IMG_2941After I setup my Raspberry Pi 2 Saturday I did some research on media center options for the Pi.  My primary objective with my Pi was to setup my own media center set top box to replace my aging Google TV.  I was never a fan of the Google TV however at the time it was the only device that would let me run Plex with a UI that looked any good.  The Roku was horrible and still isn’t so good.  Apple TV I used for a while but keep having trouble with the Jailbreak.  A few simple searches lead me to Rasplex.  Resplex looked easy enough and appeared to have everything I want in Plex client.

Saturday night when I checked my mail I also saw my Pi 2 case had arrived.  The Pi 2 case looked much nicer than the original aftermarket clear case I got for my original Pi.

I used nap time Sunday to attempt to set it up.  The install was even quicker than my plain vanilla Raspberry Pi install.  I had my media content running on my Pi in very quickly.  I didn’t get a chance to try out the software more than a few minutes but I liked what I saw enough to move onto the next challenge using a Pi as a media center brings me.

I do not want to use my mini keyboard to control the Pi.  I set out to find a Pi compatible IR receiver so I can use my Logitech Harmony One remote with it.  That was something I cannot do with my Sony Google TV.  It annoys me and MC doesn’t like two remotes.  I found a USB IR receiver that what appears to be the perfect solution for me.  I also bought a bluetooth USB adapter for the Pi.  With those two additional adapters I think I have all the accessories I need to leverage the Pi as my media center.

Once I am able to program my Harmony One to use with the Pi I will give it a test run.  All in my costs will be nearly $90.  For that price I could have gone out and bought an Android TV device or an Kindle Fire TV.  I could also have continued to use my Google TV with no extra cost however I have been actively trying to avoid using google products.  The Google TV is the last thing I rely on from Google for my personal use.  That is another reason to hope the Pi suits my personal needs.

I am also interested in some additional configurations I can try on the Pi.  For example I would like to try out OSMC a Kodi variant for the Pi.  All I need to do is swap out the memory card and I have a completely different config without messing up my Rasplex setup.  I would also like to investigate some music and video streaming options, however OSMC is up first after I bake in the Plex setup.

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