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Minimal Raspberry Pi server setup - mcelliott - 2019-08-21

Let's see if this works!

Image

*mod edit: Using the 'i' button in the forum editor automagically uploads your pics to imgur.com* Wink

I have had one sort of home theatre setup or another for probably 15 years. I started out using something called ShowShifter, tried Windows Media Center, used MediaPortal for many years and then moved to Kodi. I've always wanted the ability to play/record OTA TV, so TV tuners are an integral part of my setup.

I've had various full-size tower PCs with multiple hard drives to store media, run internal PCI TV tuner cards, etc. For my client systems, these have often been expensive PCs in even more expensive HTPC cases (Antec, Moneual).

Wow, how things have changed!

My 'server' is now a Raspberry Pi 4 running the latest alpha of LibreElec (pretty solid!). I have three 'XBox One' TV tuners, all connected to a signal booster. I'll be tidying the cables some more pretty soon.

All the media (including TV timeshifting and recording) is stored on a Buffalo NAS, which runs nice and cool. Other client systems dotted round the house connect to it using Kodi.

Everything is linked up using powerline networking and a network switch.

Oh, and there's an AppleTV thrown in there for Netflix, etc.

All in one cabinet, drawing minimal power and nice and tidy.

Ideas for improvement?

Best wishes,

Mark


RE: Minimal Raspberry Pi server setup - Klojum - 2019-08-21

Isn't mounting some of the stuff on the backboard/plate of the cabinet resulting in a cleaner setup?

Something like this? (I know, my cable management can use some upgrading too) :
Image


RE: Minimal Raspberry Pi server setup - Tobor - 2019-08-21

What is peeking out from beneath the cabinet?


RE: Minimal Raspberry Pi server setup - mcelliott - 2019-08-21

(2019-08-21, 17:50)Tobor Wrote: What is peeking out from beneath the cabinet?

The receiver for the MCE remote. Although I actually use a Logitech Harmony 650.


RE: Minimal Raspberry Pi server setup - mcelliott - 2019-08-22

(2019-08-21, 16:17)Klojum Wrote: Isn't mounting some of the stuff on the backboard/plate of the cabinet resulting in a cleaner setup?

The cabinet is closed almost all the time, so it is better to have everything inside, although there are quite a few cables behind that will probably be better fixed to the back.


RE: Minimal Raspberry Pi server setup - tjay260476 - 2019-08-22

OMG! A fellow showshifter user!

I originally used it when I accidentally built an HTPC, without realising I built one.

Yes how things have changed, thanks to LE and Kodi, as well as the Pi, it’s so much cheaper now!


RE: Minimal Raspberry Pi server setup - ontap - 2019-08-24

(2019-08-21, 15:52)mcelliott Wrote: Let's see if this works!

Image*mod edit: Using the 'i' button in the forum editor automagically uploads your pics to imgur.com* Wink

I have had one sort of home theatre setup or another for probably 15 years. I started out using something called ShowShifter, tried Windows Media Center, used MediaPortal for many years and then moved to Kodi. I've always wanted the ability to play/record OTA TV, so TV tuners are an integral part of my setup.

I've had various full-size tower PCs with multiple hard drives to store media, run internal PCI TV tuner cards, etc. For my client systems, these have often been expensive PCs in even more expensive HTPC cases (Antec, Moneual).

Wow, how things have changed!

My 'server' is now a Raspberry Pi 4 running the latest alpha of LibreElec (pretty solid!). I have three 'XBox One' TV tuners, all connected to a signal booster. I'll be tidying the cables some more pretty soon.

All the media (including TV timeshifting and recording) is stored on a Buffalo NAS, which runs nice and cool. Other client systems dotted round the house connect to it using Kodi.

Everything is linked up using powerline networking and a network switch.

Oh, and there's an AppleTV thrown in there for Netflix, etc.

All in one cabinet, drawing minimal power and nice and tidy.

Ideas for improvement?

Best wishes,

Mark
when you say "other clients around the house connect to it via kodi " do you mean with MySQL ( something that I have never quite been able to figure out) or simple  SMB sharing to populate libraries ?
 I use SMB for various boxes and sticks , but like you I have apple tv box in the lounge ( its the dogs bollox for streaming imo) and to get my libraries on there from my server I use plex, I suppose I could try the legal kodi skin/build for apple I forget the name , but its not a particularly attractive skin imo and of course its severely restricted regarding what you can add to it ( although I don't need/use any 3rd party movie/tv addons).


RE: Minimal Raspberry Pi server setup - mcelliott - 2019-08-24

I simply connect each client to the SMB shares, and let it sort its own database. I know I could do this with SQL, but to be honest I can't be bothered with the learning curve.

I do have MrMC on the Apple TV, but as you say, it doesn't look as nice.


RE: Minimal Raspberry Pi server setup - tjay260476 - 2019-08-25

@mcelliott - With a SQL database on a seperate device, it not only means your have a shared database, it also means you can backup the database at regular intervals, I agree the learning curve can be a little steep - but the payooff is great, especially if one of your Kodi instances goes down, you then simply copy/paste the advancedsettings.xml file accross, and Kodi automagically sees the shared database again. Also pausing a movie on Kodi instance and playing it from that point on another is a cool feature.

@Klojum damn - you have made my cable management look tidy!!!


RE: Minimal Raspberry Pi server setup - mcelliott - 2020-10-29

Update. New cabinet. Argon One case for the Raspberry Pi, which tidies the cables and looks more like a TV box appliance.

The cables for the TV tuners are routed out the back. A larger MicroSD card means I can record directly on the Pi, so the NAS has moved. Upgrade to the WiFi (TP-LINK Deco for whole home WiFi) means that the network switch is not needed.

I think this is about as minimal as things get!

Image


RE: Minimal Raspberry Pi server setup - ontap - 2020-10-30

(2020-10-29, 14:37)mcelliott Wrote: Update. New cabinet. Argon One case for the Raspberry Pi, which tidies the cables and looks more like a TV box appliance.

The cables for the TV tuners are routed out the back. A larger MicroSD card means I can record directly on the Pi, so the NAS has moved. Upgrade to the WiFi (TP-LINK Deco for whole home WiFi) means that the network switch is not needed.

I think this is about as minimal as things get!

Image
Any plans on running the OS from ssd or even cheaper an M.2 instead of SD card ?


RE: Minimal Raspberry Pi server setup - mcelliott - 2020-10-30

(2020-10-30, 12:51)ontap Wrote: Any plans on running the OS from ssd or even cheaper an M.2 instead of SD card ?
I understand that there is a new version of the Argon case that supports an M.2 drive. However, this routes a USB from the back into a compartment in the base.

I currently have three USB TV tuners and a USB remote receiver attached to the Pi. So I don't have a spare USB port. Of course I could use a hub, but I'm not seeing any issues with the SD card. I was a little concerned about it getting hammered by TV timeshifting, but I back up TV recordings regularly, so if the card fails it will be quick to get back up and running.

Overall, I'm still amazed that this tiny computer can do everything I was doing with a full-blown PC only a couple of years ago.


RE: Minimal Raspberry Pi server setup - tjay260476 - 2020-11-01

I really envy these small server setups, especially how minimal it looks now, I now feel sad Sad

looks real good though Smile


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