Rolling your Own Raspberry Pi with TelemetryTV

Sometimes you want some pi

Gersham Meharg avatar
Written by Gersham Meharg
Updated over a week ago

Use TelemetryOS Instead

This guide is for people wanting to build their own RaspberryPi with the TelemetryTV media player. We recommend that you generally should use TelemetryOS for Raspberry Pi instead of rolling your own. TelemetryTV can't support issues you may have configuring or managing Raspbian.

Rolling your Own Raspberry Pi Installationg

We require the Raspberry Pi 4 with at least 2GB of RAM (4GB Preferrable). Older Raspberry Pi's will not have enough processing power to handle things smoothly. See Raspberry Pi 4 Notes section of this doc for more details.

🚨 Please note: Raspberry Pi should only be used for simple, static content due to performance limitations. As this is not a recommended device, we will not officially support it. Please see our hardware page for recommended options.

Basic Configuration

To have a basic configuration for the Raspberry Pi 4 and reliably run TelemetryTV you’ll need to follow the following steps:

  1. Install your Raspberry Pi with the latest Raspbian and make sure it’s up to date with all of the packages.

  2. Make sure you’re able to SSH in to your Raspberry Pi in order to configure it if you wish.

  3. You need to set Chromium to start up in kiosk mode with the TelemetryTV Progressive Web Application. To do this: as root edit /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart to be as follows:

@lxpanel -profile LXDE-pi

@xset noblank

@chromium-browser --autoplay-policy=no-user-gesture-required --use-gl=egl --disable-restore-session-state --noerrdialogs --kiosk

4. For better video performance you need to disable the compositor in X Windows. As root run raspi-config and go to Advanced Options -> Compositor and set the xcompmgr composition to be disabled.

5. Reboot and your Raspberry Pi should boot right into the TelemetryTV Progressive Web Application and you’ll then be able to pair your screen.

☝️ Please note: Using TelemetryTV as above is for advanced users only since the Raspberry Pi is for people who know Linux and how to hack the hardware. We don't recommend doing the above unless you know what you’re doing on the platform. We cannot support you in your use of Rasbian or Linux in general.

Optional Provisioning

The above configuration will pair your Raspberry Pi. In order to create a SD card image that you can duplicate and use on many devices you can set it up to do provisioning instead where there’s a pre-set URL that will automatically setup your device.

  • Replace the with a provisioning URL to provision the device automatically.

  • Find your provisioning URL in your account under Settings > Provisioning Tokens > Copy Provisioning URL

Raspberry Pi 4 Notes

  • Slower Pi’s than the 4 will not work well, you need at least a Raspberry Pi 4 for this to work reasonably well.

  • Even the Raspberry Pi 4 has limited performance and requires at least 2GB of memory to run Chrome (and thus TelemetryTV) well. 4GB is preferable and will speed up things slightly.

  • Due to this limited performance not all of your applications will display ideally, if you find that things are too slow you may need to upgrade to different hardware.

  • We recommend sticking to 1080p (1920x1080) resolutions if you’re displaying videos at all. 4k on the raspberry pi would be sufficient for images only.

  • You can experiment with two screens at once however performance will be limited and not suitable for all content.

  • SD Card write endurance is a problem for Raspberry Pi’s, you may want to look at using an overlay filesystem to deal with these issues (outside the scope of our ability to support). Otherwise you can experience SD card failures after lots of use 24x7 for extended periods of time.

  • Optionally consider using a Raspberry Pi 4 Compute Module along with an IO Board in a suitable case since this has EMMC storage instead of SD which is faster and doesn’t suffer from the write endurance issues of SD cards.

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