iPad Vintage TV Remix: Repurposing an iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by sracer, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. sracer, Oct 10, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013

    sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    With each new generation of iPad released, there's a growing number of "surplus" iPads. For me, I still have my 1st gen, day-1 iPad1 (even though my wife has my iPad2 hand-me-down and I currently use an iPad4). Here's how I'm using it today:


    I gutted out a 1975 Philco TV and inserted the iPad to play vintage TV shows and commercials in a looping video playlist... a video digital picture frame of sorts.

    Project Details - if you want a step-by-step description of this project

    I've received many comments about this project so it appears that I'm not as off-the-wall as I thought I was. (well, maybe I am and simply have lots of company :)) I'd like to use this thread as a catch-all for other DIY'ers who want to try their hand at their own. I envision this thread being used for:

    • Sources for vintage TVs (no self-promotion please)
    • Provide assistance and directions for other DIY'ers
    • Images to use for backgrounds and lockscreens
    • ideas for "channel" line-ups
    • encouraging DIY'ers in their efforts
    • Post photos and stories of completed projects


    Sources (free, legal) for vintage programming

    iOS Apps for Video Playback
  2. mark34 macrumors 6502a

    May 18, 2006
  3. livebackwards macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2012
    Thanks for starting this.
    I am going to be heading out this weekend with my wife to start the TV hunt. I live in LA and there are a lot of shops out here that have old electronics, so I hope to get lucky. It may take a while as I don't want to sink a lot of money into this project.

    If that fails my parents may still have a very old BW TV that I use to use as a kid. I think it was 5". I may be able to use that and have the Ipad vertical inserted. I'll find out over the Thanksgiving holiday if they still have that. I really like the idea of using that old TV as it would bring back a lot of memories but I remember it being very small and the Ipad may be larger than the front panel.

    Until I find the TV I am working on channel line ups. I have a large DVD collection of movies and shows I use to watch as a kid that I have already used handbreak to convert for use on my home network.
    I have a Synology NAS that has an IOS APP "DS File" that can play almost any type of video file streaming over my network, which will work perfectly for this project. Aside from being able to play my entire movie and TV collection (close to 3 TB) I am currently creating specific playlists.

    I plan to have a mix of color and Black and White media.
    Right now my first finished channel is
    Monster matinee
    which consists of Godzilla 1954, Godzilla Vs Mothra, Godzilla vs King Kong a few ultraman Episodes, a few Johny Sokko and his Flying Robot episodes, Gamera the invincible, Gamera vs Baragon, King Kong, Mighty Joe Young, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms,and Destroy all Monsters.

    I am planning a few other channels that I have yet to properly name
    Retro Sci-fi which will have Twilight zone, the color version of lost in space, and a few old Sci fi movies
    Retro Horror a few Hammer classic movies, Universal horror movies, the Brain that would not die, etc
    Retro TV Batman and Robin, Star Trek, Battle Star Galactia ect.
    A Harryhausen channel
    A Retro cartoon channel (no Idea as I have to many too pick from)

    My wife thinks I am insane but eager to help and wants a channel line up for herself.

    This post got a little long in the tooth so I'll end it here for now.
  4. sracer thread starter macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    Great channel ideas, livebackwards!

    Streaming video from an NAS is a neat idea.

    a portable 5" TV will probably not work for the iPad. But depending upon the particular tablet, there are plenty of sub-$100 Android tablets that would work just fine. A 9" diagonal picture is perfect for the iPad though.

    One thing to consider in selecting a TV is, will the iPad's screen be accessible once the project is complete? With the Philco TV that I used, there's a smoked plastic cover that prevents me from using the touchscreen without removing the cover. The cover is easily removed and I could keep it off, but it adds to the overall look.
  5. Ladybug macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2006
  6. luminouslight macrumors 6502


    Nov 29, 2012
    Orlando FL
  7. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    Yeah, the Beav would think it's rather swell.
    (...was I the only one who noticed that?...)

    Anyway, to the OP: You may want to visit the good ol' Internet Archive, known better as home of the Wayback Machine; in their Videos section, they have some old programming that's fallen into the public domain. The link should take you straight to the Videos section.
  8. livebackwards macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2012
    My plan is to have a side loading configuration like you have so I can pull it out easily and use it else where if desired. I'd like have both side loading and screen accessible when in use but it all depends on what I find in my price range.
  9. sracer thread starter macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    Thanks for that reminder! I'm very familiar with archive.org and the wealth of vintage clips. I don't know why I hadn't mentioned it myself. I downloaded some of the drive-in movie intermission clips there to use during our summer backyard movie nights. Great suggestion! I'll start updating the first post with links to stuff like this.

    ah. Makes sense. But unless the body of the 5" TV is oversized, a full-sized iPad will stick out all over the place... or were you thinking about using an iPad mini?
  10. livebackwards macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2012
    No this is for Ipad 1. The wife would kill me if I went and bought an android tablet or Mini for this, and I wouldn't blame her :) .
    I am fairly certain the 5" is to small all around. It was just one of those "How awesome would it be...." thoughts.

    That is a great site and suggestion. I need to look over that site and see if they have that "Lets go to the Lobby" Animation they use to play in movies when I was much younger. If they do I'll be adding that to a playlist for sure
  11. dXTC, Oct 11, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013

    dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    There is an entire collection in the Internet Archive just for drive-in movie ads and intermission reels; something in there will probably fit your needs. I was just meandering around in it, and found the exact concession-stand ad that was playing on the screen when John Travolta was singing "Sandy" in Grease.

    EDIT: Here's a direct link to the Drive-In Movie Ads collection. These are perfect for sprinkling into playlists.

    EDIT, Part Deux: livebackwards, I do believe I found your "Let's All Go To The Lobby" ad.
  12. sracer thread starter macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    Updated the original post with links to resources.

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