5 Raspberry Pi Digital Signage Projects You Should Try

Need to show a video in the window of your store? Want to show off your school or church to people who come to visit? Maybe you have a video ad you want to show us? No matter what, you don’t need to set up a PC or run it through a long HDMI cable to play it back.

All you need is a good display, a Raspberry Pi, and software for digital signage. Start with these five projects, which are good for people of all levels of skill.

1. What should be in a digital signage project

There are so many things that could go wrong with a digital signage project that it’s hard to list them all. But remote access is very important because it lets you make changes even when you’re not there.

To do this, it’s best to use a reliable, fast microSD card. If this isn’t possible and you’re using a Raspberry Pi 3 or later, you could set it up to boot from a USB device.

You’ll also have to decide if the project needs input from the people who see it. If so, make sure a mouse and keyboard are hooked up. If the Pi and the screen are going to be put in some kind of locked case, a touchscreen display might be a good idea.

Before you go any further, you should know that “digital signage” and “kiosk” are often used as synonyms. They both talk about using the Pi in a mode that locks it down. This can make it so that your audience can’t do anything but look at or use a single app.

2. Get ready for your digital signage project with a Raspberry Pi.

The projects listed below have different goals and sizes. Some are full disk images that can be used instead of Raspbian, while others are just simple programs.

To make your digital signage project work, set up your Raspberry Pi with:

If you’ve downloaded a disk image, remote access and automatic booting to the desktop may already be set up. But if you are installing the project yourself, you should take steps to make sure that these things don’t mess up your digital signage.

A Raspberry Pi is also needed. Any model can be used, and some might say that the Raspberry Pi Zero is the smallest, but the new Raspberry Pi 3B+ is the best choice.

If you’ve never used a Raspberry Pi before and don’t know how to set up a digital signage project, piSignage could be the answer.

piSignage is a paid service that lets you download an image of a Raspberry Pi disk that can be managed from afar with a dedicated user interface. You can add media files and put them in playlists so that your digital signage project keeps playing audio and video.

3. Schedules can be made in advance, and ads can also be added.

Unlike the other projects on this page, piSignage is a premium product that costs $25 for a single license. Depending on how big your sign project is, you may have other payment options.

PiPresents, which is described on its website as “a toolkit for making interactive multimedia applications for museums, visitor centers, and more,” is a more polished and feature-rich option.

It is a versatile tool that works with Python scripts. These could be used for things like graphical overlays or to run other software. On the home page, a list of successful ways to use PiPresents has been put together. This includes a permanent display in a hospital and a tool for showing photos sent by email.

PiPresents is hard to set up and needs a full installation of Raspbian to work; you’ll have a hard time getting it to run on Raspbian Lite.

Head to the PiPresents homepage to learn more about this digital signage tool for the Raspberry Pi, and check GitHub for instructions on how to set it up.

Raspberry Pi Digital Signage (RDS) is a full operating system for the Raspberry Pi that is based on Raspbian and must be downloaded and written to an SD card in order to be installed. It can be used to show different kinds of information.

This software can be used for projects like electronic signs, time management systems, and presentations made with Google Slides. The project can be set up through a web admin interface that supports video and sound. SSH is also turned on. Your digital signage project can be shown on the Chromium browser, which is the open source version of Google Chrome. Settings can be changed in the RDS admin screen.

RDS comes with a version of WordPress that makes it easy to run a website.

4. Time and weather on a Python slide show

This project, on the other hand, shows a slideshow with information about the date, time, and weather in the area.

Python Slideshow is easy to set up, and you can use your own images in the slideshow. Information about the weather, date, and time is easy to change. But before running, you should increase the video memory in the Raspberry Pi Configuration screen to 256MB. This will make sure that the slideshow doesn’t use up all of the resources on your Raspberry Pi.

One thing to keep in mind is that the script will play any image in the subdirectory, not just the ones in the pictures folder. You can easily add your own, but four strange photos (probably of the creator and a friend) are already there, so you should get rid of them before you use the project.

5. Use only Chromium

If you don’t want to install any extra software, you can use the Chromium browser that comes with Raspbian Stretch. By turning off the Raspbian screensaver by hand, you can make sure the digital signage keeps playing. In the meantime, you should change the file that starts up the Pi’s desktop environment to make sure the right web page loads.

Chromium can work with video and other media files, which makes it a good choice for basic signage projects with few needs.

Check out Dan Purdy’s guide on how to use a Raspberry Pi as a “kiosk screen” for digital signage to find out more.

Build a digital sign system with a Raspberry Pi today.

Even though there are many other ways to set up digital signage with a Raspberry Pi, we’ve listed a few that should work for most projects.

You can choose from one of five options. You should be able to get a Raspberry Pi project for digital signage up and running in just a few minutes. Pick from:

  1. piSignage
  2. Time and Weather Python Slideshow
  3. Raspberry Pi Digital Signage is shown by PiPresents.
  4. Or you can just use Chromium.

When you’re done, you can use your Raspberry Pi to show signs, videos, schedules, and more. Want to find other ways to use this small computer? Check out our list of the best projects for the Raspberry Pi.