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Turn your TV on Smart TV with Raspberry Pi: step by step workshop

The Raspberry Pi is a low-cost computer with the size of a credit card. Raspberry P allows us to immerse ourselves in the Creator universe through a number of projects. One of the simplest and most popular is one that allows turn TV into smart TV to access the Internet, many more channels and other services. In this workshop we will see how to do it step by step.

Before we begin: what we need

For this project it will be necessary to have:

  • Raspberry Pi, preferably model 3. Protect it from shock.
  • TV with HDMI
  • HDMI cable
  • Micro SD card of at least 4 GB.
  • Internet connection
  • Keyboard and mouse with USB ports
  • 2.5 Amper Micro USB Power Adapter.

Although it is not necessary, it is recommended to use a housing to protect the panel from possible impacts and falls. If you purchase it separately, make sure it is compatible with your model. A good idea to avoid leaving something is to get a kit that includes everything you need to put on Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi: from colleges to creators of the movement

It was the "Raspberry Pi" Foundation, a non-profit organization born in 2009, which drove the project Encourage children to study computer science in schools from around the world with an affordable computer.

Despite its small size, Raspberry Pi allows you to perform basic tasks like any desktop computer: surfing the web, spreadsheets, text processors, playing high definition video, and even playing certain games.

Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi view allows us to identify the typical elements of each computer: Juice, processor, RAM, audio and video input and output ports, network connectivity, SD storage slot (which would be the hard disk), clock, power plug , low-level peripherals connections …

Like any other computer, it would be necessary to connect inbound and outbound peripherals to be able to communicate: a screen, a mouse, and a keyboard … besides saving the Raspberry Pi operating system to the SD card. After connecting with power, the small computer would already be operational.

In less than a decade, Rasberryberry Pi is being developed and updated with new models. The essence remains the same: a compact computer that is cheap, but the advancement improves the user experience thanks to the incorporation of more powerful hardware, multiple ports, and connectivity. For example, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, available from Raspberry Pi 3 that allow for more agile interaction.

The newest model on the market is the Raspberry Pi 3 model B +, the same price plate, but higher speed and bilingual Wi-Fi.

Although there are many projects that we can implement with Malina, it is common to use for 5 things:

Being the first three simplest, most common and acceptable. In the workshop precisely we will turn the TV into Smart TV by installing LibreELEC.

For distributions: features and installation


We will use this workshop a distribution that integrates Codes. Now, what is Cody? It's a free application formerly known as XBMC (XBox Media Center). With Kodi it is possible to convert a PC or TV into a multimedia center with a clean and clean interface.

Because Kodi code is free (under the GNU / GPL license), Internet users can Access the source code to customize it to any operating system or device where they need it. This is why Cody has versions for Windows and GNU / Linux, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Raspberry Pi, and practically for anything else you need.

In addition, Kodi is a fully modular application, that is, we can adapt and adapt to our taste. Not only its interface, but also by adding accessories or accessories that maximize its usefulness. Exactly accessories are your strong point, because it allows us, inter alia, to watch TV channels over the internet, display weather forecasts, listen to the radio, or connect to services such as Plex, SoundCloud or YouTube.

LibreELEC, OpenELEC or OSMC?

Although Cody can be installed in Raspbian (a distribution that turns Malina Pi into a computer), the simplest and most common is to install an official distribution integrate These distributions stand out for their simplicity and intuition, making them optimum for appliances like television. It's about LibreELEC, OpenELEC and OSMC.

Everyone has his own forces, but we will opt for LibeELEC, a distribution that is born of Openefe bifurcation (the most veteran) and that It stands out for its design, stability and overall, for its support. In free distribution, the key is to look for those with an active and powerful community behind to offer solutions to possible problems.

In practice, there are multiple-connection solutions that allow you to integrate several operating systems (distributions) at the same time, but at the time of truth It's also convenient to use several SD cards faster, each with an appropriate distribution.

How to download and install LibreELEC in microSD


Download LibreELEC is very simple: we can do it from the official website or from the Downloads section of Raspberry Pi. Download the latest stable version, not beta testing.

The distributions come in the image format (extension .img or .iso), although it is common that they are compressed (with extension .rar, .tar, .gz), which we will have to decompress once downloaded. Pay attention and download the version for the appropriate model of Raspberry Pi. For example, if you have Raspberry Pi 3 download the one that says "Rp3".


Once downloaded, we will have to decompress it and burn it on the micro SD card. The first thing is to insert the microSD card into the computer, either through the corresponding slot or, if you have an SD slot, with the adapter.

Eye, because it engraves the card with the image of the distribution it's not as simple as dragging files. If our OS is Mac OS X, we will need an Apple Pi Baker program and if we use Windows, we will do the same with Win32DiskImager.


When you insert the card, we open the appropriate program and make sure you select the SD to record. It is important to look carefully, otherwise we could record through other storage devices, formatting them by mistake.

After selecting the SD, in the IMG file we click and look for a picture file from the distribution. When we have both, a warning will appear that informs that everything on the card will be deleted. We accept and the recording will begin. This procedure will take a few minutes, from which time we can extract the card.


1. Connecting everything

It's time to collect everything and make connections. Insert the Raspberry plate in case carefully, because the holes are made with precision, so we must be patient and get to know it a little bit.

Once they are collected, we connect the HDMI Raspberry HDMI cable to the TV, keyboard and mouse on two USB ports and finally, we are introducing the microSD card. If you want to use the Internet with a cable, connect the Ethernet cable. We insist: Do it with attention, Raspberry Pi is small and we can damage it if we force it.

We turn on the TV and connect Malina Pi for electricity. On the TV, we have to select the HDMI input to see what's happening on our small computer.

2. An initial basic configuration

We'll see white text on a black background and finally the interface of LibreELEC, in English. The distribution will detect Wi-Fi networks. We select our and enter the password.


Although you can use it in English, it is also possible to switch to other languages ​​like Spanish. For this we will need to click on the icon of the transmission level and from there to follow the route: Settings> Interface> Regional> Languages.

Do not worry if at first you see only English text. The distribution only by default integrates English, so when you connect to the Internet when you receive updates, it's all a matter of waiting in minutes.

3. Installing accessories

Add-ons are the main advantage of Cody for its functionality and flexibility. There is everything: sports, series, movies, music, programs, personalizations, news, channels in the world … We can install them in several different ways, as we'll see below.

From the official Cody warehouses


In the main menu, click Add-ons. There we will see the list of all installed plugins. Click the open box at the top left corner, which will take you to the Coded Add-ons menu. We selected "Install from the repository".


Now we can find Addon that we want to install. You will see that they are classified by categories: images, music, programs, personalization options … and inside they are alphabetically. For example, we will install YouTube, which is available in video upgrades.


Once found, we give you to install it. The process will take up to a few minutes, and in the meantime, we can continue to move through Cody.


When you are finished, a popup window will appear in the top right corner, where you will be told that your add-on is installed correctly. From that moment it will appear in the add-on menu.

From .zip files

In order to use this option, we must first allow the installation of third parties. For this, go to the gear icon and from there: System Settings> Widgets and activate the option from unknown sources.


Now we repeat the process from the previous point, we went to the main menu of the Codes and in the column left we click on attachments. We're reviewing all the listed accessories again.

Now click on the open box to access the add-on installation menu. In the list of options we see, click on "Install from .zip file".


At this point, we will open a browser that will allow us to access the added file in the .zip format that we have on the hard disk. We mark it and it will be installed as in the previous item.

4. Applications to control your smart TV with your mobile

After the initial configuration in which the keyboard and mouse will be very comfortable, the ideal is to forget about these devices and use Malina Pi with an application via a mobile phone.

To do this, you must go to Settings> Services> Control and activate the "Allow remote control over HTTP" option.

From here, we can install on our Smartphone Core, the official control of Kodi, both for iOS and Android. There are other applications, but this is official, has a good interface and is very complete.

When you install the application and you have the Raspberry, your phone will detect it via Wi-Fi and you can use it.

Core Inteface Kore for iOS

With Core you can control Cody, view information about what you're playing, change the playlist, see what's in your library, access the IMDB, throw YouTube videos, enter text, change the application's interface , among other options

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