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Build A Raspberry Pi Home Theater PC that Plays Netflix, Amazon & Your Media Collection!

Welcome to “DIY Tryin.” Install something new. I’m Patrick Norton. I’m Michael Hand. And we have before us
today a Raspberry Pi. People love Raspberry Pis. We love Raspberry Pis. Yes. Essentially, it’s
a $25, $35, $40, $70 if you buy it
with a bundle– it’s a little tiny computer. It’s kind of a
cousin to an Arduino. It’s a controller. It’s a computer. But we’re going to install
some software on it, OpenELEC, that is going to turn it into a
fully functional media player. And not only will it stream
your local video collection or musical collection to your
home theater or your stereo or wherever you want it to go– We’re going to get Netflix
and Amazon on it as well. How cool is that? Here’s everything you’re
going to need, people. A Raspberry Pi board. We prefer the Model B because
there’s more memory on it, and more memory is
generally a better thing. An HDMI cable to
connect to your TV. Either an Ethernet
cable to connect into your router or
a USB Wi-Fi dongle. Temporarily, just for
setup, you need a keyboard. And we’re going to need a USB
power supply– essentially a microUSB cable
that you would use to charge a tablet or a phone. A two amp power supply is
a very, very good idea. Technically, it’ll
run on one amp. And you’ll need an SD card to
install the Linux distribution that you need. Oh, yeah. So in this case, we’re
going to keep it simple and use a thing called
BerryBoot, which is a very easy way to do
multiple distributions so you can try them out. But we’re going to use that
to install OpenELEC, which is kind of a XBMC distribution. BerryBoot will download and
install everything for you. It’s very easy. But if you want to get more in
depth with Raspberry Pi stuff, our sponsor actually
has some Raspberry Pi courses., please
check them out. So you select OpenELEC,
you pull the power, plug the power back
in, restart, and you get something that
looks like this. After the bootloader,
you’ll get this. Yeah. Well, yeah. After the boot–
there’s a couple minutes of black screens and
letters and stuff. But there’s one more
thing we’re going to need to actually
make this practical. A controller. Yeah. Well, you could
use a USB keyboard, but that’d be inconvenient. And we like
technology, so what you can do is, in XBMC, if
you go into the settings, there’s an option
for remote controls. So you go to System,
Settings, Services, and then Remote Control. We already have it
enabled, but you can select that, “Allow programs
to use this to control XBMC.” Once your remote
control is set up, you can unplug your USB keyboard
and fire up your app inside of your Android or
iPhone or whatever else you’re– whatever. I mean, I’m sure there’s a
BlackBerry XBMC control app. I hope not. Don’t encourage them. That’s cold, man. Actually, you can now, on
some of the newer Blackberrys, you could run Android apps
on them in an emulator. It’s really cool. So the XBMC official apps
will work perfectly fine. But I really like an app
called Yatse– Y-A-T-S-E– for Android. Yeah, I was going to
say it’s Android– Android-only, I think. Why would you like that over
the XBMC native control? So the control parts work fine. But there’s a bunch of add-ons. Like, you can browse through
your media using thumbnails. It has Chromecast
support, so you can stream from the Raspberry
Pi into your Chromecast if you want. Lots of cool things. But if you’re just
needing control, the official app is fine. So you’ve got
this, which I guess you can control
the weather, right? You can view the weather at
this point is just about it. We should probably set the
ZIP code for the weather, or we’re going to
get busy again, which always makes me laugh. But you were going to
tell us about adding media so we can actually see stuff. You need to add
media at this point. You can control it, great. So adding media is really easy. So you can do
things like, if you have all of your
media on a USB drive, you can just plug that in and
then add that as a source. That’s probably the
easiest way to do it. You probably already have
a machine in your house that already has your entire
video collection or audio collection– Like a FreeNAS. Ooh. At the very least, a shared
folder on your Mac or PC. And we can actually
mount that using XBMC. Excuse me, using OpenELEC. So it’s very similar. You go into Add
Videos, you Browse. And then from there, you
want to go all the way down to Windows Network, SMB. And then from there, you’ll
see your workgroup and the PC that you want. And then you should hopefully
see the folder that you shared. So in this case, I shared
my Downloads folder. So we’ll go ahead and add that. All right, so our
Downloads folder is added. And then you can see all
of the different stuff that we have here. Cool. So I’ve got a video file
here that we can play. And hopefully it’ll work. Ignore all those other
ones because this is a personal computer. So you don’t want to know. A couple of things you don’t– You don’t want to know. Have you been
burying bodies again? Not quite as bad. Yay, media. It worked. Cool. So as you can see, it’s not
instantaneous sort of thing. But it’s still working. You’ll have to
wait a little bit. So getting media to play
in your Raspberry Pi from a USB thumb drive,
a USB hard drive, or off of a machine or a
FreeNAS box, or UPnP server on your home server in
your house is pretty easy. Pretty easy and pretty free. Yeah. But doing things like
Netflix and Amazon Video, which we mentioned
earlier, that, you’re going to need some software
that you need to pay for. Yeah. So it used to be that there was
an API for Netflix that allowed developers like the XBMC crew
to create plug-ins or devices or software– whatever
you want to call it. It was really, really easy
to access Netflix’s services. Forget it. It’s gone. Yeah. What there is,
however, is So for either an annual fee
or a lifetime subscription, you basically– let’s
call it $20 to $120, depending on whether you
buy it on sale for a year or for lifetime,
get the HD version, don’t get the get
version, get PlayLater. But in any case,– I think for $20, we got And we installed that on here. Yeah. And so the setup for that
is, you also add the files. But in this case, you add it
as a universal plug-and-play source. Right. So we have this
set up here where we have Amazon
and Netflix added. And we should point out,
the first time we added it, we got it to connect. But nothing would play because
we needed to actually purchase the MPEG-2 codec
for Raspberry Pi. Which is another $2 or so,
whatever British pounds convert to. So you purchase the codec on
the website. You configure it
in the text file. Basically you turn a
key on that unlocks it. And then once you
have that running– you have your PlayOn
server running– then it just works how you
would expect media to be. So here’s all of a bunch
of Adventure Time episodes. Is this your Adventure–
so obviously, not a Netflix
interface right now. And you’re going to need
a Netflix subscription, or whatever the premium
services that you do. But I’d say it starts faster
than the Windows shared media. Oh, the irony. And then you got some stuff. Some definite
compression going on, but it’s better than
no Netflix, I’d say. Right. Because essentially,
is grabbing your legit Netflix account, recompressing
it, and streaming it over the interwebs. So for $30 for an annual fee,
I was a little disappointed with the interface they
ended up with on XBMC. Yeah. At that point, you might as
well just get a Chromecast and then get a
better experience. But for free stuff, if you
already have tons of media, and you have a
Raspberry Pi, why not build a Raspberry
Pi media server? And if we’re doing Netflix
wrong through, comment down below on
YouTube or tweet @diytryin. Or send us an email,
[email protected] Yeah, and yeah. We’d love to hear about
projects you’d like us to build, of course. Subscribe,
or Goodbye. Whoa. That was a good one. Man. All righty. Kind of hurt. I’ll wait until this
isn’t working anymore. And yeah, we’ll
pick up a keyboard, and we’ll do all that again. And then from there, everything
is going to work perfectly. I don’t know what
just happened there. I apologize.


  1. VeniVidi Vici Author

    Hi , I'm having a problem which is: I have a notebook where I have files shared on my workgroup and I can access it on my other Pcs at home, .mp4, .mov, .txt … every type of files.
    But on my RPi 2, running Open Elec (same as this video) when I get into SMB and then My workgroup and then my Notebook where I have my shared files, I only see the directories and not the files (.mp4,.mov, etc…) So, basically I can't play anything on my rpi.
    Settings on the rpi are all factory, I reinstalled the OS multiple times, I don't know what to do because I can't connect a external HDD to the rpi either.

    Please, if anyone can help me, I would be eternally grateful. Thanks

  2. mooseboykyle Author

    Not to be negative here, but if you are purchasing Raspberry Pi solely for Netflix you would be probably better off either purchasing a Roku or a 3rd gen Apple TV. After you add up the costs of purchasing the Pi+ the software its less expensive and you are going to have a much smoother user experience with one of those.

  3. pikadroo Author

    Fuck really? You wanna guess why I clicked on this? Nice Netflix click bait. Pink eye infection has gone to your dopey brains eh? Don't wanna rub that. Idiots,

  4. djlivewire Author

    watched video expecting to see networked tv's using a firestick pulling multiple query's. controlling it from a phone/tablet/remote. what i got. up and running with linux on a psp. rip.

  5. ThatBritishGuy Author

    This video doesn't show how to do anything, it only shows the results of doing it. It doesn't help that certain websites keep closing the fucking browser everytime I try to access them.

  6. mathbum33 Author

    it would be great if you guys could do these is videos in a slightly less A.D.D. fashion.
    since the people you're allegedly talking to need to be told what you're doing they also need a pace that is far more compatible with time to compute what you're saying

  7. Guilherme Furst Author

    Now kodi, damn thing used to work with netflix now they "lost" support, pretty much just closed it so you have to pay additional to watch it. This sucks big time. But still can watch on linux with chrome or chromium with a special addon.
    Thing is if I need to choose between netflix and kodi, kodi will always win…

  8. Patakorn Brown Author

    I am planning to buy a raspberry pi 3 but what really delays me is a monitor. Can anyone tell me if 40 inch Sony monitor support Raspberry Pi 3??

  9. Aaron Darren Author

    Hey I have a question here I've been searching up for this and I haven't found it at all I am trying to add leds onto my raspberry pi 3 tx/rx for network hdd and power How can I use the pins for that

  10. PhantomCracking Author

    5:13 That sigh after the emphasis on free. As if it weren't bad enough already with intentionally using a folder containing "free" stuff.

    I almost feel bad for Patrick.. He was co-host on the screen savers, when this kid was messing his huggies.

  11. codemancjackson Author

    eh a roku express would be a better thing if you needed a netflix machine, I just wanted to see how well it could handle media playback.

  12. Ricardo Soto Vargas Author

    I wasn't aware of this until today when I tried to use Netflix on my raspberry pi with the default raspbian installation. The instructions here DO WORK, I just got mine working perfectly, thank you!

  13. Joe D Author

    Is this show still around? I've been watching Patrick Norton since the days of the OG Screen Savers. It would be great if Tek Thing incorporated more projects like this. Thanks for all the content over the years Mr. Norton

  14. Mikey MoMo Author

    I started running KODI a long while back (years). Every now and then, my TV would turn on in the middle of the night. I knew not why. I finally traced it to the CEC connection. I had allowed KODI to turn on the TV when I pressed any key on the remote and woke up KODI. I also enabled auto-updating of KODI. Well you guessed it by now, probably…. that same interface activates when KODI updates himself at 4 am or whatever and after the required reboot, the TV sees it become active and turns on. Oops. Turn OFF the option to turn the TV on. I still left the option on on the TV to change input when KODI wakes up. Usually the TV is already on when I want to wake up KODI so it just switches over. Little lost by disabling the turn on the TV option. Made for a few confusing nights until I realized what I had done…

  15. YourFavoriteCommie Author

    I don't get why you wold wanna pay money for a Raspberry Pi and spend time setting it up so you can do the exact same thing you already had the ability to do with a laptop. You can play media directly from a laptop to a television, you don't need a Raspberry Pi to do that.

  16. Jus CJay Author

    Hey! Great video! You guys always do great stuff. Love the vid about the bathroom website. Anyway, I have a project suggestion that I'd love to see and I think would be cool.

    Project: A Faux Aquarium(Fish Tank) from an Old Screen with Raspberry Pi

    Extra Credit: Use the aquarium footage as an overlay on a camera video feed to give the illusion of being able to see through the fish tank

    Cheers! Keep up the great work!

  17. N Albertsson Author

    I love RPi, but this is an awful fuck-about that costs more than the Fire TV box, which does all of this (out of the box) and does a much better job of it, without lag etc.

  18. tinkmarshino Author

    great way to start.. he doesn't know the price of one? a few minutes of black screen and letters and stuff? nope.. a couple of drunk/stoned fellas goofing off.. not for me..

  19. FullMetalRaven Author

    Ur doing it all wrong!!! U first need that thing to work with that other thing, then that thing will play but not before u buy that other thing. When u buy that thing n n download that other thing, the that thing will play correctly. Then wire it to that other thing n the streaming greatly inproves… after all the that n the wiring is set up, u shld get a netflix thing to play on that other thing n there u go! No need to thank me, simply enjoy that thing on the thing device. Ur welcome.

  20. justin jimenez Author

    Couldn’t you just run some distro and go to Netflix dot com or YouTube in the browser and still watch movies from your external hd?


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