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Raspberry pi as multimedia center

One of the most non-technical applications of the Raspberry Pi minicomputer is its use as a media server for playing music, video and streaming broadcasts of all types of multimedia.
raspberry pi multimedia centre


    Media servers typically combine media files from all your favorite sources, including local disks, Internet-based music platforms such as Spotify, and streaming video platforms such as YouTube, giving the user one-stop access to all their favorite songs, movies, and shows.


    Due to the low cost of the Raspberry Pi and its powerful wireless features, it has become one of the best platforms for this task. This growth has led to the emergence of startups with several media server solutions based on the Raspberry Pi among dozens of DIY versions on the Internet, as well as the release of the Raspberry Pi 4 with I2S, dual HDMI port, more RAM, processing speed and improved connectivity . And now Raspberry pi as multimedia center is the perfect media server.

    There are several programs and applications used to convert the Raspberry Pi to a multimedia server. They are either a pre-installed operating system for Raspberry Pi, or an application that can be installed in the standard release of Raspbian or other compatible Linux versions. In today's article, we will look at these Raspberry Pi software servers, comparing them with each other, examining their pros and cons to help users determine what is best for your purpose.

    As mentioned in the introduction, over time, dozens of programs have been created that can turn the Raspberry Pi into an ideal media server that plays music, video, and other multimedia, some of which can connect to multiple streaming platforms to make content on these platforms accessible to the user. From open source programs such as OpenELEC, to paid platforms such as Plex, some of these programs have become more popular than others because of their outstanding features. In this article, we will look at some of the most popular multimedia programs that you can use with the Raspberry Pi.

    Raspberry pi gpio tutorial

    Learning Raspberry Pi GPIO , experiment with LED and button
    Raspberry pi gpio tutorial

    Let's get acquainted with the general-purpose input / output (GPIO) ports in the Raspberry Pi, take a simple example of connecting the LED and the button (switch) to the GPIO ports, and write a simple Python program that will control the LED's light (blinking) when help buttons. Simple experiments with the Raspberry Pi GPIO for beginners.

      What is GPIO?

      First of all, let's see what GPIO is and what it is for. The abbreviation GPIO from English stands for: General-purpose Input / Output - this is the interface. which contains General Purpose Inputs and Outputs, to which you can connect a variety of actuators, sensors, displays, controllers, different modules and different peripherals.

      What does the GPIO look like? is a connector that is located directly on the Raspberry Pi board and which contains a set of pins:
      • In older models (A and B) - 26 pcs (+ 8 pcs with a separate connector);
      • In the new models (A +, B + and B2) - 40 pcs.
      The appearance of the GPIO connectors for different raspberry models is shown below.

      Raspberry Pi GPIO Models A and B

      raspberry pi gpio pinout
      Fig. 1. Raspberry Pi model B GPIO connector and pin numbering.

      In versions A and B, the connector contains 26 pins (P1 header), 8 of which are common GPIO I / O ports, as well as pins for connecting I²C, SPI, UART and power lines + 5V, + 3.3V, GND.

      Also, in the earliest versions, you can see a connector on an 8-pin motor (P2 header) - this is the VideoCore JTAG debugging interface, in subsequent versions it was excluded. You can also notice several unsoldered connectors - these are: P3 (LAN9512 JTAG), P5 (8 pins - 4 GPIO, 5V, 3.3V, 2 GND), P6 (to reset BCM2835, Reset).

      Raspberry Pi GPIO for A +, B +, and B2 Models

      raspberry pi A+ gpio pinout
      Fig. 2. GPIO interface in Raspberry Pi 2 and pin numbering.
      In new versions of the Pi platform, the connector already contains 40 pins (2 rows of 20 pieces each), the first 26 pins (13 in each row) are the same as in earlier versions of the Raspberry Pi, and the remaining 14 pieces are additional GPIOs (9 pieces), GND (3pcs) and 2 pins for EEPROM.

      More pins - more options for expanding and using raspberries!

      GPIO Connector Pinout

      In order to use the GPIO connector, you need to know exactly which pin and for what purpose you can use it. Below are the pinouts of the GPIO connectors for different models and different versions of the Raspberry Pi platform.
      raspberry p GPIO Connector Pinout
      Fig. 3. Raspberry Pi model AB - the location of the pins on the GPIO connector.

      It is important to note that for revisions of the PCB 1.0 (September 2012 or earlier) and 2.0, the pin arrangement is slightly different:
      • Pin 3 = GPIO0, SDA0, I2C (v1.0) | GPIO2 (v2.0);
      • Pin 5 = GPIO1, SCL0, I2C (v1.0) | GPIO3 (v2.0);
      • Pin 13 = GPIO21 (v1.0) | GPIO27 (v2.0).
      This should be taken into account when designing and modifying devices on platforms with different revisions of printed circuit boards.
      raspberry pi gpio pins
      Fig. 4. Pinout of the GPIO connector in the Raspberry Pi A +, B +, 2.

      What is data science

      What is data science and how does it work?
      Data science, big data , machine learning - you probably heard these big words, but how understandable was their meaning for you? For some, they are beautiful marketing lures. Someone thinks that data science is the magic that will force the machine to do whatever it orders for free. Others even believe that this is an easy way to make a lot of money. let's try to explain what it means in a simple and understandable language.
      What is data science

      I work in the field of automatic processing of a natural language, one of the data science applications, and often observe how people use these terms incorrectly, so I wanted to make a little clarity. This article is for those who have a poor idea of ​​what data science is and wants to understand concepts.

      Raspberry Pi Zero W Review

      The Raspberry Pi Zero W is the second model of a miniature single-board computer from the Raspberry Pi line.
      raspberry pi zero w pinout

      The first model was the “regular” Zero, a tiny $ 5 computer with modest specs and no wireless modules. Given the fact that in the pursuit of miniaturization, the creators left only one microUSB OTG port, the model looked rather strange. It seems to be compact, but in order to use it more or less normally, it is necessary to weigh adapters for connecting the network adapter and keyboard, which automatically negates all the advantages of miniaturization.

      Released a year later, Zero W inherited from the predecessor the dimensions and basic technical characteristics, but in addition received an integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi module. This slightly increased its cost, but at least it became convenient to use the updated model.

      Raspberry Pi Camera Board V2 Overview

      Raspberry Pi Camera Board V2

      The Raspberry Pi Camera Board is the official camera module for the Raspberry Pi microcomputer line.

      Rather, there are two such modules: Raspberry Pi Camera Board V2 and Raspberry Pi NoIR Camera Board V2 , which differs from the usual version by a cut-out IR filter, due to which the picture from such a camera looks somewhat phantasmagoric during the day, but it is clearer and more legible in conditions of insufficient lighting.


        This review looks at the “regular” Raspberry Pi Camera Board V2 module

        Specifications
        • Model name : Raspberry Pi Camera Board V2
        • Resolution : 8MP (up to 3280 × 2464)
        • Sensor : Sony IMX 219 PQ CMOS, ¼ inches
        • Supported video formats : 1080p (30fps), 720p (60fps), 640 × 480p (90fps)
        • Focal length : 33 mm
        • Lens speed : f / 2
        Appearance and scope of delivery
        Raspberry Pi Camera Board V2
        The camera comes in a cardboard box with the manufacturer's logo.

        All Raspberry Pi Foundation products are manufactured at the facilities of two companies - RS Components (England) and element14 (China). I purchased a camera module manufactured by element14, for the same money and from the same seller you can take an English assembly model, the difference between them will only be in the box printing.
        Raspberry Pi Camera
        In the box is the camera itself with a loop connected to it and a safety manual in different languages, including Russian.

        The loop length is 15.5 cm. It is compatible with the CSI interface on all models of the Raspberry Pi line except Zero and Zero W, which use a reduced version of the connector, which is connected to through a special adapter. In Raspberry Pi Zero W Review, this adapter can be seen in the photographs.
        Raspberry Pi Camera Board V2
        The dimensions of the module are 23 × 25mm.
        There are 4 holes for fixed mounting with screws or latches.
        On the back of the module There is a connector for connecting a loop.

        Most cases for the Raspberry Pi 3 are not very adapted to work with the camera module. It is possible to bring the loop out, but how to fix the camera in a static position are the user's problems.

        I myself ordered a Raspberry Pi Camera Board with a view to use in tandem with Raspberry Pi the Zero the W . The cover of the standard case of this microcomputer is already equipped with an opening for the camera, and the characteristics of the small “raspberry” are more suitable for such tasks undemanding to processor power.

        Raspberry pi camera setup

        Connect and configure the camera
        All the drivers necessary for getting started are already present in the Raspbian distribution, but for the camera to work, you must manually enable it in the settings:
        sudo raspi-config
        raspberry pi camera setup
        In the settings, select the item “Interfacing Options”
        raspberrypi camera setup
        And in the menu that opens - “Camera”.
        After enabling camera module support, the configuration utility will prompt you to reboot. We agree.
        The last step is to edit the /etc /modules file
        sudo nano /etc/modules
         bcm2835
        And add the line bcm2835-v4l2 to it .
        You can verify that the settings are correct using the command
        ls /dev
        If everything went fine, then the camera module will be displayed as video0 in the listing that appears .

        Control Raspberry Pi Camera from the console

        In order to take photos and videos using the Raspberry Pi Camera Board , two console utilities that are present in Raspbian out of the box are enough : raspistill and raspivid .

        The photo
        In order to take a photo you need to run the command:
        raspistill -o image.jpg
        This command takes a photo and saves it to the image.jpg file in the directory from which it starts (by default it is / home / pi).

        With the default settings, the camera shoots at a maximum resolution of 3280 × 2464 pixels, 1 photo weighs ~ 4.5 Mb. If you open the resulting photo in MS Paint and without making any changes, simply save it under a different name, then the file size immediately decreases to ~ 2 Mb.
        raspistill
        A couple of examples of photos received from the camera. By clicking with the middle mouse button they can be opened in the original resolution. Images turned out to be a little more blurry than it could be, because during the shooting I held the camera in my hand. With a hard mount, the camera will not shake and the image will become a little sharper.

        What can be said about the quality of the photo? There is no autofocus here, and the fixed focus is set to long-range plans by default (this is clearly seen in the photograph with the monitor, where the monitor is clearly not in focus, but the wallpaper behind it).

        The camera is not suitable for subject shooting, for photographing texts, too - but landscape views will turn out normally. That is, it is quite suitable for video surveillance purposes. Well, the focus can be tightened up manually, achieving optimal quality in a stationary location.

        In general, the module shoots at the level of modern budget smartphones, which, considering its cost, is quite good. The camera does not have IR illumination and quickly fades in the dark. So for work in low light conditions it is better to choose another model - Raspberry Pi NoIR Camera Board .
        Video
        To shoot a video, you need to run the command:
        raspivid -o video.h264
        Which will write the video to the video.h264 file until the moment of its interruption.

        To record a video of a fixed length, the -t switch is added to the command, indicating the duration of the video in milliseconds:
        raspivid -o video.h264 -t 10000
        In this case, a video of 10 seconds in length will be shot. The weight of a file with a ten-second video in fullHD resolution without transcoding is 20 MB.

        Also, when shooting video and photos using the Raspberry Pi Camera Board, you can rotate the camera with the -vf (vertical flip) and -hf (horisontal flip) keys.

        The quality of the resulting video is comparable to the average car DVR.

        If you need to transcode the video track from the H.264 format to the MPEG4 format, install the GPAC utility package:
        sudo apt-get install -y gpac
        And run the transcoding:
        MP4Box -add video.h264 video.mp4
        The output is a file in .mp4 resolution, understood by all modern devices and video players.

        For the camera module, you can come up with more complex use cases.

        For example, turn a “raspberry” into an IP camera. Or shoot timelapses. Or set up a script that, when a certain trigger is triggered (for example, a motion sensor, or when the Telegram bot receives the corresponding command) takes a photo and uploads it to the cloud on the Internet.
        I will write more about some of these things later in separate articles.

        Raspberry Pi Camera Board V2 Advantages and disadvantages

        Advantages:
        • Good quality for the price
        • Virtually no setup required before starting work
        • Compact dimensions and compatibility with the Raspberry Pi Zero W
        Disadvantages:
        • Fixed focus
        • Lack of IR illumination
        Conclusion
        I liked the Raspberry Pi Camera Board V2 module.
        Compact and inexpensive module that produces a picture of sufficient quality for use for video surveillance. Its closest competitors are ordinary webcams of the budget price segment.

        But the design of a single-board computer with a “webcam” connected to it via USB will turn out to be more cumbersome and clumsy than the design using a module specially designed for this purpose and a compatible case.
        I recommend to buy, along with the Raspberry Pi the Zero the W .

        Raspberry pi zero w camera

        This article will talk about how to assemble a low-cost IP camera based on the Raspberry Pi Zero W and the original camera module.
        raspberry pi zero w security camera
        In principle, it was for this purpose that I originally planned to use the “mini-raspberry". But the impressions of her work in this role were mixed.

        I must say that such a device fulfills its cost. But a miracle did not happen and it did not work to get an analogue of an industrially produced IP camera for less money.

        Well, read more about everything further in the article.

          What do we need
          To implement the steps described in this article, you will need:
          Optionally, you may need a separate device for the DVR. It will be needed if there is a need to use 2 or more CCTV cameras in one complex.
          Almost any computer running Linux or even Windows can be used as a DVR.

          Raspberry pi zero w camera assembly

          raspberry pi zero w camera tutorial
          Everything needed for assembly is a Raspberry Pi Zero W microcomputer, a microSD-card with a system image, a body with a hole for the camera’s eye, the camera module itself and a loop from the full-sized CSI connector to the miniature CSI used in Zero and Zero W.

          best laptop for Kali Linux

          Being a hacker in the 21st century is now fashionable, as these guys have a lot of opportunities.
          The best laptop for hacking depends on what you really want to do with that laptop ?
          Being in the niche of hacking and penetration is not a simple task, and largely depends on your skills. Do you want to connect to a WiFi point or attack a internal network , perform pentesting let's just say you are a ethical hacking, Another benefit of  pentesting laptop it will be used s a portable hacking station , and just using a laptop as a remote access connection will also not be amiss.
          Again, it all depends on what you wan to do. And anyway, let's figure out where to start and what requirements of the laptop will be associated with hacking.
          best laptop for hacking

          What the best laptop for pentesting have ?
          Performance
          Performance is the main aspect, as most hacker activities require a lot of processor resources. To do this, you must be sure that you have the minimum requirement to run your hacking programs. We will not call them, since we are sure that you are already an experienced hacker who can cope with the search for the necessary information about hacks, etc.

          If you are going to crack passwords from a laptop, we recommend using a modern processor based on i5 or i7. These processors have several cores, which will allow you to work faster. If you have a good budget, then you can purchase a Xeon processor. Just do not forget to check your programs for multi-threading before buying, otherwise you will spend your money in vain on buying a multi-core processor, which in the end will not work at full capacity. If your programs have GPU support, you can take a laptop with the latest GPU, since these processors easily surpass traditional processor cores for most hacker applications.

          I would like to say about the amount of disk space on the laptop. If you do not need a large volume, but at the same time you want fast work, we recommend buying a laptop with an SSD drive. These discs allow you to run programs instantly, without feeling the brakes.
          Memory
          Depending on your requirements, the choice of RAM memory will also depend. If you want to use the laptop without Virtual machines, you can get by with 8 GB of RAM. As experience suggests, the processor will be more dependent on hacker tasks if the RAM.

          However, if your hacking technique requires running virtual machines, then RAM will certainly be a valuable commodity. Virtual machines require a lot of resources., you can buy a laptop that will even have 16 GB of RAM.
          Compactness
          Sometimes even hacking methods are not as important as compactness. This is due to the fact that now hackers have become smarter and use desktop computers or even servers, which are connected via remote access using a laptop. Therefore, it is better to invest money in a computer that will be at home. It will come out cheaper. But with a laptop everything is different here, here you need to focus on the battery and the weight of the device.

          If the laptop will not have very powerful components, then it will start to use less energy, which will allow the battery to last longer, thereby your laptop will hold a charge for a long time. Processors with a lower clock speed (in GHz) will reduce heat and prevent battery consumption during fan operation. The entry-level graphics card is suitable for most major games and saves significant energy compared to the high-performance Nvidia. If you want the battery to not discharge quickly, then invest in an SSD drive, which is very energy efficient than traditional drives that rotate heavy disks at a speed of 7–10,000 rpm.

          how to choose a wireless router

          how to choose a wireless  router
          Now it is difficult to imagine a house in which there would be no WiFi router. Wireless access to the Internet is not a luxury, but first of all - the need for modernity, because sometimes you have to work or study not only in the room where the modem is located. It is also convenient for recreation. You can get acquainted with the content of interest from anywhere in the house. But in order to feel all the benefits of WiFi, it is important to consciously make a choice of a router , especially since there are a lot of similar devices on the market.

          Parameters for wireless  router selection
          When a buyer comes to the store to buy an inexpensive and productive router for the house, the consultant tries to "shove" what needs to be sold soon. And some even advise is not a cheap product, which, moreover, will not be useful. Therefore, before buying, it is better to study some characteristics that will help you choose a suitable router for specific requirements.

          The most important parameters which you should pay attention to ensure stable and fast connection , are as follows:
          1. The type of a WAN port is a characteristic on which it depends whether the device is suitable for installation in a particular apartment. The choice of WAN type depends on the home Internet, the type of its connection. Here you can tell which router is better to buy, can employees from the company’s provider. Depending on the type of connection, you need to select a device:

            • Ethernet is the best solution for those who are connected to the worldwide system not through a telephone, but through a cable. This type is supported by almost all routers.
            • ADSL - a router that can be connected to the cable, let down from the phone.
            • 3G / 4G router - USB ports are necessary for their successful functioning. Routers with 3G / 4G modem support provide better coverage and data transfer speeds.
          2. Data transfer rate A very cheap router, cannot provide a speed of more than 150 Mbit/s. This is not enough even for home use, if more than 2 devices are connected at the same time. For example, the best router for large house should operate at a speed of 300 Mbit /s.
          3. For stable use of a signal by several devices, it is better to use a router with support for dual WiFI bands, that is, frequencies of 5 and 2.4 GHz. Such models are more expensive, but also work better.
          4. how to choose a wireless router
          5. Radius of action. To cover a large country house with a stable connection, a more powerful router is needed than for a one-room apartment. In addition, it is necessary to take into account not only the area of ​​the room, but also the thickness of the walls, as well as the presence of additional obstacles. In this case, you need to pay attention to
            • the number of antennas - the more of them, the larger the area covered by the router
            • Antenna power 5dBi is the best option .
          6. WiFi standards. Pay attention to the support of WiFi protocols. To date, 802.11 ac is considered the fastest and most modern. But here you also need to make sure that your devices that you plan to connect to the wireless network support this standard.

          best wifi router for home

          Best WiFi routers for home
          Best WiFi routers for home
          In our homes, more and more equipment that requires access to the network appears. Just plugging the provider's cable into the PC, as before, is no longer enough - to distribute the Internet to computers, laptops, smartphones and other devices, you will need a WiFi router, also known as a router.  what is the Best routers for home These small boxes with "horns" (or without - antennas can be built-in) can vary greatly in their capabilities and price. Unprepared person no wonder get confused. We decided to ease the task and picked up the most interesting models for different thickness of the wallet. Below you will also find general recommendations for choosing a router for an apartment.

          TP Link Archer C2300 Review

          TPLink Archer C2300 Overview
          When there are many different devices in the house, where besides visiting websites and social networking sites they watch videos, play online games or download files, the performance of the router may not be enough. This primarily applies to budget routers. For a stable and fast connection, even under load, you need a powerful and productive router. For example, such as TP Link Archer C2300. You can't call it exactly budgetary, it costs about $ 170. But it is two times cheaper than some top models. And the performance and functionality in it is more than enough for home use.

          TP Link Archer C2300 is based on a powerful processor. Of course, it supports the standard WiFi 802.11ac, equipped with gigabit ports, two USB ports and HomeCare security system. There is support for the functions Beamforming, MU-MIMO, Range Boost, etc. The software functionality of the router is very rich. It has a multilingual web interface and there is support for cloud functions.

          Appearance and equipment
          I decided to start the review of TP Link Archer C2300 not with the technical specifications, as I usually do, but with the delivery set and appearance. The router comes in a nice box with all the basic information about the device.
          Everything is packed fairly securely. All glossy parts are covered with a protective film
          Standard equipment : a router, antennas (they are removable) , power adapter, network cable and instructions.
          TP-Link Archer C2300 Router
          Almost the entire body is made of high-quality matte plastic. The top cover is divided into two parts. The first is made of matte plastic with an unusual texture and holes for ventilation, and the second of glossy plastic (which is understandably very dirty and scratched) . There are silver plastic inserts that perfectly complement the TP Link company logo of the same color. Indicators are located on top and highlighted with a special bar. They can be seen only when TP Link Archer C2300 is on. The lower part of the silver strip is a button for turning off the indicators. But I do not quite understand why this button is needed, because the indicators are very dim, even in the dark.

          ASUS RT AC1200G

          Introduction
          The main requirements of home networks impose on wireless routers are stable operation, good wireless coverage, and basic functionality. This was exactly the model created by ASUS RT AC1200G +. Consider it more!
          asus rt ac1200g review

          ASUS USB AC56 WiFi adapter Review

          Overview and testing of asus usb ac56
          asus usb ac56 review
          Wireless networks are developing by leaps and bounds. If recently USB WiFi adapters could only provide normal speed for work and on the Internet, then today the range of their capabilities has greatly expanded. For example, you can connect to the file storage and without long waiting to download or copy large files or play a Blu Ray movie directly from the storage. ASUS presents the fastest solutions before anyone else and today we look at the USB 3.0 WiFi 802.11ac adapter ASUS USB AC56.

          The main features of this ASUS USB AC56 WiFi USB card is that it incorporates a selectable dual band with WiFi AC technology. In the 2.4GHz band we can achieve up to 400Mbps of speed thanks to its two antennas in MIMO 2T2R configuration and TurboQAM technology from Broadcom. Regarding the 5GHz band we can get up to 867Mbps of speed thanks to the MIMO 2T2R and WiFi AC technology.

          This equipment incorporates all the features of the WiFi AC standard, such as support for 80MHz channel width, 256QAM quadrature frequency modulation and also Beamforming technology.
          With  Beamforming we can achieve greater wireless coverage, which translates into a higher wireless speed. Therefore we are facing a WiFi AC1300 (dual band).