Streaming Media Center

Streaming Media Center

Watching a movie or a TV show is something we all enjoy after a day of hard work. I already had a fully featured home theater system built by using a Raspberry Pi, but it required me to sit and watch in front of the TV (more on that here). I was not a big fan of doing this specially when watching lengthy movies. Therefore I upgraded this setup to wirelessly stream media so that i can watch them on a phone or a tablet. The media content is shared from a single location, and multiple devices can connect to it and stream the content.

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Honda Fit Audio Player (Head Unit) Upgrade

Honda Fit Audio Player (Head Unit) Upgrade

I drive a 2013 Honda Fit with factory navigation. The audio player/head unit that came with it has all the features i wanted. It has an AM/FM radio, a DVD player, GPS, Bluetooth, USB, TV and a built in hard drive for storing multimedia. However, despite its rich feature set, most of these features are not usable in Sri Lanka because it is a domestic model designed to be used only within Japan. For instance, it is entirely in Japanese language and there is no way to switch the language to English. Its FM frequency range is 76-90 MHz whereas FM range in Sri Lanka (and most of the other countries as well) is 88-108 MHz. The DVD player supports only a limited number of audio and video formats. GPS is not usable at all since it only has Japanese maps which cannot be replaced. Same goes to TV because Japanese TV frequencies are different from that of Sri Lanka. It was high time for me to replace the factory head unit due to these reasons.

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Quadcopter Build

Quadcopter Build

I have always been fascinated by robotics and the electronics under the hood that powers them. Building an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for autonomous flight and FPV has been one of my childhood dreams. Despite a few early unsuccessful attempts, I was yet to achieve this dream until now.

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Download Box Using a Raspberry Pi

Download Box Using a Raspberry Pi

Having a dedicated device for handling downloads becomes handy if you have a lot of downloading to do throughout the day. But maintaining a separate computer just for downloading is an overkill. Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices that are capable of downloading are quite expensive as well. Fortunately, we no longer have to look far thanks to the variety of inexpensive, single board computers that are rapidly gaining popularity today. The Raspberry Pi is in the forefront of this arena.

This post describes how to setup an inexpensive download box using a Raspberry Pi.

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Media Center using a Raspberry Pi

Media Center using a Raspberry Pi

Ever since I started playing around with the Raspberry Pi, I wanted to push its limits further by experimenting with more demanding projects. The latest project I worked on was to build a fully featured home theater/media center using a Raspberry Pi. I had the following goals in mind when I started working on this project.

  1. Be able to play movies and TV shows in most common video formats.
  2. Show movie information such as name, year, genre, tagline, synopsis, cast and rating.
  3. Keep track of movies I have already watched.
  4. Make suggestions on new/upcoming movies based on my preferences.
  5. Standard IR remote control for interaction.
  6. Access to online streaming services such as Youtube.
  7. Support for plugins and extensions to add additional functionality.

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