Old TV Lends Case to Retro Magic Mirror

Remember the days when the television was the most important appliance in the house? On at dawn for the morning news and weather, and off when Johnny Carson said goodnight, it was the indispensable portal to the larger world. Broadcast TV may have relinquished its hold on the public mind in favor of smartphones, but an information portal built into an old TV might take you back to the old days.

It seems like [MisterM] has a little bit of a thing for the retro look. Witness the wallpaper in the video after the break for proof, as well as his Google-ized Radio Shack intercom project from a few months back. His current project should fit right in, based on an 8″ black-and-white TV from the 70s as it is. TVs were bulky back then to allow for the long neck of the CRT, so he decided to lop off the majority of the case and use just the bezel for his build. An 8″ Pimoroni display sits where the old tube once lived, and replicates the original 4:3 aspect ratio. With Chromium set up in kiosk mode, the family can quickly select from a variety of news and information “channels” using the original tuning knob, while parts from a salvaged mouse turns the volume control into a scroll wheel.

It’s a nice twist on the magic mirror concept, and a little different from the other retro-TV projects we’ve seen, like a retro gaming console or an old-time case for a smart TV.

10 thoughts on “Old TV Lends Case to Retro Magic Mirror

  1. Cool!
    I often think some of those big old Console TVs could be re-vitalized with a flat screen where the CRT sits, the idea of re-purposing the knobs is nice touch.
    From my TV repair days, some customers (old women?) dreaded to have to give up such a beautiful piece of furniture after the TV gave up the ghost.

  2. Not convincing without the curved sides of a period CRT. Easy to do with the front intact, then there is the bulge. With a naked LCD you can at least imitate the Sony Triniton that was curved one way only.

  3. I worked at a TV shop, when I was in electronics school in the 70’s…still a lot of vacuum tube (valves for those in the UK) in use. Sometimes, we’d get one in the shop that was just flat out worn out, requiring a picture tube and just isn’t cost effective to replace. But, if it was one of those all in one (tv, radio, phonograph), some of them were a piece of furniture that “the wife” didn’t want to part with.
    What we would do, is GUT the tv part, put in a couple wooden rails where the tv chassis was, and Zenith made this 25″ tv we called “a bar” tv, because the case was a cheap metal, designed to be placed on a stand up high in a bar. We’d slide that inside the cavity. Then, we’d go to a wood shop, hardware store and get some trim, stain and what not to match the exterior of the cabinet, deliver it back to the customer and you couldn’t even tell it was changed.
    We did about 2 dozen of those in the 3 years I worked there.

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