The Only Raspberry Pi 4 Kodi Tutorial You Will Ever Need
This guide (updated for the Raspberry Pi 4) will teach you all you need to know about using Kodi on the Raspberry Pi 4 mini computer.
You’ve come to the correct site if you want to learn how to set up a Raspberry Pi Kodi entertainment center with the right accessories and software.
Chapter 1: Parts You Will Need
Based on my expertise, you’ll learn which components to choose for the best performance in this chapter.
You’ll discover how to select the best:
- Case to prevent overheating
- Memory card for optimal performance
- Power supply to avoid any reliability issues
- And more tips on component selection
What you will need:
- Raspberry Pi 4 starter kit (recommended)
- The Flirc Raspberry Pi case (optional for nicer looking case)
- Ethernet cable
- Flirc USB IR receiver (if your TV does not support HDMI CEC)
- HDHomeRun TV tuner (if you wish to watch live TV)
The entire cost of the computer is determined by the accessories, although you may already have the majority of them at home.
Get the Raspberry Pi 4 board
Over the last few years, I’ve had mixed thoughts about utilizing the Raspberry Pi board as a Kodi front-end device, because it was simply not responsive enough for my needs, even after applying all feasible optimization tactics.
Luckily, this is no longer the case with the Raspberry Pi 3 and 4, so I’ve put RPi in my list of recommended HTPC builds.
Get a case with a built-in heat sink
The latest fourth-generation Flirc models are compatible with this casing. It’s made of aluminum and looks extremely amazing when compared to other Raspberry Pi cases on the market. It also features a built-in heat sink, which comes in handy if you plan to overclock the system.
Get a supported microSD card
Please keep in mind that many people have reported problems with various memory cards, so make sure you supported SD card. When I first bought my Raspberry Pi Model B, I tried three different cards before finding one that worked with the operating system.
Many Raspberry Pi 3 bundles include a normal microSD card, although they may be of poor quality and will not last very long.
I propose obtaining a separate microSD card with wear leveling if you want to extend the life of your memory card. Wear leveling is only available on the more expensive microSD cards, which means the card will try to spread wear out throughout the entire disk rather than writing and reading the same location on the disk all the time.
I’d also suggest obtaining a card with at least 16GB of storage, as greater space boosts the card’s longevity by allowing for more wear leveling.
With the OSMC operating system, you may also use a USB memory stick, although I didn’t notice any speed differences between the Kingston DT USB 3.0 stick and the SanDisk Extreme Pro.
Finally, you need to be sure that the microSD card will live for a long time without causing any problems, thus I propose the Samsung Evo Plus 32GB.
Get a supported power adapter
Because the Raspberry Pi does not come with a power adapter, you will need to supported power adapter.
Make sure to purchase a high-quality power adapter, as the cheap ones that come with many Raspberry Pi bundles may not function properly.
For example, when utilizing a cheap power adapter, I encountered issues with a Flirc remote companion adaptor. When I used a power adapter that came with the Raspberry Pi model B+ bundle, I received irregular key presses with the Flirc. The issues were rectified when I put the RPi into a higher-quality power adapter.
Because the Raspberry Pi lacks an on/off switch, I recommend utilizing this On Off power switch for Raspberry Pi to turn your RPi off for the night.
Use supported input devices
I recommend utilizing HDMI CEC if your television supports it because it is the simplest way to control your Raspberry Pi.
By sending signals via the HDMI wire, you can operate Kodi with your TV’s remote. HDMI CEC usually works without any additional settings.
If your television does not support HDMI CEC, the Flirc is the most cost-effective and functional option. Because Flirc can learn any remote control, you can use an IR remote control and map it to the Flirc using a configuration tool on Windows or Mac OS X.
To map the keys with the configuration program, use these Flirc instructions. The Flirc can then be connected to the Raspberry Pi and used to control Kodi.
The third method is to utilize an app like the Official Kodi Remote to control your TV from your phone or tablet.
Chapter 2: Build Your Raspberry Pi
You’ll see how simple it is to put everything together in this chapter.
You’ll learn how to: Put your Raspberry Pi system together
Building your own system is straightforward, and in less than 30 minutes, you’ll have it ready to boot up with an operating system if you follow these four simple steps.
1. To begin, open the case and attach the thermal tape to the heatsink built inside the case. After that, place the board inside the casing.
2. Return the case lid to its original position and tighten the screws.
3. In the slot beneath the case, place the microSD card. To install an operating system, please refer to the instructions in the next chapter.
4. Place the HDMI next to the power adapter slot, as well as the Ethernet and USB-C cables. Connect the Flirc adapter, keyboard, and any other controllers to the computer.
Chapter 3: Install Kodi on Raspberry Pi
This chapter will teach you how to choose an operating system and how to install it.
You’ll discover how to:
- Format the microSD card
- Install LibreELEC with their USB-SD Creator app
- Install OSMC (recommended)
I put the OpenELEC, OSMC, LibreELEC, and XBian operating systems to the test in terms of performance and stability. They’re all using Kodi (XBMC) for entertainment, but the Linux distro they’re running is different.
There is no substantial performance difference between LibreELEC, OpenELEC, XBian, and the OSMC from a pure performance standpoint.
LibreELEC is a Kodi-only operating system, which means that all other features have been removed and the entire distribution has been streamlined for Kodi use exclusively.
Because LibreELEC is a fork of OpenELEC, they are nearly identical. LibreELEC, on the other hand, has a larger development team and is updated more frequently.
While LibreELEC is a wonderful choice for many people, you might prefer to have the whole Linux operating system running in the background so you can add features like home automation and media server capabilities.
The OSMC is based on the Debian operating system, which gives you more customization options than LibreELEC or OpenELEC.
Second, by default, OSMC has lighter and more optimized skin than LibreELEC/OpenELEC, making it feel a little faster when navigating Kodi.
Overall, both LibreELEC and OSMC are good options for you, but I would choose OSMC since it offers a better overall user experience, is easier to configure, and offers greater customizability.
Format the microSD card
Here are the detailed instructions on how to format your microSD card:
- SD Formatter 4.0 is available for Windows and Mac.
- Run the SD Formatter installer and follow the on-screen directions to complete the installation.
- Insert your microSD card into the SD card reader on your computer.
- Choose a letter for your microSD card’s drive. Keep the “Quick Format” option selected and enter the card’s name.
- You’ll be done in no time if you click the “Format” button.
Install operating system
I’ll show you two different ways to install an operating system: the first is LibreELEC, which comes with a USB-SD Creator program and is recommended for the Raspberry Pi 4. Option 2: OSMC, which only works with Raspberry Pi 3 and older models at the moment.
Option 1: Install LibreELEC with USB-SD Creator (USE THIS FOR RASPBERRY PI 4)
Note: To install and get started with LibreELEC, you can utilize the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s straightforward operating system installer called NOOBS.
However, this way makes the system startup a little slower.
For a specialized Kodi setup, LibreELEC’s development team recommends using their own USB-SD creation program.
Here are the detailed instructions how to install LibreELEC using their USB-SD Creator:
1. Download the LibreELEC USB-SD Creator.
2. Insert your microSD card into the SD card reader on your computer.
3. With administrator rights, open the Creator app.
4. Make sure the version is set to “Raspberry Pi 4.”
5. Select the folder where you want to save the image file by clicking “Download.”
6. Check to see if your SD card drive is selected correctly.
7. To confirm the action, click “Write” and then “Yes.”
8. After you’ve finished writing, press the “Close” button to remove the card from your computer safely.
9. Place the card in the Raspberry Pi.
10. To start the RPi for the first time, plug in the power cord.
Let’s continue with installing the LibreELEC operating system.
1. After the RPi has booted, the LibreELEC wizard will appear. “Next” should be pressed.
2. You can rename your hostname if you want to. This is how other devices in your home network will see your RPi.
3. Choose a Wi-Fi network. To connect to the Internet, press “Connect” and input your Wireless Network Password.
4. Then choose “Next.”
5. Simply press “Next” to skip sharing and remote access.
6. That is all there is to it. You’re now ready to set up Kodi Media Center.
Option 2: Install OSMC operating system (USE OSMC ONLY ON RASPBERRY PI 3 OR OLDER MODELS)
Sam Nazarko built and maintains the OSMC, which is the successor of Raspbmc.
To avoid accidentally formatting an incorrect disk, plug in the microSD card reader and unhook any other USB storage devices before continuing with these steps.
1. Download the OSMC installer.
2. In the welcome screen of the OSMC installer application, select the language and Raspberry Pi 2/3 device.
3. Then select the most recent OSMC version by clicking the “next” button.
4. Next, choose where you want OSMC to be installed. Normally, you should put it on your SD card.
5. Then, select whether your system connects to the internet via a wired or wireless connection by clicking the “next” button. If you choose wifi, you’ll be asked to choose network encryption (typically WPA/WPA2 PSK), as well as the name (SSID) and password for your network.
6. Now choose the device path where you want OSMC to be installed.
7. Accept the licensing agreement by clicking “next.”
8. When the download is finished, select “Yes” when prompted to confirm the installation.
9. After the installation is finished, you may put the microSD card into the RPi and boot it up.
10. Wait as OSMC formats the device and installs the necessary files.
11. After that, choose your locale and confirm it by selecting “Yes.” After that, choose your time zone.
12. Then, if desired, you can change the name of your gadget. Choose “Accept.”
13. Simply press “Accept” to forgo SSH sharing and remote access.
14. After then, confirm the license agreement.
15. The next step is to decide whether you want to use OSMC’s own skin or Kodi’s default skin (Classic).
16. Finally, you can select whether or not you want to receive OSMC’s newsletter.
17. That is all there is to it. You can now start enjoying OSMC. To exit the settings wizard, press Exit.