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The $35 Raspberry Pi is a remarkable little machine. The tiny computer about the size of a deck of cards, but it is powerful enough to do quite a few different things – including a few things that cord cutters will love.

The Pi's low price tag is a far cry from the hefty sum you'd pay for a media center PC, streaming device, or gaming system, but it can do many of the same things. With a little know-how and some willingness to try out DIY solutions, you can get an awful lot out of the Raspberry Pi. Here are a few of our favorite projects, along with short explanations and links to all of the how-to guides you'll need to get your chosen projects done.

Run Kodi on the Raspberry Pi


is a fantastic media center application – one of the very best on the market, in fact. It's also a very trim little program, which means that it can run smoothly on a Raspberry Pi (especially when you choose a nice lightweight Kodi skin). With a Pi connected to your TV and a hard drive full of content attached to the Pi, you can watch all of your movies and shows on the big screen, plus enjoy music, Kodi add-ons, and more.

How to do it: Follow our step-by-step guide to installing Kodi on Raspberry Pi using OpenELEC, our favorite method. You can also use OSMC, and we have a step-by-step guide for that method as well.

Run Plex on the Raspberry Pi


The Pi isn't quite powerful enough to run a Plex server, but it has what it takes to act as a Plex client. Properly set up, a Raspberry Pi can turn your TV into a Plex streaming device. All of the content on your desktop or laptop can stay there, while Plex's server application feeds it to your big screen via your home network. The convenience is one of the reasons we named Plex as our favorite media server, and the Raspberry Pi's tiny footprint makes this particular hardware setup an elegant solution for your living room, especially since Plex's client-server setup means that you won't need a portable hard drive for your Pi.

How to do it: Follow our step-by-step guide to installing Plex on Raspberry Pi.

RetroPie Emulator and Entertainment Center


The RetroPie is one of the most popular Raspberry Pi projects around, and for good reason. It essentially turns your Raspberry Pi into an all-in-one gaming system, good for playing ROMs of old games from the likes of Nintendo and Sega. It's of particular interest to cord cutters because you can actually install Kodi on the same machine, giving you the ability to switch seamlessly from stomping goombas to watching movies. Your faithful blogger uses this setup, and it's really pretty great.

How to do it: LifeHacker has an excellent guide to setting up your RetroPie. As for installing Kodi on your RetroPie, we have you covered for that step.

The Raspberry Pi Music Player


Video isn't the only thing that the Raspberry Pi can stream. It's also a great solution for putting all of your music in one place. RuneAudio is an open-source, Pi-specific Linux distribution that turns the Pi into a high-quality music player. You'll be able to play local content in all the major file types, plus stream from Spotify.

How to do it: RuneAudio's website has a helpful step-by-step guide for beginners.

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