At the start of every episode of The Simpsons, the family races to the sofa to watch TV. Redditor buba447 recreated that retro television set. But it’s not just a DIY model, because it plays episodes from the first eleven seasons at random and even has working knobs.
The episodes always play, giving the mini a classic “always on” TV experience, hearkening back to the halcyon days before streaming.
The TV’s shell was created with a 3D printer, but getting the television to work and play old Simpsons episodes was a bit more complex.
On Reddit, buba447 promises a how-to guide but provided this explanation for how it works in the meantime, explaining that inside was a Raspberry Pi Zero with a 32 GB and card. The Pi was connected to a 640x480 display and powered by a USB cable. The episodes were all compressed specifically for the screen. They were then loaded onto the SD card and then begin playing episodes at random. The speaker is a cheap, one-incher that buba447 salvaged from a dead piece of old hardware. The whole thing is impressive. Well done!
There are also other neat little details. The top button on the TV set, for example, turns the television on and off. It even mutes the volume to boot!
The Simpsons debuted in 1989, and the 11th season wrapped up in the year 2000. At that time, The Simpsons still featured this CRT television in the opening.
However, in 2009, the family got a new, modern HDTV, replacing the old unit. In current the opening, the newer flat screen falls off the wall, leaving exposed electrical wires.
“I will do a build guide soon as I can and post it back in here,” buba447 wrote on Reddit. “Might be a week or so.”
Until then, sit tight.