DIY Projector from a pocket TV

diy projector tv

since DIY projectors are all the rage, we thought it’d be cool if you could make one for yourself. you know, when you have that urge to go out and show the public your artsy film work. well now it’s possible, cheap, and effective thanks to this DIY projector made from wood, a pocket tv, magnifying lens, and some other stuff. you’ll need one of those old school pocket TVs (yes you’ll need a color one if you want color silly) from the 1980s to get it goin, but after that it’s smooth sailing.

thanks [stewart]


  1. nbcaffeine says:

    You can find similar pocketTVs for around $9 on ebay (sweet)

    I do have a question about the quality. Wonder how good this looks. Suppose theres only one way to find out…

    Seriously cool hack. Forgot about these little TVs. Might make good platforms for interesting a/v hacks.

  2. Pistolen08 says:

    No offense, but this is a bad idea.

    I have built a video projector from
    and the results are amazing.

    Since the lcd panel in the small tvs are about 2.5 -4 inches, think about magnifying all of those pixels to about 120″. biggggg screen door effect.

    I have built my projector for about 400 dollars, and I am enjoying a 120-140″ screen in my bedroom, in 1080p.

    This might be efficient for maybe 15-20″ projection, but after that, you wont be able to tell the differance between a computer, and the moon.

  3. strider_mt2k says:

    Nuts to that, #2.

    There is nothing wrong with this hack.
    It’s ovbiously not a production piece, but it does show what can be done using available resources and yer noggin.

    Give credit where credit is due.

  4. this-is-me says:

    Since my post was removed from this very site when you had an article from tomshardware about the OHP and LCD combo, I am back to tell you just exactly the same thing pistolen has mentioned. I have made my own projector using the plans outlined in the lumenlab guide, and have been blown away by the results. For about $700 total, I made an XGA projector (1024×768), and I use it daily. The quality is nothing to be sneezed at. I would recommend lumenlab to anyone, and I am glad that you had another diy projector article, so I can rectify the mistake your people made in removing my remarks before and calling me a spammer. Let me strongly recommend that you not be so quick to think that someone is spamming simply because you have to pay to get access to what that person is recommending. The lumenlab guide is $20, but the information on the forums you get access to is astounding. the $20 I spent to get access to the forums was the best $20 I have spent.

    for those of you that have doubts, look here:

  5. captian says:

    thanks for the link, this-is-me. The Lumenlab project looks really cool, what is the final cost for that one?

  6. KEITH says:

    Lumenlab is a great site for DIY projector information.

    Current DIY Projectors are limited to XGA resolutions, with some getting larger panels for high resolutions.

    I have a 1920×1200 (WUXGA) solution for DIY Projectors that I have been working on for a few months. It uses a 15.4″ 16:10 LCD Panel with a resolution of 1920×1200. It is accompanied by a custom controller board with VGA,DVI-D,S-video,Composite inputs (supports Sync-on-green too). It even has advanced features such as a adaptive deinterlacing, picture in picture, picture by picture, a remote control, and more.

    Its not cheap compared to your normal $200 monitor, but it will display true 1080 HD. I currently have this LCD & Controller in my projector, with a projected image of 96″x60″. It looks amazing.

    The buying format is a group buy because of the cost of the items. Check it out at my website if you would like to participate:

  7. this-is-me says:

    captain, my personal projector was a total of about $700, but if you are asking about the psone projector on the lumenlab site, then you can ask the people on the site just what theirs personally cost them. All you have to do is set up a username for the forums, and you can find out a lot about what it takes to make your own from the people who visit the forums daily.

  8. this-is-me says:

    captain, my personal projector was a total of about $700, but if you are asking about the psone projector on the lumenlab site, then you can ask the people on the site just what theirs personally cost them. All you have to do is set up a username for the forums, and you can find out a lot about what it takes to make your own from the people who visit the forums daily.

  9. Vicki says:

    Surely the point is portability ?

    Yeah, you can build a real nice one for $700 dollars in your bedroom, but it ain’t much use to you out in the street/in the wild (not unless you have a REAL long power cable ;o)


  10. x says:

    worst programmers in the world

  11. Ryan Vincent says:

    The Lumenlab one looks like a much more costly, But better quality one. The next logical step for this hack is to have the circutry in a good handheld TV in the projector so you can take the TV with you.

  12. tom says:

    is it possible to use CELLPHONE lcd’s (complete with the cellphone) and small java apps to create a mini – computer with a big screen?
    i’m thinking old slide projector (lens incl) + cellphone

  13. MaxBir says:

    ive built severl projectors and infact he best method i have found so far is to customize some off the shelf products. A cheap lcd screen (about 15 inches) from ebay. and an overhead projector..also from ebay. i didn’t even spend 100 pounds.
    checkout this guide i found

  14. TVtheFleshtone says:

    On the form, I saw a projecter built in a piece of PVC pipe. Adding speakers and a battery and maybe a portable media player of some sort wouldn’t be so hard. VideoBoomBox, anyone? It’d be great for protests and street performers…

  15. Jeremy p says:

    Cool for the effort, but did anyone read the caption for the last image? the final image when he focused it was 30 cm (1 foot) tall. Cool project, but all the effort to make a 30 cm tall image, that doesnt even look that good?

  16. stewart says:

    Thanks for the comments. This projector was built specifically to be used at a performance art party as a complement to much larger and better quality projections. It was never intended for use as a replacement for other types of projector, but made it possible to project on the move. Attach a laptop with tv-out and the user could wander around a club projecting little flash animations, movie clips purely for the amusement of the party goers ;-)

  17. syed says:

    I have all the components like fresnel, triplet, lcd and metal halide lamps etc available in india to make your own home made projector.

    contact me at OR

  18. SKS says:

    Hey some of you guys that bought the lumenlab project thing for $20, could you email me. I have some questions about it. Thanks

  19. Art unwin says:

    You have my interest and I am retired!
    With the ham bands on the low end of the
    11 year cycle KB9MZ xg is looking for another hobby. I think the wife will except this as a hobby
    Cheers and beers

  20. Art unwin says:

    Thankyou guys you sure have my interest.
    Thanks for sharing

  21. CCMCornell says:


    How did you get 1080P for only $400? What panel are you using?

  22. dhpmet says:

    I have all the components like fresnel, triplet projection lens, lcd and metal halide lamps etc available in INDIA to make your own home made LCD projector.
    contact me at, or call +919994288723or simply 09994288723 from india.
    see photoes section of the link

  23. syed says:


    Posted by: dhpmet | July 21, 2006 at 05:56 AM

  24. Jake says:

    looks cool, im going to try it and see how it comes out.

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