Independant screen that can display a video

Hi everyone !

I am very new to the Arduino world so please forgive my lack of knowledge.
I was wondering if it is possible to have a screen (either LCD, or OLED …) that can display a video loaded from my computer to an included storage device (like SD card). Maybe it is possible to use a screen that doesn’t have an included storage device but couple it with an external one ?

The thing is that I would like to be able to have a short video playing continuously on the screen (just like the animated pictures in Harry Potter for example) without having thee Arduino device + screen connected to my computer.
The idea would be to upload the video to the SD card once and for all and then be able to walk around with the screen playing the video in a loop (I assume it would be possible to power the Arduino device with batteries).

Also, in the very best case, would it even be possible to have screens that could work in this way without using any Arduino device ? That would be more convenient to store in a frame for example.

I have found this screen that comes with an SD card slot but as I am new to this I’m not sure if it is capable of doing what I need :

Thank you all !

You need to do the math! How much data and how fast to you need the bytes that are stored on the SD card to be processed.

Let’s say I’d like to display a 1920 x 1080 pixel 15 sec video at a 30fps rate.
Would it be possible to display such a video on the screen provided in the link I uploaded in my previous message without using any Arduino card ?

Also I have been searching a little more and came up with this one :

I assume the screens need a Arduino board or equivalent to work but I’m wondering if it is possible to do the job without using any (maybe using a tiny processor ?)

Thank you !

You have not done the math. 1920 X1080 is how many pixels? Is this color or black and white? How many pixels will be stored in one byte? Or if color, how many bytes will be required for a color pixel? The answer times 30 gives you the number of bytes that must be processed per second. Can you read that many bytes from a SD card in the time for your display? Can you store that many bytes in an Arduino memory?

Okay I understand better !
But before going into that calculation I first need to know if I’ll be able to use the screen independently from Arduino (I mean powered by battery + process with else than Arduino) with the video stored in its memory. If it is not possible all of this will be pointless for me.
Do you (or anyone) know(s) if such a thing is possible ?

The description says it is for use with a Raspberry, what does that tell you about the minimum requirements?

Yes indeed you’re right. It does say it is for use with a Raspberry.
But then, I do not understand the use of the SD slot it comes with. What is it for ?

I can see nothing that says it comes with an SD card slot - where have you seen that?
The display is based on HDMI how were you planning on producing an HDMI signal from an arduino?

If you click the first link you can see the reverse side of thee LCD screen in the images. There you can see the the SD card slot.
Here is the link again : 3.5 inch tft color display screen module 320 x 480 support uno mega2560 geekcreit for arduino - products that work with official arduino boards Sale -

Also, I was not planning on producing an HDMI signal from an arduino but I was wondering if it was possible to store a video in the SD card (that goes in the SD card slot) so the screen could directly read from the card without having to use arduino.

The first link shows the SD card slot LCD screen but according to what is said in the specs it cannot be powered by batteries. That is the reason why I came up with the second link that shows a screen that can be powered by batteries (Read Q&A) which would allow me (again if it is possible to read a video directly from a SD card) to play a loop video on the screen and just carry it around wherever I want while it does so.

In Arduino to use a TFT you need an MCU compatible with this environment, you program it and depending on its characteristics you can connect it to a powerbank so that you can take it wherever you want.

There are screens that can do what you propose, they are not like the ones you have indicated, they are not cheap, however with a little effort and conscientious savings, I think you could get one of them.

I leave you this advance of my project, it can play video from a miroSD memory, it is a 3.5 "TFT NHD FT813, with a teensy 4.1, powered by a powerbank. This is the library I have been working on: https: //

The latest update can read 64 or 128 Gb memory through the SdFat beta library

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These days, even the Flintstones use smartphones and tablets, I think.

A cheap smartphone should be able to provide what you are looking for.


Added: or look for a media player. I once bought one that is taking dust (used once only).
It looks like this one: 4.3 inch high definition 8G MP4 touch screen+buttons mp4 MP5 player with game authentic ebook reading dictionary function|mp4 touch screen|mp5 playermp4 mp5 player - AliExpress

Thank you very much TFTLCDyg !
That is exactly the answer I was looking for.
May I contact you privately to ask a little bit more ?

The media player is indeed very interesting. It offers many features and only costs 30$.
I think I might get myself one and study it to see how they managed to do that with a price so cheap.
Thank you very much Jean-Marc !

It’s pretty simple.

It is designed for that specific purpose and mass produced. Something that putting together an Arduino and a screen is not. :roll_eyes:

Could you please explain how it works ?

Hey but the fellow alamdarh asked within a forum for arduino. For what reason do you lower your arms before?. The arduino IDE can do it, only it has not been easy to find the parts and libraries capable of achieving it.

In the arduino IDE you can do what alamdarh asks, only that we have been immersed in the common TFTs, those for their target market are limited to certain actions and very elaborate libraries, which are very appreciated, they have been created by the users of the forum, but still not able to continue to play sequences of frames at a decent speed and less with audio in correct sequence. There are some examples on the net, but they are limited to the multimedia file of the example, with libraries that only a C language expert can decipher and are unfortunately only examples. There is no recipe to follow them step by step.

I don’t want to sound patronizing, but the question that alamdarh asked, I asked myself a couple of years ago and no one could give me an answer or give me a way forward; these days that I have read the question, I went back a few years to the past and I found myself asking the same thing, I am glad I have an answer to offer.

It is good that there is a hardware capable of doing it, but the pleasure of achieving it by own means in the IDE’s arduino , is priceless.

A private message is not necessary, I think you can respond by following this thread, in case someone else is encouraged to follow the recipe hehehe.

In the same way, and incidentally, we resolve as a group some doubts that still persist, perhaps some curious eyes could help to improve the steps. I don’t consider myself an expert, just a simple arduino-hobbyist.

Hey TFTLCDyg thanks for your answer !
I’ve seen you’re from Spain and Mexico, me encata mucho hablar con gente de España y Mexico que son países que tienen un lugar en mi corazón.
I’d like to really start working on this project but as I said and to be fully honest I really have no experience.
I think I will start by getting the right screen, a MCU, a SD card and some batteries.
You told me that the Arduino IDE can do what I’m trying to do. Does it mean it can upload a program directly into the MCU (Teensy for example) or do I still have to get an Arduino board, at least at the beginning, to get the program uploaded into the MCU and then I can get rid of the Arduino board ? (I don’t mean to throw it away though haha)

If you like, we can follow the topic in this thread, there is a history of this same topic and perhaps something can help you with the doubts you have.

Summarize a bit the adventures with TFT’s hehehe for some years.

Y en español para entendernos mejor.