Part two: Raspberry Pi “Ambilight” Build

I’m going to continue my “how to” build for my custom “ambilight” media center using a Raspberry Pi. The first step for me was realizing I’d be sent a regular SD card, rather than a micro-SD card- #sigh# – here’s the various parts:

The Kit

Fortunately, I’ve got plenty of Micro-SD cards – I’ve used an 8GB one I had from an old phone – if you want media locally on the SD card or more breathing space I’d suggest you go down the 16GB route – but 8GB should do the trick for most needs as you can access media via the network or a locally attached USB drive (although I found USB detection a bit hit and miss).

Correct SD card

Putting the Pi into the case is nice and easy – it’s a drop in place job with no screws- and it’s easy to get full access to all the GPIO ports for additional accessories (and, as you’ll see soon, grounding the lights).


The case was the bit I was most unsure of – it was a “lazy” decision to go for a kit- but the case was a perfect fit for my needs as it still had a little bit of space above it to allow for cables to be passed through without much hassle:

Pi in case

Finally, we have the lights- no sexy packaging for these – but we’re all set to start using them. My set up was tested initially on a 40″ Samsung TV, but the ultimate home for these was to be a 32″ set – bear in mind that the size of TV is a factor that needs to be configured in the software so a few basic measurements will be required before you are up and running.

The Lights

With all our parts ready, my next post will cover the hardware build process.

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