SainSmart 5 Inch LCD HDMI Touch Screen Display

SainSmart 5 inch LCD HDMI Touch Screen Display – For Raspberry Pi 3.
sainsmart 5 inch lcd hdmi touch screen display

I recently purchased this neat little sainsmart 5 inch LCD hdmi touch screen display, on Amazon.com for under $40. So far it works pretty good on my Raspberry Pi 3 with the Raspbian PIXEL desktop. And, worked fine for playing games on RetroPie.

It’s a little tricky to use as a touch screen for me, because I have fat fingers and the stylus pen (if included) is a little shaky in my hands. But it’s ok, as long as you don’t need to double click on anything.

hdmi coupling adapterWhat makes it neat though, is it comes with a special HDMI coupling adapter and female GIO Pin connection header, to connect it directly to the Raspberry Pi board and HDMI output. So there is no soldering needed. And when connected this way, there is no extra power adapter needed to run the screen.

 

You can connect it just to the HDMI output with an HDMI cable, but you will need another power supply, to get the power going on it that way.

If you are running the more recent Raspbian image (Nov. 2016 PIXEL Desktop), you can connect the display directly to the Pi and it will work right out of the box. But you will need to add some lines to the config.txt for the resolution to display correctly. And, you will need to download and install a driver, for the touch screen to work.

To Adjust the Screen Resolution

Something they don’t include with the screen, is the instructions on setting the resolution so the desktop fills most of the screen. To correctly set it, you will need to ssh into the Pi and add some lines of code to the config file.

Once at command prompt, type: sudo nano /boot/config.txt. Then move the cursor down past the last line of text at the bottom and hit enter to create a skipped space, and then copy and past this in:

framebuffer_ignore_alpha=1
framebuffer_swap=1
init_uart_clock=16000000
hdmi_group=2
hdmi_mode=1
hdmi_mode=87
hdmi_cvt 800 480 60 6 0 0 0

Then hit the Ctrl x on the keyboard, then Y and enter to save it. Then type sudo reboot at the prompt.

When it reboots, it should fill most of the screen.

How to enable Touch, on the Sainsmart 5 inch lcd hdmi touch screen display (WARNING!!! Will not work on noobs install, only jessie! Download here and follow install instructions here, if you don’t know how to do that.).

It also has no instructions included on how to enable the touch screen (you can find them on the sainsmart.com wiki). You need to install the driver for that. I suggest going through the GUI on the Pi itself, instead of ssh into it. Open a browser on the PI and download the driver from http://repository.sainsmart.com/index.php?share/file&user=bbu_sainsmart&sid=hPpZMsVO. Once downloaded to your Pi, open the downloads file and cut and paste the file to the home/pi directory.

1st open the terminal and go ahead and do an update and upgrade the OS (PIXEL/Raspbian):

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

Then reboot.

Then open a terminal again and copy and past this in at prompt and hit enter:

tar xvf LCD-show-151020.tar.gz

It should unzip the file.

Then either type or copy and paste this into the terminal at prompt:

cd LCD-show/

Then either type or copy and paste into the terminal at prompt:

sudo ./LCD5-show

Wait a few minutes, and the system should automatically restart. Once booted up successfully, try out the touch screen with the included stylus pen or your finger.

And there your go!

5 inch lcd

Anyway! I like it and plan on using it to one day build a hand held gaming device. You can find it here for purchase!

 

NeoTV Prime and Raspberry Pi

Do you have one of these old Netgear NeoTV Prime Boxes with Google TV (GTV100) laying around, or still in use?

neotv prime1st, what is a NeoTV Prime box with Google TV? Basically, it’s similar to a Roku or Fire TV box, that you can connect to the internet and your TV’s HDMI port and stream online content, from many streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus. And, it comes with a handy little remote with a mouse pad and a keyboard on the other side.

The NeoTV Prime also has the ability to…

  • install and run other Android apps from the google play store.
  • surf the internet with the google Chrome browser from your couch.
  • connect to other devices like your cable or satellite set top box, DVD players, or digital stereo system, to play through the TV box via the HDMI IN port.
  • And, connect a USB mouse or keyboard, USB hubs and flash memory sticks, or other devices, through the available USB port.

kodiA couple of years ago I bought one of these, marked way down on clearance, from my local OfficeMax. I was thinking it was cheap enough that I wouldn’t be risking much if I crashed it, trying to hack it (supposedly, it can be rooted through the network setup). But there isn’t really much space (2 gig’s?) on the GTV100 model, so it’s really not worth doing. And, though it has the ability to install and run android apps from the google play store, there are a lot of popular apps that aren’t compatible. One of the popular apps I was hoping it could run, was Kodi. It says it’s not available for the GTV100 model, and side-loading these apps doesn’t work either. But I did sort of figure out a work around for Kodi!

So, it has a few limitations, though it’s great for streaming movies and TV from many of the services I mentioned before. And, it’s fine for surfing the web with the google Chrome browser. I do recommend however, connecting a wireless keyboard and mouse, because the remote/keyboard combo it comes with, can be a little tricky to use for browsing.

Do you also have a Raspberry Pi 3 or 2?

img_5479.jpgSo, what does this have to do with the Raspberry Pi 3? Well, if you have one of these NeoTV boxes, you can connect the Raspberry Pi to the HDMI IN and can set it up as a generic video source to run on the TV box. The picture on the right shows it running on my TV. It worked pretty well on the Raspbian OS.

Watch this video to see how I set it up.

Note: You will need a separate mouse and keyboard connected to your Pi to control things on it, just like you normally would, because the NeoTV Prime remote wont work on the Pi this way.
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With everything off, plug the HDMI cable from the Pi, to the HMDI IN on the NeoTV box. Plug the HDMI OUTcable from the box to an HDMI source on your TV. Turn on both to boot them up. Turn on your TV and go to the HDMI output source where your NeoTV box shows up on your screen.

Go to setting on the NeoTV menu. Choose Video Input in the list.
On the next screen, choose Generic video source. Then under Setup media device, if you see the feed from the Pi, choose Next.
The next screen tells you that the generic video source is not controllable with the NeoTV remote. Just choose ok. It will go back to the Setup media device screen, and you should still see the feed from the Pi again, and choose Finish. Then push the blue home button on the NeoTV remote to go back to your menu. Then to view and interact with the Pi, select the Live TV app, in the menu. You should see the Pi in full view. On mine, the screen for Kodi goes a little past the edge, but I am fine with that. Then use a mouse and keyboard, to use it. You can remove the Pi from the video source by going to the menu and under settings, choose Video Input and just follow the instructions on-screens to remove it.

Now, what you do with that, is up to you! I really just wanted to see if it was possible and it worked. And here is my “work around” for getting Kodi to work on the box. I installed LibreElec on an SD card and ran it on the Pi, connected to the NeoTV  Prime box. Though I did notice a little decrease in video quality and the screen size went just a little past the edges of the screen.

Anyway, it’s been fun! Good Luck!