This project is out of date! Please check the new version at: Car Multimedia Center Carberry+Kodi 1.1

Attention! This is demo projects and is not supposed to be a ready solution. It has only testing purposal to understand Carberry possibities. Any improvement or additional feature must be added editing your own application code.


One of the possibilities of using Carberry is to create a multimedia center for car. There are many distros that allows the use of Raspberry Pi as multimedia center but through the help of Carberry you can even incorporate the steering wheel controls functionality. In our demonstration we decided to use XBMC, more precisely the distribution RaspBMC, and to connect the Raspberry to the auxiliary Audio/Video input of a JVC radio installed in a Volkswagen Passat. Carberry was connected in series to the canbus of the car in order to filter out the commands necessary to manage the playback , such as Seek- /Seek+ /Source, and to leave unchanged other buttons such as Vol- /Vol +/Phone. On the testing car there was also a steering wheel commands interface radio JVC compatible in order to verify the real filtering of the steering wheel commands by Carberry. XBMC version used is Frodo 12.2 (therefore not yet optimized for Raspberry Pi) and for display need during video production, the default skin has not been used (Confluence) although lighter and faster.

How we did this:

Step 1: Prepare the operating system

As already said previously to create this demo we opted for RaspBMC, once installed the system on a SD 8GB we have made the necessary changes for Carberry communication. The procedure for amending the operating system is available on the Wiki:

Step 2: activate XBMC JSON-RPC

To allow the remote control of XBMC we opted for the use of JSON-RPC controls through socket. To enable this function it is sufficient to activate the remote control capability in the XBMC setting. XBMC on start will open a socket on port 9090 that allows to send the commands. To send the commands we wrote an application that reads the steering wheel commands through the Carberry daemon and send the command to socket opened by XBMC. The source of this application will be available in the next few days. Available functions for this car are the following:

  • Seek - (short): Left
  • Seek + (short): Right
  • Seek - (long): Up
  • Seek + (long): Down
  • OK (short): Enter/Show OSD Menu
  • OK (long): Back
  • OK (2 times short): Toggle Fullscreen Mode

Step 3: Connection to the radio

To connect Raspberry to the radio we have used simple RCA cables and the radio JVC Audio/Video input . The management of the automatic power on and power off of Raspberry is managed by Carberry via the car key status.

Live Demo

The SD image used for this demo will be available in the next few days, for more information please visit the dedicated topic in our forum.