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Developer turns $35 Raspberry Pi PC into an Apple TV

If you want to stream photos and videos from your iPhone or iPad to your TV, this clever hack might let you do so on the cheap.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read
Don't look now--actually, do--but the Raspberry Pi mini-puter was just hacked to run AirPlay.
Don't look now--actually, do--but the Raspberry Pi mini-puter was just hacked to run AirPlay. Raspberry Pi
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If you've been following the development of the Raspberry Pi, you know that it's a $25 bare-bones PC that could go on sale as early as this month.

What would you do with such a tiny, low-powered machine? How about turning it into a poor man's Apple TV? That's exactly what one Raspberry Pi developer did, as shown in this video. It depicts a YouTube video streaming from an iPad to a Pi, which is connected to a TV, using a bit of AirPlay-powered hackery. Take a look:

First question: Did you laugh as hard as I did at that dancing-cow video? I dunno, it just made me laugh out loud.

Second question: HOW CAN I GET THIS? Unfortunately, not only is the Pi's ship date still up in the air, but the developer provides no information on this AirPlay app and whether it might be made available to the general public.

It's also unclear if this works for all AirPlay-compatible media (photos, music, and so on) or just YouTube vids. I'm guessing the former, but it's tough to say for sure.

One thing worth noting is that this demo is running on the $35 version of the Raspberry Pi, which includes an Ethernet port--a key ingredient for making the Pi part of your home network. Even so, if all you want is a way to beam photos and videos from your iDevice to your TV, $35 is a lot less than $99--the current price for an Apple TV.

Your thoughts? Would you buy a Pi solely for this capability? Or does it seem too kludgy to earn a spot in your living room?