I already had 2 projects in mind for when I got one.
- Media Streaming
- Retro gaming emulator
So I thought I'd start with the first and (most likely) easiest - creating a media center.
I've done a bit of research and decided to go for Raspbmc as everything is a straight forward process. Which is great for my first project.
So to start with I downloaded their handy installer for Windows (here).
When you launch it you get the following screen:
Since the SD card I'm using for this is an old one robbed out of a DSi XL, I ticked the SD card, accepted the license agreement and hit Restore device for formatting. Can't hurt right?
After it restored (wipes all partitions and leaves you the RAW partition), I reformatted to FAT32. Once that was done I just hit the Install button.
What this does is install a minimal OS to the card that when plugged into the Pi and turned on, automatically connects to the Raspbmc servers to download the full XBMC packages. It took around 20 minutes on my connection and once it was done everything was setup and ready to go.
So...how do I play my videos?
I have a NAS set up with a few movies and TV shows so just needed Raspbmc to see it.
After fumbling through the menus (never used XBMC before), I found where to add UPnP devices, pointed it at the NAS and it found all my videos. Sweet.
It plays all the HD content with no issue. But it does seem to have a couple of problems with some xvid files - namely the audio is way out of sync and the video seems to be playing at a slower rate. I'll work on this..
And finally to show off to the missus, I downloaded the XBMC remote app on my iPhone (which is fekkin' awesome btw!) and showed her how I can now control the TV with my phone. She promptly told me to get a life :(