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Raspberry Pi Home Assistant Runs on Old Sony TV-511

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Telefrag Entertainment)

If there’s one thing a Raspberry Pi is good for, it’s enhancing hardware with more features than you can shake a stick at. This project, created by Telefrag Entertainment, does just that. It’s using a Raspberry Pi to power his custom home assistant system (opens in new tab) using Jarvis—a Python-based voice assistant application that integrates artificial intelligence to interpret commands.

This home assistant project stands out as it uses an old Sony TV-511 television for video output. This old TV is both small and big at the same time. Having been released in the 1970s, the Sony TV-511 is not a large TV, but it’s much thicker than TVs you’ll find today. According to Telefrag Entertainment, he picked it up on eBay before turning it into this home assistant display.

The system is programmed with numerous features ranging from weather tracking to playing media from YouTube, all triggered by voice commands. Because Jarvis integrates AI, the commands don’t have to be specific. Instead, general sentences and questions can be parsed for interpretation to ensure the correct module is triggered.

The video output is handled using an HDMI to UHF converter. This adapter plugs into the TV via the antenna input. The project is still a work in progress, and audio input has yet to be configured. However, it currently accepts commands using keyboard input rather than a microphone.

The Jarvis application is Python-based and includes several libraries that allow for a wide variety of functions. Some of the libraries used include things like TextToSpeech as well as SpeechRecognition. Telefrag Entertainment confirmed the system is programmed in a way to allow additional modules in the future for more functions and features.

If you want to recreate this Raspberry Pi project (opens in new tab) or see it in action, visit the official project thread on Reddit (opens in new tab), which includes a demo video. Be sure to follow Telefrag Entertainment for more cool projects as well as any future updates on this one.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.