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Here's the challenge:

I will be installing 10 TV screens into 10 different locations in my city. These are WiFi-enabled smart TV's that can be controlled via a software called MDC (Multi Display Control). MDC can only connect to screens that are on the same LAN. The problem is that I need to control all of them from a remote location.

I will be able to use the locations WiFi, but will not have access to their router settings.

What I've come up with:

I'm not a network engineer, but I have been around computers for a while. This is my potential solution...

I believe that I will need to create a VPN. The "smart TV's" can connect via WiFi or Ethernet and have basic network settings (IP, Subnet Mask, Router and Proxy Server). I will need some sort of bridge between the screen and the location's router. I think configuring a Raspberry Pi as a VPN client will be the simplest solution.

  1. Each TV will connect to a Raspberry Pi via Ethernet.
  2. The Pi's will be connected via WiFi to the location's router.
  3. The Pi's will be configured to connect to a VPN.
  4. On my end, I would set up the VPN server on my network using OpenVPN.
  5. Connect with using MDC to the screens that now show up on my local network.

I've never done something like this before, do you think this could work? Is there an easier solution?

The main limitations are very little control over the various location's networks, provided only SSID + PW. Visiting the location to make changes at a later time will be extremely difficult. So, ideally, the VPN is hosted elsewhere and I connect to it with the MDC-host computer. That way, if the VPN server changes, I don't have to reconfigure all the Pi's. I'm on a budget too, so low cost is important.

I'm sure that this can be done, but have very little idea about the most effective way to do this.

Any ideas on how to improve my idea? Is there a much better way to accomplish this?

Thank you for your time!

  • This may work, but that solution is really off-topic here: networks not under your control, consumer-grade devices, servers and applications are all off-topic here. – Ron Maupin Jul 25 '16 at 1:42
  • Did any answer help you? If so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer. – Ron Maupin Aug 14 '17 at 22:16
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Yes it possibly works.

  • Configure OpenVPN in TAP (Ethernet emulation) mode.
  • On Raspbery Pi You need to bridge ethernet and OpenVPN.
  • On OpenVPN server, bridge clents to LAN.

To survive VPN server IP change, on Pi use dns name to connect rather IP. Buy domain, or use some free domain (many dynamic dns there, but hard to advice).

(Personally I as Mikrotik consultant, prefer cheap USB powered RB. Prise is comparable to Pi. But Pi more flexible and it Your choose.)

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You are going to need to put a VPN gateway at each TV since todays SmartTV's do not have VPN client functionality (as far as I know). You can roll your own with Raspberry PI, or you can buy very cheap ones that are ready to go.

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