Looking to build a DIY mini-LCD video player.
November 15, 2007 10:14 AM   Subscribe

I want to put together something that can play a single video to a mini-LCD and small speakers. The components (speakers, LCD, battery, and playback device) need to be able to be able to fit in a small box (roughly 3" x 4" x 5").

I assume that this is technically feasible (it's not that different from what an iPod does), but I'm having a little trouble figuring out how to get started. I don't want to just take apart an iPod or similar device, because besides being prohibitively expensive, I'd still have to deal with the iPod interface. For this player, I just want it the video to start playing automatically when you hit the switch.

There are a few small LCD monitor/speaker combinations I could remove from their casings and reconfigure to meet my needs, but it's the video playback part that has me stumped. I have a little bit of electronics experience, but not much. I'm certainly a soldering newbie, although I'm eager to learn. Thanks in advance for the help - I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty.
posted by TheRoach to Technology (7 answers total)
Creating something like that from scratch is very long and time consuming. You're better off hacking an existing device.
Starting from the ipod idea, you can take it apart and fit it in a new enclosure, and put the LCD in a flip-top or something.
a diy mp3 player
They are pretty complex...
posted by PowerCat at 11:17 AM on November 15, 2007

Response by poster: Yeah, as I said, the problem with the iPod (or other existing devices) is that it can't have any user interface - it just needs to go directly to the video. One thing that simplifies the project slightly is that it doesn't need much user input (unlike the DIY MP3 player, which has volume adjustment, song skip, etc). In fact, the only settings it would need are Play and Off.
posted by TheRoach at 11:40 AM on November 15, 2007

Well the core component of a dvd player would be a processor that can handle decoding the stream. This seems to be one http://www.sigmadesigns.com/public/Products/SMP8630/SMP8630_series.html
However, you need to build a circuit around that thing, and I don't know anything about that.
posted by PowerCat at 12:13 PM on November 15, 2007

I've seen a device attached to the shelves at my Super Fresh store that's like those coupon dispensers, but instead it plays a short video commercial (with sound) for cereal or whatever. Size is dead-on for what you want. Maybe contact them?
posted by djb at 12:41 PM on November 15, 2007

At the museum, we use players by DigitalView.


Nothing fancy, but does exactly what you want.
posted by advicepig at 12:46 PM on November 15, 2007

Response by poster: advicepig - the DigitalView monitors are a little bigger than I'm looking for right now, although I wonder if it would be possible to disconnect their monitors and attach it to a smaller screen. I'll definitely keep them in mind for future projects, though. Since price is an issue, do you know how much they cost? There's nothing listed on the website, and I'd like to avoid making a sale inquiry for the time being.

djb - I'll definitely drop them a line. We'll see if it goes anywhere.

Thanks for the recommendations so far. Keep 'em coming.
posted by TheRoach at 1:58 PM on November 15, 2007

There are a few small LCD monitor/speaker combinations I could remove from their casings and reconfigure to meet my needs,

Unless there is a DIY project for a video player, that is your only practical alternative. Well, that and getting a single board computer and one of those car oriented LCD displays, but I think that will cost too much.

but it's the video playback part that has me stumped.

It should be easy enough to attack your own wires to existing switch circuits (I'm not sure if you can attach to the lands, but you can certainly solder to other points on the same circuit branch). Then you just have to program something to output the exact sequence of commands to get the thing playing how you want.

Or, you can probably author a DVD to autoplay. Then all you'd need to do is switch the power on and off :P
posted by Chuckles at 7:56 PM on November 15, 2007

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