With new hardware being released quite frequently, I am sure many of you already have old computers and laptops that are collecting dust down in the basement. I will show you how to breathe some life into them by turning them into HTPC (Home Theater PC). We will be using Kodibuntu, a Linux based operating system with sole purpose of giving you a modern HTPC features and interface. The goal of this tutorial is to help you in building a standalone, multi purpose media center which you can control from your smartphone, tablet or PC. I would like to point some of the main benefits of Kodi and what you can actually get by installing it:
- Free, modern and customizeable interface
- Many addons to extend the functionality of your media center
- Stream content from your phone, tablet or PC directly to the media center
- Display files from your DropBox account
- Browse Facebook media content
- Play retro games
- Replace most of the functions of your SmartTV
What do you need?
The idea behind this article is to reuse old hardware, however if you are planning to build an HTPC you can build your own inexpensive PC or grab a cheap laptop from Amazon which meets the minimum system requirement. In a nutshell you need two things:
- A PC which will be converted to HTPC
- A USB Flash drive which will be used as installation media
As I said the hardware should meet the minimum requirements, which are are really low.
- CPU: Kodi site suggests that any CPU released within the last 10 years will work fine with Kodibuntu.
- GPU: Since Kodi needs to transcode all media you do need a decent GPU. The site says, “Kodi will run on most graphics cards made within the last 10-years or so, though for good hardware video decoding support a little newer graphics cards can be required. This includes most cards from AMD/ATI, Intel, or NVIDIA which support OpenGL 2.0 or later.”
- RAM: Minimum of 1 GB
- Disk Space (for the OS): 4 GB at least