What is it?
The Wall Computer project is a multi-purpose computer that you can plug into a TV. It can be:
- TV box to watch streaming content from Netflix or YouTube, and listen to music from Spotify – or your own saved content from a HDD
- Network wide ad blocker (Pi-Hole) for all of your devices
- WiFi file sharing device (NAS)
- E-book sharing device (Calibre-web)
- Full computer to browse the web, send emails, do programming
- A retro gaming station
History of the Wall Computer project
My first Wall Computer (and the reason for the name) was an old Dell laptop which I wanted to turn into a virtual picture frame. I soon found that this was useful for more than just pictures – using XBMC (now Kodi) to watch media from our hard drive.
Right now I’m running this on an Orange Pi PC. The main use is as a media center (using LibreElec) but in the background it doubles as a Samba server for our HDD, Pi-Hole DNS ad blocker, as well as torrent downloader and Calibre-web ebook service.
By changing out the SD card I can quickly switch over to Retro Gaming console mode, or PC mode if needed.
- Orange Pi PC (or even better the upgraded Orange PI 3)
- USB mouse, keyboard
- 16GB+ class 10 SD cards (x3)
- (optional) Cheap USB PlayStation game controllers (x2)
- (optional) External HDD
And of course you need a TV with HDMI input, WiFi router with ethernet input, and external speakers with jack input.
- The multi-media center:
– LibreElec installation on an SD card
– Netflix, YouTube setup
– Video, Picture and Music library setup
– Control with your own TV remote or Android phone, keyboard or mouse
– Set up WiFi file sharing
– Pi-Hole (save up to 50% bandwidth by blocking all ads everywhere) using Docker image
– Transmission torrents (downloads files to your HDD in the background, control from Android)
– Calibre-web for ebook converting and sorting
- The PC:
– Learn to code
– Latest Firefox browser for security
– Document editing etc, really anything you can do on a normal PC
- The gaming center (using RetroOrangePi)
– Nintendo, SEGA, NES, GameBoy emulator
– Connect cheap USB controllers and play
- Advanced options
– Home security hub with old Android phone cameras and sensors
– Home automation, voice control
– Auto backup files from Android, PC to HDD over network