Sunday, 30 December 2012

my tv pi project

It all started when I saw skpang's portable computer project. From that point I knew I had to try and make my own one.

Once I had sourced a cheap 3.5" screen on eBay for about ten quid I was set to go, I will be getting a 7" next as its a bit small to work on but for films and iplayer it's good enough.

Firstly I had to take the screen apart to by pass the 12v to 5v bit. Luckily I found four pins pass this bit that I could connect to, so after hacking the lead down and adding a USB lead to power the screen I soon had the av lead reattached and shorter. The only problem I did have was as the screen was cheap it did have a few pixels that were dead.

Next stage was to add raspbmc to the pi, I also added iplayer and a few other uk on demand catch up tv add ons. I then got a remote control to use on it, an open case to let it ventilate and heat sinks to keep the heat down.

I also added the ledborg, but need to work on that even through it does work and lights up the case nicely.

I then purchased some cheap three quid speakers from babz media to do the sound and run them, the tv, raspberry pi, wifi and remote receiver through a cheap 7 way USB hub bought for a couple of quid and run by a 5v 3a decent power lead to ensure there is enough amps, on a 1amp psu the device kept crashing.

The raspberry pi has been slightly clocked to allow it to keep up and so far no problems watching films, even through before I slightly clocked it it did stutter here and there, now the only stuttering is when the Internet can't keep up with it.

So total price for the project including the pi leads, psu etc came to about 70 quid. Taking out the stuff I can use for other projects (or if you already have a pi and the basics) would come to around £20.

Have a go, nice easy project and I now have a 20 quid portable phone charger to try and run it all from 5v 2a 8500mh so should be able to keep it running for a few hours.


  1. Hi, what type of screen did you use? And how did you connect it, HDMI or RCA?

  2. Hi it's a cheap 3.5" car reversing camera screen I think a TFT one. I will replace it in in a couple of months with a 7" one as its a bit to small for anything else. The lead that came out of the tv had two auxiliary leads(cd audio type line outs). I didn't need both so kept the av1 of the two. Opened up the tv and cut all the leads as I couldn't find the 12v to 3v converter bit but found four pin holes further along the board which had positive 3v, negative and the av line after figuring out the positive and negative I played with the av1 lead to find the best output on the four holes and then soldered everything in place once the wires were pushed through the case through the previous cable hole. I also changed the power lead for a USB lead which I used the positive and negative wires so I could power it from the pi USB hub as I didn't now have a need for a cigarette lead and prevents it now from being plugged into 12v by accident.

  3. I have also added to the blog a sneak preview of the ledborg In action still needs a bit of work.

  4. Latest update added more pictures to this blog, hoping its all ready for raspberryjam this weekend

  5. My latest tv project is now on my blog which has a seven inch screen. I will be doing this one again soon as it was a good handy travelling size

  6. Good post. As you say, nice easy project. Very compact :-)


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