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Transform your TV into a Smart TV with the Raspberry Pi: A Step-by-Step Seminar

Raspberry Pi is an inexpensive credit card-sized computer. Raspberry Pi allows us to plunge into the world of creators thanks to a large number of projects. One of the most simple and popular is the one that allows turn tv into smart tv to access the Internet, many other channels and other services. In this workshop we will see how to do this step by step.

Before we begin: what we need

For this project you must have:

  • And the Raspberry Pi, preferably 3. model, will protect it from impacts.
  • TV with HDMI
  • HDMI cable
  • Micro SD card of at least 4 GB.
  • Internet connection
  • Keyboard and mouse with USB ports
  • 2.5 Amps micro USB power adapter.

Although this is not necessary, it is recommended to use a casing to protect the plate from possible impacts and falls. If you buy it separately, make sure it is compatible with your model. A good idea to not leave anything is to purchase a kit that includes everything you need to put a Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi: from colleges to manufacturers movement

It was the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a non-profit organization born in 2009, that led the project to Encourage children to study computer science in schools. from all over the world with an affordable computer.

Despite its small size, Raspberry Pi allows you to perform such basic tasks as any desktop computer: go online, spreadsheets, word processor, play high-definition video, and even play certain games.

Raspberry pi

A glance at the Raspberry Pi allows us to identify typical elements of any computer: SoC ports, CPU, RAM, audio and video inputs and outputs, network connection, SD slot for storage (which would be on the hard disk), clock, power outlet, connectors for low level peripherals …

Like any other computer, for interaction, you need to connect peripheral I / O devices: a screen, a mouse and a keyboard … in addition to recording the operating system for the Raspberry Pi to an SD card. After connecting to the network a small computer will already be in working condition.

In less than a decade, the Raspberry Pi has evolved and expanded with new models. The essence remains the same: a compact computer, which is cheap, but achievements have improved the user experience thanks to the inclusion of more powerful equipment, more ports and connectivity. For example, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, available from the Raspberry Pi 3, which enable more flexible interaction.

The latest model released on the market is the Raspberry Pi 3 B +, a tablet with the same price, but faster and dual-band Wi-Fi.

Although there are many projects that we can implement with Raspberry, it is usually used for 5 things:

To be the first three most simple, common and affordable. In the workshop exactly we will turn any TV into smart TV installing libreELEC.

About distributions: features and installation


For this workshop we will use distribution kit that unites KodiNow what is Kodi? This is a free application, previously known as XBMC (XBox Media Center). With Kodi, you can turn a computer or TV into a multimedia center with a clean and clear interface.

Since the Kodi code is free (under the GNU / GPL license), Internet users may Access the source code to adapt it to any operating system or device. where they need it. For this reason, Kodi has versions for Windows and GNU / Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, Raspberry Pi, and for almost any other that you need.

In addition, Kodi is a fully modular application, that is, we can adapt and customize it to your liking. Not only its interface, but also by adding additions or additions that maximize its utility. exactly Additions – Your ForteAs it allows us, among other things, to watch television channels via the Internet, display weather forecasts, listen to the radio or connect to services such as Plex, SoundCloud or YouTube.

LibreELEC, OpenELEC or OSMC?

Although Kodi can be installed in Raspbian (a distribution that turns the Raspberry Pi into a computer), the simplest and most common is to install the official distribution integrate it These distributions are simple and intuitive, which makes them optimal for devices such as television. We are talking about LibreELEC, OpenELEC and OSMC.

Everyone has their strengths, but we will choose LibeELEC, a distribution kit that was born from the OpenELEC bifurcation (the most veteran) and that It is distinguished by its design, stability and, in general, for its support.In free distributions, it is important to search for those who have an active and powerful community in order to offer solutions to possible problems.

In practice, there are multi-boot solutions that allow you to integrate several operating systems (distributions) at the same time, but at the moment More convenient and faster to use multiple SD cardseach with its own corresponding distribution.

How to download and install LibreELEC in microSD


Downloading LibreELEC is very simple: we can do this from the official website or from the “Downloads” section of the Raspberry Pi page. Download the latest stable version, not the beta version.

Distributions are presented in image format (extension .img or .iso), although they are usually compressed (with the extension .rar, .tar, .gz), which we will have to unpack after loading. Pay attention and download the version for the corresponding Raspberry Pi model. For example, if you have a Raspberry Pi 3, download the one that says "Rp3".


After downloading, we will have to unpack it and write to the micro SD card. First of all, insert the microSD card into the computer through the appropriate slot or, if you have an SD slot, with an adapter.

Eye because engrave the card with the image of distribution it's not as easy as dragging and dropping filesIf our operating system is Mac OS X, we need the Apple Pi Baker program, and if we use Windows, we will do the same with Win32DiskImager.

an Apple

When you enter the card, open the corresponding program and select the SD for recording. Important to watch carefullyotherwise, we could write on top of other storage devices, formatting them by mistake.

After we have chosen SD, in the IMG file we click and search for the image file of the distribution kit. When we have both, a warning will appear informing us that everything on the card will be erased. We accept, and recording will begin. This procedure will take a few minutes, after which we will be able to remove the card.


1. Connection total

It's time to collect everything and make connections. Carefully insert the crimson plate into the case, since the holes are made with high precision, so we have to be patient and introduce it little by little.

After the assembly, we connect the Raspberry HDMI cable to the TV, keyboard and mouse via two USB ports, and finally, we present the microSD card. If you intend to use the Internet with a cable, connect an Ethernet cable. We insist: do it with care, the Raspberry Pi is small and we can damage it if we force,

Turn on the TV and connect the Raspberry Pi to the current. On the TV, we have to select the HDMI input to see what happens on our little computer.

2. Initial baseline configuration

We will see white text on a black background and finally interface LibreELEC, in English, Distribution will detect Wi-Fi networks. We choose our and enter the password.


Although you can use it in English, you can also change it to other languages, such as Spanish. To do this, we will need to click on the gear icon and from there follow the route: Interface settings> Regional> Languages.

Do not worry if at first you only see text in English., By default, only English is integrated into the distribution, so it only takes a few minutes to connect to the Internet when receiving updates.

3. Installing Add-ons

Additions are a major advantage of Kodi for its functionality and versatility. Everything is here: sports, TV shows, movies, music, programs, personalizations, news, world channels … We can install them in several different ways, as we will see below.

From the official Kodi repositories


In the main menu, click on add-ons. There we will see lists of all installed add-ons. Click on the open field in the upper left corner to go to the Kodi add-ons installation menu. We chose "Install from repository".

REPO transactions

Now we can find the addon that we want to install. You will see that they are classified into categories: images, music, programs, personalization options … and inside they are arranged in alphabetical order. For example, we will install YouTube, available as a video add-on.


After finding we give you install. The process will take no more than a couple of minutes, and we will be able to continue navigating through Cody.


When finished, a pop-up window will appear in the upper right corner, where you will be informed that your addition has been installed correctly. From this moment you will appear in the add-on menu.

From .zip files

To use this option, first of all we must allow the installation of third parties. To do this, go to the gear icon and from there: System Settings> Add-ons and activate the option of unknown sources.


Now we repeat the process of the previous item, go to the main menu of Kodi and in the left column click on the add-ons. Again we see all our addons on the list.

Now click on the open window to access the add-on installation menu. In the appeared list of parameters, click “Install from ZIP file”.

zip fastener

At this moment, a browser will open, which will allow us to access the add-in file in .zip format, which is available on the hard disk. We mark it, and it will be installed, as in the previous paragraph.

4. Applications to manage your Smart TV from your mobile phone

After the initial configuration, in which the keyboard and mouse will be very convenient, ideally you should forget about these devices and use the raspberry pi with the app via mobile phone,

To make this possible, you need to go to "Settings"> "Services"> "Management" and activate the option "Allow remote control via HTTP".

From here, we can install Kore, the official Kodi control for iOS and Android, on our smartphone. There are other applications, but this is an official application, it has a good interface and is very full.

When you install the app and turn on the Raspberry, your phone will detect it via Wi-Fi and you can use it.

Bark Inteface Kore for iOS

With Kore, you can control Kodi, view information about what you play, change the playlist, watch what is in your library, access IMDB, broadcast YouTube videos, enter text, change the application interface, among other things. options.

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