A 7″ Touchscreen TV Remote Control From Scratch

[Jason] always wanted a touchscreen TV remote control. He could have pressed an older Android tablet into service, but he wanted to roll his own system. [Jason] gathered the parts, and is in the process of building his own 7″ touchscreen setup. He started with a 7″ LCD capacitive touchscreen. He ordered his display from buy-display.com, a Far East vendor.

[Jason’s] particular display model comes mounted on a PCB which includes controllers for the display and touchscreen, as well as some memory and glue logic. The LCD controller board has quite a few jumpers to support multiple interfaces and options. While the documentation for the display was decent, [Jason] did find a few errors. After getting in touch with tech support at buy-display, he wrote a simple application which determines which jumpers to set depending on which hardware interfaces are selected from drop down lists.

With the LCD sorted, [Jason] still needed a processor. He selected the venerable Microchip PIC32MX series. This decision allowed him to use a Fubarino for the early prototypes, before switching to his own board as the system matured. [Jason] was able to get a simple GUI up and running, with standard remote buttons to control his TV and cable box. Code is on his Github repository.

[Jason’s] most recent work has centered on cutting the cord. He’s switched over from DC power to a 2600 mAh LiPo battery. Click past the break to see [Jason] test out his fully wireless work in progress.

26 thoughts on “A 7″ Touchscreen TV Remote Control From Scratch

  1. I need one of these I have too many remotes as it is. TV,Sound,PS3,PS4″if/when relased”. I also need to add a servo motor to my tos optical switcher. would be nice to have one remtoe for them all. yes i know the ps3 and possiible the ps4 are blue tooth. and the optical selector would, need an arduino and a servo + IRresister to work. but i dare to dream.

  2. Drop the IR on the handheld device and go 433 mhz and put a 433 to IR converter at the TV and components. That way you can hide all of it inside a cabinet or even better elsewhere in a closet. Plus you never need line of sight for the control to work.

  3. Nice big display. Not sure if the entire display (minus backlight) needs to be powered to read the touch screen. If so, I wouldn’t use the screen as a wake up method. An accelerometer would be more power efficient. And convenient, just pick the remote up or give it a little shake to wake it.

    I like [fartface]’s idea for the 433mhz transmitter. It has another potential use besides bypassing line-of-sight. It can also send current battery level at intervals. This could be received by a computer, which notifies you when the remote needs charging. That way you don’t discover the remote was left off the charger and the battery is dead (or nearly so) when you sit down to watch a movie.

    The final thing I’d include is a little piezo speaker. Might be nice for some audio feedback, to generate a click when you push a button, or whatever.

    A few ideas to consider before finalizing that PCB. ;)

    1. I like the accelerometer idea. Make sense. Also the piezo… nice!! As for the battery… ill look into it. For now i plan to charge every night and just hope not to forget. If i do i have a USB to LIPO simulator i made which will let me use the remote plugged to a USB port or Portable USB power brick thingy :)

      As for the transmitter. Thats been a idea for a while. As noted… this is a beta and i do use it currently so that pcb im making would still be needed to at least be able to use it as a remote while not developing. Would save me the hassle of reprogramming the older stable remote code over and over…

      Thanks for all the comments and info. I do take this in to thought and will hopefully make something people would like to recreate. I just need to order another screen so i can play with one and use one :) I hate my current remotes.. its a terror!

      1. The Roku remote uses an accelerometer to know when to link up in order to be ready to send button presses.

        What I would have done if I needed a universal remote is to hack one of those cheap tablets by adding a high power IR transmitter and (if necessary) an inertial switch and a little logic to wake the tablet when moved. Or some conductive pads on the outside to detect if someone is holding it.

  4. Very cool. Hope you are considering creating an enclosure as well.
    I would vacuform something instead of trying to find a ‘traditional’ project box to get that finished product look out of it.

  5. Has anyone got a library for RC6 Philipps devices?
    My grandparents bought a new TV set and a DVD/Sound system both from Philipps and I couldn’t get around to get them working with an Ardnuino remote. It really sucks as they have 3 remotes, of which 2 are almost identical, and they call me at random times a day to ask me how to get their TV working.

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