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Month: July 2016

Using a Pi to measure TV habits

As noted here, I’m using the the DirecTV SHEF API and a Raspberry Pi to poll my DirecTV receivers every minute and store what they’re doing into a MySQL database. After ~6 months of storing that data, I thought it’d be interesting to analyze some of it.  After all, do I really watch enough HBO and Starz to warrant paying for them every month? Channel Preferences 25,900 minutes of TV watched (~2.25 hours per day…eek; still less than the national average!). 2,612 minutes of that was recorded (10%). NBC is our favorite channel (3,869 minutes watched, 15%). E! is our second favorite channel (1,911 minutes watched, 7.37%). Gotta keep up with those Kardashians. Premium movie channels (HBO, Starz, Encore, Cinemax, etc) were watched 6,870 minutes (26.52%) – apparently worth the money. Premium movie channels were recorded only 571 minutes (lots of ad hoc movie watching, I guess). NBC is our most recorded channel (479 minutes) followed by HGTV (391 minutes) and ABC (330). Time Habits Sunday is the most watched day (no surprise here) with 7,157 minutes watched (28%) Saturday is the second with 5,385 (21%) Wednesday is the least watch with 1,144 (4.4%) April was our biggest TV month with 6,413 minutes…

Webcam Stream as Digital Picture Frame

I don’t have a quality window view in my office building and found myself checking the local news’ weather cams throughout the day so I thought it’d be cool to have a live outdoor view streaming to my desk.  Using a Pi 3, Pi Display, a case, and camera, I built a digital picture frame which streams a live video feed from my apartment window to my desk at work.  While going through the process, I hit a few hiccups and a ton of outdated resources online so I thought I’d share my learnings and provide documentation for anyone wishing to recreate. The following will setup a Pi to run Chromium in Kiosk mode on startup while silencing errors and hiding your cursor.  The assumptions made before beginning are that you’re able to SSH into both of the Pis and your Pis are connected to WiFi.  The guide I followed to setup my cam stream is solid so no need to re-invent the wheel – use this guide to setup your first Pi to stream your cam image.  The obvious callout is to make sure your stream resolution matches your display’s resolution.  The steps below will be for your picture frame Pi…