I recently picked up an old DVD player from the side of the road - a Pioneer DV-363 - mainly for recycling parts. Upon opening I found the VFD display and half the keypad sat on a separate PCB, and used a basic serial interface. I thought this looked like a good opportunity to hack the VFD and use it for my own projects, and set about researching the controller IC - a Princeton PT6315.
After finding a datasheet with a reasonable amount of information in it, I set about cutting the ICs serial IO tracks to the main DVD player, and connecting this to the SPI bus of a Microchip PIC16F1823.
Once I got the communications working, I then reverse-engineered the segment/grid configuration (non-standard on this PCB, probably just for ease of layout). I then created code to allow me to display messages on the VFD, as well as read the keys from the keypad.
The next challenge will be the power supply for the VFD, which unfortunately isn't generated locally on the display PCB.