Cheapest Smart TV with Pi Zero

Build your own Smart TV with the help of a Raspberry Pi Zero device

Are you bored with your ordinary TV? Do you want to expand your media experience to a whole new level? Yet you are limited with the budget? Like me? Well, this would be the perfect Smart TV solution!

Disclaimer: This tutorial might not be complete and can contain differences. Google Cloud Console is continuously changing. However, the underlying configuration should be quite the same.

For this article, we will be installing OSMC as the media operating system. Let’s get started!

Download the Disk Image

Go to the OSMC website and click on the Download icon. Then click on the Rasberry Pi button. You’ll be scrolled to a section where you can select Disk Images. The version I am using is this from this link). If you have a beefier board, pick accordingly.

Now extract the image and flash it you your micro SD card using a tool like balenaEtcher.

Now we are ready to Boot the Pi Zero with the newly formatted SD card!

Booting up the Smart TV

Connect the Pi Zero to your TV (Or a screen) and power it up.

Wait till the setting up of files. You will automatically be directed for the settings menu. Here you need to adjust a few things as follows.

Enable SSH and Change the name when prompted if you wish. Next, you will be shown with the Settings page.

  • Settings ->Network -> Enable wireless under wireless
  • Connect to your network

Later you can always go to My OSMC and click the following button to change settings for networking. Now we are almost ready to go!

Controlling Your Smart TV

Most of the TVs support HDMI 1.3, which enables you to control the device without any keyboard attached. This is wonderful. Ever wonder what those directional buttons in your remote? Well, those are not just for you to go around settings on the TV. Now we are actually using them! Pretty Cool!

Installing YouTube

Go to Settings -> Add-on browser. Then select Install from repository. Then scroll down to Video add-ons. There you should be able to find YouTube add-on.

To search faster use your TV remote keypad as an Old Phone style keyboard. For Y, press 9 three times.

You can answer the typical questions followed by the setup wizard. Then you can find YouTube under Video and Add-ons. In order, to set up, the API key, follow the following steps.

Then follow the below step order.

Then use the YouTube Data API.

Then click enable API.

Make sure you have the settings as above when you are adding credentials.

Now in the new window, Click credential in left and then create credentials to make a new API key. For a basic setup do no add any restrictions. Then configure the consent screen to be External.

You will be required to fill in a few details. Feel free to be creative or leave as it is for a basic setting. After this, you should see the API Key.

Now the same way you created API Key, create an OAuth Client. Pick TV and Limited Input Device for the application type. You will see the Client Id and Secret (keep it private). Now go back to consent screen under credentials and publish the App.

Now from TV go to YouTube app and settings. There you can enter the keys you generated. Then you should be able to log in and watch youtube as usual.

An add-on can be installed for Netflix as well. It is much easier with username and password login without any keys. I’ll let you dive into that.

I hope someone would find this article quite useful. Cheers! :)

Blogger | Traveler | Programmer PhD Scholar

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