It is disturbing to some members of our society, that it has become almost impossible to purchase a TV that is not called a “smart” TV. These units contain a computer in addition to the monitor, run in a locked operating system with a user interface and load streaming applications. Can anything be done with them other than what their manufacturers intended? [Nina Kalinina] I managed to Taking the mainboard from a discarded LCD TV and freeing up an ARM Linux board inside.
On the board are all the inputs you’d expect from a TV, along with Ethernet, and a couple of extra USB ports hidden in the WiFi interface. UART is available on the SCART connector, and the U-boot menu is accessed by the unusual means of sending a character to the infrared port using the Palm Pilot. Surprisingly, the device tree in Flash was editable, so with access to Linux, the board was revealed to have a dual-core Novatek SoC.
This reminds us of the days when the new hotness was pulling Linux box out of your home routerAnd just as it was quickly eclipsed by inexpensive boards like the Raspberry Pi, these TV boards may suffer the same fate. However, if they can be made to drive a screen with something more useful than a TV interface, that might change, who wouldn’t want to make their old smart TV even more useful?