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post #181 of 205 Old 04-08-2014, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Can they add-on motor be stopped midway? Or is it fully open, or fully closed? Can you independently control the opening and closing contacts? I'm a z-wave user, and would want to have some control over that motor, as you do with x-10. Wonder if anyone has opened up this box and looked at the contacts to perhaps wire up more than one power lead to it, for more control...

Hello thrak76. Yes, the add-a-motor can be stopped at any point during opening or closing by turning the power to the motor's power adapter off. In my case this is done by using an X10 controlled 110v outlet that replaces a normal outlet. The X10 outlet is simply turned on or off by the push of a button on a compatible remote controller. Other than that the motor is quite simple (wish it was as inexpensive though). It has two limit switches or stops that the user sets independent of each other depending on how large of an opening the curtain spans. I do not recall how wide an opening it can accommodate, mine is about 13 & 1/2 feet. Starting with the curtain closed, when power is turned on the motor runs until it reaches the open limit switch or before then if power is turned off. The same occurs when starting from an open curtain position. The motor must be run all the way to one of the limit switches before it will run in the opposite direction. As I said, it is a simple device. With practice I have been able to stop the motor at the screen size positions I use. I have not tried to set a macro in my controller to do it more automatically.
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post #182 of 205 Old 04-08-2014, 11:59 AM
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Of course... limit switches. So really one could just set the limits at 1.78 closed, 2.35-ish for open, and call it good. Not much 4:3 material these days. Can you still manually operate the curtains with the motor attached, or do you have to use the motor exclusively?
I still like to tinker so I'd probably open up the box and check it out, as well as investigating some more configurable alternatives. Thanks for the details!
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post #183 of 205 Old 04-08-2014, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Of course... limit switches. So really one could just set the limits at 1.78 closed, 2.35-ish for open, and call it good. Not much 4:3 material these days. Can you still manually operate the curtains with the motor attached, or do you have to use the motor exclusively?
I still like to tinker so I'd probably open up the box and check it out, as well as investigating some more configurable alternatives. Thanks for the details!

You're welcome. Yes, i am sure you could just use the two screen sizes as open/closed, I just like to show things off a bit by having it full closed and then full open. I believe you can manually operate the curtain with the motor attached but, its very easy to release the tension on the rope.
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post #184 of 205 Old 09-25-2014, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
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We've been thoroughly enjoying the theater since completing the project in April. Several premiere nights have been held with all seats occupied. Nearly everyone is quite impressed, I try to stay modest but, I too am impressed with how it all turned out. The biggest tool to making this happen has been AVS Forum. No way I could have learned so much any other way. There are still the lighted signs for the theater and bar entrances to make, they just have stand-ins for now, but that's it really.

So with alot of help from my son-in-law we have put our collection of 180+ Blu-ray movies on a server. It is surprising how inexpensively this can be done. Here are the 2 Dell PC's:



The HTPC is a Athlon II 2.8ghz 4gb ram running Windows 7 Ultimate. The server is an old Pentium 4 2.4 ghz 2gb ram running NAS 4 Free and 5tb of hard drive storage space. We use MakeMKV for transcoding; Handbrake for encoding and XBMC for playing movies. All of these are freeware. It's great to hit the play button and the movie just starts instead of loading disks and wading through previews.

Here are a couple of screen shots of the XBMC software on the big screen:





Something else we have been enjoying alot is showing family photos and videos using XBMC. That's been a great family experience.

I use either the iPhone XBMC remote or my tablet running iRule which (when finished) can control all the theater equipment. iRule has extensive capability and also quite a learning curve. Here's the main panel for the theater.

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post #185 of 205 Old 09-25-2014, 02:06 AM
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Make sure you have backups... you don't want to re-do it it if your storage fails. (Have had a dual disc failure on a NAS, lost everything, still haven't got all the CDs I used to have re-ripped.)
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post #186 of 205 Old 09-25-2014, 06:31 AM
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Great update, thanks! I'm also looking to pull off a combo like you did, and your post raised some questions I have:

Why do you have a HTPC and a server? Is it because you didn't want to host the NAS off the HTPC? What led to that decision?

Any thoughts on integrating the MoviePoster software into XMBC? That's the Piece de Resistance, as far as I'm thinking...

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post #187 of 205 Old 09-25-2014, 09:37 AM
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Man, I really want a HTPC. Really bad.

I will look into that XMBC app, I hadn't really seen that before.

What Home Automation are you running? It looks like there's a light icon?
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post #188 of 205 Old 09-25-2014, 10:53 AM
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Great update, thanks! I'm also looking to pull off a combo like you did, and your post raised some questions I have:

Why do you have a HTPC and a server? Is it because you didn't want to host the NAS off the HTPC? What led to that decision?

Any thoughts on integrating the MoviePoster software into XMBC? That's the Piece de Resistance, as far as I'm thinking...
I don't know about the TS, but we made our NAS separate because it doesn't need much CPU to run it. By having it separate we can access it from other PCs without the HTPC being turned on.

Denon 4520ci, (3) JBL 2360As/EV DHA-1s, (3) 1/4 Pie bass bins, MiniDSP 2x4s, (4) Klipsch HIPs, (2) Klipsch KP3002s, PS3, XBox 360, (3) Intel NUCs, Monoprice Redmere, Monster HTPS7000, 2 SUPER SPUD subs, Panasonic AE8000us SeymourAV 180 (195" diagonal) scope screen, Yamaha P7000s (for the subs), (2) Yamaha P2500s amps for the front (3) bass bins.
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post #189 of 205 Old 09-25-2014, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Make sure you have backups... you don't want to re-do it it if your storage fails. (Have had a dual disc failure on a NAS, lost everything, still haven't got all the CDs I used to have re-ripped.)
Nightlord, you are quite right, I do not want to have that experience. I'm thinking of getting a couple of external USB drives that can be stored off-site so that in case of fire or break-in I'll still have everything, data-wise.
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post #190 of 205 Old 09-25-2014, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Great update, thanks! I'm also looking to pull off a combo like you did, and your post raised some questions I have:

Why do you have a HTPC and a server? Is it because you didn't want to host the NAS off the HTPC? What led to that decision?

Any thoughts on integrating the MoviePoster software into XMBC? That's the Piece de Resistance, as far as I'm thinking...
Hi Doug. After doing some research I came up with a few reasons. Since NAS 4 Free runs from a USB stick there's no need for an OS drive and I don't need an optical drive for the server, it has 4 open ports for hard drives. Since it has such low requirements it will not be affected when the HTPC inevitably needs to be upgraded. It is also available on my home network for file access, automatic back-ups, etc. no matter what the HTPC may be doing. A contributing factor was the PC was an obsolete from my employer, NAS 4 Free is...free, the server needs no monitor since its accessed by web browser, my only cost was the hard drives. I currently have 300gb, 2tb and 3tb drives in it.

Yes, I would like to do the MoviePoster in XBMC, thanks for the reminder, I'll look into that.
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post #191 of 205 Old 09-25-2014, 02:30 PM
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+1 on the backups!

Or look into a software raid solution that installs into your OS like FLEXRAID.

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Also +1 on having your storage be separate from the HTPC.

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post #193 of 205 Old 09-25-2014, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Man, I really want a HTPC. Really bad.

I will look into that XMBC app, I hadn't really seen that before.

What Home Automation are you running? It looks like there's a light icon?
Hey Nick, XBMC can play about any type of file video, audio, image, movie, etc. It has a strong group of developers always working on the next release to keep it current. I understand it will be changing its name to "Kodi" with the next release. That has something to do with the group not having full rights to the name as it was originally developed as the Xbox Media Center.

I'm using X10 and their ActiveHome software. It pretty basic and inexpensive. iRule and others can control it too.
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post #194 of 205 Old 09-25-2014, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't know about the TS, but we made our NAS separate because it doesn't need much CPU to run it. By having it separate we can access it from other PCs without the HTPC being turned on.
Hi, I read your post after replying to Doug. You site two good reasons why we went with separate PCs.
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post #195 of 205 Old 09-25-2014, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Also +1 on having your storage be separate from the HTPC.
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+1 on the backups!

Or look into a software raid solution that installs into your OS like FLEXRAID.
Thanks Mfusick. Yes, flexibility of having them separate is nice. I may look into Raid solutions but, like the simplicity of mirroring the drives.
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post #196 of 205 Old 09-25-2014, 02:50 PM
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Hey Nick, XBMC can play about any type of file video, audio, image, movie, etc. It has a strong group of developers always working on the next release to keep it current. I understand it will be changing its name to "Kodi" with the next release. That has something to do with the group not having full rights to the name as it was originally developed as the Xbox Media Center.

I'm using X10 and their ActiveHome software. It pretty basic and inexpensive. iRule and others can control it too.
Feed it from Mediabrowser Server brings it up to speed for 2014 Let's it really shine. The metadata management and it's ability to serve multiple devices, maintain common played lists, etc.. is very lacking. XBMC is quite dated in that regard (it's not 2012 anymore). As a HTPC solution it's decidedly old and limited, but the interface is polished and nice looking from a front end perspective. Many who have used XBMC find it hard to adopt over to a better or modern platform. For those there is XBMB3C!

Try supercharging your XBMC with Mediabrowser3 Server: http://mediabrowser.tv/community/ind...rum/99-xbmb3c/

You can retain XBMC just how you love it, but gain tons of advanced functionality.

Check this out: http://mediabrowser.tv/community/ind...tting-started/

Xbmb3c is a Video Addon for the much acclaimed XBMC HTPC software platform. It allows XBMC to communicate with Media Server to browse your media collection, view media meta data and play back your media files. Having mediabrowser server on the back end also allows you to run multiple devices, like iphones, ipads, roku, windows phones, laptops etc... and maintain common played statuses. Also supports different user profiles. Metadata management is enhanced, and you also gain ability to transcode, or stream when away from home. You can even share libraries easily with friends (like friends watch your movies, you watch theirs).

Look for the announcement of Mediabrowser CONNECT in the next few weeks for more info on server sharing.

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Thanks Mfusick. Yes, flexibility of having them separate is nice. I may look into Raid solutions but, like the simplicity of mirroring the drives.
RAID solutions are very different than I am talking about. I'm talking about a software plugin that does it for you, easily- but allows you to add empty or full drives in the future, or remove any drive and have it readable on any system. You can add drives with data already on them (without data loss) so you don't need to start over.

You can also back up 8 hard drives with only 1 extra, saving you the cost of 7 hard drives. Handy if you have a 50TB media server like I do I would not want to buy 20 more 3TB drives! Even on sale, it's thousands of dollars.

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Hey Nick, XBMC can play about any type of file video, audio, image, movie, etc. It has a strong group of developers always working on the next release to keep it current. I understand it will be changing its name to "Kodi" with the next release. That has something to do with the group not having full rights to the name as it was originally developed as the Xbox Media Center.

I'm using X10 and their ActiveHome software. It pretty basic and inexpensive. iRule and others can control it too.
Thanks. I've looked at XMBC in the past, but never seen the app interface. Makes sense, but it helps to see a real example
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post #199 of 205 Old 09-25-2014, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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RAID solutions are very different than I am talking about. I'm talking about a software plugin that does it for you, easily- but allows you to add empty or full drives in the future, or remove any drive and have it readable on any system. You can add drives with data already on them (without data loss) so you don't need to start over.

You can also back up 8 hard drives with only 1 extra, saving you the cost of 7 hard drives. Handy if you have a 50TB media server like I do I would not want to buy 20 more 3TB drives! Even on sale, it's thousands of dollars.
Wow that's some space, you must have one nice library of media! I'll definitely look into the FlexRaid. Thanks.
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post #200 of 205 Old 09-26-2014, 07:09 AM
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Hi Doug. After doing some research I came up with a few reasons. Since NAS 4 Free runs from a USB stick there's no need for an OS drive and I don't need an optical drive for the server, it has 4 open ports for hard drives. Since it has such low requirements it will not be affected when the HTPC inevitably needs to be upgraded. It is also available on my home network for file access, automatic back-ups, etc. no matter what the HTPC may be doing. A contributing factor was the PC was an obsolete from my employer, NAS 4 Free is...free, the server needs no monitor since its accessed by web browser, my only cost was the hard drives. I currently have 300gb, 2tb and 3tb drives in it.

Yes, I would like to do the MoviePoster in XBMC, thanks for the reminder, I'll look into that.
Thanks for the info, it's helping me to narrow down my choices. Next question, scale: How much storage are you "really using"??

I have about 300 CDs ripped right now, and it's less than 60GB.

How much storage do you average per movie (DVD and/or BluRay)? How much did your 182ish movies use up?

Thanks again for all the help!

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post #201 of 205 Old 09-26-2014, 08:38 AM
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You can also back up 8 hard drives with only 1 extra, saving you the cost of 7 hard drives.
How may drives can fail at the same time without losing all the data?

I'd definitely look into having battery power with it that lasts while it does a controlled shutdown.

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How may drives can fail at the same time without losing all the data?

I'd definitely look into having battery power with it that lasts while it does a controlled shutdown.
As many as you want. Each dedicated parity drive add protection from an additional drive failure. (any drive)

I currently run (2) parity drives and 18 data drives. I can suffer any (2) of the total 20 drives simultaneously at any time and recover without data loss. If I wanted protection for 3 simultaneous failures I would add a third parity drive.

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post #203 of 205 Old 09-26-2014, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info, it's helping me to narrow down my choices. Next question, scale: How much storage are you "really using"??

I have about 300 CDs ripped right now, and it's less than 60GB.

How much storage do you average per movie (DVD and/or BluRay)? How much did your 182ish movies use up?

Thanks again for all the help!
Right now 2.3TB or about half of the storage space is in use. The 300GB drive is for PC backups only, while the 2TB & 3TB drives are dedicated for movies. Nearly all are Blu-Ray, may be 10 DVD. They range in size from 10 to 15GB or so, and on average are 12.74GB.
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post #204 of 205 Old 09-27-2014, 02:27 AM
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As many as you want. Each dedicated parity drive add protection from an additional drive failure. (any drive)

I currently run (2) parity drives and 18 data drives. I can suffer any (2) of the total 20 drives simultaneously at any time and recover without data loss. If I wanted protection for 3 simultaneous failures I would add a third parity drive.
Great. Don't remember if we ever had a triple disc failure at work, possibly during the office move in that case, but never at normal running. But we do have 30mins of batterytime on the server hall for controlled shutdown as well.

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I'm adding three more data drives and a third parity drive soon. I'm at 50TB, but out of drive bays. I'm adding a second chassis. 1 parity to 8 data seems a good ratio. But I've done 16:1 without problems. It's about your desired level of protection.

Certainly cost advantages to backing up 16 hard drives with just 1 drive.
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