$20 Mini-dvd Player LCD Hacking

[Jeff] sent in this nice how-to on gutting the 2.5″ LCD from a $20 mini dvd player. After removing the player hardware, he shows where you’ll need to tap the circuit to feed it composite video. Looks like just the thing for those portable console projects.

28 thoughts on “$20 Mini-dvd Player LCD Hacking

  1. This hack looks really sweet. I’m going to have to do it. just because it’s cool. A question I have is that chip that you pried up, were you able to get the datasheet for it? I’m thinking about trying it myself but seeing if I can make switches for the Audio/Video IN vs the DVD player. It’s going to be some tiny switches, but I’ve got $20 to blow in case I screw it up.. :P

    If I complete the hack, can I reference your website?

  2. Those are some pretty terrible pictures, but it is fairly straight forward. Seems a waste to toss the whole thing just for the LCD though. Anyone know if the discs it plays are real DVDs (just on 1.4 GB discs) or some proprietary format?

    The first thing I thought of looking at the screen and case was to combine it with the C64 on a chip Radio Shack sells…

  3. Just the other day I was hooking a couple of those little TV games through our portable DVD player.

    Even if the DVD part has failed, it still means there are a ton of potential composite video monitors/amplified speakers out there with their own rechargeable batteries attached!!
    Hacking wise it’s very cool for folks using video cameras and transmitters, although many of these things probably aren’t that great for gaming based on size/resolution.

  4. Not sure I could think of what to do with this. If I want to play a movie on the go, I can either burn it to a mini-DVD or rip it so it plays on my PSP. If I want to play a game, I have a PSP or a DS. If I want to play a console on the go, I need a power supply for the console, and a 2.5″ screen would mean I’d have to somehow get the unit within a foot or two of my eyes while using both hands to hold the controller. And maybe there are a bunch of project kits that let you output composite video from an embedded system, but I’m not familiar with any of them…

    Still, it’s a clever hack, and I’m glad it got posted. I guess inspiration could strike somebody for a really useful thing to do with this.

    Hey! Here’s one: have a composite output from your video card that you’re not using, and you’re running Vista? Maybe you can run Sideshow on this monitor? I don’t know, but it would be worth investigating.

  5. If you were able to provide the power, etc. in a smaller form factor, put in an SD card reader, this does have the making for a sweet pocket photo album.

    My other thought – this has potential for use in a HUD system for your car…

    /me may have to mirror for personal use…

  6. @twistedsymphony

    If you can separate the mini-comopsite monitors from their backlights and cases, you could try your hand at making small projectors.

    I would suggest checking http://www.lumenlab.com/forums/index.php out. It’s the major DIY projector forum out there and will have most of the information on how to design and build projectors cheaply. If you want to garner a little fame for yourself, figure out how to make a good projector using those annoying while automotive “projector” headlamps. The ballasts should be drivable from a PC power supply. Make a couple little projectors, take pictures, put google ads on your website, and submit it here! Oh, yeah. Step 4. PROFIT!!!

  7. @15, 17:

    The diode is usually invisible to humans; I’m thinking it’s ultraviolet, but I could be wrong. I believe it could be dangerous if shined in someone’s eyes (unlike your typical red pointer).

  8. Running dual lcd’s with channels for side-by-side broadcast from a stereopair camera system would be sweet. DIY cheapo hmd, with the right chipset you could add ntsc3d switch for dvd play. Or hack it up from ipod nano lcds. Using the right optics of course, for either.

  9. ms3fgx asked in comment #6 about whether the mini-DVDs the CyberHome player were standard DVD format? Yes, they are. I got one of the units to try the hack explained here, but before I could even start, I fell in love with the unit, as-is. In fact, I’ve been making some music video mini-DVD-Rs using Nero Express, and they work great! I think I’ll have to get another unit to hack! :-)

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