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Submission + - How to create my own local TV channel? 3

ljw1004 writes: I want to assemble my OneDrive-hosted mp4s into a "TV channel" for my kids — so at 7am while I sleep in, they know they can turn the TV on, it will show Mr Rogers then Sesame Street then grandparents' story-time then two hand-picked cartoons, and nothing for the rest of the day. How would you do this? With Chromecast and write a JS Chrome plugin to drive it? Write an app for FireTV? Is there any existing OSS software for either the scheduling side (done by parents) or the TV-receiver side? How would you lock down the TV beyond just hiding the remote?

(Why? Because there are good worthwhile things for them to see, but they're too young to be given the autonomy to pick them, and I can do better than Nickeloden or CBBC or Amazon Freetime Unlimited. Also being kids they turn everything into limits-testing and I don't think they're gaining at this stage by testing limits on TV time.)
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How to create my own local TV channel?

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  • Compile the video into one file, put it on a USB stick or portable HDD, and show them how to play it back on whatever. Or, get a rewritable DVD and make them a DVD. You don't need to be a 'television station' for one viewer.
    • A folder of sequentially-numbered video files on a USB thumbdrive should work with many smart TVs, as well. If you're worried about damage to the TV, or access is difficult, get a small unpowered hub and stick it somewhere child-friendly. Or create a private Roku channel. That's probably the simplest method, since it'll add a shortcut to any Roku smart TV home screen which launches a glorified playlist.
      • Even non-smart TVs have media players, like the 39" Samsung I bought for myself. The media player in it works remarkably well and I'm rather impressed with the container formats and codecs it's able to handle. Rather than having to transcode to mpeg-2 for TiVo playback I can just put whatever on a flash drive or external hdd and plug it in to the TV.

All laws are simulations of reality. -- John C. Lilly