Raspberry Pi
raspberry The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python. It’s capable of doing everything you’d expect a desktop computer to do, from browsing the internet and playing high-definition video, to making spreadsheets, word-processing, and playing games.
Raspbian
Raspbian Rasbian is a Linux operating system which of course you can install many programs including Kodi.
Pi-Hole (Network-wide ad blocking)
Pi-Hole (Network-wide ad blocking)

Pi-hole is free advertisement-blocking software, developed by volunteers.

It runs on home-based tech, like the inexpensive and energy-efficient Raspberry Pi, to protect all of the devices on your home network from unwanted content.

Minecraft on Raspberry Pi 3
Minecraft grass block

Minecraft, a popular game on many different platforms, surprisingly can be run a Raspberry Pi.  You can run the from Raspbian or add it to RetroPie.  The Minecraft Pi version is a little limited but it's quite capable of playing your own singleplayer game.

Alternatively, you could host your own server on your network for others to join.  The process is pretty simple. 

This section is all about playing Minecraft on your Raspberry Pi.

RetroPie (Retro-gaming Emulator)
RetroPie LogoSmall

RetroPie allows you to turn your Raspberry Pi, ODroid C1/C2, or PC into a retro-gaming machine. It builds upon Raspbian, EmulationStation, RetroArch and many other projects to enable you to play your favourite Arcade, home-console, and classic PC games with the minimum set-up. For power users it also provides a large variety of configuration tools to customise the system as you want.

RetroPie sits on top of a full OS, you can install it on an existing Raspbian, or start with the RetroPie image and add additional software later. It's up to you.

While the RetroPie Project originated at petRockBlock.com this is now the home of RetroPie.

Recalbox (Retro-gaming Emulator)
recalbox logo

The recalbox allows you to replay a variety of video game consoles and platforms, in your living room, with ease! The recalboxOS is free and open source, and is designed to let you create your recalbox in a short time !

The recalbox offers a wide selection of consoles and game systems, since the first arcade games, to 32-bit platforms such as the Playstation, through the Nes and the Megadrive.

Embedding Kodi, the Recalbox also serves as a Media Center. By connecting it to your home network, you will be able to play videos from any compatible device (internet box, computer).

Boot Managers / bootloaders
Bootloaders If you would like to install more than one Opperating System (OS) there are a couple of options available.  This gives you the option to start your Raspberry Pi into, for example, RetroPie or OpenElec.  This can come in very useful if you want to test a build or create a backup.

The two main options are NOOBS (New Out Of Box Software) and Berryboot.  Both offer different functionality and limitations.

Formatting your SD Card with Windows
format sdcard If you are using a Windows computer and would like to reliably format the SD card you are using you will need to make sure this is done correctly otherwise the Raspberry Pi will not boot.  This is especially the case with SD cards which are larger than 32GB.
Kodi Media Centre
Kodi Media Centre

Kodi is an Open Source Media Centre available on various platforms including Windows, Linux, and Mac.  It can also run on devices such as Android Phones, Apple iPhone, and Raspberry Pi.

This section will help you get the most out of Kodi and includes a few 'hints and tips' and information about third party add-ons.

Hardware available from Amazon