There is a lot to love about the Chromecast. It lets you stream your browser, your desktop, and a number of apps directly to your TV with little more than a $35 dongle that plugs into HDMI on your TV. However, lately, a few problems have arisen. For one, it’s really difficult to find one unless you’re willing to wait weeks for the next stock to come in. Additionally, the root method that was discovered over at XDA has since been patched. So Google isn’t letting everyone play fast and loose with their new dongle. It’s still a great device, but it’s not perfect and now there is an alternative called PiCast.
PiCast was started by a developer named Lance Seidman. The premise? To use a $25-$35 Raspberry Pi computer to do almost exactly what Chromecast can do. It’s an open source project that’s currently in development and it has a lot of promise.
This tutorial will show you how to use ANY IR remote in your house to control XBMC.
I have used this method with COMPLETE success on many remotes. I have yet to find one that wont work.
To demonstrate this technique I will download and install the latest XBMCbuntu Live CD (Frodo 12.2) to verify it works “out of the box”
If you deviate from the Live CD XBMCbuntu install you are on your own installing and configuring LIRC.
Few things are better than kicking back on the couch and streaming your favorite album wirelessly to your stereo from your phone. It’s a remarkably easy thing to do with AirPlay, but if you don’t want to pay for Apple’s solutions, a $35 Raspberry Pi does the job remarkably well.