“Zombified” tv acts as time waste monitor with Raspberry Pi #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi

Ivancreations posted this fun project to make a sort of “Chrome Nanny” for the tv.

My girlfriend is now reading the Four Hour Work Week (by Tim Ferriss) and there is mentioned this thing called “Low Information Diet” which pretty much says most of us live a life with lots of distractions and if you wish to redesign your life you have to focus on certain important things and limit exposure to others. Others usually mean facebook,news sites etc. and to help yourself you can install in your google chrome one add-on (Chrome Nanny) that blocks these sites during most of the time and have them available only during certain period (say during lunch break). Because she is serious she did install the add-on and even designed a webpage with a big message “Do not waste your time” which is displayed in case she accidentally tries to go to facebook.

Meanwhile she continued watching TV.

As it is not a secret that TV is a distraction … why not surprise her by blocking the TV in the same manner? Say when she switches the TV on then after 30 seconds the TV shall display her webpage with the big message “Do not waste your time”. As this is meant to be a surprise it is a good idea to also record her initial reaction so that later we could make fun out of this.

How can one do that? Using zombification of course!

Plan: Zombifying the digital TV

Setup: The TV is working via Set Top Box (STB) and connected to a 23 inch computer monitor via HDMI. the STB is controlled only via Infra Red (IR) Remote (no manual controls).

Solution: Introduce HDMI switch which has the STB and one Raspberrypi (RPI) connected to it. By default the STB goes to the TV. The RPI is listening for the STB IR remote signals. Once a ON signal is received the RPI shall:
1. Start video recording
2. Open a browser in kiosk mode displaying the message “Do not waste your time”
3. Switch the input from STB to RPI
4. Play the sound

Plan: Zombifying the analogue TV

Setup: The TV is receiving signal via coaxial cable. Controlled manually + IR Remote.
Solution: Introduce one RPI connected to the AV input. The RPI should check every second if the TV is ON. Once the TV is on the RPI shall:
1. Start video recording
2. Open a browser in kiosk mode displaying the message “Do not waste your time”
3. Switch the input of the analogue TV from coaxial to AV
4. Play the sound

See the full tutorial here!

Test digital tv

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