Watching your 3D printer on AndroidTV with OctoPrint

In my household, I have AndroidTV installed on every TV in the house, including the one in my office. I have also recently had to move the 3D printer to my basement due to all the noise and now working from home full time. I wanted a solution where I could start a print and be able to keep it on screen to make sure everything is going well, without having to watch it on my laptop or phone.

The solution that I can up with was quiet nice and works nice with an AndroidTV solution I’m already using for some of the cheap Foscams I use already.

The solution that I have is using OctoPrint, Logitech C270 webcam, an AndroidTV streaming device, and the excellent tinyCam PRO Android application.

The only things required are to have OctoPrint setup with a webcam, have an AndroidTV device, and install tinyCam PRO (or the free version on the AndroidTV device.

I am using the Logitech C270 webcam that is hooked up to OctoPrint, which uses JPEG output, not h264.

Once you have tinyCam installed, click on the triple bars on the top left to open the menu, and then select the “Manage cameras” option.

Navigate over to the “Add IP CAMERA, NVR/DVR”, which is on the top right. It might take some up, downs, left, right, right to get there, but it can be navigated with a remote instead of a touchscreen.

Put whatever you want into the name field. In my case, put the following in the remaining fields:

  • Camera brand: Generic
  • Camera model: Generic URL
  • JPEG/MJPEG/RTSP request: http://<octoprint ip address>/webcam/?action=stream
    • The URL is a combination of the URL / IP address you use to access OctoPrint from the web browser and the string you have setup in the Webcam section in OctoPrint
  • Protocal: Snapshot (JPEG)

You should now be able to go back up and click on the “Camera status” button and it should provide you the statistics of the video along with a screen of it. With that, you have it setup and can start using it to see what’s going on with your 3D prints from your TV.

The nice thing is, if you have multiple cameras around the house, like Foscams, this app works great with a huge amount of cameras. You can combine those into one viewing so you can see what’s going on around the house, if your kids left the garage door open again, while watching your 3D printer.

Some last thoughts I have on this would be to ultimately find a solution that would allow me to pull h264 video from the stream, instead of JPEG. While it works, it is a bit of a wireless bandwidth hog and it shows at times with jumping around. I haven’t dug too deep into it, but it appears there might be solutions with buying a nicer camera that does it natively or having the Raspberry Pi do the converting also, which concerns me if it cannot be offloaded from the CPU. If I find a low CPU way to do it, I’ll be posting the instructions here.

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