The Simpsons first aired, we were all using CRT televisions, many of which probably weren’t widescreen. Now the times have changed, but someone has created the classic Simpsons viewing experience using a small reproduction of the popular family’s own TV.
Reddit users buba447 posted a video of his replica Simpsons TV, which looks exactly like the TV found in the cartoon family’s home. It uses a 640-by-480 TFT panel and is housed in a 3D-printed casing. Inside is a Raspberry Pi Zero running Jesse Lite and a 32GB SD card containing 11 seasons of the show to watch.
Packing so many episodes on the small memory card was made possible by compressing them for this display and resolution. It is powered by a USB cable in the back and there’s a speaker on the base of the TV for audio output. The episodes play continuously and at random because buba447 said, “I wanted a classic ‘always on’ tv experience.” The two knobs on the front of the TV are functional, with the top one turning off the display and sound, while the bottom one can be used to adjust the volume.
One problem buba447 had to work on the fact the Pi Zero doesn’t come with the headphone audio filter, so the only way to officially get sound output is through HDMI. However, this limitation was overcome by rerouting sound through the GPIO using pulse-width modulation PWM.
Obviously, this project can’t be converted into a saleable product, but buba447 has said a guide will be designed so anyone can 3D print their own and set up a Pi Zero with audio output. Some Reddit users have recommended the experience would be improved by including ads from the same time period as the seasons, so we will see if it get a new update.