Build A Raspberry Pi XBMC Media Center

At Lifehacker we're big fans of the XBMC video player and home entertainment hub. Combine the awesomeness of XBMC with the Raspberry Pi, the low-cost, low-power computer board with a built-in SD card reader, USB ports, ethernet port and HDMI output, and you have the makings of a powerful-but-cheap home media solution.

Credit goes to The How-To Geek for putting it all together. Grab a Raspberry Pi (a process which can take a few weeks given the waiting list), add the Raspbmc media centre distribution and you have core of a neat XBMC ystem. Here's the full list of requirements:

  • Raspberry Pi board case
  • Raspbmc installer
  • HDMI cable
  • SD card
  • Micro-USB charger
  • USB keyboard or media centre remote

Once you build the system setup you can use almost all of the standard XBMC tweaks and tricks. The only downside is that due to licensing restrictions you can't play MPEG-2 videos on a Raspberry Pi. For full setup instructions hit the How-To Geek guide.

Build a $US35 Media centre with Raspbmc and Raspberry Pi [The How-To Geek]


    I gave a rather blunt hint to the missus I want one of these for fathers' day for exactly this purpose. Fingers crossed.

      Hope she ordered early lmao!

        lol, I'm more than happy for a card with a order confirmation print out on the day :)

    i've now got 5 RasPi's on order... One's definately going to this, a second is going to a robotics project, 3rd is for playing around and two are being donated

    I've actually found performance of the XBMC on R-Pi alernative OpenELEC ( to be somewhat better. Keen to know if others have found the same?

      ... possibly due to this -- see "What is armhf?" and the subsequent comparisons table:

      The default OpenELEC build has the root account available with a default password, and it can't be changed without rebuilding the distribution. That sort of cavalier attitude to security pretty much rules it out for me.

    I've jumped from an original Xbox running XBMC to a RasPi running Raspbmc. It is amazing!!! I can't wait to see the improvements in RC4.

    My current project is getting my 2nd RasPi downloading torrents automatically. Transmission isn't cutting it anymore and rTorrent needs a bit more tweaking.

    Is the pi powerful enough to play bluray bitrate h264 videos? Also, is there a hack to enable mpeg2 playback?

    dammit, i can't afford to buy one now to get it in time for a present! T^T

    Have a read of the reviews, they're pretty crap at streaming wirelessly. Raspberry pi is overrated, just spend a bit more and buy something decent

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