In which I detail how I built a portable media centre that can be used in any house or hotel room, allowing me to watch HD movies, YouTube, and other video content, stream Rdio, Spotify, Soundcloud and more – all using the £25 Raspberry Pi. Read on for a walkthrough and some handy pointers…
Its been both fun and frustrating messing around with my Raspberry Pi, as I continue to find that the big wins are easy enough (e.g. installing an operating system) whilst supposedly simple tasks can become painfully frustrating. Wireless networking is one such area, and I’ve lost more time than is healthy trying to get my R-Pi up and running with wifi.
Ultimately, I’ve concluded that you’re far better off taking the path of least resistance. Where WiFi is concerned, that means using an adapter that uses the Realtek RTL8188CUS chip, because someone created a very useful script that will do all the configuring for you. I bought the MicroNet N150 adapter for this reason – plus it is tiny and runs on minimal power, which means it won’t require any powered USB hub in order to ensure consistent performance.
So why the fuss over WiFi? Well, because what I had in mind was a portable XBMC build which I could then use wherever I was – be that a hotel room, a relative’s house or whatever. The aim was to build a system that could run on WiFi easily, because this provided two big benefits: firstly, I could stream media or whatever I wanted as desired. Secondly, it meant I could also control XBMC using the official XBMC remote app for iPhone. That would mean no keyboard or mouse would be required, ensuring I could travel light.
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