Raspberry Pi Info Display#
My thoughts about buying another Echo Show ending up in questions about, if I could instead using an alternative that have some more features overall and of course is open source.
That brought me to buy another Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB. After thinking about to recycle an old tablet as a screen, or buy a new 7" Display, I ended up buying a LCD Beamer. That turned out to be a little mistake for one unexpected reason. I'll come to that later on.
The main target is to show news headlines, weather info, webcams, and stream a TV channel/YouTube live-video. Luckily streaming a TV channel is simply a VLC stream in my home network. There should also be a little window with a slideshow. On request I will stream internet radio and play music files from my local NAS server that also runs on another Pi, just like the slideshow pictures.
So at first it sounds pretty simple.
However, arranging the windows and reshow them at the exact spot every time was a problem. And there is a good portion of all that running in the browser, while music runs either with mplayer or with VLC and TV channel streams and local video files run on VLC. The same with internet radio.
The main part is a simple set of HTML files integrating local files and external sites within frames.
These files are stored directly on the info display . The VLC media files and slideshow pictures on my NAS server are not showing up when there is no server connection, but everything else is working as long as there is an internet connection.
To start up with everything is the correct place I had to use i3-wm which is also great in other ways. It's perfectly clutter free, and no window decorations per program is a simple task. To start some other apps easily I started the regular pi panel. There is also the clock and the weather.
Now for the LCD Beamer... It works, it's awesome, and it is awesome having this as an info display. The energy consumption is moderate. It's a compact and cheap device that exceeded my expectations by far (QKK V08).
But but but... my room is too cramped up. I have no place left to actually project the picture on it. It's devastating, but I realized that my office room is like a stuffed ball pepper. So there is no way to use this beamer without rearranging and reorganizing this room. That is on my to do-list now, but in the meanwhile I just wanted to use my Pi info display. My old VGA monitor to the rescue!
With an HDMI adapter I could use my decades old Sony 15" VGA monitor on a VESA mount above my normal computer display. And there it sits now. The Pi was screwed to a plastic holder which stacks up onto the clamps of the mount.
If you wonder why there is so much unused space... well it is made for 720p. But running on the VGA Monitor I have 1280 * 1024 native. Since this will run on the beamer with 720p sooner or later, it will stay this way for now.
So there it is. I'm happy to have this in my view all the time, and it's open and modular to change it to the way I like. On my to-do-list is also speech output for emergency news (like my coffee cup is empty :D) and alarms and timers.
Ryo, 2021-06-04 11:42:26