TinyCircuits Tiny TV 2 Is a Teeny Televisual Triumph

Arduino Electronics
TinyCircuits Tiny TV 2 Is a Teeny Televisual Triumph

TinyCircuits are no strangers to crowdfunding, with successful campaigns going back as far as 2015’s TinyDuino, and as recent as last year’s keychain-sized console Thumby. They have even offered a tiny TV before, so what makes their latest Kickstarter campaign unique? We went hands-on with a pre-production prototype to find out!

Yashusi Enari’s original MAME-TV (“BEAN-TV”)

The original Tiny TV was a kit, which evolved from TinyCircuits customer Yashusi Enari’s 3D-printed MAME-TV televisions, developed around the TinyScreen+ Arduino-compatible OLED display. For $75 you got a battery-powered “TV” that plays videos from a MicroSD card, plus a remote in case you don’t feel like getting up to change “channels”…or…picking the TV up to change channels?

Yo, we heard you like tiny TVs…

TinyTV 2 brings a new higher-resolution 135×240 IPS TFT display, vs. 96×64 in the original, a USB-C connection rather than microSD, and best of all, is preassembled in a delightfully retro case, vs. the plain white enclosure of the original kit. Backers pledging at the $49 level get the fully assembled TV 2, and can add an infrared remote for $10 more, allowing them to bypass the channel and volume knobs on the front of the unit.

A teeny tiny terminal too!

Given their successful fulfillment of prior campaigns such as Thumby and Tiny Arcade, and that this project relies heavily on existing products and technologies, the chances of successful delivery seem high, pending any challenges from still-ongoing parts shortages. While the TinyTV 2 may seem like a relatively simple collection of existing pieces, its sum is far greater, resulting in a delightfully whimsical desk item, or using their special software, a hilariously impractical yet overwhelmingly adorable external display.

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David bought his first Arduino in 2007 as part of a Roomba hacking project. Since then, he has been obsessed with writing code that you can touch. David fell in love with the original Pebble smartwatch, and even more so with its successor, which allowed him to combine the beloved wearable with his passion for hardware hacking via its smartstrap functionality. Unable to part with his smartwatch sweetheart, David wrote a love letter to the Pebble community, which blossomed into Rebble, the service that keeps Pebbles ticking today, despite the company's demise in 2016. When he's not hacking on wearables, David can probably be found building a companion bot, experimenting with machine learning, growing his ever-increasing collection of dev boards, or hacking on DOS-based palmtops from the 90s.

Find David on Mastodon at @ishotjr@chaos.social and to a far lesser extent on Twitter at @IShJR.

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