Small set up question

t3rm3y

Standard Member
Help all. Hoping this is in right place.- we are having the loft converted into a play room and I plan to put a TV up there, WiFi will be the connectivity. I have a 4tb harddrive (with external power) who h has old media files stored but I don't really use. I would like to connect it to the TV and be able to play the files. I think I will need a pc or something to rendor or play the files as the TV is unlikely to be able to do so. Would I be better getting a some raspberry pi or similar to connect to the HDD and TV. (How is best to power the pi? ) If this set up goes to plan can I still access the HDD from any pc (so I can add to or delete from the drive easily) or the files from any TV that is on the same network ?
 

password1

Well-known Member
Yes you would need additional hardware as the external hard drive cannot be connected to a tv unless the tv accepts whatever output connection the hard drive has. Im assuming it's usb.

could you mirror from a tablet/phone to the tv?
could you connect a computer to the tv?
do you have a dvd/bluray player and copy the media onto dvd/bluray?
 

t3rm3y

Standard Member
Yes you would need additional hardware as the external hard drive cannot be connected to a tv unless the tv accepts whatever output connection the hard drive has. Im assuming it's usb.

could you mirror from a tablet/phone to the tv?
could you connect a computer to the tv?
do you have a dvd/bluray player and copy the media onto dvd/bluray?
That's what I was thinking of using the raspberry pi for, so it connects to the HDD and hdmi to the TV. And then if I use a pi as it's like a little computer can it then allow the HDD to be accessible on my home network?
 

password1

Well-known Member
That should work.

Another cheap solution is to get an android TV box and save the media onto it.
 

jamieu

Active Member
Would I be better getting a some raspberry pi or similar to connect to the HDD and TV. (How is best to power the pi? ) If this set up goes to plan can I still access the HDD from any pc (so I can add to or delete from the drive easily) or the files from any TV that is on the same network ?

The RPi would will do the job fine, just install Kodi on it (using a Kodi OS like LibreElec or OSMC rather than hand installing it via a general purpose RPi OS like Noobs or Ubuntu).

I'd use the official Raspberry Pi power supply (or a similar spec supply) rather than attempting to use the USB socket on the TV as it probably won't supply enough power esp. if you're also hoping to use an external USB drive.

The RPi may or may not have enough power to supply your USB HD directly. You'll need to check your hard drives power requirements. Google your drive and the RPi model you intend to use. The RPi4 supplies 1A whereas the older RPi3 only supplies 0.5A. If your HDD needs more power than the RPi can supply then you'll have to use a small powered USB hub.

As long as your USB HDD doesn't draw more than 1A then a 2Gb RPi4 kit running LibreElec (run the installer on your desktop to 'burn' the included micro SD card) is probably your easiest route to getting this working with a RPi. Then attach your USB drive and connect the RPi up to the TV with the included HDMI cable.

But, much as I like/recommend Raspberry Pis for a whole bunch of uses. I might be inclined to recommend a OSMC Vero 4k+ which is purpose designed to run the OSMC's fork of Kodi (which is very well maintained/supported). You can also run OSMC/Kodi yourself on a Raspberry Pi but it currently only supports the older RPi3 boards (which can only supply 0.5A to an external USB HDD).

 
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password1

Well-known Member
How much would the raspberry pi solution cost.

An Android tv box, which you can install Kodi (or any compatible software for that matter) onto can be bought for £25-£35 for a 64gb version.
 

jamieu

Active Member
How much would the raspberry pi solution cost.

An Android tv box, which you can install Kodi (or any compatible software for that matter) onto can be bought for £25-£35 for a 64gb version.

Well a RPi4 kit is £58 — you could pick up a used one cheaper if you wanted.

My experience with the cheap Android boxes is they (can) work fine when you first install Kodi on them and then become a pain down the line once updates and support wanes. The RPi is a known (hardware) quality, that makes it easy to build and maintain official support for it.

"Buy cheap, Buy twice" as my Dad would say.

You can also run Kodi (via LibreElec or OSMC) directly on a RPi without needing an underlying (universal) OS like Android. That allows it to act much more as a dedicated device and the benefits that come with that.

I guess it depends on how critical it is that it works without issue in 12 month time without you having to fiddle with it or upgrade anything manually. I'm not suggesting there is anything inherently wrong with the Android boxes (if they work) but if you want an easy life (and an extra £30 isn't gong to break the bank for you) I'd stick to a well known and well supported hardware platform like a RPi to run Kodi.

I love tinkering with electronics, but I'm now at the stage in my life that if I'd also happily pay an extra £30 for something I can just setup and forget about. Especially if others in the house are using it.
 
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password1

Well-known Member
Well I have 2 TV boxes with remote controls and have no problems (one for downstairs and one for bedroom). Just plug in and play via a.hdmi.cable into my avr. No need to worry about upgrading anything or tinkering with any electronics.

I.have not needed to upgrade or install any new.software.

I am of the opinion 'if it ain't broke dont fix it'

Buy once and use for many years.
 

jamieu

Active Member
Well I have 2 TV boxes with remote controls and have no problems (one for downstairs and one for bedroom). Just plug in and play via a.hdmi.cable into my avr. No need to worry about upgrading anything or tinkering with any electronics.

I.have not needed to upgrade or install any new.software.

I am of the opinion 'if it ain't broke dont fix it'

Buy once and use for many years.

I guess you were lucky then ;-)

As I said there is nothing wrong with Android as a platform. The Nvida Shield is one of the most recommend and well regarded devices to run Kodi. But there are numerous cheap Andoid/Kodi devices out there on eBay/Amazon that can be troublesome esp. with regards to things like framerates, auto-switching of resolutions and audio passthrough. Not to mention the really dodgy ones that come pre-installed with Kodi along with a load of dubious plugins. It's a minefield. You only need to google Kodi and Android boxes to see the number of users facing issues in these ares.

I was just trying to give good solid advice to a fellow forum user, that wasn't gong to lead them to buying a device that /may/ cause troubles for them in future esp. when you can get a device for £30 more you know is trouble free.

If you know of a ~£25 Android TV device that you have been using for several years to run Kodi and can vouch is free of issues with frame-rates / passthrough and that is still widely available to buy do post a link. That's not a challenge, such devices do exist, the problem is finding them.
 
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