Raspberry Pi for SplashTiles

Raspberry Pi 4 or 3 can be used as a controller to display your SplashTiles Screens. The instructions below provide the setup to display a single Screen on boot as a browser class device (no SplashTiles Cloud remote control or scheduling). Technical users can add more functionality via our provided python scripting.

Maybe you would like Android?

Emteria offers free enterprise class Android distributions for Raspberry Pi!!

With Emteria on your Pi, simply install our Android App and you are good to go (all features including scheduling are supported)!
Emteria setup instructions

If you prefer to go with Linux, just follow the directions below.

Installing Raspbian OS

  1. Download Raspberry Pi installer https://www.raspberrypi.com/software/
  2. Write your SD card for Raspberry Pi OS, Desktop version
  3. You will need a USB keyboard/mouse for setup. Plug everything in and boot into the desktop
  4. Follow the setup prompts and update the software.
  5. The rest of the instructions can be done from a console using your keyboard. Otherwise you can enable SSH (under Preferences, Pi config) and use another device to complete setup.

Configure for SplashTiles

The recommended setup to is configure the Pi to boot directly into displaying one of your SplashTiles screens.

Install the unclutter app, which will hide the mouse cursor after a few seconds of inactivity:

sudo apt-get install unclutter

(Optional step) If mounting vertically, set the boot config to Portrait mode:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

and add

# Display orientation. Landscape = 0, Portrait = 1

You’ll also want to check and make sure that disable_overscan=1 and no other overscan configs are uncommented in this file. Save and quit when done.

Update your distribution and install Chromium

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install -y rpi-chromium-mods

Now you need to get the URL for your SplashTiles screen

  1. Please goto devices and create a browser token.
  2. Click on the browser token. This will take you do your Screen selection page. Click on the Screen you want to use.
  3. Your Screen will load with your Browser token included in the top bar URL. Copy that URL.
  4. Verify your URL is of the form https://splash-tiles.com/splashtiles/display.php?token=XXXXXX&slide=SLIDENAME

Finally, configure LXDE (window manager)

Force the screen to stay on, and load the Chromium browser running your SplashTiles screen on boot:

sudo nano /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart

and add:

@xset s off
@xset -dpms
@xset s 0 0
@xset s noblank
@xset s noexpose
@xset dpms 0 0 0
@chromium-browser --enable-features=VaapiVideoDecoder --ignore-gpu-blocklist --allow_running_insecure_content --noerrdialogs --incognito --autoplay-policy=no-user-gesture-required --check-for-update-interval=1 --simulate-critical-update --kiosk YOUR_SPLASHTILES_SCREEN_URL

Now reboot, and when the RPi comes back up, we should see SplashTiles running in full screen!

sudo reboot

Known issues

Video playback SHOULD work properly on Raspberry Pi 4b, at least for 1080p videos. However, you need to make sure video decode hardware acceleration is enabled in Chromium. You can check this be typing chrome://gpu into the browser bar.

Run your SplashTiles Schedules (optional)

Download and install our Linux Python app (on Github) to enable your Pi to automatically sync and play your schedules defined on Splash-tiles.com.

Turn the monitor on and off automatically (optional)

To turn the monitor on/off on a daily schedule, grab this script and put it in /home/pi/rpi-hdmi.sh. Next, make it executable:

chmod +x /home/pi/rpi-hdmi.sh

Now we’ll need to add a cron entry to call this script at the desired time, so open the cron editor:

crontab -e

And add the following lines at the bottom of the file:

# Turn HDMI Off (22:00/10:00pm)
0 22 * * * root /home/pi/rpi-hdmi.sh off

# Turn HDMI On (7:00/7:00am)
0 7 * * * root /home/pi/rpi-hdmi.sh on 

The first number (0) is the minutes and the second number on each of those lines (22 and 7) is the hour in 24 hour time. So in this example, the monitor would turn off at 10:00pm and back on again at 7:00am. Adjust the time for your needs.

Advanced plotting and remote control (optional)

Example of using Raspberry PI to send real time plot data to a free Splash-tiles.com cloud account (on GitHub)

Remote control example using Python for connecting to the NetPlay Cloud service (on GitHub)