An ESP In Your Mini TV

When miniature LCD TVs arrived on the market they were an object of desire, far from the reach of tech-obsessed youngsters. Now in the age of smartphones they’re a historical curiosity, but with the onward march of technology you can have one for not a lot. [Taylor Galbraith] shows us how, with an ESP32 and an LCD we rather like because of its CRT-like rounded corners.

What he’s created is essentially a small media player, but perhaps what makes it of further interest is its migration from a mess of wires on a breadboard to a rather nice PCB. He’s not released the board files at the time of writing, but since the software can all be found in the GitHub repository linked above, we live in hope. On it are not only the ESP and the screen, but also a battery management board, an audio amplifier, and a small speaker. For now it’s a bare board, but we hope he’ll complete it with a neatly designed case for either a pocket player or a retro-styled mini TV. Until then you can see his progress in the videos below the break.

If you’re after more ESP32 media player inspiration, this isn’t the first retro-themed media player we’ve brought you.

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Portable Video Looper Is Easy As Pi

We all have handfuls of thumb drives lying around with only a vague idea of what’s on most of them, right? So why not dust one off, back it up somewhere, and give it a new purpose? That’s exactly what [Cher_Guevara] did to make this portable Raspberry Pi video looper. The hardest part of recreating this one might be coming up with such a good candidate mini CRT TV.

Once powered on, the Pi Zero W stuffed inside this baby Magnavox waits for a thumb drive to be inserted and says as much in nice green text on the screen. Then it displays the number of video files found on the drive and gives a little countdown before looping them all endlessly.

We love how flawlessly [Cher] was able to integrate the USB port and a flush-mounted shutdown button for the Pi into the TV’s control panel on the top. It’s like a portable from another timeline.

[Cher] got lucky because this TV happens to have a video-in jack for connecting up the Pi. If yours doesn’t have one, you might be able to use an RCA to RF converter if the antenna is removable. We’ve got the demo video waiting for you after these messages.

Okay, that’s one thumb drive repurposed. Now find another and experiment with adding USB OtG to it.

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