LEGO bricks have been used for countless builds, but what about a miniature working TV? Eric, AKA “That Project,” created such a device using a LEGO housing, an ESP32, a 280×240 resolution screen, and a small battery. The result fits nicely in your hand, and is stylized like a CRT of many years ago – perhaps as much furniture as electronics.
The guts of the build are based around this Mini Retro TV by moononournation, which is a beautiful project in its own right. That gadget uses a 3D-printed housing that more resembles a plastic shell of “modern” devices, and features a microSD card slot on the front for video playback a la a VCR. The LEGO unit uses a microSD setup for data storage as well, though it doesn’t poke stylishly out of the front. Clips have to be encoded into separate video and audio streams, as the ESP32 can’t handle MP4 natively.
The LEGO device’s display resolution is 280×240 pixels, and it can play clips at a standard 30 FPS. It also comes with a 1 watt speaker for audio playback. As a new feature for the LEGO build, Eric added in the ability to swipe right or left to flip between channels, e.g. video clips, which should be quite useful. He’s even using a custom circuit board, however it’s simple enough that such a configuration should be quite manageable with a breadboard.
Code for Eric’s LEGO project is available on GitHub.