The Raspberry Pi case that includes an integrated USB hub

Room for Improvement

The case is convincing in all respects. Still, it has some room for improvement. For example, it would cost the manufacturer just a few extra cents to include an infrared receiver and connecting cable. Retrofitting an infrared receiver is possible even without knowing how to solder, but it is necessary to bore a hole through the plastic.

When asked, the manufacturer indicated that the next version of the case will correct this shortcoming. Kodi users, however, don't need to worry about this, because they don't need an IR remote control anyway (see the "Kodi" box for more information). They control the media center either over an app on a smartphone or via a CEC remote control from a TV that transmits signals over HDMI.


Kodi is the new name of the popular media center that was formerly known as XBMC. The developers decided on a new name because the current software has practically no relationship to the Xbox that served as the inspiration for the old name. Moreover, the acronym XBMC has always seemed somewhat unwieldy.

The second point of criticism about the case concerns the USB ports. The active hub complies with specifications and delivers 500mA. However, more power would be beneficial because external hard drives use more energy. It would also have been a good idea to loop a USB port through to the front of the case instead of just putting an SD card connector there. Special precautions are necessary to change a card when the computer is running  [4]. Having a USB connector in the front would make the process of connecting external bulk memory more convenient.


The MediaPi case is not exactly inexpensive, but it is worth the extra money you pay. A standard case plus power supply and active USB hub can set you back around $40-45. For the added expense in buying a MediaPi, you get the advantage of a product that fits into a common living area, organizes cables, and therefore reduces the probability that other members of the household will complain about it.

The new model B+ Raspberry Pi does not fit well into the MediaPi case because of the microSD card and the combined audio/video connector. However, if you use HDMI for image and sound, it is possible to use the case for the B+, although you will have to do some retro-fitting, like filing off mountings, to account for the differences in dimensions that exist between the Rasp Pi models.

The MediaPi case sends a clear message that its manufacturer takes a long-term view of the Raspberry Pi. Add-on components for the Rasp Pi are the rule and not the exception. Cases currently on the market made by other manufacturers might accommodate a Pi, together with a display screen or a camera, but they are not able to accommodate both of these extra components at the same time, not to mention a compartment for a power supply.

A small streaming server would need a case that also offers space for a hard drive. Developments in the area of 3D printing offer some hope. Perhaps somebody will invent a push-fit system for case parts of different sizes that a service provider can then print as desired by a customer.

The Author

Bernhard Bablok works at Allianz in Managed & Operations Services SE as an SAP HR developer. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music, riding his bike, hiking, and working on all topics related to Linux and programming. He can be contacted at

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