When I came here to this room I found this old big tv laying around. Old but perfectly functional.

First I put a tv cable on it with hundreds of channels but after one month I realized that mostly of them are crap and I was watching everything on my laptop (mostly shows from Netflix and BitTorrent). Obviously I wanted to connect my laptop video output on it.  As an old television it doesn’t have any HDMI port. It have a RCA video and audio ports so after some research I bought a VGA-to-RCA converter. Besides watch movies on it there is a lot of cool things I could do with it to decorated the room or create a environment while we are jamming.

In this article I’ll show how to create a fireplace.

You will need

Getting a high definition fireplace video

You can search in Youtube for high definition fireplace videos.

There is a lot of ways to extract the videos from Youtube and it’s not the point explain it here but I can say one the best ways today is using JDownloader. Using it you can extract sound and video in any available resolution.

Choose a fireplace video and download the highest resolution available (usually 720p). Here I stored it at /home/silveira/Videos/fireplace_hd.flv.

Screen layout

I’m using the TV as a second display in the right. The width of my laptop monitor is 1920.

Creating a shortcut

First, right click in the upper panel of Gnome and select Add to Panel.  Select the Custom Application Launcher option.

Let’s fill it like this:

On the command put:

/usr/bin/mplayer /home/silveira/Videos/fireplace_hd.flv -nosound -loop 0 -geometry +1900+0 -fs

Explaning:

  • /usr/bin/mplayer the mplayer full path (probably you have the same path but you can try “whereis mplayer” in a terminal to find it).
  • /home/silveira/Videos/fireplace_hd.flv as I said, where I put the video.
  • -nosound no sound. :) Usually I have some music playing so I don’t want any fire sound. But if you want  the fire crackling sound omit this parameter.
  • -loop 0 the video I took have 10 minutes. If I put -loop 6 it would loop for 1 hour. Zero means infinite times.
  • -geometry +1900+0 you can specify the size of the screen and position but here I’m justing saying I want it on horizontal position 1900 (bigger than my first screen) so it goes to the tv.
  • -fs fullscreen

Now drink the wine and cheese in front of your low carbon footprint fireplace.  ;)

Bonus

Now you can use the same idea and make an virtual aquarium, ant farm, an interactive art piece or anything!