1. BBC iPlayer
You can use this video add-on to watch content from the BBC iPlayer service on your HTPC. The add-on enables you to watch all BBC channels live or find content by browsing genres. The add-on also enables you to browse through popular and newest content, and brief highlights of the shows.
Because BBC iPlayer is available only to UK residents, the plugin doesn't work with non-UK IP addresses.
2. Browse images
You can find lots of interesting pictures on websites such as Flickr and PicasaWeb. Head to the Pictures Add-ons section, which lists plugins that enable you to pull in images from these websites, and others such as the Hubble Space Telescope.
Once enabled, different websites give you different options, eg Flickr includes a list of interesting Images of the Day and runs a slideshow of them.
3. Watch online video
Similarly, there are lots of video streaming websites, such as YouTube, Vimeo, NASA TV, TED Talks etc. You can find add-ons for each of them and others inside the Video Add-ons section.
Each addon lists videos according to the service it supports. For example, TED Talks lets you browse talks by topics or speakers, while both NASA TV and YouTube show live streams in addition to recorded videos.
4. Control MPD
Besides remote-controlling content on the HTPC, you can control playback on other machines as well. So if you have an MPD server running on a computer (or a Raspberry Pi) somewhere on the local network, you can install the MPD Client Audio add-on on your HTPC.
Once installed, configure it to point to your MPD server and you can use a nice interface to browse through music and control playback.
5. Monitor downloads
There are other things you can control remotely, eg you can connect to, monitor and control downloads on a remote computer. The Transmission Client add-on available under Programs can connect to another Transmission client on the network.
For this to work, you need to enable the Remote Control feature in the Transmission client on the desktop, under the Edit > Preferences > Remote tab.
6. Play classic games
Another interesting add-on under the Program is the ROM Collection Browser. Once enabled, the add-on takes you through a wizard to set itself up according to your environment. It then imports your ROMs, scrapes metadata about them from online sources and allows you to play your classic games.
Setting it up is quite involved, so go to the ROM Collection Browser website to get it to work.
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With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.