Old Stuff - ThinDroid Media Centre

One last straggler from 4 years ago. Possibly still relevant, but again this is another great use for a Raspberry Pi.


Use your ‘Thindroid’ as a media centre / back of a TV unit

First issue here is that you have to connect it to a TV. Or do you? If the TV you are using has a built in UPnP / DLNA client then you just need a network cable.
I’ll make the assumption here that you want a direct connection. In that case your TV will ideally need to have a VGA connector. The actual connections will depend upon the thin term in use but all that I have seen have had a VGA connection and either a DVI or a DisplayPort (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DisplayPort) adapter. There are HDMI adapters for DisplayPort but I have not had the opportunity to test that configuration.

Next issue is where you have your media. If you have them on USB drives, just plug them in to the ‘thindroid’. If they are on windows shares or a NAS which can be seen on the network then that’s fine too. Apple shares work fine too. The problem is how fast the data can get from those locations to the app that is playing it. If you can have the drives local then that’s the best possible scenario.

Android can run XBMC or KODI which is one of the most popular free media centre apps / programs. To get this installed, follow these instructions.

I was able to connect up to another Thinterm running the basic embedded XP image with a couple of shared external USB drives on it. XBMC found them without an issue and after entering passwords happily scanned through the files that were on there. I had the two connected by a Gigabit network BTW.

The key test here is if the thindroid can handle video playback. The answer here is yes provided you turn off any and all video hardware acceleration within KODI as there simply isn’t any and the app will crash out. I was able to playback 720p and 1080 movies at full screen resolution from a local USB drive with not a hint of stutter or audio lag. Very impressive for a little box someone was going to toss in a bin.

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