HTPC Posts

Install Steam on Arch Linux

Install Steam on Arch Linux

Steam is a digital distribution platform primarily dealing with games. It manages games and as of recently other media like music. It has some unique features like In-Home Streaming that allow streaming games over the network. Arch Linux is not officially supported and there are some issues to work around. Prior to installing configure audio and install video drivers.

Install Home Assistant on Arch Linux

Install Home Assistant on Arch Linux

Home Assistant is a Python 3 based home automation platform that can interface with a plethora of devices. It is relatively new and thus requires some knowledge especially when configuring it. Most of the configuration is done via YAML config file.

Ambilight Clone with Arduino & WS2801 LED Pixels

Setup Ambilight Clone with Arduino & WS2801 LED Pixels

There are multiple methods and devices to get Ambilight like effects. One of the simplest is to use Arduino with WS2801 or similar lights. Arduino is easy to program with the help of Adafruit library. Boblight Add-On for Kodi (XBMC) along with the Boblight Daemon outputs the required data from the video stream to Arduino via USB or possibly another communication method.

Setup Ambilight with Kodi & Boblight on Arch Linux

Ambilight with Boblight Add-on & Kodi / XBMC on Arch Linux

Boblight uses server-client model and consists of two component parts. The client component captures video or audio input, processes the stream and sends the resulting light data to the server. In this case the client is Kodi Boblight Add-On. Boblight daemon – boblightd runs in the background and translates the light data from the client into commands for the external light controller such a Arduino. Before configuring the software build Ambilight Clone with Arduino & WS2801 LED Pixels.

Install Xorg X11 Window System on Arch Linux

Install Xorg X11 Window System on Arch Linux

Xorg is required to have any output on the display and which in turn requires video drivers to be installed. There is practically one choice when it comes to a window system – X11, aka X Window System. Certain additional packages need to be installed to enable keyboard support, hardware acceleration and more. Depending on the hardware more packages may need to be installed. They can be found in the xorg package that contains all dependencies however it is wasteful to install so many unused packages.

Install Emby Server on Arch Linux

Install Emby Server / Media Browser Arch Linux

Emby, previsously known as Media Browser 3 is a web based interface that allows to view and manage movies, TV series and music among other things. Emby can also scrape metadata for Kodi and other media center software. Another major feature is streaming local videos over the network or internet with automatic transcoding which can be very especially when bandwith is limited. Unfortunately there is no simple way to migrate from Media Browser 3 to Emby due to shortsighted design of the database. The simplest solution is to export metadata with “Save artwork and metadata into media folder” option and then import metadata from media folder into Emby once it is installed.

Kodi Shared MySQL Database on Arch Linux

Kodi MySQL Database on Arch Linux

A centralized MySQL or MariaDB database allows any number of Kodi clients to share the same media library and to be constantly in sync with each other. This also has potential to greatly improve scraping performance since only a single database needs to be updated. Most useful feature is probably the synced watch and resume counter which allows resuming of paused media from any client. Before continuing install Kodi and install MySQL / MariaDB.

Install Media Browser on Arch Linux

media-browser-arch-linux

Media Browser 3 is a web based interface that allows to view and manage movies, TV series and music among other things. Unfortunately Media Browser is unreasonably limited without paid features and that begs the question why one would use Media Browser when Plex Server is a much more well developed project. Free features still have some merit and Plex Server does not work with XBMC / Kodi which makes Media browser the only option in this case. The installation is painless so there is no reason not to give it a try.

Optimize XBMC / Kodi Cache Settings on Linux

kodi-logo2

Prior to changing cache settings install Kodi on Arch Linux. The default cache size in XBMC / Kodi is quite conservative especially when considering high bitrate streams. This lack of buffer can cause “Cache is Full” errors when streaming video and a general poor streaming performance. Increasing the cache should fix this issue. Cache settings are changed manually by editing advancedsettings.xml file which also has more cache related settings that can improve streaming.

Configure XBMC / Kodi Notifications on Linux

kodi-notification

There are many reasons to set up notifications on certain events such as SMART error. Kodi / XBMC has a simple notification system that can be invoked programmatically or via a HTTP request. Before notifications can be received you will first need to install Kodi on Arch Linux and know the IP address and port on which it Kodi is reachable. It would be helpful to configure static IP on Arch Linux or setup static IP on Ubuntu Linux since then the IP would stay constant.