Published On: Thu, Feb 8th, 2024

World’s ‘Tiniest Television’ with just a 64×64 pixel screen goes on sale | Science | News

The world’s smallest television set which is less than an inch wide and comes with two teeny dials to change channel and volume has just gone on sale. While it cannot pick up broadcast television from the airwaves — such would be a miracle of antenna technology — the diminutive device can hold and playback up to 40 hours of video on its built-in SD card. The diverting little gadget is the brainchild of Akron, Ohio-based open-source electronics manufacturing firm TinyCircuits, whose mission is “to serve innovation in the maker community, build fun science, tech, engineering & maths learning, and spark joy.”

The new undersized sets are actually a spin-off from a previous TinyTV DIY model set.

Unlike their predecessor, TinyTV 2 (which measures just 1.4 by 1.9 by 1.0 inches) and the TinyTV Mini (0.94 by 1.0 by 0.86 inches) come pre-assembled and are packaged with a piece of conversion software to best format videos to play on the tiddly but full-colour screen.

With 8GB of storage but different screen sizes (216×135 versus 64×64 pixels), the TinyTV 2 can hold around 10+ hours of video, while the smaller TinyTV Mini can be loaded with up to 40 hours. The battery life for each is two and one hours of playback, respectively. Both can also stream video from a computer.

Alongside front-facing speakers, both models can even be controlled with an accompanying itsy-bitsy remote control — which is barely 1.5 inches long.

The casing for the current model is 3D printed, however TinyCircuits’ President Ken Burns told that, following the achievement of a funding stretch goal of $100,000 (£86,000) on Kickstarter in the last few days, future models will feature a injection moulded casing for a “much more polished finish” that will also help to bring costs down.

At present, both the tiddly television sets are being sold for about £42 ($49) each for the classic black and grey colour scheme, and about £51 ($59) for a version in a transparent plastic casing.

Explaining that the attraction of designing such scaled-down devices is the engineering challenge, Mr Burns admitted that he has loaded some cute cat videos onto his TinyTV 2.

He said: “I just want people to have a good time showing it off and having some smiles.

“We’re curious to see what our community does with it. We’ve had elementary school kids to people of age 74 love our original TinyTV.

“Our customers enjoy customising their gifts for their moms, dads, partners, and friends.

“It’s a fun afternoon activity to curate videos and redesign your desk space.”

READ MORE: Astronomers unveil world’s largest digital camera

With the new TinyTVs ready to hit the market, Mr Burns and his colleagues are already eyeing up their next pint-sized product.

Mr Burns told “We’ve got some ideas. One is potentially a colour version of the Thumby, using kind of that screen [from the TinyTV].

“We’ve looked into doing, like, little video jewellery, because again, it’s kind of an offshoot of this.”

He concluded: “It really comes down to what we hear from our customers, so we’re really engaged with what people say.”

More information on TinyTV2 and TinyTV Mini can be found on their Kickstarter page.

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