led or lcd displays ?


Active Member
Is there such a thing as an LCD or LED display panel (possibly scrolling) that fits in a 5.25" bay or a small external type that would sit on the tv ?

I am looking for something to use as a message waiting indicator or a tv show reminder etc.

PC is right beside the tv about 8' away.

Some of the bare bones options are still pretty expensive plus you have to do a fair amount of work to get a usable end result. Fot a little more money I would use a squeezebox from Slim Devices for your display. It is a network device that is already able to talk to HA equipment via xPL or through it's command line interface. As a bonus you get a high fidelity digital music player and IR interface. You might even be able to find an older model at a good price on ebay.

In any case I would use an LED or Vacuum Fluorescent display. LCD is OK for up close applications like telephones and security keypads but is not appropriate for across the room viewing.
For a little more money I would use a squeezebox
Not really a little more. The Squeezebox is $249 while a 20x2 VFD from Matrix Orbital (VK202-25) is $89.

You would need to supply 5 volts, put it in an enclosure (or get a drive bay kit), and connect a serial cable.
If anyone is interested in Linux, the lcdproc project supports all the above-mentioned LCD/VFD displays, including the ones with buttons. Out of the box it supports system status, and there are many free clients available that do various things (e.g. news ticker, music displays, stock tickers, etc) and interfaces in many scripting languages including Perl, Python, and Ruby for creating your own displays. The driver also supports LIRC and joystick input.
Thanks for all the info - lots to look at !

I wonder if there is a way to flash the Message Waiting Indicator on my phones thru HomeSeer and the HSP modem ?

mainLobby has a Matrix Orbital LCD plugin. You can route most any message through the plugin to appear on the LCD.