DIY Digital Poster w/ Raspberry Pi - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 1Likes
  • 1 Post By mbarland
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 13 Old 03-19-2018, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
mbarland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 411
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
Liked: 54
DIY Digital Poster w/ Raspberry Pi

Since meyer64's MoviePoster's software requires Windows, and I'm not a Windows fella, I thought I'd share my solution for a digital poster. It is nowhere near as feature-rich as meyer64's. This just displays a slideshow of posters. No fancy transitions. Very simple and basic. Since it doesn't rely on Windows, I run it on a Raspberry Pi Zero W, which runs about $10.

Required equipment:
* Raspberry Pi - Any model will work, but I recommend the Pi Zero W for low price and included WiFi.
* Micro SD Card - 8GB or larger loaded with Raspbian.
* Mirco USB Power Supply - I use a wall outlet w/ USB ports like this, mounted behind my monitor.
* Monitor w/ HDMI/DVI input - I'm using a 16:10, but 16:9 would look a bit nicer. It's just what I had available.
* Wall mount - If you're mounting the monitor.
* Cabling and adapters to plug it all together.

First step is to load the Raspbian image onto your SD card. Boot up your pi with the new Raspbian image. There are a lot of tutorials out there to get Raspbian running. I'll assume you have a booting Raspbian install that brings you to a desktop and has an active Internet connection.

Once you get Raspbian running, the first thing we need to do is install feh. This is the program we'll use for displaying the posters. This is done in a terminal with the following command:
Code:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install feh
Now we need to rotate our monitor so we can display posters upright. In the terminal type:
Code:
sudo nano /boot/config.txt
Add this to the bottom of that file:
Code:
#Screen Rotation
#display_rotate=0 #Normal
#display_rotate=1 #90  degrees
#display_rotate=2 #180 degrees
#display_rotate=3 #270 degrees
#display_rotate=0x10000 #horizontal flip
#display_rotate=0x20000 #vertical flip
Depending on which orientation you'll be putting your monitor, uncomment the appropriate line. In my case, I wanted it rotated 90 degrees, so at the end of my /boot/config.txt file has this:
display_rotate=1 #90 degrees (note the lack of a pound sign at the start of the line)

Once you reboot, your monitor should be turned so that you can put it up on end.

Download some posters to use. I like JoBlo, but there are many sources of high-res posters. Save them to your Downloads directory, which should be the default if you're downloading them on the Pi itself. For my later command examples, I'll assume you've put all your posters in the /home/pi/Downloads/Posters/ directory.

Now that we have some posters, the screen is rotated properly, and we've install feh, let's try it out.

From a terminal, run this command:
Code:
feh -Y -x -q -D 10 -B black -F -Z -z -r /home/pi/Downloads/Posters
The options are:
-Y Hides the mouse pointer
-x Creates borderless windows
-q Quiet, so it does not report errors
-D Sets the slideshow delay. The 10 following it sets the slide rotation at 10 second intervals.
-B Sets the image background. The black following it sets it to black. Since I run a 16:10 monitor with 16:9 posters, this gives me black borders on the top and bottom.
-F Fullscreen
-Z Auto zoom, so displays all posters at full screen, even if they are not a perfect match for your monitor's resolution.
-z Randomizes poster display
-r Recursive. So it'll go into subdirectoris of /home/pi/Downloads/Posters/ if you want to organize your posters into folders.

Once you run that command, you should have a full screen poster display that'll change every ten seconds. If that's working, now we make it run on startup.

Running our feh slideshow at startup makes the Pi only useful for displaying posters. I turn on the ssh server on the Pi and administer it remotely from another computer. To run it on startup, we need to add a file to the /home/pi/.config/autostart/ directory. At a terminal, move to this directory by typing:
Code:
cd /home/pi/.config/autostart
Now, type:
Code:
nano runslideshow.sh.desktop
This will open a text editor that will be blank. Past this into the new file:

Code:
[Desktop Entry]
Type=Application
Exec=/usr/bin/feh -Y -x -q -D 10 -B black -F -Z -z -r /home/pi/Downloads/Posters
Name=runslideshow
Comment=This should start the feh slideshow at start of x session
Now exit and save the file. Ctrl-X will exit the file, when it asks if you want to save, press the Y key, and then hit enter to save it to the runslideshow.sh.desktop file.

Now reboot again.

Once your Pi finishes booting to the desktop, your feh slideshow should run automatically. It'll automatically load new posters you put in your posters folder.

Hopefully this hasn't been too obtuse and helps somebody else. I did not want to run a full Windows computer for a digital poster system. This lets you use a low-power single board computer to power an old monitor. In my case, I mounted a USB outlet behind the monitor and already had a usable monitor and flat wall mount. So for me it was just the cost of the Pi, which I got last week at Microcenter for $3.14. Estimates for annual power usage of a Raspberry Pi run around $5 in energy. The monitor will use a lot more than that.

Here are a couple of pictures of the completed monitor. I was going to recess it into the wall, but the wife vetoed that. At some point I'll probably box it in to give it a framed look, but right now I think it's perfect. I've got it set up in our theater's bathroom to keep it from being a distraction when watching a movie.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Example2.jpg
Views:	404
Size:	359.1 KB
ID:	2377360   Click image for larger version

Name:	Example1.jpg
Views:	335
Size:	339.8 KB
ID:	2377362  
Robert Clark likes this.
mbarland is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 Old 03-19-2018, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
mbarland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 411
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
Liked: 54
The only problem I've run in to is after updating the system, on reboot it displays a dialog box that says "Your Raspbian system has been upgraded to the latest version". Since I run it without a mouse and keyboard this is annoying. I've removed the zenity package, which is what is used to make the dialog box, with this command:

Code:
sudo apt-get remove zenity
Otherwise the dialog box itself can be killed through a remote SSH terminal or by just plugging in a mouse for 30 second and clicking the box to get rid of it.
mbarland is offline  
post #3 of 13 Old 03-20-2018, 10:20 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 65
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked: 17
this is awesome! I've been looking into getting a Pi since I do SQL/XML coding for work, this gives me another reason to buy one and start programming. Thanks!
Blais223 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 13 Old 03-20-2018, 11:16 AM
Advanced Member
 
siuengr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 513
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 241 Post(s)
Liked: 264
Very cool. I have a Pi at home I am not using. Will have to give this a try.

My Theater Build: The Underground Apolkalypse Theater
Marantz SR7010, Monolith 7 Amplifier, Pro-Ject - Debut Carbon Esprit SB
Epson 5040ub, Oppo UHD-203 Player, Xbox One, nVidia Shield
Atmos 7.3.4 - Polk 2x RTiA9, CSiA6, 2x FXiA6, 2x RTIA3, 4x 70-RT
PowerSoundAudio XS30, Sunfire 2x - HRS-12 12" Subwoofers
siuengr is offline  
post #5 of 13 Old 03-20-2018, 06:47 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Tedd's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 9,189
Mentioned: 126 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2140 Post(s)
Liked: 893
You actually don't need a computer to run digital posters. I gather that's a computer monitor you are using, but a hdtv can
run a slide show via it's usb port.
Tedd is offline  
post #6 of 13 Old 03-20-2018, 06:50 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Tedd's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 9,189
Mentioned: 126 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2140 Post(s)
Liked: 893
This might be of interest to those here, with a 16x9 display.....

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/32-the...ay-got-me.html
Tedd is offline  
post #7 of 13 Old 03-20-2018, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
mbarland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 411
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
Liked: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
You actually don't need a computer to run digital posters. I gather that's a computer monitor you are using, but a hdtv can
run a slide show via it's usb port.
That works well if you've got a TV that can do that. Not all of them can. I'm using a computer monitor, which also couldn't do that.

Looking at your thread, I see one of the pluses of my setup is that I don't have to photoshop the posters before loading them. With the options specified it just loads them to the max. For both of us it boils down to using what's at hand. :-) Nothing wrong with either solution.

To the other guys, I hope my instructions guide you right. I initially did this a couple months back with a Pi 3. I took absolutely no notes. When I got that much cheaper Pi Zero W last week I went back and redid it. This time paying attention and putting it here. Figured at worst this thread would be here for my inevitable third build.
mbarland is offline  
post #8 of 13 Old 03-21-2018, 06:50 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Tedd's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 9,189
Mentioned: 126 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2140 Post(s)
Liked: 893
That's the fit of the two threads right there.

One can simply leverage my poster library and skip the photoshop work. (For those working with a 16x9 display.) Then the displayed posters never
suffer any multiple resizing and softening of the images displayed. The upside of the work, is the control that comes with most posters being resized
beforehand and working from higher resolutions.

The most interesting part of this thread for me, is the Pi Zero instructions you give. That's another step that reduces the workload for one deciding to
give a digital movie poster a try.

Everyone approaches this a little different, based on gear on hand. My front end now has a 8350K 4K htpc, and I also plan to bring a CollectorZ
movie database "module" into this, so the htpc gets leveraged.
Tedd is offline  
post #9 of 13 Old 03-29-2018, 07:25 AM
Senior Member
 
Fazzz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: CT
Posts: 319
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 140 Post(s)
Liked: 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarland View Post
That works well if you've got a TV that can do that. Not all of them can. I'm using a computer monitor, which also couldn't do that.

Looking at your thread, I see one of the pluses of my setup is that I don't have to photoshop the posters before loading them. With the options specified it just loads them to the max. For both of us it boils down to using what's at hand. :-) Nothing wrong with either solution.

To the other guys, I hope my instructions guide you right. I initially did this a couple months back with a Pi 3. I took absolutely no notes. When I got that much cheaper Pi Zero W last week I went back and redid it. This time paying attention and putting it here. Figured at worst this thread would be here for my inevitable third build.
Trying to make sure I understand how this works to see if this can potentially help me optimize what I have. Here's what I have:


I have the standard 16:9 TV converted into a light box like Tedd mentions with jpegs created using my custom template loaded onto a USB stick plugged into the back. It was easy to build and looks great, but the only problem with this approach is taking the TV down every time I create a new poster. I also need to manually scroll through things to find the poster I'd like to display. I've seen guys using Raspberry Pi's on here on many occassions, but don't quite get it. Here are a few questions for dummy's:

- Do the photos stay on my computer and just link with the display device (my TV) via wifi? Or do I still need to load pictures on the stick/SD care and plug it into the back of the TV?
- For the Toshiba TV I'm using, I need to manually turn it on, select the input (USB) and navigate to the appropriate folder to display the images. Will that still be required using this or will it automatically come up.
- Is the Raspberry Pi directly connected to the computer or the display device?

This sounds like it may take my current somewhat manual display and automate it so hopefully I'm reading things correctly.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0502 - 1.jpg
Views:	999
Size:	341.3 KB
ID:	2382230  
Fazzz is offline  
post #10 of 13 Old 03-29-2018, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
mbarland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 411
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
Liked: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fazzz View Post
- Do the photos stay on my computer and just link with the display device (my TV) via wifi? Or do I still need to load pictures on the stick/SD care and plug it into the back of the TV?
The Raspberry Pi has its own local storage. Since it runs Linux, you have a lot of choices. The way I posted above just uses the microSD card you've install Raspbian to as the storage location for the posters. You could use a USB drive or a network share. You'd just have to set the RasPi to mount those automatically. If you want to run the posters from a network share, I can work out the steps and add it to the how-to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fazzz View Post
- For the Toshiba TV I'm using, I need to manually turn it on, select the input (USB) and navigate to the appropriate folder to display the images. Will that still be required using this or will it automatically come up.
I assume your TV is like most and that it remembers the last video source input it was on? So with this plugged in to the TV (via HDMI), you'd just turn the TV on. With how power miserly the Pi is, I'd just leave it running. The way I describe it above, the Pi starts showing the posters as soon as it's done booting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fazzz View Post
- Is the Raspberry Pi directly connected to the computer or the display device?
The Pi is connected directly to the TV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fazzz View Post
This sounds like it may take my current somewhat manual display and automate it so hopefully I'm reading things correctly.
Yup. I remotely administer my system over ssh. So once a week I run updates. When I download new posters, I zip them up, send them over ssh to the Pi, and then unzip them into my posters folder on the Pi.

Since it sounds like you've never used a Pi, it's not as complicated as it sounds. For the price of a Pi Zero W, you can buy a couple to experiment with things.
mbarland is offline  
post #11 of 13 Old 03-29-2018, 05:12 PM
Senior Member
 
Fazzz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: CT
Posts: 319
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 140 Post(s)
Liked: 104
Thanks for the detailed reply. Looks like this might be the next thing for me to tinker with on my room. I love my movie poster and this would make it that much better.
Fazzz is offline  
post #12 of 13 Old 10-08-2019, 09:34 PM
Advanced Member
 
1st Cav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: TN
Posts: 900
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 300 Post(s)
Liked: 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fazzz View Post
Thanks for the detailed reply. Looks like this might be the next thing for me to tinker with on my room. I love my movie poster and this would make it that much better.
Did you ever get a chance to give the Pi a test run in your setup? If so, what are your thoughts? I'm considering making the plunge

Sent from my SM-G965U1 using Tapatalk
1st Cav is offline  
post #13 of 13 Old 10-12-2019, 02:07 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
GPowers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,283
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
Liked: 122
Very nice, simple and cheap.
GPowers is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Theater Room Items & Accessories



Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off