Since I am forced to spend so much time indoors by my health problems, I have a tiny door cam aimed out the front door here - this is sort of my window to the outside world alot of the times.
It is displayed on a smallish phone screen which sits on my desk below my PC screen.
The cam itself ONLY displays via the maker's Android app as well as requiring internet to be connected as their server is involved.
The little cam uses our wifi as does the phone used as its display.
For a long time I've wanted it to have a larger display - like maybe a 7" tablet - and I tried it with what I had, an 2012 Nexus 7 - which failed miserably as it seemed that its wifi could not even stay connected & then it literally died altogether, so I scratched that idea off my list.
My PC runs Linux, and I know I could do this with a VM - but I do not want it on my PC screen 'cuz that is needed fully for me old eyes & the door cam is an accessory rather than a main attraction...so here's my thought & query:
I have an older (V5.x ??) Android TV Box which could be connected with some sort of small display - maybe the size of a 7" or 10" tablet via HDMI, but I've no clue how to pin down a decent & affordable thing like that.
My searching has brought results mostly aimed at R Pi devices with extra h/w included & at minimum $50-$70 with the sky being the limit price-wise;
Frankly I'd hoped to spend less than that for this project...
It seems that there is no such a thing as really small TVs anymore or one of those with an HDMI input would do this well for me.
Does anyone here have experiences with such tiny sized screens & perhaps may be kind enough to offer me some pointers ??
Thanks for any helpful replies !!
I have a feeling it will be hard to beat the cost of a used Amazon Fire tablet, which might be a standalone solution, although not what you're asking for. Amazon Warehouse has 7" starting at $30 (used), with return privilege. An Ebay scan looks like you could probably get a 7", 5th Generation or later, for $15-20 with a little effort.
Thanks KentE !!
A striking coincidence with regards to your suggestion...
I persuaded my partner to loan me her 2019 Fire 7 earlier.
Loaded the app, signed it in - and presto - nice, bigger screen !!
After ~15 minutes the onscreen clock stopped & the video froze.
To get it working again I had to kill the app & totally restart it - which got me about another 15 minutes, then it froze again.
After 3 pretty much identical tries & results I removed the app & gave back her 'precious' with gratitude.
What stumps me is how a smaller, older phone is able to run that same app pretty much 24/7.
Sure, it has dropouts now & then, but it is quite simple to just give that a poke & it starts right up again.
It'd be loads simpler if that tiny camera could stream by just using the wifi & RTSP, but it doesn't - so I cannot simply use VLC to display it, sadly.
Could be that for as long as that tiny camera lasts that displaying its output via the phone is my only viable option.
Thanks Again !!
Facebook marketplace in your area likely has several free to cheap monitors and TV's that you could use if you have the desk space. Not all monitors have HDMI input, but you can get a dvi to HDMI adapter or cable for around 5 if the monitor doesn't have HDMI. If you don't have Facebook you could setup an account and then delete your account after you contact the seller and get the item
You should also able to find a Chromebook on eBay under 50. Chromebook run android apps
I'm wondering if the time-out problem with the Fire Tablet is an Amazon 'feature'? I've set up several Fire Tablets to access Google Play, and to de-Alexa them, but haven't gone further. There's a method/app called Fire Toolbox (I think) that goes further in removing Amazon's OS restrictions.
The nice thing about the Fire Tablets is that they're basically like a subsidized cellphone: no way to buy equivalent hardware at the same cheap price, and they're everywhere....
Echoing a few posts but my thoughts also went to free or used sources. FB marketplace, Craigslist (searchtempest is useful for a wder search), trashnothing/ecycle/freecycle, Goodwill/Salvation army.
Some consignment stores do electronics.
Some, mostly small, rural in my experience, transfer stations (they used to be called dumps ;)) have swap shacks.
Several years ago, I had a project I wanted a small video monitor for. Same issue Et-Z is running into, the pieces made for Pi and Arduino were just too expensive for my project. I recall looking through specs on buckets of in-car dual-screen DVD players, and found some that had composite inputs for the second screen, with adapters available for their semi-proprietary connectors. Even located a few of them used on Ebay at reasonable prices. Of course, it was a lot of footwork to identify likely suspects, and a 12V power supply would be needed. I doubt that HDMI has supplanted composite for this application, though.
I did manage to buy a battery-optional LCD "storm-TV", about 9-10", I think. A model with good reviews, on sale at the time at CVS or Walgreen for about $35. My use case for that is over-the-air, but I believe it also has composite (but no hdmi) capability.
Et_Z, I've sent you a PM.
Such wonderful responses - sincere thanks folks !!
And of course even more thanks going over to KentE for your assistance !!
As it happens, the TV box does have the funky little composite jack - and I should have thought of this before, but it will likely be best for me to try the app on that box via HDMI to my bigger screen just to see if it even opens & works at all...
(What with the convenience of HDMI that older stuff is too easy to forget !!)
To the other replies=>
- Fecesbook - none for me, thanks, not ever;
- Thanks for the reminder about chromebooks.
I had totally forgotten that I did try that silly app on a friend's chromebook about a year ago & it was the silliest thing 'cuz it would only display in portrait mode so it was only on about 1/4 of the screen - totally absurd !!
- My partner's "precious" tablet was de-amazonized before she got it, just as KentE suggests;
- Around these parts CL usually means trying to meet up with a seller at a place over an hour away at the least & with gas now at $4/gallon & the number of pranksters on CL, I avoid using it;
- Trashnothing & freecycle are just about totally dead here since 2020.
So, right now I'll enter 'project mode' & give the little box a test on the bigger screen.
Thanks Again to all you great folks for helping me olde braine to think about this better than I was doing before all your good suggestions !!
Well colour me shocked !!
The old TV Box with pretty high specs took the app, started right up into it - and right now it is steadily displaying on a much bigger (as in much too big...) screen via HDMI.
So now, if I can somehow get my hands upon a screen small enough to go into my very limited space then this could become mission accomplished !!
Here's a related funny IMO:
I have a 17" square display that is VGA only & it got retired years back when I got lucky with a 27" Vizio for ~$129 (much better for these old eyes !!).
I could re-use that old LCD screen for this project with an HDMI=>VGA adapter, but it will not fit on my desk.
It amuses me to have found a used 32" Vizio screen for $30 vs. a brand new 7" screen for $60.
That is the cheap one too - all the others I saw that have HDMI are ~$100 and higher & I've seen brand new decent quality 32" TVs at wally mart for $129 - 'tis a crazy market to be sure.
Since the TV Box was just sitting here inactive I took a wild shot by ordering a 7" HDMI display from the big A as it could be returned for free if it was not suitable.
It cost a bit more than our budget would like, but at least it has allowed me to reach the starting point of confirming that my goal was indeed reachable...and=>
It really IS a great little screen after all.
The sole redeeming thing here after spending ~2X my target pricing is that my partner was assigned to work at home some weeks back, which eliminates the 40+ miles of driving she had to do 5 days a week before.
What with the rotten gas prices now - just a single week of that driving avoided more than makes up for what I spent on a more visible screen for the door cam.