February 22, 2024

La Ronge Northerner

Complete Canadian News World

One tablet from a TV

One tablet from a TV

It is annoying to some members of our community, that it has become almost impossible to buy a TV that is not called a “smart” TV. These units contain a computer in addition to the monitor, and run in an operating system locked with a user interface and streaming applications loading. Can anything be done with them other than what their manufacturers intended? [Nina Kalinina] I managed it, Taking the main board from a discarded LCD TV and freeing the ARM Linux board inside.

On the board there are all the inputs you’d expect from a TV, along with Ethernet, and two additional USB ports hidden in the WiFi interface. The UART has a SCART connector, and the U-boot menu is accessed by the unusual means of sending a character to an infrared port using the Palm Pilot. Surprisingly, the device tree in Flash was editable, so with access to Linux the board was revealed to have a dual-core Novatek SoC.

This reminds us of the days when the new hotness was pulling off Linux box outside the home routerAnd just as inexpensive boards like the Raspberry Pi were quickly overshadowed, those TV boards could face the same fate. However, if they could be made to drive a screen with something more useful than a TV front, that might change, who wouldn’t want to make their old smart TV more useful?

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