Forward Kodi/XBMC video information to hyperion on Raspberry Pi

My current network setup allows me only to use small bandwidth connections between the living room (that’s where my Raspberry Pi is used as my Mediacenter) and office (my NAS). However, my Macbook is fast enough and can access the NAS wirelessly, so that I often use it as a replacement for the hardwired Raspberry Pi.

However, I cannot use my Hyperion Ambilight setup behind the TV in combination with the Macbook, because its only connected to the Raspberry Pi. But yesterday I’ve found this plugin which enables the Kodi setup on my Macbook to connect to the Hyperion Server on my Raspberry Pi over network.

  1. Download the zip file with the content of the git repository.
  2. Start Kodi on the Macbook and install it using the add on manager. You can point to the zip file directly without the need to unzip it first.
  3. Configure the installed plugin to connect to the ip of your Hyperion server.
  4. Start a video and be amazed that the lights on your TV will work wirelessly 😉

Update OpenElec 4.2.1 to 5.0.0 on a Raspberry Pi

XBMC is no more, it was replaced by KODI. The OpenElec team updated its media center distribution to version 5.0.0 which includes KODI. So it was time to update my RaspberryPi and its really easy:

  1. Backup your current installation with the OpenElec Backup tool.
  2. Move your backup to a secure location. You can access the backup tar file via SMB from the backup share.
  3. Download the 5.0.0 release image for Raspberry Pi.
  4. Place the tar file in the update share of your OpenElec installation.
  5. Reboot your Raspberry Pi.
  6. It should be rebooting a few times.

After these steps you should be greeted with the new KODI logo.


Kodi start screen

And you’re done, its really easy as a Pi 😉

Use OpenElec on Raspberry Pi with Hyperion

I recently updated my Raspberry Pi in the living room. I used Rasbmc as an easy to use XBMC distribution. However, there will be no update for Rasbmc once XBMC is replaced by KODI. You are then forced to use OSMC. As I also use Hyperion as server for my WS2801 LED stripes behind the TV I’m not sure if Hyperion will work with OSMC. Therefore, it was time to look for an alternative.

This is where OpenElec comes into play. Its a Linux distribution optimised for use with XBMC and is not that easily customizable if you want your Rasbperry to serve other purposes as well. But that’s not my concern, as I just intend to use it as XBMC client.

There is already a nice tutorial available on the OpenElec Github page. However, I had some serious issues with Hyperion and I want it to document, should I ever reinstall again.

Hyperion tries to connect to the XBMC JSON RPC api to get information about the current status of XBMC. This includes the information for active screensavers or just idling in the main menu. If I just use the instructions from the Github page, I was not able to deactivate my background lights while I was in the XBMC main menu. I’ve found two issues in the Github Project but only one was really helpful:

You have to activate and deactivate the Remote and local control of XBMC, only then is Hyperion able to connect to XBMC and only then it will get the right status information. Now it finally obeys the configuration and disable the background lights when its in the main menu.

 

PS: Don’t let yourself be fooled by the colors from the attached picture. The white balance picked it wrong up and it was also to a time where I did not calibrated colors for Hyperion 🙂 It looks much better in reality 😉

Rasbmc – falsche Zeitzoneneinstellung

Seit einiger Zeit besitze ich ein Raspberry Pi. Dieser kleine Computer ist sehr günstig (etwa 30 Euro) und kann als XBMC eingerichtet werden. Dabei habe ich mich für die Rasbmc Distribution entschieden, da diese sehr einfach (ein Befehl auf der Konsole) installiert werden kann.

 

Bereits bei der Ersteinrichtung wird man nach der aktuellen Zeitzone gefragt. Hier habe ich natürlich für Deutschland Berlin als Stadt und Europa als Region ausgewählt. Leider zeigt mir mein XBMC aber die Uhrzeit immer um zwei Stunden nach hinten versetzt an. Wenn also jetzt 21:47 ist, dann zeigte XBMC 19:47 an.

 

Eine kurze Google Recherche ergab dann, dass man den Assistenten zur Einrichtung der Zeitzone erneut aufrufen kann. Dazu tippt man

sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

ein. Der Assistent führt einen dann durch die Konfiguration und sieht dann in etwa so aus:

Rasbmc - Geographic Area Raspbmc - Region

Doch das reichte noch nicht aus, um auch wirklich die richtige Uhrzeit anzuzeigen. Man muss in den Darstellungsoptionen des XBMC ebenfalls die Region und den Ort auswählen. Ich hatte eigentlich erwartet, das diese Einstellung übernommen wird, aber dem ist leider nicht so. Die richtigen Einstellungen für Deutschland sieht man auf dem Screenshot:

Raspbmc - Time Settings