Smart TV, RPi, Processing, Arduino and Ambilight

Hi guys,

I’m not sure I’m in the right place to ask that question and I should probably go on a Raspberry Pi forum but maybe someone here can help me through anyway.

I recently bought a smart TV and I wanted to build an ambilight system.

I looked online for some similar project but I couldn’t find any that really fits my need. I basically found 2 types of projects :

  • The first one is to use a Raspberry Pi as a smart TV, to run a software in the background that analyses the data and send the result to an arduino that will control the LED
  • The other one is to intercept the data in between the source and the tv using HDMI or USB cables in order to analyse it and control the LED

My problem is that I don’t have any external sources using HDMI or USB cables because I’m mainly using App to get my content (Netflix, Youtube, Molotov TV…).

My question is : is there a way to connect a Raspberry Pi with an ethernet cable in between the TV and the Box to somehow capture some frames so I can then run a processing code to analyse the data and send command to the Arduino ?

Thanks in advance !

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What is the make and model of the TV? Some have an output HDMI/DP/DVI-D/VGA port if you’re lucky. It’s a feature on most commercial signage systems but I don’t know how prevalent it is in consumer TVs.

What is your “source”? Is it a box attached to the TV? Does it have output ports?

Some TVs run Android or Symbian. Maybe you could write an app that runs on the TV itself and crunches the images, then sends values over network. I don’t know if this is an option at all, but if it works it will be the easiest when it comes to extra equipment and cost. Will depend on what the TV OS allows you to do. Worth investigating the possibility.

If that doesn’t work, you’re gonna need hardware. The RPi does not have video input ports so you’re gonna need an extra device. The two main options are expansion boards with video input and USB frame grabber devices. You could get away with something cheap and low resolution for this application. As long as you can get it to show up as a webcam on the RPi it should work in Processing.

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The TV is a LG 55SJ850 and the first thing I did was to check for a video output but unfortunately there is none.

The source is an internet box attached to the TV. I don’t have it yet so I don’t know for the outputs. But even tho’ there would be outputs I do’nt think I can use them because I’m would not be using the video stream of the box to display the content but really the internet connexion with some on TV app like Netflix.

The TV is using WebOS, not sure I can code an app on that OS but I will do some research.

Thanks for the answer, I’ll let you know if I found some new informations. Have a good day =)