Paulon8080
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'Antique' Televisions with a Pi.

Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:35 pm

Hi everybody,

I am in the (very) early stages of planning a project/installation that would use old TVs. By old I mean, from the 1960s - 1980s, and ones that would probably/possibly not have scart or RCA connections.

My limited understanding has led me to look at UHF Televisions and I'm trying to figure out if these would work with a pi (any model of pi).

What I am trying to achive is that video files on the Pi will be played on the TV.

I just wanted to ask if this is possible or if anyone has tried it and if so how I would go about starting this project.

Apologies if this is vague but as I said I'm really at the beginning of this project and wanted to see if its feasible before searching for/buying 'antique' televisions.

Thanks,

Paul

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mahjongg
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Re: 'Antique' Televisions with a Pi.

Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:38 pm

Yes, the PI can output either PAL or NTSC, and you can use a TV modulator, such as the ones used with/in older home-computers to create an RF signal.

MaddogBailey
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Re: 'Antique' Televisions with a Pi.

Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:03 pm

It's a cool idea.
Have you thought about ripping out the internals and replacing the screen with a more modern screen?
I would love to give it a try but it seems 'classic' TV sets are now very few and far between.
Some local 'junk' stores have them by they are charging the Earth for them because they are used for decoration.

Paulon8080
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Re: 'Antique' Televisions with a Pi.

Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:18 pm

ok
Last edited by Paulon8080 on Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

Paulon8080
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Re: 'Antique' Televisions with a Pi.

Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:22 pm

MaddogBailey wrote:It's a cool idea.
Have you thought about ripping out the internals and replacing the screen with a more modern screen?
I would love to give it a try but it seems 'classic' TV sets are now very few and far between.
Some local 'junk' stores have them by they are charging the Earth for them because they are used for decoration.
Thanks MaddogBailey : )

I'm really only thinking it over at the moment, but if I'm relatively sure it works I'll do it.
As for ripping out the internals and replacing with a more modern screen...that might be beyond my skill set at the moment!
Finally, yeah I've seen junk stores charging pretty high prices..and have also seen lots of them being used for retro decorations.
I'll probably put a call out on social media and might be able to track some down via friends/familys attics etc : )

RaspISteve
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Re: 'Antique' Televisions with a Pi.

Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:58 pm

Paul,
Be very careful with old TV sets. Limit any connection to them to a modulated UHF signal connected through the external antenna socket and certainly don't take the back off the thing. Keep any connection to the outside interfaces.

There are some very nasty voltages, particularly colour TVs, and the internal power supply may well provide exposed access to life threatening supply voltages.
Share and Enjoy.

hippy
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Re: 'Antique' Televisions with a Pi.

Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:09 pm

Also watch out for 'live chassis'. Those things were never designed to have anything but an aerial plugged into them and can cause all sorts of problems if other electronics is connected to them.

Including life ending problems.

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Imperf3kt
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Re: 'Antique' Televisions with a Pi.

Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:25 am

Also note that unplugging a TV set WILL NOT ensure you are safe! Capacitors inside can carry hundreds of volts, even weeks after being unplugged! I've been zapped one too many times by capacitors to take such risks anymore.

As a suggestion... Would a cheap set top box with HDMI or composite (rca) input work? Methinks that'd be the easiest / cheapest / safest way to get an RF signal.
55:55:44:44:4C
52:4C:52:42:41

Paulon8080
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Re: 'Antique' Televisions with a Pi.

Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:00 am

RaspISteve wrote:Paul,
Be very careful with old TV sets. Limit any connection to them to a modulated UHF signal connected through the external antenna socket and certainly don't take the back off the thing. Keep any connection to the outside interfaces.

There are some very nasty voltages, particularly colour TVs, and the internal power supply may well provide exposed access to life threatening supply voltages.
Thanks for the reply Steve,

On this basis I won't be doing any internal work with the TV, I really wouldn't have the skill/knowledge to try. For now I will just be trying to get a vintage TV working with a Pi to play video files from the Pi.

Thanks again,

Paul

Paulon8080
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Re: 'Antique' Televisions with a Pi.

Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:03 am

Imperf3kt wrote:Also note that unplugging a TV set WILL NOT ensure you are safe! Capacitors inside can carry hundreds of volts, even weeks after being unplugged! I've been zapped one too many times by capacitors to take such risks anymore.

As a suggestion... Would a cheap set top box with HDMI or composite (rca) input work? Methinks that'd be the easiest / cheapest / safest way to get an RF signal.
Hey Imperf3kt,

Thanks for the reply

Do you mean something like this?

https://www.tomtop.com/digital-media-re ... 7Qod0p0HZA

Paulon8080
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Re: 'Antique' Televisions with a Pi.

Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:05 am

hippy wrote:Also watch out for 'live chassis'. Those things were never designed to have anything but an aerial plugged into them and can cause all sorts of problems if other electronics is connected to them.

Including life ending problems.
Hey Hippy,

Thanks for the reply. I'll be sure to post here with the TV i find/buy/acquire before plugging anything in.

Regards,

Paul

Paulon8080
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Re: 'Antique' Televisions with a Pi.

Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:06 am

mahjongg wrote:Yes, the PI can output either PAL or NTSC, and you can use a TV modulator, such as the ones used with/in older home-computers to create an RF signal.
Hey Mahjongg,

Thanks so much for your reply.

By TV modulator do you mean something like this:
http://www.storkz.com/rca-crf907r.html? ... gJ1pfD_BwE

And if so it would then be pi video output - modulator - TV (modulator to TV via a coax cable like this http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/maplin-coax-p ... connectors&)

Also, would sound work ok with this method?

Thanks again for your help,

Paul

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Re: 'Antique' Televisions with a Pi.

Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:35 am

Paulon8080 wrote:...By TV modulator do you mean something like this:
http://www.storkz.com/rca-crf907r.html? ... gJ1pfD_BwE
Yes that should work for both video and audio. You will need a properly wired cable from the RPi to the modulator.
Note the modulator outputs VHF channel 3 or 4 not UHF as you mentioned in your OP.
Paulon8080 wrote:And if so it would then be pi video output - modulator - TV (modulator to TV via a coax cable like this http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/maplin-coax-p ... connectors&).....
That cable should work if the TV has coax cable input. If the TV does not have coax input then you would need to add a 75:300 Ohm adapter like this:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002ZPIOG/re ... 9935008805

Don't expect high quality video. In fact expect barely usable poor quality.
Unless specified otherwise my response is based on the latest and fully updated Raspbian Buster w/ Desktop OS.

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mahjongg
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Re: 'Antique' Televisions with a Pi.

Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:19 pm

Paulon8080, are you in the USA? Because you have chosen a modulator that is designed for the US market (you can see that as it sports a channel 3/4 switch). Perhaps it works just as well with an European PAL TV, but I'm not 100% sure it does, perhaps there isn't a good match between Video and audio RF frequencies (side-bands). And as said, it outputs on VHF not UHF.

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Burngate
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Re: 'Antique' Televisions with a Pi.

Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:47 am

Further to mahjongg's reply, if you're in Europe, that one won't work.
We haven't used such backwoods equipment for decades, mainly because we haven't needed to - we live too close to each other to need to send signals as far as VHF goes, so our TVs only pick up UHF.
Also, it's probably NTSC, whereas European TVs are all PAL, so at best you'd get monochrome.

http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/programmable- ... ator-vh89w is probably worth the money.

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Mortimer
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Re: 'Antique' Televisions with a Pi.

Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:45 am

Sometimes an old VHS recorder can be used to convert composite video to UHF PAL. I used to have one that could do that many moons ago.
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Paulon8080
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Re: 'Antique' Televisions with a Pi.

Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:47 pm

Hi everybody,

Thanks for your individual replies...I've put this project on temporary hold for the moment. But I will be returning to it in a while and will reignite this thread with more questions/comments etc

Thanks,

Paul

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