(Raspberry Pi) TV Common interface socket possible uses?

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(Raspberry Pi) TV Common interface socket possible uses?

Postby Trashcooky » March 9th, 2013, 2:08 pm

After years of goading from my better half we recently refurbished our lounge where my two desktop PC's and a collection of external hard drives used to reside on a "room-presence-dominant" work station with Ethernet and HDMI cables running around the sides of the room under the edge of the carpet. Whilst this set up suited me OK, to be fair it did have drawbacks, particularly on the room's ambiance which after all is something that women appear to value more highly than men (particularly nerds like me).

I had been quite happy to stream my collection of films directly to the TV using a very long HDMI lead but the corner of the lounge in which my work-station resided did look a little like Mission Control so I needed to have a re-think. I decided my budget could stretch to a 3TB NAS http://www.dabs.com/products/seagate-3t ... tml?src=15 which I was delighted to discover allowed the plugging in of an additional hard-drive via USB which gave me a total of 4TB wifi enabled storage as I already had a 1 TB drive with films on. This allowed me to make redundant my collection of 5 external HDD's and all the associated cabling and power packs needed to service them which I had collected together over the years - the largest capacity being only 320 GB.

However, I still need the HDMI to connect my PC to the TV and a long Ethernet cable to connect the NAS to the router, as the router is located in one corner where the Telephone service enters and the NAS in a new tall cabinet with doors in the opposite corner. (Still referred to as my corner.... ;) )

So floor-boards up and all the cabling is now appropriately located and terminated in a manner which does not intrude on the room's ambiance :)

The big problem became apparent when I tried to re-locate a desktop PC which is 41 cm deep without any cables attached into a cupboard space that is only 39 cm deep - this meant it had to go in sideways and barely left sufficient room to get the smaller (mini ATX) pc in place as well. So my problems began and lead me to the reason for posting this diatribe in the first place. Although what I now have set up works, it is unsatisfactory and does not please me so I am looking for alternative ways to achieve my purpose.

I was able to connect two android tablets to the NAS and watch Home Network WIFI streamed movies without any issues so I began to think how I could turn our slightly aging Samsung TV which does not have any USB functionality on it into a WIFI enabled TV so I looked hard at the connections that I have got and began to wonder about the Common Interface slot. I have searched the internet but cannot find any clues as to whether it is possible to purchase some form of Common Interface device which will slot into the TV and make it WIFI enabled.

As far as I can discover, the Common interface slot is akin to PCMIA on a PC so theoretically at least I wondered if my aim is indeed possible. If anyone knows the answer I would be very pleased to hear it.
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Re:(Raspberry Pi) TV Common interface socket possible uses?

Postby BobC » March 10th, 2013, 10:09 am

Does the Samsung TV have a HDMI connector - if so you could do what I do and connect it to a RaspberryPI, attach a USB Wi-Fi dongle a keyboard & mouse (I used a 2.4Gb wireless one) and away you go. To get things set up initially you'll need and perhaps a USB hub for a temporary Ethernet connection while you get Wi-Fi configured.

Even if you don't have HDMI you can connect via RCA AV sockets.

The new 512Mb Pis are reasonably nippy, it's a matter of selecting reasonable software (e.g. Midori - Webkit based and like Firefox before it got bloated - as a browser).

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Re: (Raspberry Pi) TV Common interface socket possible uses?

Postby Trashcooky » March 10th, 2013, 8:54 pm

BobC wrote:Does the Samsung TV have a HDMI connector - if so you could do what I do and connect it to a RaspberryPI, attach a USB Wi-Fi dongle a keyboard & mouse (I used a 2.4Gb wireless one) and away you go. To get things set up initially you'll need and perhaps a USB hub for a temporary Ethernet connection while you get Wi-Fi configured.

Even if you don't have HDMI you can connect via RCA AV sockets.

The new 512Mb Pis are reasonably nippy, it's a matter of selecting reasonable software (e.g. Midori - Webkit based and like Firefox before it got bloated - as a browser).

BobC



Hi BobC, thanks for your input. Yes I have 3 HDMI sockets and a spare neat little 7 way powered USB Hub.
Ironically, I also had until recently a very neat compact wireless keyboard/mouse combi which I sold on eBay.
If I had thought ahead I would have kept it. :(

Raspberry pi had crossed my mind but I wasn't sure about which software to use. I discovered XBMC which is an open source cross platform media centre application: http://xbmc.org/about/ I also found this http://lifehacker.com/5929913/build-a-x ... spberry-pi

If I get that far I might consider buying another Pi as these projects look like fun: http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/desktops/25-f ... -50009851/
I suppose I don't have any excuse now other than to purchase a Raspberry Pi model B which believe costs about £25.00?

My current set up using a desktop PC and 15 mtr HDMI cable is very clumsy but effective. It would be great though if the great lump of huge tower PC in the cupboard could be replaced with a Raspberry Pi, and quieter too.

Thanks for your help. :)
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Re:(Raspberry Pi) TV Common interface socket possible uses?

Postby BobC » March 10th, 2013, 10:23 pm

Trashcooky wrote:I suppose I don't have any excuse now other than to purchase a Raspberry Pi model B which believe costs about £25.00?

TBH the Pi on it's own is about that but you need a box and PSU as a bare minimum plus a SD Card for the O.S.

Have a look at http://cpc.farnell.com/jsp/bespoke/bespoke2.jsp?bespokepage=cpc/en_CC/special_offers/bargains/part_detail/RPi_lp2.jsp&CMP=HP_RPi for the different bundles, bits & pieces etc. There are even VESA mounts for bolting on on the back of a TV ! CPC have been doing free shipping and a free case but I don't know if that still apples.

I got my Wi-Fi adaptor from H-K for less than £2 and it worked out of the box. The £10 ones are for folk in a hurry !

PM me if you want any more thoughts, and by the way there is work on getting Android running on a Pi. ATM I mainly use mine to play MP3s of radio programs I have downloaded. I grab them on the main PC then transfer them over the LAN onto a USB stick plugged into the Pi. I can then play them in the lounge using the TV. I just use plain Raspbian, don't need XBMC. I believe if you use XBMC (or some other media centre s/w) you don't need a keyboard, you can use an Android phone (with wi-fi) as a remote control.

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Re: (Raspberry Pi) TV Common interface socket possible uses?

Postby Trashcooky » March 11th, 2013, 12:53 pm

BobC wrote:
Trashcooky wrote:I suppose I don't have any excuse now other than to purchase a Raspberry Pi model B which believe costs about £25.00?

TBH the Pi on it's own is about that but you need a box and PSU as a bare minimum plus a SD Card for the O.S.

Have a look at http://cpc.farnell.com/jsp/bespoke/bespoke2.jsp?bespokepage=cpc/en_CC/special_offers/bargains/part_detail/RPi_lp2.jsp&CMP=HP_RPi for the different bundles, bits & pieces etc. There are even VESA mounts for bolting on on the back of a TV ! CPC have been doing free shipping and a free case but I don't know if that still apples.

I got my Wi-Fi adaptor from H-K for less than £2 and it worked out of the box. The £10 ones are for folk in a hurry !

PM me if you want any more thoughts, and by the way there is work on getting Android running on a Pi. ATM I mainly use mine to play MP3s of radio programs I have downloaded. I grab them on the main PC then transfer them over the LAN onto a USB stick plugged into the Pi. I can then play them in the lounge using the TV. I just use plain Raspbian, don't need XBMC. I believe if you use XBMC (or some other media centre s/w) you don't need a keyboard, you can use an Android phone (with wi-fi) as a remote control.

BobC



This is beginning to sound quite exciting. I already have one of these which works quite well on the 2.4 Ghz band: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Emprex-3009URF- ... d_sxp_f_pt it works very well with Windows Media Centre but from what I have read it should be compatible with XBMC.

The only reason I want XBMC is (1.) because it has a raspberry Pi optimised version promised to play almost any video format and (2.) it is nice to be able to catalogue the films and browse using the remote. XBMC doesn't offer as much as Media Browser http://www.mediabrowser.tv/gallery which as an ad-on to Windows Media Centre works beautifully, seamlessly and is highly customisable. However, the Windows version of XBMC does allow limited fan art and list or icon displays for your collection so I expect to get at least the same on the Pi.

From your descriptions about raspbian - is that a full media decoder/unpacker/player? - will it play various media formats?

Thanks for your offer of support via PM but at this stage I believe this may well develop into an interesting thread so I have added Raspbery Pi to the opening post to change the title and I will keep this live during when I get stuck into the fun part.
Might be a week or so before I can get going on a project as we are still working on the lounge and the the new 3 piece suite comes this afternoon so my toys and games are not very high on our domestic list at the moment. :lol:

Thanks once again BobC for your contribution, I do believe this is going to develop into some interesting rading.
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Re: (Raspberry Pi) TV Common interface socket possible uses?

Postby Trashcooky » March 11th, 2013, 7:03 pm

UPDATE:

The 3 piece suite arrived after 8 weeks of no comfortable armchairs to sit in - tonight was going to be a nice relaxing experience............
Just our luck the settee and armchairs are 1" to big at their narrowest point to come through our front door-frame so we have to pay extra to have an upholsterer take it apart and re-build it in our lounge for us next Thursday. :(
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Re: (Raspberry Pi) TV Common interface socket possible uses?

Postby admin » March 12th, 2013, 2:28 am

OH no what a shame about the sofas! Sorry to hear about that TC.
I was thinking of getting a PI board and putting XBMC on it, but i've got a jailbroken ATV2 with XBMC already so can't see what benefit i'd gain?
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Re: (Raspberry Pi) TV Common interface socket possible uses?

Postby BobC » March 12th, 2013, 10:34 am

Trashcooky wrote:
From your descriptions about raspbian - is that a full media decoder/unpacker/player? - will it play various media formats?


Raspbian is Debian Linux optimised for the RaspberryPi. There is a GUI and a package management system that allows you to download and install packages from the repositories. There are various media players available (I use a couple for my mp3s) however video has an interesting twist - the ARM processor has the the capability to decode MPEG 2 in hardware, however you need to buy a codec licence (£2.40), there is also a VC-1 codec licence for £1.20 but I'm not sure what that is for. I gather that doing the decoding using hardware is more efficient than trying to do it in software.

Have a look at http://www.raspberrypi.org/ and in particular the forums which are really useful the Media Centre one http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=35 is probably a good starting point for anything to do with XBMC.

Cheers and good luck with the suite. Bob
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Re: (Raspberry Pi) TV Common interface socket possible uses?

Postby Trashcooky » March 12th, 2013, 12:31 pm

admin wrote:OH no what a shame about the sofas! Sorry to hear about that TC.
I was thinking of getting a PI board and putting XBMC on it, but i've got a jailbroken ATV2 with XBMC already so can't see what benefit i'd gain?


Does it do a good job ?
My current set up does suffer occasional video stutter which I assume is my sky WIFI struggling with my neighbour who has a powerful signal that spans 6 channels (not very friendly) I am hoping that the Pi will improve as I can place the Pi adjacent to my router.
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Re: (Raspberry Pi) TV Common interface socket possible uses?

Postby admin » March 13th, 2013, 5:56 pm

The great thing about the ATV2 jailbroken, is that is plays all your media streaming off your NAS perfectly (in my experience) and you can stream live tv, movies or sports with 3rd party plugins like SportsDevil, IceFilms, Navi-X and more. However, i've found that over time the plugins can stop working, and sometimes even when working they can be flaky sometimes (dropping out, not 100% smooth, or links just not working). It's NOT a 'set and forget' solution - it needs updates for the plugins now and then, and sometimes it hangs if left on for days at a time. IMO, it's definitely not the best solution out there, and for the money it's a rip off these days (you're looking at £200 for a jailbroken ATV2). I'm still looking for a better solution....
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