Thursday, 26 November 2015

Another personal project

Yet again, I'm using this blog as a diary of my attempts to do something rather than writing something interesting. Hey, who knows? Maybe it'll work and THEN it'll become interesting.

So, what's the project? Quite simply put, it's in-car entertainment for the kids.

You see, there's the obvious easy option of buying a dual screen DVD setup. But they're a bit rubbish; in many cases still expensive; and the kids have to watch the same thing. Now, any of you out there with multiple kids will know that they NEVER want to watch the same thing. So how am I going to beat this?

Well, the plan is to use a Raspberry Pi and a couple of cheap tablets. At the moment this is all Pi (ha!) in the sky, but the idea runs thus...

  • I find a MiFi/Battery Pack combo that is capable of powering the device plugged into it whilst it's charging. This provides continous (hopefully) playback at times when I switch off the ignition (like petrol stations).
  • Off this I run a Pi and a USB hard drive (not sure how the Hard drive is getting power yet... possibly from the MiFi/Battery Pack?)
  • The Pi runs some kind of DLNA software serving out copies of the kids' various ripped DVDs
  • Also, the MiFi has a 4G SIM in it providing internet access...
  • The kids each have a cheap Android Tablet attached to the back of the front seat headrests.
  • These tablets are able to stream media from the Pi or over 4G to entertain the kids.
The major obstacles here are, I think, finding an appropriate MiFi/Battery Pack and, potentially, the bandwidth available as I'm doubting that the Pi will be powerful enough to transcode.

So, research begins, will post updates on my findings.