Portable Emulator System: Help

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Portable Emulator System: Help

Postby OrdinaryMadness » January 21st, 2013, 1:20 pm

Greetings all - This is my first post to Hackaday, although I have been visiting the site for years..

Let me first start off by giving you a basic idea of what I have and what I'd like to accomplish:
Recently, I bought a portable dvd player from a 2nd hand electronics shop for $7.00...I didn't have any plans for it when I purchased it...just saw a $7 price tag and a lot of useful components. I got to thinking about it, and the screen is actually pretty nice on this thing so I figured I could make a handheld system of sorts.
As a bonus, the unit has a built in USB-input and Media Card Reader, which I figured might be helpful for what I'd like to do...which is essentially use the LCD screen, the usb and card readers and the main driver chip from the dvd unit to build some sort of handheld emulation device.

I understand that I would have to load new firmware or some sort of Linux based system on the driver chip itself and I was wondering if anyone could get me going in the right direction with this.....Is there a way to install linux to a component such as a portable dvd player?

What would be the most efficient, productive way to go about this? I really want a multi-platform, handheld emulation device...and I don't want to buy one. I'd like to make it myself.

Here are the specs to the portable dvd player:
(I'd also like to know anything I can about this device's board, their website lists minimal info. I emailed them to see if they will send me a more detailed spec sheet just about the board, etc)

"SuperSonic"
SC-178DVD

-7” Widescreen LCD 180° Swivel Display
-USB Input Compatible
-SD/MMC/MS Card Reader Compatible
-Disc Format: DVD/VCD/CD/SVCD/
-CD-R/CD-RW/JPEG Compatible
-Resolution: 480 x 234
-Screen Mode: 16:9 and 4:3
-Built-in Lithium Rechargeable Battery
-Power AC Adapter for Home Use
-12 Volt DC Adapter for Car Use
-Audio/Video Output Jack
-Headphone Jack
-Built-in Speaker
-Full Function Remote Control
-UL or ETL Approved Adapter

(literally the only information about this product given on the company's website)


ANY help would be appreciate greatly - - Thanks!
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Re: Portable Emulator System: Help

Postby UAirLtd » January 21st, 2013, 3:03 pm

Unfortunately, I have to break it to you that it is almost certainly not possible to run ANY linux or 3rd party OS on that portable DVD player to the extent that you'd be able to use it for handheld device emulation. DVD players at that cost are typically very basic, and consist of some special-purpose chips and don't resemble a computer at all.

Some modern portable DVD players might resemble computers - I'd not be surprised if there are a few Android-based portable DVD players on the market right now.

However, perhaps the screen can still be used to act as the display of an actual (small) linux device?
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Re: Portable Emulator System: Help

Postby OrdinaryMadness » January 21st, 2013, 3:21 pm

That's really what I figured. I also figured I'd just ask the pros and get a straight answer, rather than tinker around and waste a lot of time.

Thanks for the info! -- I'll update with more questions/concerns as I go....i WILL build it!....even if it takes me to my grave....

Any suggestions on what kind of board I might want to try? I'm thinking an Arduino...but I want to see if anyone else has suggestions on something more basic...
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Re: Portable Emulator System: Help

Postby MartinsElectronics » January 21st, 2013, 4:17 pm

consider using the raspberry Pi, thats a linux capable board, and if you have a video input to your dvd player you could plug it straight in. simples lol

regards
Alex
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Re: Portable Emulator System: Help

Postby OrdinaryMadness » January 21st, 2013, 4:43 pm

MartinsElectronics wrote:consider using the raspberry Pi, thats a linux capable board, and if you have a video input to your dvd player you could plug it straight in. simples lol

regards
Alex

LoL...That would be WAAAAYYYY too simple!...If I didn't go through the motions of destroying other electronics along the way to build my frankengameboy I'd feel like I didn't really accomplish anything at all!

But seriously, thanks...I'm looking into it....
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Re: Portable Emulator System: Help

Postby MartinsElectronics » January 22nd, 2013, 10:15 am

your right it does make it simple, however there are a lot of things that could be done with Pi and its cheap ($25 or so).

You could tho, given a lot of time hack a router, open wrt, but then you would need to add a gpu which is what would take the time. although i guess you could cheat a little here, and make a board up to take terminal serial singles and stick them on a screen, ok you will only have text on the display but its something to do i guess.

regards
Alex
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Re: Portable Emulator System: Help

Postby MS3FGX » January 27th, 2013, 12:25 pm

OrdinaryMadness wrote:Any suggestions on what kind of board I might want to try? I'm thinking an Arduino...but I want to see if anyone else has suggestions on something more basic...


Not sure what kind of game console you think you could emulate with an Arduino...even an NES would be many times beyond its capability.

Like already said, a Raspberry Pi is certainly the best option for a project like this.
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Re: Portable Emulator System: Help

Postby Osgeld » January 27th, 2013, 5:07 pm

MS3FGX wrote:Not sure what kind of game console you think you could emulate with an Arduino.


pong,Magnavox Odyssey, whole bunch of very early arcade games like night driver or stunt cycle
:D
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