Our budget HTPC build is based around the Raspberry Pi. A Raspberry Pi media center is the perfect way to get the home theatre PC experience economically. This tiny fanless unit can play most multimedia formats, supports Kodi and sips power – costing less than a burger to run annually.
Raspberry Pi Media Center Highlights
- Under $150
- Silent, Fanless design
- Low power usage
- Hardware Video decoding for most formats
Raspberry Pi Media Center Components
- Raspberry Pi 2 Model B
- 2a Power supply (Such as this Apple 12W USB charger)
- Micro USB cable
- Class 10 Micro SD Card
- HDMI cable
- Wireless Dongle
- Raspberry Pi MPEG-2 Licence
- Flirc Case
Features of the Raspberry Pi Media Center
Our budget Raspberry Pi media center is the perfect silent HTPC for those on a budget. It is ideal for those whose want to watch videos, listen to music and view pictures. Whilst not having the most powerful CPU, the XBMC experience is still quite fluid and, with the right settings, can be improved further.
For the case, we recommend Flirc case due its stylish looks, exceptional build quality and effective use of cooling – allowing you to maximize the performance of your Raspberry Pi.
Supported Video Formats
Our budget Raspberry Pi media center supports a diverse range of codecs – with the Raspberry Pi supporting h.264/AVC and MPEG-4 ASP. This means that most AVIs and MP4s will play without issue.
For those with a large DVD collection or those who record TV (in certain countries), we recommend you get the MPEG-2 Licence. For a few extra dollars, you can enable support for this codec and easily enable it in Rasbpmc.
Lastly for those who have VC-1 videos, you can also buy a codec licence to enable support, much like the MPEG-2 Licence.
Raspberry Pi Media Center Operating System (OS)
We recommend OSMC as your Operating System on your Raspberry Pi media center due to its ease of installation, extra features and the simplicity of adding codec licenses.
Our tutorial on how to set up your own Raspberry Pi Media Center can be viewed here.
Why Should You Buy One?
A Raspberry Pi Media Center is the perfect cheap HTPC
Our budget Raspberry Pi Media Center is perfect for those wanting to get the HTPC experience cheaply with minimal compromises. Whilst not necessarily the fastest unit around, the unit is still quite powerful, silent and offers an excellent XBMC experience. It truly is a fantastic HTPC for those on a budget.
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Raspberry Pi Media Center Guides
For those of you who have made the wise decision to invest in our budget system, we have a handy guide to get you started:
After something different in your HTPC?
Have a look at some of our other builds that may better suit your needs
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Photo Credit: Pete Slater /Edited from Original