TV Control


I’m hoping you good folks will be able to help me with HA control of some TVs in the store I manage.

We have several TVs that we us for digital signage, and I’m trying to avoid paying for one of those subscription services because they’re all pretty expensive, particularly when we don’t change our signs very often. ANYway…

Like I say, our needs our basic. I want to turn a handful of TVs on and off via HA, and I want to control what they show. About half of them show a single image, and the other half will rotate between 3 images. These are all basically the menu of things we offer in the store.

HA will recognize all these TVs, but control is…spotty. Some of them I can turn off but not on. For most of them I can’t seem to control what they display at all (not even choose the input). It just doesn’t seem like I can really do anything with them.

Half the TVs are Samsungs, the other half TCL Roku TVs. I am able to attach a Chromecast to all of them if that gives more options.

I also might have access to some spare Logitech Harmony hubs if that seems like the only solution, but it feels more brute force.

I would greatly appreciate any help you good folks could provide here. I’m definitely banging my head against the wall because I can add every one of the TVs here to HA, but then I can’t do anything with them. A couple I can turn off…and that’s it.

Not much to go on.

Did you try Wake-On-Lan ?

I have yet to come across a full screen slideshow but there is background slideshow card. You could leave the dash empty and possibly use this to have a full screen slide show.


I had a same, but different thing when I was part of a model train club. They had a small LED TV stuck inside an enclosure that made it look like a drive-in movie screen. My requirement was to be able to walk into the audience area and control the display from my phone.

My solution: put a wifi router without internet connected, setup as DISPLAY_WIFI. Then, I put a raspberry pi onto the HDMI, loaded it with LibreELEC (a Kodi/OS on a USB stick), and connected it to the wifi. Kodi lets me play videos and creates picture slideshows from whatever files you place a folder. Kodi ALSO has an addon for CEC (what lets every Blu-Ray, DVD, and sound bar turn your TV on and off via the HDMI cable) and a remote control app.

I put LibreELEC on one USB stick and used another for all the videos/photos (media). The raspberry pi boots into LibreELEC. I used my phone to setup the playlists and a couple of add-ons.

One add-on automatically started whatever playlist I told it to, whenever LibreELEC was started (in this case, rebooted). Another app was a screensaver that killed the TV via CEC command at a certain time. Another was a reboot command that could be scheduled to reboot the computer at 8:55 am, thus kicking the CEC “turn on” command to the TV.

The “ah-HA!” moment came after getting tired of setting up a new playlist every time I updated the media USB stick. I realized that as long as I used the same number of movies or photos consistently, I could keep the playlists the same playlists by making my media files’ names numbers. I even went so far as to make “club photos” even numbered and “sponsor photos” odd-numbered, which ensured equal air-time. This actually came in handy once or twice, as a sponsor thought we weren’t promoting them as much as our club.

So, with my playlist being “media stick->01.mp4, 02.mp4, 03.mp4, etc.” I could change and update the media stick on a computer as much as I wanted, as long as I replaced the old files with new files having the same name. AND kept the same number of titles. If the playlist went looking for 04.mp4 and I stopped at 03.mp4, I’d get a 10 second message “MEDIA COULD NOT BE FOUND” in the middle of the TV

This has a minimal cost, in the long run. $100 initial investment, per TV. Maintenance is simple, once you know what you’re doing. Using the raspberry pi in this mode is rather like using a video game: grab the cartridge and go, with USB sticks being the new cartridges. If a stick goes bad, put a new one in your computer, fire up the “Create a LibreELEC USB stick” app, and make a new one. To upgrade the app, power off the pi, pull the LibreELEC stick, and then use the create app to erase/reuse the stick. To upgrade your media, safely take it from the pi to your computer and have away at it. LibreELEC is free, so no commercial licensing allowed!!

Hands-on instruction would literally be a 3-hour class, with you knowing everything you need to know done in the first hour.

Just a solution that I came up with.

Thanks for the ideas! That sounds like a really cool setup, I’d love to see pictures!

I’m not sure I can stomach the investment so I’m hoping I don’t have to go that route. There’s a total of 6 TVs that I need to control with this. 3 of these TVs are currently set up to display a single image, and the other 3 are set up with only 3 images that just cycle as a slideshow. At the end of the day, this project isn’t wholly necessary, so dropping over $600 on it is quite excessive! Especially when the alternative is taking 5 minutes of an employee’s time every morning. haha

I apologize if it’s not much to go on, but I’m happy to provide more information so that you have more to go on lol.

I haven’t tried that wake on lan. I kind of assumed that if the TVs showed up as available integrations, then I could…you know…do something - anything - with them. But I seem to be unable to do literrally anything with them. I thought I was at least able to turn one or two of them off, but I don’t seem to be able to do that anymore either.

I’ll look into the wake on LAN, but that only gets me half way there. I would need to be able to select an input as well. Ideally I’d be able to load the contents of an attached USB drive…

Thanks for the suggestion. I’m not sure that’ll work in my scenario, at least not for all the TVs, but I’ll think about this one. I still have the problem that I can’t actually control the TVs with HA, so putting a slideshow on it won’t help much in the end…

Then you will need to add a chromecast or android tv box. Then make a video, try obs studio, that displays the menu pages. Play the videos through chrome cast.