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Portable video display project
06-07-2019, 12:10 PM,
Portable video display project
Hi all, long time no see! I've been really pleased to watch SC! grow from afar - y'all are doing good work!

I have a problem. For the past two years I have been working full time as a metal artist and blacksmith over in Ocean Shores, WA. Business is steadily growing, but I've encountered an issue in wholesale and consignment outlets where folks just don't really understand what they are looking at when they see a small forged item like a keychain. Enter my idea: a small TFT or LCD display that plays 5-10 minutes of video on a loop. Ideally there would be sound output with a small built-in speaker but it's not a necessity.

I have a handful of short videos I made showing the forging process for a few different items, and would like to allow potential buyers to see the work getting made.

A 3-4 inch display ought to work fine. I have been building wood and metal displays for retail use, so ideally I'd be able to pocket out the back of a piece of plywood or other sheet, install and wire up the electronics so they're hidden from view, and incorporate the video element into my sales display. I know that's all possible, but my electronics, arduino, asd rPi skills are waaay behind from taking a backseat for a few years. 

To summarize:

I need to display less than 10 minutes of video on a loop to a small LCD. I'd like to keep my cost/unit in the ballpark of $50-60

Any and all help is greatly appreciated Smile
06-07-2019, 03:12 PM,
RE: Portable video display project
Hi Clayton!

I have built a raspberrypi video player some years ago. it was a little buggy for long term use (random lock ups after several hours of playing)

I would probably err toward something simple like a portable DVD player with a USB slot - then it is battery powered and you have your screen built in.

unless you really wanted to scratch your maker itch; but for that price range it will be hard to get the Pi and monitor. 
Here is a Pi based video looper

"If you didn't build it, you will never own it." - Barton Dring
06-07-2019, 03:30 PM,
RE: Portable video display project
I also was going to suggest Pi + monitor (doesn't have to be touch) as a simple solution (everyone was probably thinking that). You will probably pay more than you want for that combo...but time is also money, and you can be up and running with that in no time. If I was doing it for 5 shops, that's what I would do. If I was doing it for 100 shops, then I'd design something cheaper.

Just to throw out another (low cost) idea...
As soon as customers walk away from your display with their newly purchased item and their friends ask about it, they can't show them the video they saw on your display. If instead you have a sign that just has a picture of you forging it with a sign that says something like "Watch this being created!" with a QR code to a video, then you just saved yourself the hassle of building a display like the one that everyone has in their pockets, and if you put the same QR code on the packaging for your item, then they can also access the video later when they aren't in the store. Not the same as a video playing in front of them, but cheap, fast, and may work. Just a thought.

"I built it because I didn't know I couldn't"

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