The fact that people watch so many video content on their phones has to be one of the main reasons why smartphone screen sizes have gotten so much bigger over the years. When people are so used to watching stuff on their large screen TVs at home, can you imagine marathoning Netflix shows on the original iPhone’s 3.5-inch screen? Yeah, not that fun. So why would anyone want a TV with a one-inch display? We’re not entirely sure, but they’re making it anyway in the form of the TinyCircuits TinyTV 2.
Billed as “the cutest way to watch your favorite videos and full-length movies,” it’s a miniature TV styled to look like one of those older panels from the 70s and 80s. No, it won’t receive over-the-air broadcasts like TVs of old, but it does have onboard storage you can use to fill it with any video files you want to play on the display.
The TinyCircuits TinyTV 2 has a one-inch color IPS TFT display with 216 x 135 pixels of resolution, so it probably won’t make for the most stellar viewing experience. Like we said, it’s styled like old-school CRT TVs, with the panel set up in cabinet-style housing propped up on four legs. It comes with two rotary knobs below the screen, each one controlling channel and volume, respectively, as well as a front-facing speaker grille between them. Since the TV doesn’t actually pick up OTA broadcasts, the channel knob instead functions as a way to navigate through the video content on the built-in storage, giving you a functional albeit inconvenient option to move through the content onboard.
There’s 8GB of storage inside the TV, which, the outfit claims, should have enough capacity to hold around 10 hours’ worth of video. It’s preloaded with video content known to be in the public domain, such as old TV programs, NASA videos, and fireplace footage, among others. If you’d rather watch something else, you can copy your own video files onto the TV via the built-in USB-C slot.
The TinyCircuits TinyTV 2 runs on a Raspberry Pi RP2040 processor, although there are no details on what kind of software they’re running on it. Do note, the onboard software can only play limited file formats. To ensure videos you’re loading are compatible, they offer a desktop software that you can use to convert your videos into a format compatible with the TV before transferring. It has an optional IR remote that you can use to “change channels” and adjust volume without having to fiddle with the TV itself, while the rechargeable battery is rated at up to two hours of runtime between charges, so you’ll probably want to hook it up to a USB power source if you want it playing continuously.
Sadly, there’s no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth onboard, so you can’t stream videos wirelessly. However, it does support streaming over USB, which you can do via an included mirroring software, so you can have the TV playing whatever is on your monitor.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the TinyCircuits TinyTV 2. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at $49.