There's a raspberry pi mounted beside the TV.
It has Raspbian Jessie, xbmc and infobeamer installed, currently.
There's a custom infobeamer skin for it to display nice information about the hackerspace - irc, PiMPD track, upcoming events, space status and more.
Once i get the code on git, you can fork it, add new features and submit a pull request.
To protect the pi from us, the sd card is mounted read only by default. This means we can power it off/on with reckless abandon. It boots /etc, /var and /home as a unionfs in RAM. This means that things can be temporarily changed, logged and run without the machine panicing. This feature isn't yet tested, but will be on Tuesday!
Long term plans: Pull the latest code from git at boot into the ramfs and run from there - always the latest version :). Infobeamer also offers us video playback and vnc capability: Remote computer presentations, videos and more should be possible. (I imagine send a url, it runs youtube-dl, plays the video when it's downloaded)
Read Only Filesystem
To make sure the pi can survive the hard life of being turned on and off a lot in the space, it's been set to have an RO filesystem with the moving parts moved to a ramfs. this tutorial was used, with the addition of `/home` to the fstab step. This mounts everything cleanly in unionfs, and ensures that each "rw" folder is mounted as ramdisk to keep things working.
For the youtube function, there'll be a page presented when you connect to infobeamer.57north.org.uk in a browser with an input for youtube videos and a playlist. When you add a video, it gets added to the bottom of the playlist. Youtube-dl pulls it, queues it and infobeamer will somehow play it. Work in progress. The files will be on an NFS share on the synology to save on the pi running out of ram and making everyone sad.
For VNC, there will need to be something done with a connection request somewhere that tells infobeamer what to look at, and cause it to swap to a VNC viewer from our inane IRC banter. Heavy work in progress.