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5 Brilliant Uses for Old TVs (Reuse & Repurposing Ideas)

Old TV on rough floor

If you have an older TV lying around, there are countless things you can do with it. Many older TVs can not be used for their original purpose—they are too old to use with our modern broadcasting technology (not to mention streaming). However, that doesn’t mean that you have to throw them away. Instead, you may want to utilize it for a DIY project like one of the options mentioned here.

Below, we’ve listed several of our favorite projects for you to try out on your older TVs. These range from extremely easy to difficult, so there should be something for every skill level.

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The 5 Uses for Old TVs

1. Audio Visualizer

Materials: Analog TV, Male-Male Stereo Cable, Music Player, Wire, Solder, Solder Flux, Electrical Tape
Tools: Screwdrivers, Soldering Iron, Dremel, Multimeter
Difficulty: Hard

You can turn an older TV into an audio visualizer using this plan, which lets you see what sound looks like. This TV can be a great décor piece near a stereo, especially if you like music. However, this does require rewiring a TV. Therefore, we only recommend it for those with some electrical know-how. However, the instructions are wonderfully simple, so even those with little knowledge may be able to do it.

The instructions were written for those without much experience, so they explain every little step in detail.


2. Clock

Materials: One Adafruit HUZZAH32 Feather, Micro USB, TV
Tools: None Specified
Difficulty: Very Hard

Turning a TV into an analog clock is more complicated than expected. This plan requires some electrical knowledge, as the instructions are written assuming that you understand basic terms. Therefore, it is quite difficult for those without any underlying knowledge already.

With that said, the final piece is quite cool, especially if you’re going for a vintage look. Therefore, it may be worth it, depending on your décor style. Just plan to spend a bit figuring out the instructions and obtaining the required materials, which are quite specific. 


3. Tiny House

Materials: An Old TV, Various Materials for Furniture
Tools: Depends
Difficulty: Easy

This is an easier plan that turns an old TV into a funky décor piece. With a bit of creativity, you can turn a TV into what is a small house. However, when set up correctly, this looks like a freeze-frame of a TV show. Therefore, this DIY plan can make your visitors look twice.

Plus, it is pretty easy to pull off. There are no electronics that you have to mess with. You mostly just have to remove the inside of the TV (very carefully!) and then replace it with your handmade furniture. Making the furniture is probably one of the more difficult parts of this project, but even that shouldn’t be too complicated.


4. Monitor

Materials: An old TV, (the rest depends on your computer setup)
Tools: Depends on your computer setup
Difficulty: Medium

You can also turn an older TV into a computer monitor. Generally, this is done by putting a new flatscreen monitor inside the old TV. While this does require a bit of work, it is pretty straightforward and easier than some of the other options on this list.

Keep in mind, we do recommend using a bigger TV for this purpose. After all, if you want it to be a practical ccomputer screen, you’ll want the screen to be larger than your average, older TV. Therefore, this project probably won’t work for all older TVs.


5. Ambient Light

Materials: Old TV, 12v DC Power Supply, 5A Step Down Converter, Banana Pi M3, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, Led strip WS2811
Tools: Wires, Soldering iron
Difficulty: Medium

This plan is a bit more difficult than others, simply because you need a lot of specific materials. Therefore, you’ll need to purchase and wait for many of these materials to be delivered, which can cost quite a bit. Therefore, this is something you need to consider before you decide to turn your old TV into an ambient light.

Furthermore, this works well for old TVs that aren’t that old. You probably don’t want to use an old box TV for this plan.

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Conclusion

There are a few different things you can do with an older TV. Because these TVs contain electronics, it does help to have some knowledge of electronics before doing any of these plans. Taking a TV apart can be complicated, especially since its capacitors can hold electricity for years. 

However, even if you have no electronics background, some of these plans are written simply enough that they can be done by just about anyone. Expect these projects to take some time, though, as many involve serious rewiring and reprogramming to achieve the desired result.


Featured Image Credit: Anete Lusina, Pexels

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