toomanyairmiles
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Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:10 pm

Using Pi to run a shop window slideshow

Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:22 pm

I'm looking for an inexpensive computer to run a slideshow on an in-store plasma tv for a small charity, and I'm wondering if Pi would be a workable solution.

It appears to have the appropriate graphics and network connections to do the job, but I only have a passing familiarity with Linux.

If I were to setup a shared folder on a windows network, which the (extremely non-technical) users could drop jpgs into does software exist that would allow me to run a simple slideshow?

felix123
Posts: 153
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 6:06 am

Re: Using Pi to run a shop window slideshow

Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:39 pm

Yes the hardware is more than capable, and the software shouldn't be too hard. We might need to do a bit of configuration though.

felix123
Posts: 153
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Re: Using Pi to run a shop window slideshow

Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:50 pm

Result from a quick google
http://superuser.com/questions/211561/l ... -slideshow

And maybe we can use some more simple software like feh instead of gthumb.

Then we set up samba for that windows shared folder

dom
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Location: Cambridge

Re: Using Pi to run a shop window slideshow

Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:07 pm

XBMC will probably do what you want out of the box. Seach for OpenELEC or Raspbmc images and have a look.

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Gert van Loo
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Re: Using Pi to run a shop window slideshow

Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:30 pm

If your pictures are limited in size and numbers you can put them all on the SD-card.
Smallest setup possible: PI + TV + USB power plug.

toomanyairmiles
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Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:10 pm

Re: Using Pi to run a shop window slideshow

Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:22 pm

Thanks everyone...

@Gert van Loo - the issue is accessibility, the office staff are good people but mostly older, and scared witless of technology, if it requires messing around they won't do it! A simple shared folder available on their deskop will be much easier for everyone to understand and use.

@felix123 thanks for the suggestion, feh does look like a good option. I did see the superuser article, but that kind of setup would be tricky for me to support remotely, I need something that is as easy as a button click - any truck with the command line and it won't work for the staff!

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AndrewS
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Re: Using Pi to run a shop window slideshow

Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:41 pm

It might be a bit more sophisticated than you're looking for, but see if there's any useful suggestions in this thread http://raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=6339

Twinkletoes
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Re: Using Pi to run a shop window slideshow

Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:08 pm

Take a look at OpenSplash - an open source media player designed for signage. It's built from plugins and it's easy to replace any plugin to make it talk to your favourite RSS feed or CMS. It runs on Windows, Debian, Fedora, iOS and Android. It can run content full screen or split screen.

www.opensplash.net

I've integrated it with 3 different CMS packages and it took about 5 days each time, mainly implementing the protocol of each CMS.

robsoft
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Re: Using Pi to run a shop window slideshow

Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:02 am

I did something like this, firstly using Python, Qt and Mono on Acer Revo Aspire One machines running Ubuntu, and indeed this is something I want to do on the Pi too.

I had a small Mono (C#) program that would connect to a file server on the network (or later, an FTP server across the web) and fetch down 'slides' (just full-screen jpgs). These would go into a folder on the Acer. Also running was a Python & Qt 'embedded browser' - just the standard Qt browser control with no navigation tools or key handling, set-up to launch itself full-screen and read the first slide in the folder. Each slide was effectively a .html page and a .jpg, and the point was that the meta tags in the html header could control which slide was going to be shown next and for how many seconds the current one would be displayed (etc). It was a mixture of technologies languages simply because it was a learning 'project' and we had a pile of these Acer machines and no Windows licenses.

I'm hoping to do something similar with the Pi, whether I write it all in Python or something else,.

One problem we did find was that sometimes the TV screen just wasn't very visible in the shop window, in sunlight. On the shops where this wasn't a problem the whole thing worked brilliantly but where the light was a problem it really could spoil the whole thing.

The last iteration of the software had the Mono code also fetching back database information from the remote server so we could display up-to-the-minute exchange rates etc and so I'm hoping to be able to achieve this on the Pi too, even if it's just a case of writing an ASP-type page on the server to get the rates and format them into a HTML page that can be statically downloaded and shown as if it was a slide, if you see what I mean.
--
Rob, Robsoft. Delphi, C#, SQL Server, Xamarin, Raspi

Signs
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Re: Using Pi to run a shop window slideshow

Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:58 pm

Even digital Billboards have a problem in bright daylight. You might want to try to build a shadow box that will keep the screen from 2 to 4 inches away from the window so light from the sun can be shielded at least from all sides. The problem with this is that the viewers will have to be nearly in front of it to see the screen. Also, you not going to be able to do anything with glare. The good thing is that should only affect it a few hours a day.
Not everything is fact here, just an idea you might try. Also, I have found that the Rpi will run off the power of my monitors usb port. I just use an adapter cable from USB to micro USB, so I don't need an additional plug for an adapter. Just some thoughts. :?

Signs
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Re: Using Pi to run a shop window slideshow

Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:11 pm

I should have posted this with my last post. I am using a little open source code called "Siteshow". All it is, is simple html code. You can get it from here:
http://www.troywolf.com/articles/client/siteshow/

It works great!!! :D

anthonyUK
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 8:18 am

Re: Using Pi to run a shop window slideshow

Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:29 am

I saw a couple of QT5 videos on youtube recently. This looks like a great option for digital signage.

Twinkletoes
Posts: 210
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 9:44 pm

Re: Using Pi to run a shop window slideshow

Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:09 am

Signs -

Very few screens will run in full sunlight. You want to find a screen that gives 1200 nits or more, and one that has cooling systems designed for the job. Personally I always recommend the NEC 4620, which is what we used in the O2 shops in the UK. It's also warranted for 24\7 running.

Also note that brightness on screens drops off by about 30% in the first year. This can be minimised by keeping the temperature down. The best thing you can do to achieve this is to block UV. 3M make a film that you can put on the windows glass (note do not put it on the LCD glass as the film will get hot).

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