Cheapest possible Roon UI on a large screen

Hi,
I’m fairly new to Roon and full of enthusiasm. I was inspired by this video and I like the idea of having a large screen displaying what is currently playing and allowing me or my significant other to control the system. I don’t have any hardware laying around though and I would like to keep the budget as low as possible.

What I found out on my own:

  • Ropiee with a raspberry display - Nice as a remote but smaller than I would like and no way of picking an album directly
  • I could get a larger, read only display with a low cost monitor and a raspberry acting as web based display, but it would not Roon UI (at least that I could find)

Does anyone have a suggestion for the cheapest possible piece of hardware which could run a Roon UI? I’m open to anything from cheap Windows computers to android devices or anything else, the important part is that I can just hook it up, turn it on and have a full Roon UI on 20ish inches or larger.

I tried to find information in the forum but most posts seem to be about running the core, if you know of any existing threads please point me to them.

Thanks in advance for any idea.

There’s a third party app called TV:Remote for Apple TV (on the App Store)
This would give you display and control from any TV or monitor with an HDMI connection.
The display is really nice and you can select music with it although it’s control interface relies on the Apple Remote and scrolling so it can be less than ideal with large libraries.
But you could also control Roon from Roon Remote and use TV:Remote for display purposes only.

Edit: Forgot to mention you can find used Apple TVs for less than $50.
Just be sure it’s of a generation that supports the App Store. The earliest ones don’t.

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Any tiny windows pc will run roon remote and playback. The pc hdmi can display the full screen now playing, and all other elements of the roon ui like search, browse, settings, etc. You can also play the audio through the same hdmi, or out thru usb to a dac. Get a remote logitech keyboard/mouse to control it.

You can still use your tablet/phone app to control the zone, you just won’t see it mirrored on the pc display. But if you have the now playing display showing on the pc it will show whatever you select via the app.

Plus any ir remote with windows media controls plus an ir receiver can control basic play/pause/skip functions. I use a cheap one for all remote and flirc to set up basic roon playback and display commands plus amp volume control.

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Or, if you get a RooExtend on a RPi the HDMI will send imagery to a larger screen. It’s not a full interface, but it also gets you to where you can use a surface dial or space mouse as a control, and I find the combination of the two is great when I’m entertaining.

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Thank you all, those are some great inspirations and different approaches than what I had in mind,exactly what I was hoping for.

My take away is that I would not go wrong in buying a second hand monitor, and then depending on what I can find used one of the different options for playback. I will have some homework to do over the week end I guess!

If you are in the US you can get a Toshiba 32" hdtv for $79.99 on sale at Best Buy.

How are you currently running your core? Desk top or laptop? What endpoint? Is it a phone that you are listening to or something else? If you have a computer as an endpoint with an HDMI out and a home theater receiver, then all you need is an HDMI interconnect and a wireless mouse. I’m not trying to be snarky, I just think you would have some of these things before getting into Roon and use them for double duty.

My opinion about the Darko solution is that I would get very tired of having to walk up to the TV touchscreen to listen to or search for music in Roon. Welcome to Roon and enjoy your music.

Thanks for your reply, I do appreciate those kind of feedback and suggestions of making the best of what I already have!
I currently run the core on my Linux NAS so adding a monitor there is not an option, other than that I have a Windows PC but pretty far away from the hi-fi. Listening happens both on my iPhone, on my main hi-fi system through a NAD 658 and occasionally on my homepod mini.
I guess I could by a charging stand for my iPhone and leave it there with standby disabled during listening sessions, at the moment it sounds a bit of work but some good food for thought.

Good to know your situation. If you go back through the Show Us Your System thread you will find some members have taken extensive measures to wire their systems. I’ve run a 50ft hdmi with good results from the computer to myAVR’s media player port, then out to the TV.

You have to enable a second screen in Windows and install Roon. I use the VGA port for the desktop monitor. The mouse shows on the screen so the wireless mouse is used for selecting albums. Cable cost and wireless mouse and keyboard is very little in comparison with a new endpoint.

Happy holidays.

I use a a 3rd Gen Chromecast for 34 euros from Ebay, attached to the TV (only, with HDMI and USB). The Android tablet can cast to it and you get more or less the full Roon functionality. Snappy enough though with a small lag. Windows might work as well (the Chrome browser can cast the Windows desktop). It’s useful for other things as well.

The Amazon Fire 10" tablet makes a good cheap tablet for Roon but can’t use Chromecast unfortunately. You might get it to work with Amazon’s also cheap FireTV stick (the tablet can mirror to that) but I haven’t tried

One other suggestion. You can find a cheap Acer touch screen monitor on ebay they come in assorted sizes and are cheap, I grabbed one for $40 usd. Pair it with one of the Intel Nuc PCs. They are the size of a pack of cigarettes and would support this configuration without problems. The only thing visible would be the monitor and you could, if you want to get fancy, build a wood frame for it so it looks like furniture.

You can access the Roon Now Playing UI from any device on the same network via a web browser. You just need to do two things in Roon:

  • Go to Settings → Displays and make sure that the device you want to display the UI on is enabled. While on this same screen copy the Web display URL
  • Click on the volume icon and select the display icon, then click Display Now on the device where you want to view Now Playing

From the new device, open a full-screen web browser and hit the URL you copied above and you should be good. This will work for literally anything, including Raspberry Pi’s with HDMI screens of any size.

If you want more control from the remote device it gets a bit more hacky. The best option I’ve found is to run Roon Extensions → Web Controller on the device, which mostly works most of the time, but it’s a bit of a heavy lift and can be an infuriating project on good days. :slight_smile: But when it works it works well.





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Very elegant solution. What are the specs on the displays? And how are you getting that tall looking screen ratio?

Android photo frame with ROON APP installed

web control is the best solution for tall looking screen ratio!
Roon Extension: Roon Web Controller v1.2.0 - Tinkering / Roon API - Roon Labs Community

Wow that looks stunning, thanks for the inspiration @Yi_Wen!

Can you post the actual sku / manufacturer you used? I searched Amazon for “android photo frame” and got a bunch of items I don’t think could possibly run Roon. Thanks, this really is stunning!

Also, there’s some timeliness to this issue… if these frames are available on Cyber Monday deals, I’ll definitely be getting one today/tomorrow. Thanks!

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I am not sure if the photo frame could be installed 3rd APP. Mine is bought from factory directly in China.
Amazon.com : Digital Picture Frame 21.5 Inch Large Digital Photo Frame with 1920*1080 IPS FHD Non-Touch Screen, Humblestead 32GB WiFi Smart Frame with Swivel Mount Share Photos and Videos Instantly via AiMOR App : Electronics
You can check with them.

Thanks for the link. Do I understand correctly then that

  • You have an additional android device that runs Roon connected via HDMI to the frame
  • The frame itself is not touchscreen and it only shows what is running?
    I’m tying to understand if I missed something in the frame specs as it says “non-touch screen”