Home Theatre Room Automation - Please suggest - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 Old 05-11-2014, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Sam Ash's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 92
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I am of the opinion that Z-Wave is a good place to start in order to automate my home theatre room. I need to control all the AV gear from an iPad-Mini or iPhone. I also need basic light control (dimmers) that switch-on when I pause the movie and switch-off when I resume. I am not a programmer but have a good understanding of IT. Hence, I need an easy to use and easy to configure system. What controllers do you recommend ? - Vera Lite seems to be cost effective but then there is Fibaro Home centre lite and the SmartThings Hub. Furthermore, I have read good things about iRule and their excellent support.

All in all, I want a cost effective, easy to use, reliable and expandable system.

Any advice / help will be appreciated.
Sam Ash is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 Old 05-11-2014, 01:12 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Dean Roddey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 19,472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Liked: 70
Actually, Z-Wave would have little to do with home theater automation, except perhaps for the lighting. The big problem with home theater automation is the gear itself, which Z-Wave doesn't address. Does any of your gear support serial or IP connections for control? That would be optimal. If not, you are down to IR control, which will be one-way control only, though you can make it more reliable than a remote control.

If it's all IR only, most of our customers would end up using something like a GC-100 for up to six zones of IR and a couple relays if you need that for screen control or something. You'd use stick-on emitters and set up CQC to invoke the commands required for various activities. And it would typically handle the browsing of media to select what you want to play as well.

If at least some of the gear is smart enough to have serial or IP control, then you can have two way control on those bits, which can be helpful for displaying status and reacting to changes in the state of the system (lights up on pause, lights off on playback startup, automatically set screen or lens for aspect ratio, that sort of thing.)

Dean Roddey
Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

 

Dean Roddey is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 05-12-2014, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Sam Ash's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 92
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post

Actually, Z-Wave would have little to do with home theater automation, except perhaps for the lighting. The big problem with home theater automation is the gear itself, which Z-Wave doesn't address. Does any of your gear support serial or IP connections for control? That would be optimal. If not, you are down to IR control, which will be one-way control only, though you can make it more reliable than a remote control.

If it's all IR only, most of our customers would end up using something like a GC-100 for up to six zones of IR and a couple relays if you need that for screen control or something. You'd use stick-on emitters and set up CQC to invoke the commands required for various activities. And it would typically handle the browsing of media to select what you want to play as well.

If at least some of the gear is smart enough to have serial or IP control, then you can have two way control on those bits, which can be helpful for displaying status and reacting to changes in the state of the system (lights up on pause, lights off on playback startup, automatically set screen or lens for aspect ratio, that sort of thing.)

Thanks for that Dean, I appreciate your input. Yes, my pre/pro and projector do have serial interfaces. My BD player, although WiFi capable, does not have either serial or IP interfaces, so I guess I will have to resort to IR for the BD player. I noticed that my specific pre/pro is covered by iRule and the brands of my projector and BD player are mentioned in the list of compatible devices. It would be nice to control the devices wirelessly using an iPhone or iPad Mini. Does that mean I have to buy a global cache device for each device ?

As far as the lights go, I only need to control the lights in my home theatre room in the manner that I've explained. Is there a way to do that with iRule without investing in a Z-Wave controller or Z-Wave compatible dimmers ? In other words, are there dimmers that can be controlled simply and directly via WiFi using iRule ? It would help to have small dimming devices that can be applied into wall boxes behind a switch (UK power ratings).
Sam Ash is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 05-12-2014, 02:14 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Dean Roddey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 19,472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Liked: 70
I don't really know anything about iRule, so I can't help you there.

Dean Roddey
Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

 

Dean Roddey is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 05-12-2014, 04:10 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 7,906
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
Liked: 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Ash View Post

Does that mean I have to buy a global cache device for each device ?

iRule (and the other app-based remote controls) are TCP/IP (aka "Ethernet / WiFi"). If your device has an Ethernet / WiFi interface and a published, compatible API that iRule can talk to directly - that's all you need.

But for anything else, you'll need something to bridge between Ethernet/WiFi to the interfaces those devices support - meaning RS232 or IR. That is commonly done with a Global Cache product. You generally only need one of those per equipment stack / location. The GC-100, for example, can easily handle six IR-controlled devices and two RS232 devices. And in reality it can do more if needed. The cheaper iTach line works if you only need one interface type per location (everything IR-controlled).
Quote:
As far as the lights go, I only need to control the lights in my home theatre room in the manner that I've explained.

First, IMO, you're NOT going to want to do it the way you described. A separate button for light control is better - and those buttons can be right next to each other - but separated so you don't HAVE to have the lights come up for a quick pause.
Quote:
Is there a way to do that with iRule without investing in a Z-Wave controller or Z-Wave compatible dimmers ? In other words, are there dimmers that can be controlled simply and directly via WiFi using iRule ? It would help to have small dimming devices that can be applied into wall boxes behind a switch (UK power ratings).

"Simple" - I'm not aware of any yet. But lots of ways to get there - although I don't know what's compatible in the UK (also - put your location in your AVS profile so it shows up in your posts - you'll get better advice in general). But the requirement all comes back to the control interface - if the dimmer has IP, IR, or RS232, you can use iRule to control it.


Jeff


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
 -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

jautor is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 05-12-2014, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Sam Ash's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 92
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

iRule (and the other app-based remote controls) are TCP/IP (aka "Ethernet / WiFi"). If your device has an Ethernet / WiFi interface and a published, compatible API that iRule can talk to directly - that's all you need.

But for anything else, you'll need something to bridge between Ethernet/WiFi to the interfaces those devices support - meaning RS232 or IR. That is commonly done with a Global Cache product. You generally only need one of those per equipment stack / location. The GC-100, for example, can easily handle six IR-controlled devices and two RS232 devices. And in reality it can do more if needed. The cheaper iTach line works if you only need one interface type per location (everything IR-controlled).
First, IMO, you're NOT going to want to do it the way you described. A separate button for light control is better - and those buttons can be right next to each other - but separated so you don't HAVE to have the lights come up for a quick pause.
"Simple" - I'm not aware of any yet. But lots of ways to get there - although I don't know what's compatible in the UK (also - put your location in your AVS profile so it shows up in your posts - you'll get better advice in general). But the requirement all comes back to the control interface - if the dimmer has IP, IR, or RS232, you can use iRule to control it.


Jeff

Hi Jeff, thank you very much indeed for your useful input. I guess it makes sense to go for the GC-100 and control the 3 devices (pre/pro, projector & BD Player), I suppose the GC-100 could be connected via ethernet to a wireless router.

Thank you for pointing out the lighting control issue, you do have a very valid point. For example, I may need to pause to answer my cell phone and I don't need the lights to come up in such a situation. Although, most times we need to pause because someone needs to grab a drink/snack or visit the washroom.

From the looks of it, I may need to get a controller device like the Vera Lite and some dimmers that can be installed in regular switch boxes behind the switches on the wall. I'm still researching to see if there are any WiFi based dimmers that can be applied in a similar manner an controlled by iRule.
Sam Ash is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 05-13-2014, 09:44 AM
AVS Special Member
 
newlinux's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Parts unknown
Posts: 1,554
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Ash View Post

...
From the looks of it, I may need to get a controller device like the Vera Lite and some dimmers that can be installed in regular switch boxes behind the switches on the wall. I'm still researching to see if there are any WiFi based dimmers that can be applied in a similar manner an controlled by iRule.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008VW8NYE/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_3?pf_rd_p=1535523722&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B008VWAPU4&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0XVT0R39FA8XXHCFKDM2

Would fit the bill for dimmer control via vera. For a couple of bucks less you can get the one without energy monitoring. I have a number of the non dimmer versions of these behind my existing light switches.

I don't know about wifi based dimmers, but I do have an IR based dimmer in my theater room (predates my z-wave controller). Depending on your room's layout I would guess it would be possible to control the light using iRule and the GC-100. I'll be looking to do some more automation in my theater room and I'll be looking at iRule as an option (I currently just use a harmony remote, but a cool interface on my tablet seems fun smile.gif. iRule also has an integration with vera, IIRC.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
newlinux is offline  
Reply Home Automation

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off