Raspberry Pi powers tiny retro TV with audio support

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Fantasticmrdavid)

Tiny TVs have become a popular project choice for the Raspberry Pi community. Today, we’ve got another cool little TV project to share, but this one is slightly different. While most others we’ve covered in the past—like the iconic Simpsons TV—just loop videos, this one created by Fantasticmrdavid has audio support and can output sound for the videos it plays.

This project is an upgrade to another small TV he created. Much like the others we mentioned, the original TV only played videos. However, plans to upgrade the TV began to form when Fantasticmrdavid came across an audio HAT that would fit without compromising the form factor and design.

The upgraded tiny TV has a few new features that set it apart from the ones we’ve seen. The audio HAT is the most significant change, but it has external access to the MicroSD card slot. This makes it easy to swap between operating systems on the fly. The older design housed the Pi inside an internal case, but that’s since been done away with. The viewport size was also modified to help the screen fit.

The TV is housed inside a custom 3D-printed shell by Fantasticmrdavid to resemble a Toshiba Blackstripe TV. The STL files are available at Printables for anyone who wants to recreate this Raspberry Pi project at home. A Raspberry Pi 3B+ powers it alongside a 3.5-inch LCD for video output. A Raspberry Pi speaker expansion board PWM sound card adds to the audio production. The system uses wireless input devices, including keyboards and sometimes game controllers.

Regarding software, you can run pretty much anything you like. Raspberry Pi OS is an excellent choice for loading up videos or running a media center, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use another operating system like Ubuntu. Fantasticmrdavid also uses the TV to play games with RetroPie. You can see the TV in action on YouTube and visit the original thread shared on Reddit for more details. Don’t forget to follow Fantasticmrdavid for more terrific projects and any 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.