Build Your Own Media Solution with Your Raspberry Pi 3

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One of the most popular applications for the cheap yet powerful Raspberry Pi 3 is a dedicated media server. The Pi brings Wi-Fi connectivity 1080p display support, and a Linux media tool named OMXplayer. You bring the display, audio output and popcorn.


Media Solution Necessities

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Audio Out and VGA Adapter

If you intend to interface with an older display or projector, the Raspberry Pi’s HDMI output may need to get converted to VGA with a separate audio output. If this is the case, Adafruit Industries has you covered with a HDMI to VGA adapter and 3.5mm audio cable in one convenient pack. You can use the audio cable to connect to off-the-shelf speakers like those included in the Arduino Music Shield Kit or cut off one end to connect your Raspberry Pi to discrete speakers.


8 ohm Speakers

Embed these speakers just about anywhere to get the sleek media-room feel without breaking your budget. The Raspberry Pi can drive the 8 ohm speakers without a separate amplifier and the sound is surprisingly good for a speaker only 6mm tall. You will certainly need larger speakers to experience heart-pounding bass, but these work fine for a fully DIY setup.


8GB Flash Drive

While you can stream all your favorite online shows through the Pi’s onboard WiFi chip, you can also bring your favorite games and movies with you by plugging a flash drive or other external memory into one of the Pi’s USB ports. OMXplayer handles .mp4 files well, and there are a few community driven projects to help you use an engine like Steam on the Pi. You may need a separate graphics card for your favorite games to run smoothly, but we know you can load RetroPie and play arcade games using only the onboard drivers.


Power Supply

Power your Pi anywhere in the world with this universal plug-in adapter from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It delivers 5V at up to 2.5A through a microUSB connector.


5V Cooling Fan

The Raspberry Pi can draw up to 2A of current, especially when streaming video, so thermal management is very important. A heat sink is good, but moving air is better. This small 60x60mm fan from ORION Fans runs off the same 5V as your Pi and moves 20 cubic feet per minute (CFM) to keep your system cool without being too loud for a movie room.


Complete Case

No matter what sort of project you are doing with your Raspberry Pi, you should always protect it with an appropriate case. This sleek matte black/gray case is made by the Raspberry Pi Foundation itself and will fit your Pi3 while allowing access to all important ports.


ESD Cleaning Solution

Electronics get dusty and dirty. Electronics do not work as well when they have contaminants on their surface or debris blocking airflow. When your feather duster doesn’t cut it, this special ESD safe cleaner from Desco Industries is the best choice for surfaces near electronic components. While we would not recommend dousing your Raspberry Pi in the spray, the cleaner does not contain silicone that can cling to electronics with negative impacts and is designed for cleaning ESD mats without damaging them.

 

 

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