HTPC option for the smaller pockets...

MBHeatonMoor

Standard Member
Hi. Having read the 2021 HTPC thread with the seriously expensive kit, here's something for the tinker(er)s amongst us. My apologies if you've been there and done that.

Having built my own 100" projector screen (PSM Prowhite) in the attic and used a Raspberry Pi4 (RPi4) to control film output, I turned my attention to the TV in the sitting room. It's a 1 y.o. cheap Sony and the cpu for managing IPlayer and DLNA files is both slow and subject to breaking. Recording is a joke. Don't go there.

My 8 y.o. Humax Fox HDR T2 (with custom firmware, natch) is even worse since you'll never get a software update (AND the HDMI interface is dead , read out of date, according to the Sony). The sound output differences were also driving us nuts (and deaf).

So, I already had an RPi3 with its add-on tv tuner board and TVHeadend s/w to record and view shows for the Pi4. I've added the Vero4k+ (Kodi) device (it's got a better h/w config than the Pi4 and someone else has done all the hard work in building it). This feeds recordings to the Sony via HDMI (whoo) and the TVHeadend front-end add-on is so much better than the standard interface from the Sony - quicker to start, browse, search etc.

Finally, I added a Hauppage WinTV dual tuner usb to the RPi3 - this just worked out of the box with no extra configuration needed by TVHeadend.
I'm now only watching via the Vero, only recording via the three tuner RPi3.

For my low-fi audio, I'm using a RockPi4 + Dietpi + Cyrus Soundkey DAC for streaming from my server (running Logitech Media Server) and a wireless Raspberry Pi Zero + picoreplayer and a ridiculous 3 watt HAT amplifier to synchronise to the kitchen if necessary.

Finally, just a shout out to One for All (model URC7145 ) for producing such a useful device for almost nothing (okay £24) and InVision Technology for cost-effective, built-like-a-tank wall brackets.

Hopefully, this brain dump might give you some idea of what is possible on a budget with a bit of effort. As always, YMMV.
 

MBHeatonMoor

Standard Member
I understand the CEC compatibility but I needed to switch my amps inputs (for Bluetooth/Optical/Audio Stream) and sometimes the TV source (mirroring with Chromecast). The Sony remote is not up to that level of complexity,
 

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