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I'm new to the Raspberry technology so I wondered if it can be used to solve my 'use case'. I have a Synology NAS with photos and videos and I have an old flatscreen TV which is not a smart TV (no internet/browser technology). What I'd like to do is use my smartphone to see these photos and play these videos on my TV. I assume I need to connect a Raspberry to my TV (HDMI) on one hand and via wifi with the NAS on the other hand, and use the smartphone to connect to the Raspberry to control and manage this all using the screen if my TV. Is this at all possible and if so what would be the best way to get this going ?

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  • You should learn to problem solve. First connect to your NAS. Solve subsequent problems later. The smartphone is a red herring.
    – Milliways
    Dec 23 '20 at 11:12
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Is this at all possible?

Yes. The only complicated part is communication between the phone and the Pi, the rest is trivial. If you have experience developing smartphone or web apps, then you are probably good to go.

If not, unless one of those is something you wanted to start learning anyway, you probably do not want to start learning it just for this. There are some Pi oriented apps in the Google play store (and elsewhere), I do not know how adaptable they will be to this -- although since you are not making any special use of the Pi hardware, something more general might be easier, that either pairs with Windows IoT or has a client/server architecture part of which can be deployed on Linux (and not proprietary, since unless it is in the repos you will need to compile specifically for the pi). There may even be something, eg., python based, that is easily portable (does not require compiling, etc.).

If those last few sentences involved some gobbledygook for you, you could get by without any specialized app: There are SSH clients available for any smartphone, and you can use those to login to the Pi and do what you want via the commandline. To make it easier, it is just a matter of writing (very simple) short form alias commands or shell scripts to do your tasks. This is really only a matter of shortening something that might be sentence length down to something that is one or two words, again very simple, any literate person could do it given a few hours of study (and online resources like this one).

Even if I were planning on writing a custom application, that is the way I would start initially anyway. If it turns out to be good enough, then hurrah.

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kodi as a "Media Center Software" on the Pi and yatse on the smartphone for remote controlling kodi is a simple way using readily available software and without additional programming.

  1. install kodi on your favourite Raspberry Pi OS, e.g. see here and yes, connect to Pi to the TV using the HDMI port
  2. configure access to the NAS on the Pi via whatever means the Synology NAS supports, e.g. nfs or samba
  3. install yatse (or look for an equivalent app) on your phone
  4. enable remote access in kodi, look for something like "Allow remote control via HTTP", e.g. see here

Should be fairly straight forward, assuming the Pi, the NAS and the Phone are on the same network.

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