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DLP® Pico™ Display Projector EVM-BeagleBone Black - Review

Scoring

Product Performed to Expectations: 10
Specifications were sufficient to design with: 10
Demo Software was of good quality: 10
Product was easy to use: 8
Support materials were available: 9
The price to performance ratio was good: 9
TotalScore: 56 / 60
  • RoadTest: DLP® Pico™ Display Projector EVM-BeagleBone Black
  • Buy Now
  • Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools
  • Was everything in the box required?: Yes
  • Comparable Products/Other parts you considered:
  • What were the biggest problems encountered?:

  • Detailed Review:

    INTRODUCTION

    First of all, Thank You Element 14 Community to give me this awesome opportunity to RoadTest yet another awesome peace of hardware This time specially not only for the device to review but also the included BBB with pre configured hardware that made my life So Much simpler.

     

         So, What is DLP® Pico™ Display Projector EVM ?

            - Well it is a Pico Projector Evaluation module by TI which features

                  - DLP2000 .2 nHD DMD

                  - DLPC2607 display controller

                  - DLPA1000 PMIC/LED driver

                  - up to 30 Lumens Brightness

             - It is capable of projecting a 640 × 360 px  Which is awesome for a DIY projector

     

         Thanks to Element14 Community, With the kit we not only got the EVM but also a BeagleBone Black SBC with preloaded software Yayyy ...

    For full INFO on device Please CLICK HERE

     

    DMD ??

    A good Question I had was What exactly is a DMD and how does all the stuff fit and work on this small form factor ?

    DMD is simply a Digital Micro Mirror Device which is simply an array of MEMS based mirrors which flick at a very high speed to on and off the pixels.

    The light source has a colour wheel that rotates so that various colours are generated

     

    CLICK HERE for a Video Link of TI's DMD Technology

     

    Ti uses a .2 nHD DMD device with a resolution of 640x360 px which is enough for a great display but as it is low res expect BBB to chop off some GUI on using the Desktop MODE.

    FOR Datasheet CLICK HERE

     

     

    The Light Engine

    The First thing that struck me was that beautiful small projector with a tiny focus knob So guess what I did , Well of Course I took it apart .

         IMAGE : BASE Board

     

    {gallery} LightEngine

    IMAGE TITLE: LightEngine Projector Lens

    IMAGE TITLE: LightEngine FRONT

    IMAGE TITLE: LightEngine BACK

    IMAGE TITLE: LightEngine to Cape Flex Connector

    IMAGE TITLE: With Little Light

    IMAGE TITLE: Display in Dark Room

     

    ::--     More Teardown is a matter for another Video for now I want to test this projector more. And I would like the Light Assy to be intact for then

     

    So after setting up the Bone and playing with it for a while, I was quite satisfied with the 30 Lumens as I was able to see the display clearly even with a small light source, and with pitch black, It was amazing.

    The Colours reproduction was simply awesome, and at about 2-3 Mtrs I was able to clearly makeup imdl pixels Here is a comparison of the displays with some light source and dark room taken at same wall, at about same distance.

     

    Setting UP

    Well, DLPDLCR2000EVM has it's own power source which was provided with the EVM it was a 5V 15W Power brick but you do also require to power the beagle bone or the host processor for the EVM to work.

    After the beagle bone provided booted up There was a Dummy Application screen displayed.

     

    BASIC SETUP

    The BEST part was that element 14 and TI included a Beagle Bone Black with preloaded software so all I had to do for setup was to

         1.     Connect the Bone to my Windows Based Laptop via the provided Mini USB cable (NOTE I tried on my MAC and LINUX based PC but I was not able to SSH)

         2.     Download Putty and using the IP 192.168.7.1 login into beagle bone

                 USID : debian

                PASS : temppwd

         3.     Type the following into the terminal

                   i2cset -y 2 0x1b 0x0b 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 i    

                   i2cset -y 2 0x1b 0x0c 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x1b i

         4.      After couple of Sec you will be presented with a Desktop

     

    NOTE : After every restart you gave to repeat the above to get the desktop

     

    In case of your own Bone follow THIS LINK FOR SETTING UP INSTRUCTIONS

     

    AUTO DESKTOP

    Next I wanted to set up my bone so that it automatically jumps to the desktop instead of the sample application.

    For that I followed the following steps :

         1.     Make a file called auto.sh

                   #!/bin/bash

                   i2cset -y 2 0x1b 0x0b 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 i              

                   i2cset -y 2 0x1b 0x0c 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x1b i

         2.     Edit the File parameters

                   chmod +x auto.sh

         3.     Edit the Profile file    

                   sudo nano /etc/rc.local

         and just before exit 0 add

                   . /home/auto.sh

         4.     Reboot

     

    NOTE There are 2 more ways of achieving the same

    1. Using CRON

    2. Setting a SERVIE or you can also REFER THIS

     

    SOUND SETUP

    Next I thought how to add the sound ??

    First of all the BBB doesn't have a direct sound output apart from HDMI, So I got a usb audio dongle, setup the ALSA command line FOLLOW THIS LINK.

     

    I did not had to install any additional ALSA Tools as mentioned in the link as the basic setup functionality is pre installed on Debian.

    Further, I had also not disabled HDMI Audio as suggested in link as you can specify the device while playing the video file.

     

    Here is my setup playing a small clip of One of my fav TV series Lets see who all can recognise this

     

     

     

    CONCLUSION

    This is a great kit for IoT Applications and has a great value part.

         DO NOT compaire this kit to a Projector as even in the above demo, as after proper scaling of the video also there was some issues with cropping of media.

         The Bone is not a very good media player So I was not able to play 720p videos without substantial frame loss.

     

    This is a very compact projector with loads of expansion scopes (as THIS LINK that tries to connect a Raspberry Pi to it ).

    You should have some experience with embedded linux based environment to truly unleash the potential of the device.  The on board DEMO is pretty much a dummy

     

    REFERENCES

    1. USER GUIDE

    2. QSG

    3. Product Page Ti


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