Originally Posted by cubesys
For those who are controlling the hardware from a computer, can you describe the software you are using to do this.
I use CQC for my setup. I tried all the others, indeed used Girder for 2 years before it went commercial. It worked great for what I needed at the time, but my needs grew and I wanted a package that I knew I could never outgrow. This is my hobby, and has been for nearly 18 months now. I have nearly every darn thing automated you could automate (well, no drapes yet, but I do have IR remote controls ones installed for use via a remote).
A few of the things I really like about CQC:
1) Assistance with setup and config to your desires
1a) Passionate DIY community, willing to help others with whatever they want. After spending more than 2 minutes on each forum, you'll realize that the sheer volume of posts, many of which have nothing to do with CQC, is mindboggling. I just had someone help me with setting up my new concerto, then someone else help me with creating a custom UI for previewing what's on the various XM channels. I got both of those tasks done in minutes/hours due to that help.
1b) CQC chatroom to get live help
1c) Tutorial videos on the site to help you through learning the concepts
2) All free drivers means the cost of trying something new is pretty low - i can buy something off eBay, if I don't like how it works I can sell it again, didn't have to pay for the driver on it.
3) Average install is pretty robust - most CQC'ers don't just do one or two things, or just use one server. We do many things and use many servers, cuz frankly the price is the same. It's nice to know that there are others who have been there before me doing it, and are on the same forums I hang out on so I can get help if need be.
I built out a website to walk folks through what I did, a little stale but the screenshots are still legit, at www.myhometheaterpc.com
The webinar I mentioned will walk you through the overview of CQC & Elk, and setting it up from scratch. Within the first hour, you'll see how to use the various CQC bits, and watch me actually create a very simple screen to do control. That'll help answer the question about whether CQC works in a fashion that makes sense to you, and whether it should be a viable option for you or not. If you can't make 3/23, no worries, there's a CQC monthly user group webex on the last saturday of every month. Plus, we repeat that Intro session every 6-8 weeks.