Getting Started with the Media Center HAT
The Pi Supply Media Center HAT is a 2.83″ resistive touchscreen display with additional optional buttons or joystick for navigation and also a IR receiver compatible with most remote controls. The display is capable of playing nearly all of your digital media using any 40 pin GPIO Raspberry Pi header. It has native support in OSMC, Raspbian and many more operating systems to bring a plug and play compatibility.
This guide will show you how to setup and configure your Media Center HAT with all the supplied parts in the box. We will also show you how to install the software to configure many options for your use case.
What you need
- Raspberry Pi Computer
- Media Center HAT
- Media Center HAT Case
- Power Supply
- microSD card
- Keyboard & Mouse (initial setup)
How to assemble your hardware
Step 1 – First you will need to snap off the corner mounts fi you are not going to mount it flush with a flat surface or integrate it with your project. You will need a pair of pliers or similar to carefully bend and snap off the corners.
Step 2 – With the mounted hardware screw in the two standoffs to the Raspberry Pi, either side of the 40 way GPIO header.
Step 3 – Now insert the Media Center HAT on top of you Raspberry Pi. Carefully align the pins and push all the way down. Once done so, insert the remaining screws to the standoffs to secure the HAT in place.
At this point if you have one of out lovely cases you can follow our case assembly guide here – https://learn.pi-supply.com/make/how-to-assemble-your-media-centre-hat-case/
How to install the Software
There are a couple fo ways you can install and configure your Media Center HAT but for the sake of simplicity we are going to show you how to install using our automatic install script which prompts you for features you want to install or not as the case may be. You can find further information about the software from our GitHub page – https://github.com/PiSupply/Media-Center-HAT
We have tested the software using the latest version of Raspbian Buster, OSMC, RetroPie and Max2Play.
Step 1 – Open up a terminal window or from the command line type/copy and paste the following command to run the install script:
The first option is to select the screen orientation. By default the screen is horizontal 90 degrees and this automatically loaded by the DT Overlay using the built-in ID EEPROM on the HAT.
Here you can select how you want the display:
- TFT Output Only – The TFT display will be the only video output device on the Raspberry Pi
- HDMI Output Only – The HDMI will be the only output on the Raspberry Pi. This option should be selected when using fbcp (Frame buffer copy)
- HDMI & TFT – The HDMI will be the primary display output with the TFT display as an extension. The extension display can be placed top, bottom, left or right of the HDMI display.
Enable Console Display
The console display is what you see when you boot up the Raspberry Pi. If you are using Raspbian Lite or you are booting to the command line then you will need to select this option. Selecting ‘n’ will in turn disable the console.
Framebuffer copy is a program that copies the primary buffer from the HDMI to another device such as our TFT display. If you are using a media player such as OSMC then you will need to select this option.
The Media Center HAT has a resistive touchscreen overlay. You can install Xinput-calibrator tool to calibrate the touchscreen to make it more accurate to you liking. By default we feel that the accuracy is very high by default but this tool is available should you need it.
Enabling the on-board buttons
There are some buttons on the Media Center HAT that can be used to navigate menu’s. There are two configurations that can be installed on the HAT; a 5 button joystick, or 5 individual tactile buttons. You will need to solder these onto the HAT yourself.
Enabling the buttons adds the following lines to the /boot/config.txt
Enable MCH IR Remote
Enabling the IR remote will add the gpio-ir line to the /boot/config.txt and also configure the remote control settings for the button controls using Lirc.
Finally once all options have been configured you will need to reboot the Raspberry Pi for the changes to take effect. If you have selected option “TFT Only” then you will need to remove the HDMI cable.
For further information about the software please visit our GitHub page – https://github.com/PiSupply/Media-Center-HAT