zyxel 2tb NAS. Also have a logitech k400 wireless keyboard which makes life easier. Use smartphones and a tablet for Chromecast viewing of Showbox, Netflix and nowtv.

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The remote is probably superfluous for most modern TV sets. My TV (LG) remote operates my pi using something called CEC that is built into the RaspBMC OS.

 

Be careful with OS choice. RaspBMC is now pretty much discontinued, but it's replacement OSMC is still only in alpha and still lacks some important functionality.

 

Also I still run XBMC not kodi. Kodi wasn't stable for my installed sources. But you will need to disable automatic updates or it will upgrade itself to kodi.

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The remote is probably superfluous for most modern TV sets. My TV (LG) remote operates my pi using something called CEC that is built into the RaspBMC OS.

 

Be careful with OS choice. RaspBMC is now pretty much discontinued, but it's replacement OSMC is still only in alpha and still lacks some important functionality.

 

Also I still run XBMC not kodi. Kodi wasn't stable for my installed sources. But you will need to disable automatic updates or it will upgrade itself to kodi.

 

Looks pretty capable.

 

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The pre installed NOOBS card has OpenElec and Raspbmc both installed and find out which is best for you. My tip is go into the settings and over clock the pi as it should help your streaming. If you do get buffering you can reduce the quality of the stream in your settings I saw on YouTube last night. If you are getting one without doubt put Genisis on the best package for non football stuff I have found and AAA live TV to find live TV streams especially sports. I bought a little £8.00 wifi keyboard off of eBay to control the pi as my tv remote did not work and it makes like easier when you want to do searches or put on new addons.

Edited by mcjwills
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The pre installed NOOBS card has OpenElec and Raspbmc both installed and find out which is best for you. My tip is go into the settings and over clock the pi as it should help your streaming. If you do get buffering you can reduce the quality of the stream in your settings I saw on YouTube last night. If you are getting one without doubt put Genisis on the best package for non football stuff I have found and AAA live TV to find live TV streams especially sports. I bought a little £8.00 wifi keyboard off of eBay to control the pi as my tv remote did not work and it makes like easier when you want to do searches or put on new addons.

You have a Pi 2?

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I am a techno idiot. I have a Panasonic smart tv and a Sportsmania eu subscription (£23 for 6 months). Streams footy in hd utterly brilliantly. I don't watch anything else on tv really. Just got me a macbook air to play with. Happy days.:p

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I do find the overall direction of travel with media bloody amazing. A few years ago, the thing to get was a media tank, a box which would house a hard drive, look around your network and play anything it found. These were reasonably pricey items, about the size of a hi-fi separate.

 

These days, we're talking Raspberry Pi and Chromecast :)

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I find the important thing is just to keep on buying and consuming. It doesn't matter that the stuff you're buying is only a marginal, fine tuning upgrade on what you had before, just keep getting new stuff.

 

:D

 

That's certainly the way the entire economy is built to work.

 

Still, most of the setups were talking about here are low-cost and small form factor (apart from a couple of people that have Skynet where they should be keeping Harry Potter).

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I've just finished putting together my Raspberry Pi 2 setup.

 

This is the fella.

 

http://cpc.farnell.com/ucreate-mediakit

 

Came with everything I needed, but I decided to flash OpenELEC onto it instead of using RaspBMC. Details for that are here.

 

http://wiki.openelec.tv/index.php/HOW-TO:Installing_OpenELEC/Writing_The_Disk_Image

 

Had to download a couple of files and needed a computer that could take a MicroSD card as input, but no uber-techy skills involved and I was done within half an hour. The remote control just worked like a champ off the bat. The only thing I plugged a keyboard in for was to setup external sources.

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Isn't the Amazon TV thing a better bet than the Pi2 for Kodi? Seems very well supported and comes with the Amazon stuff too.

 

I use a NUC at the moment but haven't made the jump to Kodi from XBMC Frodo.

 

Possibly, but the advantage of going Pi 2 is not having to be (more of) a big f**king hypocrite by giving Amazon my cash.

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I just use tablet and phone connected through bluetooth. I don't download films etc, I purchase, so can get by with a 128gb SD card, or if a problem I still have my PS3 which I back everything up onto so can use that through the surround sound in the lounge. Once we've completed the kitchen/diner I'll use another Bluetooth based hi-fi for that room

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  • 2 weeks later...

Cheap (£30) D-Link NAS enclosure which I have installed a basic Linux Shell - this is now running Twonky media server and a bit torrent client.

 

The NAS serves media out to everything in the house, but the Xbox One is the hub of it all - simply brilliant for media.

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