A PC-less 12"-15" digital picture frame? Anyone?

After reading DOZENS of DIY's explaining how to use an old laptop as a digital picture frame, I'm hoping someone here can provide a solution.

I have an old 14" LCD computer monitor that I would just LOVE to turn into a low-cost digital picture frame. But I DON'T have a spare PC, nor do I want to bother with "booting into Windows/Linux/etc" just to use it. If that were the case, I'd just build a PC out of spare parts for $20. I'm looking for an easier (and less bulky) solution.

I've seen DIY projects that turn small handheld media players into tiny digital picture frames, but the screen is typically no bigger than 1.5-to-3.5 inches. I can buy a *working* 3.5" DPF for the same price... not that I'd want one... with far less hassle. I'm looking to use the screen I've already got (spare it from ending up in a landfill), not buy something I don't want nor need.

Maybe there's a way to connect one of these tiny media players to a bigger screen? Or maybe there's another way to display photos using something other than a PC that I'm unaware of?

With all the old LCD monitors going into the trash, it seems a simple "box" that can plug into any old monitor to display photos, might be a very desirable device.


PS: I'm a "computer tech" of nearly three decades, so I already know the "complexity" of what I'm asking. Thanks.

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Goodhart9 years ago
Have you looked into the possibilities with Arduino ?
Last_Liberal (author)  Goodhart9 years ago
Interesting. First I've heard of it. But it does not appear to have any sort of video interface, which would be the most critial component here. :)
Yes, you would need to add a bit of hardward to the Arduino, here are a few ideas... or it is possible to interface with a C64 (Commodore 64) (or other small computers) or you can check out another person's question and answers he got at this link here, which is similar to your question...
Last_Liberal (author)  Goodhart9 years ago
Definitely on the right track, but this seems to expect a rather lorez (320x240) screen for output, and I'm looking to drive a large LCD. It seems the Arduino would require another "computer" of sorts just to support the display (then the Arduino would control the computer). At that point, we're on the wrong track. :( Thanks for the ideas though. Keep 'em coming.
Well, there are some really small computers too, that may be useful. Instead of the C64, do you think a TI/99 would work (Texas Instrument)?
Last_Liberal (author)  Goodhart9 years ago
Just read about the "SanDisk Digital Photo Viewer" in another Instructable. This is VERY close to what I'm looking for. Now, if I only I can figure out a way to convert the RF output to (at least) VGA.
You may need to look into a dedicated chip, like this one featured in Electronic Design
Last_Liberal (author)  Goodhart9 years ago
The "VGA" referred to in that story stands for "variable gain amplifier" and not "video graphics adapter". :( From what I've read, the (discontinued and now rare) SanDisk player also supports/supported S-video output. I noticed my own (c.2001) LCD monitor has an S-video jack on it, so if I were to come across an old LCD with S-video input on it, that would solve (almost) everything. Sadly, there's no way to convert S-video to VGA (or DVI). Can't understand why SanDisk discontinued the device.
> ... no way to convert S-video to VGA ...
. It's not exactly cheap, bit it is possible.
Well, if you can't find one new, there is always eBay :-)
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