There’s a Raspberry Pi-powered floppy disk VCR, and then this Sony TV-511 running Raspberry Pi Home Assistant. This classic TV was first released in 1979 and is probably the last thing you’d expect to run modern open-source home automation software. Telfrag Entertainment managed to do just that after picking up the TV-511 off eBay for a reasonable price, which from our research could have been anywhere between $36 – $132.50 USD.
How did he manage to get it running? Well, aside from the Raspberry Pi 4 module, he also needed a HDMI -> UHF converter that plugs into the antenna input of the TV, while using a keyboard to input the “voice commands”, which would normally can be just spoken into microphone. When functioning normally, it can be used to track the weather, cryptocurrency prices, and even playing YouTube videos, all through the Python-based Jarvis voice assistant.
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My process was first: figure out if I can get the pi to display on the TV. Once that was working I started writing up the Jarvis program in Python. It has a bunch of libraries for things like SpeechRecognition (converting my speech to commands), TextToSpeech (letting Jarvis speak back to me). Then I set it up so that I can add modules for the various functions. So there’s a weather module that handles tracking the weather,” said Telfrag Entertainment.