You know the feeling when you have stuff piling up on you, things you don't really need anymore but you can't just throw out or haven't gotten around to throwing out. Well that is the category my DVD player is in. It's a pretty good DVD player, a panasonic that I bought in 2003 when I first started buying my own DVDs. It probably still works well but it hasn't been hooked up for the better part of a year, it's twice as thick as the ones that have come out in the past 2 years, and it is just redundant as I use my PS2 as a DVD player.
I didn't want to just junk it since it does have some value. I figured I would possibly try to sell it but I suspect with the prices of DVD players I would probably get maybe 20 bucks for the damn thing. Not worth the effort. My third option ended up being the fun option. I am going to turn it into a PC. Since the player is so thick height-wise it wouldn't be very difficult fit the components in. The hard part will inevitably be, where to put them, keeping the components safe and stable but I am working on it.
First thing was first, I had to figure out how to open the damn thing. Machine drilled screws aren't fun when they make damn sure the screw won't budge without the torque of a car but I eventually got it open. I wished I would have thought of taking pictures of the painstaking process of gutting the DVD player of it's internals. All I can say about it is it wasn't that easy. What seemed like hundreds of latches, switches and tabs to deconstruct, I finally get every single piece of panasonic electronics out of there. At first I felt guilty about it but it was just collecting dust anyhow.
A couple of years ago I build a computer specifically designed to record television shows for me. I called it my mediabox and it was built before it became widely cool to do it. It was a nifty little machine that let me play super nintendo games on it using some extra software. One day that machine died and I hadn't messed with it since then. The actual computer inside of that machine was a very small 17cmx17cm (roughly 6 6/8" x 6 6/8"). It would be the perfect board to put into the DVD player for it's size. Here is a picture of the board next to my nokia N800 so you can see the relative size.
Here are also a few pictures of the pieces of the DVD player I am working with:
The front panel
Front panel (left)
Front panel (right)
Now there are a few thing for me left to do at this point. Before even figuring out the placement of the motherboard, hard drive, dvd player (yeah, it HAS to have a DVD player right?), etc, I have to wire up the front panel's buttons to correspond with the computer's on/off switch as well as the power light to make it functional. I am not sure what I am going to do with the Play, Stop, Pause, and Eject buttons but I am sure I can figure out something interesting. Anyway with trial and error and a little tape (because I don't want to solder/glue anything wrong) I got found the power button and one to use for a power light. Here is a picture of the wires taped on, which isn't very pretty:
It is functional and at some point those wires will be permanent. I will keep you posted on the status of this project and hopefully a buyer.