Kodi, Tvheadend and Music Player Daemon


Back in 2005 I discovered MythTV, a free open source software digital video recorder (DVR), at the time I had no Linux experience at all, after lots of trial and error I managed to get Debian Linux and MythTV working on a old Pentium 4 box equipt with a Nova T-500 PCI TV card, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200, and a Keene Electronics RGBHV RGBS Sync Convertor Transcoder connected to a CRT television. I could now record/watch TV, play DVDs, listen to music, etc from a single box, I was hooked :-) Today, I have swapped MythTV with Kodi, Tvheadend and Music Player Daemon and now use a HDMI display.

Frontend Audio/Video Playback

IQaudIO Pi-DAC+ Pi-AMP+

Hardware

Raspberry Pi 3
IQaudIO legacy case [discontinued]
IQaudIO Pi-DAC+ [discontinued]
IQaudIO Pi-AMP+ 35W stereo output [discontinued]
Noctua NF-A4x20 5V premium quiet fan

Note: There are new updated versions of some of the hardware above.

Software

LibreELEC just enough Linux distro for Kodi
Music Player Daemon free and open music player server

Android Client

Kore Kodi remote for Android
M.A.L.P. Android Music Player Daemon client

The Raspberry Pi 3 is my main Kodi frontend running LibreELEC connected to a HDMI TV. Music Player Daemon is provided by a LibreELEC add-on. The IQaudIO Pi-AMP+ is connected to a pair of speakers, sound quality is on par with audiophile systems which cost a lot more. My Slackware server provides all required media storage for TV recordings, movies and music, etc and UK Freeview is supported using Tvheadend HTSP add-on which connects to my Slackware server running Tvheadend. I removed two side panels on the case and installed a high quality silent fan to keep it cool as possible. Kodi and Music Player Daemon can be controlled on my Android phone running Kore and M.A.L.P clients. This setup works extremely well, the only time I would upgrade is if I move into the 4k world by using a Raspberry Pi 4 instead.

Frontend Audio Only Playback

IQaudIO Pi-Zero DAC Pi-Zero HP

Hardware

Raspberry Pi Zero WH
IQaudIO Pi Zero DAC [discontinued]
IQaudIO Pi Zero headphone [discontinued]
Plugable USB 2.0 OTG micro-B 100Mbps ethernet adapter

Note: There are new updated versions of some of the hardware above.

Software

Raspbian Lite Debian-based computer operating system for Raspberry Pi
Music Player Daemon free and open music player server

Android Client

M.A.L.P. Android Music Player Daemon client

The Raspberry Pi Zero is a headless audio only Music Player Daemon frontend. This is connected to my amp and to a pair of headphones. This provides high quality audio for listening to music, podcasts and radio. My server provides the music storage and I can control Music Player Daemon using M.A.L.P. on my Android phone. There are no ethernet ports on the Raspberry Pi Zero so I am using a USB ethernet adapter to maximise network bandwidth.

Backend Server

Slackware Linux Server

Hardware

Gigabyte GA-H55-UD3H motherboard [discontinued]
TBS6285 quad tuner PCIe card [discontinued]
Lots of spinning rust drives, will upgrade to SSD eventually.

Note: There are new updated versions of some of the hardware above.

Software

Slackware Linux distribution
Tvheadend TV streaming server and recorder
Music Player Daemon free and open music player server

Android Client

TVHClient Android Music Player Daemon client

My Slackware Linux server box is very old, it’s been running since 2010 and still going strong, no need to upgrade apart from replacing spinning rust drives with SSDs. I have installed a TBS6285 quad tuner PCIe card to provide UK Freeview television services, this works well with Tvheadend. I can schedule Freeview recordings using Kodi or TVHClient which runs on my Android phone. I also run Music Player Daemon which acts as a database proxy for cataloging music file tags, this can be I/O intensive and takes away overhead from the Raspberry Pis. This box is very stable and can maintain very long uptimes.

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