Pi Video Player

Hardware components:
Raspberry Pi Model B
Will run the Video plying Python script and monitor button presses over USB serial from a Teensy/Arduino
× 1
Teensy/Arduino Nano
buttons to be connected to it and sent via serial to the Pi
× 1
Arcade style buttons
6 for choosing a programme to watch, 3 for play.pause, next & prev video skipping
× 9
ELI70-CR 7″ Touchscreen
with HDMI input for use with Raspberry Pi
× 1
Powered USB Hub
To provide power to The Pi, screen, Arduino/Teensie & Portable Hard Drive
× 1
2.5″ Portable Hard Drive
USB Drive for storage of Media
× 1
Adafruit Powerboost 1000C
Steps power up to 5v, charges batteries.
× 1
18650 Batteries
5000mAh, 3.7v in parallel
× 4
Software apps and online services:
Raspberry Pi Raspbian Jessie

Pi Video Player



My son’s 2nd Birthday has been and gone, however I have been looking for a project to make the perfect gift for him. He absolutely LOVES things like Peppa Pig, Despicable Me (in particular the Minion mini movies), and many, many more. At home, it’s all good- we have everything on DVD or on a USB stick on our TV. Whenever he goes to his grandparent’s house, however – they don’t have a USB port on their TV nor the extensive DVD collection he has at home or the ability to play from USB Sticks

What I plan to create is a Box that my son can take with him with all his media on, and provide a simple interface for him to choose what he wants to watch.


My initial thoughts to make this are:

Raspberry Pi-based:

I already own a Raspberry Pi so it is the perfect candidate for this project. It is highly configurable and has a HDMI out for easy connection to TVs. I contemplated using the A+ to conserve space but, as the project progresses I have realised there will be room to use a model B.

Python-powered GUI:

Python is a favoured language of mine, and am keen to become more proficient in using it.

The PyMedia library allows for easy video playing capability, and using TKinter/PyGame i aim to create a simple interface for it. I am also looking at PyOMXplayer.

I will run a python script on startup to compile a library of all the media stored on the attached storage, and then will have the Pi load the GUI immediately.

Arcade Buttons:

I will use some big arcade style buttons to allow my son control over what to watch. I aim to have a Python script monitoring buttons. Pressing a button will change the directory that the video player is sourcing it’s files from.

this way I can put a picture of a character on/around the button so he can press it to put it on.

forward, back & play/pause will also be available.

I may look to use an Arduino for buttons (and potentially sliders) and pass them to the Pi via serial. While interfacing with the Pi’s GPIO headers would be simpler, communication via serial plays more to my strengths, while allowing for analogue controls to be added at a later date (think volume sliders, pots etc)

Read More: Pi Video Player

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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