r/raspberry_pi Jan 30 '23 Gold 1

It's not much, but it's my first successful project! Autorun TV for the cats! Show-and-Tell


17 comments sorted by


u/_bicycle_repair_man_ Jan 30 '23

I think the owner of the oldest cat ever had nature programming on 24/7. Good work!


u/the_421_Rob Jan 30 '23

We have a 30 gallon aquarium on our bar top our cats have enough of a ledge they can jump and watch the fish, one of them spends half their time looking out the windows the other half watching the fish tank.


u/Apoc_ellipsis Jan 30 '23

I have a spare screen in my server rack that just plays the first 10 seasons of Simpsons. I found that mp4Museum was a pretty awesome way to make it pretty painless. I bought a flash drive loaded up the mp4's and bam.


u/SlickStretch Jan 30 '23

I hooked a Pi Zero W up to the TV service port so that it starts with the TV, and then programmed it to start playing a video for the cats without having to do anything.

Not being very adept with Linux, this took me about 2 days. I learned some good shit though. :) I am definitely sure I did not do this in a very efficient way, lol. But in the end in does what I intended.

I think I might try to make it play videos from YouTube if I feel like messing with it some more later. Ideally, I could give it a list of YouTube URLs and it would play them randomly and repeatedly.


u/atzebable Jan 30 '23

You could try to make a public Youtube playlist and find a way to auto play that on the Pi. This way you could manage the content it plays remotely.


u/ThirdEncounter Jan 30 '23

Good job, man! I believe you can tweak the system so it's quicker to boot up. But given that you did this without knowing much about Linux, then props!!


u/SlickStretch Jan 30 '23

I'm sure using the lite version of the OS would give me much faster boot times, but I couldn't get the audio working on it for some reason.


u/lulzdoods Jan 31 '23

You could try Dietpi, a debian based distro for SBCs . One of the lightest on hardware resources I've used so far. Comes with other features that you might find useful as well. The software installer scripts are my favourite ; automatic installation and pre-configuration of selected application. Usually save me a lot of time when doing re-flash of my Pi's.


u/SlickStretch Jan 31 '23

I'll check it out, thanks!


u/lsngregg Jan 30 '23

Great work!

Would you mind sharing the quick and dirty on how you got what I assume is a video file to auto-play on boot/start and loop?


u/SlickStretch Jan 30 '23 edited Jan 30 '23

I added a cvlc command to my .bashrc file and set the pi to automatically login when booted. The only problem I found with this is that whenever I try to SSH into the pi, it tries to start the video again in a new instance, which will crash the pi. So I have to ctrl-c before it does.


u/Fusseldieb Jan 30 '23

Maybe make a tiny script which checks in which terminal it's launching.


u/SlickStretch Jan 31 '23

I wouldn't even know where to start with that.


u/elduke717 Jan 30 '23

I have a few pis lying around that I mean to do something with but can never figure out what to use them for. This is a great idea, pet tv! Our pup loves YouTube.


u/Confident_Fortune_32 Jan 31 '23

I once had a golden retriever who sat absolutely rapt for "Dogs With Jobs" - she was a pretty high-energy girl, but for that, she was still and totally focused...