Raspberry Pi as an Information Display

A few months back I was looking for a device that could display an image, a webpage and/or a video.

I had also been playing around with having a Raspberry Pi to perform this task, since it has HDMI out and they were fairly well priced. I thought this would make an excellent platform for what I needed.

I did some research and came up with some possible solutions and even tinkered with some of those options.

Eventually I settled on an application called Screenly which runs on the Raspbian distribution, or you can download a pre-made image for it. Screenly is a commercial application which has many added benefits, however has a price tag associated with it.

I noticed that they still make the Screenly OSE edition available and it did everything I needed, and what I imagine many small businesses would also want to use (who might not otherwise already have an information display).

Screenly OSE is the open source edition and is free.

Whats needed:

  • Raspberry Pi (recommend using Model B 512MB edition)
  • 8GB SD-Card
  • USB power lead
  • HDMI lead


Install Raspbian onto the 8GB SD-Card (as downloaded from here). The procedure to perform this should be followed from the same website.

Boot the Raspbian SD-Card in your Raspberry Pi and follow the process/procedure as outlined here. Follow process under Option 2. This will enable you to install the Screenly OSE application and other dependent software.


If everything goes well, the Raspberry Pi when booted will pickup a DHCP address via the network port. This IP address is displayed during the boot of the Raspberry Pi. At which point you can access it via the http://aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd:8080 address. This is the management interface to the Information Display so you can add your assests. i.e. Images, Web URL and/or Video.

Please note that it only supports the following media types:

Screenly currently three types of media:

  • Videos (Screenly uses omxplayer as the video back-end. It is currently limited to MP4/h264-encoded videos.)
  • Images
  • Web-pages

Please note that Adobe Flash media is not, and will most likely never be, supported. Also, images and web-pages will be rendered in 1920×1080, so adjust your content for this size.

Post my successfully testing, I’ve subsequently gone on to configure two (2) Raspberry Pi’s running Raspbian and Screenly OSE within a business environment which render assests that include web pages and images. These have been running fine with little to no manual intervention since install. Over 45+ days uptime on the units.

I’ll post a video showing the boot sequence of a Rasberry Pi running Screenly OSE and it displaying some test assets in the next few weeks.

If you’d like more information and/or assistance with the installation of a Screenly OSE on a Raspberry Pi for your business (or organisation etc) you should contact me via the page here. This way I can quote you on a complete setup including/excluding hardware, and/or just consult you on part of the work etc.


  • Heimic » Blog Archive » Raspberry Pi as an Information Display October 19, 2013 Reply

    […] Check out my post on my personal blog here. […]

  • Screenly OSE on Raspbery Pi demo | Heimic October 22, 2013 Reply

    […] This post is a follow up to my previous one about using an Raspberry Pi as an Information Display, as found here. […]

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