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Development and pictures of Smart Media Center

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For questions about prices for individual creation, use the contact form on the site.

 What is Smart Media Center?

Raspberry PI ver.B is a computer with installed and configured XBMC software with HBMCHUB mod. Installed is also LIRC remote control software via IR receiver and HYPERION management of digital LED Strips. There is HDMI, video and audio outputs, and 2 USB ports. If you are an amateur level with the technique, and Linux, forget this information. If you are advanced user or want to experiment deeper level, the article describes the details of the configuration of the device and how to create the same device similar as in the clip below.


What are the outputs of the device?

In its finished form device can turn any simple TV into Smart TV. More interesting thing is that even you have a Smart TV, the options of this device are so many that simple Smart TV options are less than options in this device. I personally have a 46 " Samsung 6 series and no longer use the built-in smart menu.


What is the functionality if the device?

    • The device has a LAN port to connect to the Internet. Without being connected to the Internet, will use small percent if its possibilities. Even if no internet, the device has the ability to share all media files (movies, music and photos) via DNLA protocol, and if your TV supports this protocol and are connected to a common network, you can access the information in the device using this protocol.
    • HDMI with CEC support, which allows device to be controlled by TV HDMI cable using TV's remote, what mean that can control the device using TV remote control. By additional mounted IR receiver device can be controlled from any other  remote even if your TV not support CEC (<2010).
    • 2x USB by which you can connect a keyboard or a mouse and a wireless receiver for mouse and keyboard. Better use the USB ports to connect a large external hard drive to share it on your local network. The device is configured so that when detect external drive or a flash memory, share it as a shared folder on the network. So you can download movies from your PC and save them directly of large external network drive. Accordingly, to play them through the Smart Media Center menu. As for functional AmbiLight, perhaps is the most interesting option for device -  for me personally.
    • Memory card slot for a memory card in which is stored the operating system of the device. It does not pull exept in the case where you want to write a new OS or make a backup of the existing.
    • Input/Output ports through which it can be controlled Ambilight and IR receiver, perhaps the most interesting feature of the device, at least for me personally.


Ambi Light - Reinforce the perception of yout sences.

The device has the ability to manage digital LED strip. The specifics in this band is that each LED has a processor (in my case WS2801) by which it can be addressed individually color of each LED separately. Thus if we take color information from the periphery of the picture on the monitor can be send to  LEDs and they can paint that borders with correct color. When putting LED strip on the rear side of the monitor, the LEDs will light up the back of the TV to the wall and the nuances of the color same as the picture on the TV broadcast front. Thus creating the ambient light around the monitor, the same as to picture the front.

Youtube Link


Watch movies online

The device has an operating system based on Linux, which makes it very reliable and flexible when installing different applications. XBMC for software that was developed especial for media center has an extremely detailed and varied information on the Internet, and diferent lists with various plugins. You can choose skins, change languages ​​and change what you decide if you have the necessary knowledge for this OS. Most interesting plugins are those by which you can watch free movies released directly online without having to download them. The subtitles are also loaded automaticaly form various sources after being selected from menu. The most difficult part is to find subtitles for this movie version, but offset in time as possible to adjust the subtitles so can do the job. I added shift up to + / -10 minutes which is enough to get rolled subtitles.

Youtube Link



To assemble such a device is needed to get:

    • Raspberry PI ver. В
    • Power Supply 5V/5A is enough to supply 5m. RGB strip (optional second power supply separate 5V / 1.5A need to supply only Raspberry, this is desirable since most Chinese power are not fast enough and in dynamic picture th LEDs can consume different current from 1A to 3A in extremely short time. If the power supply does not respond to the time required to stabilize the voltage of 5 volts voltage can earn more than 5 volts and burn Raspberry - when it is powered from the same source)
    • Digital RGB LED strip (WS2801) powered by 5 volts.
    • IR receiver for 38 Khz - TSOP34838

Wiring diagram of Raspberry with remote control and digital RGB LEDs contol is shown below. You can not assemble both parts, you can only use either the RGB or IR receiver management, or both. If your TV has support HDMI + CEC you can control Raspberry directly with TV remote control and do not have to put the IR receiver. Whole scheme is shown below.


Свали в PDF

Using buffer for RGB strip is desirable because the outputs of Raspberry is 3.3V. The strip is controlled by 5V. Theoretically, it is good to have such a buffer, but experience has found that the strip works too when controls it directly from input / output ports Raspberry. It is desirable to use 2 separate power supplies, as explained above in the article, although one would work. If you comply with these requirements will ensure your device is more reliable.

The buffer may also be implemented with a log. elements such as "NAND", not just "AND" as in my diagram. In this case, you must use two consecutive connected serial to have a double inversion of the signal.


Writing OS  on a memory card

Necessary software can be downloaded from the Files for download of Smart Media Center in the same article.

The image file to the Operating System is the base on the Smart Media Center. You can download the file in .zip format. It's archived to be small for donwload. After unzipping the extracted file is xbmc.img which is about 8GB. Record it on the memory card with this capacity.

In Windows, you can use:

Win32 Disk Imager choose xbmc.img, letter respond to memory card (be careful not to delete the partition on your computer) and then press Write.

Under Linux, use the command:

sudo fdisk -l (see where the memory card is mounted,ect /dev/sdd1 and /dev/sdd2 if you have 2 partitions)

sudo umount /dev/sdd1

sudo umount /dev/sdd2

dd if=/...../ to xbmc.img of=/dev/sdd bs=4M (if your device is sdd, if not choose what is youurs)

In most cases in the production of the cards they can't be maked to be the same. Myne is ADATA Class 10 and has 15431680 sectors, but if you try to write the image on smaller card, will have error on copying process. This does not mean that the information is not stored  at the end just only the sectors is different. In this case it is necessary to follow these steps:

1. fdisk -l /dev/sdd (device where is mounted card). Remember number total ххххххх sectors. Ect. 15333333. From 15431680 subtract 15333333, what is equal to 98347 bytes smaller. i.e your card is with 98347 bytes smaller. From 7640064 subtract result from last calculation 98347 and we have 7541717 as must be the new size in partition 2. Now left to do make resize for that size.

2.Write e2fsck -f /dev/sdd2

3. resize2fs /dev/sdf2 7541717K (Result from calculations)

4. fdisk /dev/sdd

5. p

6. d

7. 2

8. n

9. p

10. 2

11. Ask you from where to start a block  151552

12. Leave is default, press Enter.

13. w (write changes)

now put the card in Raspberry.


Configuring Hyperion and Lirc

Configuring Hyperion Ambilight for your TV:

To create a configuration file is necessary to have JAVA installed on your computer. Download and extract Extracted 2 files are the main program file called HyperCon.jar and hypercon.dat of which is loaded the last configuration that was created(this for my TV). (You can only change the number of LEDs and test how it works)

1. Start the program with java -jar HyperCon.jar .  You see the folowing window.

after you set your parameters click on Create Hyperion Configuration and program create "hyperion.config.json".

2. Copy this file to USB Stick.

3. Put USB Memory on Raspberry USB port

4. Power on the Raspberry and at the begin, almost after loading OS, you see the message "Active Network Detected Remember that IP.

5. In Windows download Putty after starting the program in HOST: write Rasberry IP. After that click to Open, after that YES, when ask you fro username write pi , after that press ENTER, when ask you fro password write raspberry (password is accepted although not indicated by symbols or asterisks) after press Enter continue with step 6.

In Linux write sudo ssh This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (IP that is gived to raspberry.), for password write raspberry

6. Write ls -la /media ans see some number (That is the name assignes to USB stick)

7. Write sudo cd /media/(number foem last row)

8. Write sudo cp hyperion.config.json /etc/hyperion.config.json

9. Restart the service with initctl restart hyperion . Now the new config file must be applied.

Once you have tested the colors may need to experimenting with parameters. The colors are very relative thing and depends on LEDs and the picture on your TV. Many people achieve good results with the following parameters but mine is totally different.

saturationGain : 2.2000
valueGain : 1.0000
threshold : 0.0000
gamma : 2.3000
blacklevel : 0.0000
whitelevel : 1.0000
threshold : 0.0000
gamma : 1.7000
blacklevel : 0.0000
whitelevel : 0.4000
threshold : 0.2500
gamma : 1.5000
blacklevel : 0.0000
whitelevel : 0.2000
type : “linear”
time_ms : 100
updateFrequency : 20.0000

To change this parameters is nessesary to write this after step 9: sudo nano /etc/hyperion.config.json

After make changes press Ctrl+X and when ask "Overwrite" press Y. after that reset the service using command in step 9.

 Configuring Lirc for your own remote: 

When configuring the remote for Raspberry, first pick a remote that does not manage any of the devices in the room where is Raspberry-it. Logically, we don't want to control two devices simultaneously. Just do steps 4 and 5 from the previous tutorial and write in the terminal:

1. mode2 -d /dev/lirc0

After this command must have result: mode2: default_init(): Device or resource busy - what mean that device is busy.

2. Write sudo pkill lircd

3. Write mode2 -d /dev/lirc0

After pressing Enter, after this command should not prescribe anything. Now press the buttons on the remote directred to Raspberry. You must have to go out numbers on the lines below. This means that the receiver works and understand the signals of the remote control. (If you do not have out numbers, you have not connected correctly the IR receiver or the remote control is not suitable for this purpose). Having successfully exit numbers on the lines interrupt the process with Ctrl + X on your keyboard.

4. Restart the device writing: sudo reboot

After 1 minute repeat steps 4 and 5 from last topic, to enter again in terminal mode, where you was before reboot.

To begin to teach the device of which buttons on the remote to match, go to the directory /home/pi with command:

5. Write cd /home/pi/

6. Write sudo pkill lircd

7. Write rm lircd.conf

8. Now write the main command irrecord -d /dev/lirc0 lircd.conf ,you see a text and is expected to press Enter. Do it.

Now you can follow the steps to setup.

Explain briefly: In the first step you mustpress different buttons and make them hold NO MORE than 1 sec. After the first row is writen something and expects more pressing in the same way. After this finish you must type the name of the first button that will learn. Write KEY_UP and press the button that will be responsible for the up button. KEY_DOWN Down. KEY_LEFT Left. KEY_RIGHT Right. KEY_OK for Ok KEY_STOP Stop. So for KEY_PLAY, KEY_MENU, KEY_BACK and press Enter for end. After this procedure makes pressing the ONE SAME button very quickly to fill as points.

9. Restart the device sudo reboot and you are ready.

With the image that I provide is trained a remote control from You can train your own or order the same remote from THIS link. If you you ask me to make Media Center for you, i will send you a remote like the picture below.



 Software for Android

Anroid software can be downloaded from Android market . With it you can control your RGB strips with some different effects or set custom color nuance. After installation in the setup menu, set IP-it your Raspberry and port 19444. Then you can control your AmbiLight directly from the phone or tablet.


For questions about prices for individual creation, use the contact form on the site.


Photos of the prototype

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