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

Installation:

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.

Configuration:

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.

2 Comments

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

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

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

    […] 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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