Until recently the Raspberry Pi was not powerful enough to show Playr content properly. With the 4th generation of this device becoming available in 2020 this was the first time this hardware became usable as a player for Playr. We advise you to use the Raspberry Pi 4 model B with 4GB or 8GB of memory (the 8GB memory is only useful if you use a 64 bit version of the operating system). Any other model should be avoided or used for static content only. We further advise to connect the Raspberry Pi to only one monitor/TV with a 1080p resolution even though it is advertised to be able to connected to two 4K monitors.
This article assumes you are able to assemble a Raspberry Pi into one of the available cases and create a SD card to be used in the Raspberry Pi. Knowledge of Linux will probably make it easier to follow the description below but is not necessary. If you feel these concepts are "not for you" you should probably have a look at using a Chromebox or one of the other player options that can be used with Playr.
To use a Raspberry Pi as a player for Playr you need; a Raspberry Pi 4 (model B with 4GB or 8GB of memory), a power supply that is as powerful as this model of the Raspberry Pi foundation (if the power supply cannot deliver the power that de Pi needs the Pi will shutdown unexpectedly), a case that preferably cools the CPU passively and a micro SD card of at least 16GB. It is important that the CPU/GPU is cooled to get the best performance out of the device. However fans should be avoided since they are very small and can easily get clogged up with dust when the device is mounted behind a TV.
There are two options install the Raspberry Pi as a player. We advise to use the first method using our ready-made SD-image that is based on Raspberry Pi OS (also called raspios and that was previously known as Raspbian). The second - DIY method - takes longer, requires more knowledge of Linux and will likely not result in a better performing device.
To perform all steps on this page you will need, apart from the Raspberry Pi: a keyboard, a mouse, a PC or laptop that has an SD card reader or a separate USB SD card reader that you connect to your pc or laptop.
For both options it is necessary that you assemble the Pi into the case and connect the power supply, keyboard and mouse to the Pi. Leave the device off (by not connecting the power supply to the mains) until the instructions tell you to turn it on. Since there is no power button on the Pi you turn it on and off by connecting and disconnecting the power supply.
For both options it is necessary to have software on your PC/laptop that can write an image file to an SD card. If you do not already have software that can do this please install the application that the Raspberry Foundation offers on their site for this purpose. You can download versions for Windows, MacOS and Debian or Ubuntu Linux.
To set up your Raspberry Pi (this option will only work for the Raspberry Pi 4) using the image we provide follow these steps:
crontab -eand have it open a text editor of your choice.
and save the file. This this will shutdown the Pi at 19:30 (7:30 PM).
30 19 * * * sudo shutdown -P now
The Raspberry Pi can be automatically shutdown using a cron job, see the description above. The most basic way to turn the Pi on is to use a timer switch.
Please Note: when using a timer switch you should make the switch power off the Pi after the cron job has done the shut down of the Pi, to prevent corruption of the data on the SD card that can occur when removing power from a running system.
An alternative for the cron job and timer switch is using additional hardware such as the Witty Pi by UUGear. Please follow the instructions of the manufacturer of the hardware solution to achieve the required results.
To ensure the best security and performance for your Raspberry Pi we advice you to regularly check for and install updates to the Raspberry Pi OS and the installed software. To do that you:
Aleternatively if you are familiar with the terminal you can:
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt full-upgrade
We advise to use Raspberry Pi OS (raspios) as the preferred Linux distro for the Pi since that has the best CPU/GPU drivers and uses specific optimalisation on Chromium. Ubuntu Mate is also a performant alternative. If you want to use a different distro:
Follow the steps described in our Linux how to