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Friday, December 27, 2013

Turn tv into smart tv-cheap smart tv conversion using raspberry pi

These days we rely too much on internet and media files for entertainments and news. Often people watch recorded TV programs from you-tube or other video sharing sites and many tv channels have a good presence on social media which allows it easier to watch a show if you miss it at the time of telecast. It is also possible to watch live streams from the tv channels which is often helpful when you live at a different corner of the world than your home country.

Some of you might have bought an hdtv and uses it while hooked on to a laptop or tablet and this forms one of the simplest ways to convert the tv to a smarter one. But it is often inconvenient if you dont have multiple computers at home. Here am going to present a simple way to use a raspberry pi , a cheap 35$ computer board to make an always on, low power consuming (~1W) media player box. This makes it possible to  watch live streams for example to watch youtube on tv. This is also a simple tv to smart tv conversion technique. You can also send videos from your smartphone to big screen (TV/lcd or led) with the flip of a finger.

This is achieved by getting one of the raspberry pi boards. It has all the good things we need. An hdmi port to connect to most of the TV sets. There is an audio jack and a video output which can be used with an old model tv sets. There is an ethernet port which can be connected to your router. To make it active, we need to install a software on it which can be obtained from raspbmc, which installs an xbmc media center on your raspberry pi. XBMC has a lot of cool features like sending youtube videos from smartphones with a  youtube addon and similar features are available for hulu and other media sharing sites. Live streams can be handled with livestreams addon. More on these addons and xbmc can be read here. If you need any tips or helps which cannot be located else where (see my postd on adding a remote control), place a comment below.

 There are devices like Apple TV, Rokus and Android boxes which can turn your tv in to a smart tv. This guide is for those who like to have a more flexible and tinkerable solution. It is also convenient for those who bought a raspberry pi and doesn't know what to do with it  

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