maandag 9 maart 2015

Android HTPC TVMC hdmistick ultimate guide tutorial

So, you stumbled upon those android HDMI sticks, and now you wonder how to set it up for epic HTPC usage, and what software to use.

I'll explain what i did.

First i bought the hardware.
I bought:
Rikomagic 802 version 3.
This version has some small wifi bugs, requiring a hard reboot occasionally, with a minute pauze after powerdown.

I added:
externally powered USB hub with support for all different types of SD cards (brand Icidu).
External USB blu-ray player.
External USB HDD for MP3/photos.
Instead of powering the HDMI stick with the TV it's USB slot, i decided to use an old USB DC adapter (from some phone).

Setting up the software to interact together nicely, requires some proper effort, but nothing too fancy.
Controlling the device can be done with a keyboard that includes multimedia keys like play / stop / back.
Using the TAB button and the windows keys, you have enough to set up the device for remote control.

The first remote control app you (not mandatory) need on both your HDMI stick as your android phone, is RemoDroid:
Determining the IP address to connect to, on the HDMI device, simply goto wifi settings and click your wifi network. Your IP should popup.
Now, unfortunately remodroid is kinda slow, so if you want to, like, play games on your hdmi stick, there are some specialist stores selling nice USB/bluetooth remote control devices, tailored for Android specifically.

Next, installing TVMC is the easiest way to go:
It comes with all the nice plugins preconfigured.
Icefilms and NavX are my recommendations.

Ofcourse there are tons of repositorys with nice plugins, ill list the most common, you can set these up as file sources in TVMC; system > file manager > add source:

Good, now you could basically watch any tv show/movie, have subtitles in your preferred language (in TVMC goto addons and install subtitle addon).

TVMC on android has some minor hardware-keyboard bugs. Backspace won't work, delete key (also multimedia back key) acts like backspace instead.
But who cares, since we will remote control the device with the official XBMC remote app:
(which became outdated, search for KODI instead in the play store for alternatives)

Or if you are exrtemely special, you can use an Apple phone:
However i strongly suggest that Apple users also buy an Apple HDMI stick. They are very rare, but keep looking and maybe one day you might find one.

Before this TVMC remote control app works, you need to goto settings in TVMC and enable the remote control setting.

If you are dutch, you could also install the xot-uzg plugin:

Installing SambaDroid APP allows you to manage / sync your external USB hard drive its MP3 database with your linux/windows workstation, which you probably use to collect MP3 files:

There are some andoid apps which allow one to collect mp3 files aswell, like goSeek:

an example sync from workstation to miniHTPC script for use in windows: (you can create a .bat file with this text in it, or open an terminal via start-search "cmd":)

robocopy  "E:\My Music\sort" \\SAMBADROID\usb\USB_disk0\OneTouch4\user\mp3 /R:1 /MIR /Z /DCOPY:T /FFT

Syncing from the device to your windows workstation, use the same command, but just name the local folder last.

Sometimes the drive ID will change depending on your hdmistick, you can just add multiple commands with multiple drive ids like DISK3 etc
Ofcourse a local NAS drive is much prefered.

There is just one problem now.
You need to turn on your TV before you can play music from your HTPC device.
Fixing this requires one more investment.
It's unfortunately a device not often used thus not for sale at most stores, search engines or ebay will pick it up when you search for stuff like HDMI to HDMI + audio extractor.
One brand that i know of is DeLOCK, searching delock HDMI extractor should give you results.
DON'T buy an USB soundcard. it WON'T work.

Perhaps you want TVMC to launch automatically whenever you turn on the device, simply get an app like autostart:

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