LCD Master - finally ready for a wider audience - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 01-16-2004, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
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EDIT: LCD Master had been updated to version 0.93. Please see this post.

Posted with permission of AVS Forum

LCD Master is an LCD/VFD Screen Manager and Menu system. It is a project I have been working on and off again for the last couple of years. I started working on it for my DIGN 3e case and really added to it when I built my ATech case. It runs under Girder V3.3.1B or >. I am distributing it for free for personal use. It is a rather complex Girder program and will require at least a little Girder savvy to get it running the way you want it. A fairly detailed manual is included (the beginning of which is posted below).

The download link is here http://www.girder.nl/downloadn.php?Link=552

NOTE: RTM after installing (its in the Girder directory) BEFORE asking any questions. You must have the most recent version of Girder installed. The installation includes the basic plugins you will need.

Have fun and post any comments or suggestion in this thread or on the forum at www.girder.nl.

Mike




LCD Master is a Girder program for use on a Home Theater PC (HTPC). It displays information from a wide variety of programs and sources. It also provides a menu system to allow control of the HTPC from the LCD Display.

LCD Master is an advanced screen management system to integrate display of media player data, system monitor data, weather, Caller ID etc. A highly configurable screen based interface gives the user extensive control over the limited real estate of the LCD. Any number of screens can be created and are displayed by setting screen priority levels and cycling times. For example, weather data and system status screens are assigned a low priority. These screens are cycled with each other using user specified cycling times. If Zoom Player is started, its screens take over because they have a higher priority level. Suppose Caller ID data arrives ? this screen has a priority and overwrites the Zoom Player screen. The Caller ID screen expires after a short period and the Zoom Player screen again is displayed. This is all controlled by LCD Master. Existing screens are automatically updated in the background even when they are not being displayed. Display of system and program data is entirely event driven and very configurable. LCD Master includes screens for several common multimedia applications. Users can add any number of new programs.

LCD Master also includes a menu system to control the HTPC using any input device (similar in concept the Audiotron). This allows using the HTPC for audio playback without turning on the computer monitor. The included menus provide powerful control over the HTPC. Volume levels for any audio device can be changed on the LCD screen. The system power state can be changed. Player controls for Media Center 9, Zoom Player, and Theater Tek allow for LCD control of these applications. A list of DVD ISO?s is displayed on the LCD and the user can select a single ISO which is automatically mounted and played with the default DVD player.

LCD Master consists of 2 components ? the core routines which provide a rich set of functions to create screens and menus, and a set of pre-designed screens to interface with Zoom Player, Theater Tek, Media Center 9, Weather, CallerID, Windows Instrumentation, RSS (news) feeds, WinAmp and CoolMon. Adding other programs requires a moderate understanding of Girder and LUA.

Mike
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Old 01-16-2004, 08:25 PM
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Mike,

Great news. Thanks a lot for developing this.

Good time to buy computers and computer parts: NEVER
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Old 01-16-2004, 08:56 PM
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This is the LCD script many have been waiting for...

MC9 integration with playing now and also 'audiotron' like selection (if you have buttons, I dont)...
Weather reports..
Time and date...
TheaterTek...
Etc...

Glad you finally went public with it Mike...
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Old 01-16-2004, 09:14 PM
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Mike,

Does your DVine case use the parallel Samsung VFD?
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Old 01-17-2004, 03:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Kei, the DIGN case originally had a parallel Hitachi VFD (2x16) which was very slow and had other problems. I replaced it with a Matrix Oribital device. Most of the screens are designed for 4x20 devices although there is code in place to deal with 2 line devices. I just stopped working on them when I replaced my Hitachi VFD. Is the Samsung any faster?

Mike

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Old 01-17-2004, 03:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phat Phreddy
This is the LCD script many have been waiting for...

MC9 integration with playing now and also 'audiotron' like selection (if you have buttons, I dont)...
Weather reports..
Time and date...
TheaterTek...
Etc...

Glad you finally went public with it Mike...
Thanks Phat - sure took a little longer then I expected :D

Mike
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Old 01-17-2004, 05:43 AM
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Mike;
Thanks for sharing the results of all your hard work with the crowd. I will see if I can get it to run (I am still such a noob when in comes to Girder....)
____
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Old 01-17-2004, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Axel, I have complete confidence that you will get this working!

Mike

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Old 01-17-2004, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Also, link to the thread on Girder.

http://www.girder.nl/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=5985

Mike
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:06 AM
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Thanks for your efforts...i've been holding out for this one.

A couple problems. With the WMI, i get the message on my lcd

System Status
Unable to Connect
Invalid class COM exception:( .src\\library\ LuaCOM.cpp,353)

Subsequently, nothing comes on screen when i run ZP...maybe because the CPU usage can't be accessed.

Are there any specific Windows components that i might have removed with LitePC that i should add back to allow WMI to work?
I use Samurize with the WMI and the CPU usage is displayed fine.
My server PC which has Samurize on it as well but have not removed any Windows components, runs LCDmaster perfectly well. Hmm.

Thanks a bunch for any insight.

Samsonite
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I am not familiar with LitePC. The WMI in LCD Master uses the refresher class that is only present on XP and 2003 and these are the only 2 operating systems I have tested it on. The ZP screens maynot work because of this error. Delete the WMIAddScreen from the LCDMASTER.LUA file and see if that works. Remeber you also must have ZP and DVD Spy configured right.

I found working with WMI very tricky and complex.

Mike

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Old 01-18-2004, 12:07 PM
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Ok, i removed the WMIaddscreen and then ZP showed up on the screen fine. Only one MAJOR problem now, my DirectX filters are completely screwed up and will not play anything. ZP says Unable to create direct-x interface. I'm screwed i think. Any thoughts?

Samsonite
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Old 01-18-2004, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't think this is related to LCD Master. Shutdown Girder and try ZP without it running.

Mike
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Old 01-18-2004, 12:23 PM
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Luckily i ghosted my hard drive and reinstalled everything just now. Direct-x players work perfectly again until i fire up LCD master and let it run. It seems to kill my direct-x players somehow. Do you think this is could be a DVDspy problem?

Samsonite
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Old 01-18-2004, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Must be related to DVD Spy. What filters are you using?

Mike
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Old 01-18-2004, 02:36 PM
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Feedback on Hibernate/Standby functionality:

System info: ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe Mobo running at stock speeds all around.
OS: WinXP Pro. LCD Master Installed - but no DVD player software yet ... bytheway.. is there an easy way to have LCD Master play media files with windows media player? (since its free and all thats needed for playing DivX .avi's or .mpgs).

If I select 'Standby' (or Hibernate if enabled in the WinXP Pro OS), it shuts-down fine and pressing the power button on my ATech case powers it back up (from POST or directly to Winxp depending on if it was in hibernate or standby modes).

Now, in either case, I"m faced with the login screen where I must select my user-id (the only one there is)... and loging in is not something I need to do when I power it up from scratch. I assume there is some WinXP Pro hack to not have to do this.

Until I log in, nothing responds... which means I need the video on and a mouse to get back in.

Once into XP Pro ... the still running LCD Master is in control again except for one problem:

I See an error message dialog box: "Access Denied". Clicking the 'ok' choice shows a brief message of 'going to sleep', so I'm imagining its an error that occured while the system was trying to shut down into sleep/hibernate and not while comming back on.

Ok, so after I clear that error box, but the DVD Controll buttons on the ATech are no longer working. The powermate knob does, but not the buttons. A restart of the system the old fashion way (a normal reboot) clears it and the vfd button inputs work again. So I'm thinking the error I've seen somehow screws up the VFD software module.

Any ideas?
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Old 01-18-2004, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Goto Power Options under control panel and turn off prompt for password on resume.

There is no support for WMP at this time.

Mike
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Old 01-19-2004, 09:33 PM
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Mjcumming, I think i have got most of the basics working. One problem. After playing a DVD with ZP and closing it, the ZP lcd screen keeps coming up. It's like ZP never sent LCDmaster a close command. Maybe this is a ZP problem.

How difficult would it be to recode this for a 20x2 display? I am sure that there are many of these out there.

How can i change the frequency and length of the screens that come up during normal operation with nothing playing?

I think that you really have something awesome here. If only there was an easy GUI for changing the most common settings...now that would be goot.
Thanks

samsonite
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Old 01-20-2004, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Brad,

When ZP closes, the screens associated with it should close as well. Do you know how to use the logger plugin?

There is some code written to do 2 line displays. It basically is a simple if statement. Look at the winamp screen for some details.

Timing of screens... This is something I have not documented well at this time. Look in the lcdmaster.lua file for now.

GUI would be nice but likely won't happen in the near future. I just don't have time. If you learn a little about lua, that is all you really need to make the changes you want.

Mike

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Old 01-20-2004, 09:23 AM
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mj,

I don't know if you would be interested in this, but I wrote a perl script to parse an xmltv data file. It will return the program's title that is now on tv for a specified channel. I use the output of the script to display on my lcd, so I know what program is on. If you would like to add it to your code, feel free, or if you want to me change it to meet your specifications I can do that too.

here is a link to my original post:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&highlight=lcd
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Old 01-20-2004, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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That looks neat. Have you looked at doing this all within lua using luacom? Have a look at the LuaCOM thread here http://www.girder.nl/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=5769

It would be nice to keep this all with Girder.

Mike

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Old 01-20-2004, 09:37 AM
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I considered lua, but could do it in perl in a couple of minutes. I agree it would be nice to keep it all in girder, I'll take a look at the luaComm and see if I can convert it.
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Old 01-20-2004, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I think you will lua and luacom pretty easy to use. Takes a little time to get the hang of it (like anything).

This thread gives you an idea of some of the power luacom brings to Girder/NetRemote.
http://www.netremote.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=698

Mike
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Old 01-20-2004, 08:03 PM
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Mike,

Cool program, but I need tutoring!

I am currently using Smartie with my Samsung VFD (included with the Accent HT-200 case). Works great, but limited - e.g. no support for Theater Tek.

I loaded Girder and LCD Master and the simulated LCD works good (weather not working). I read the manual that you provide, but it was confusing to me.

How do I configure Girder and/or LCD Master to work "for real" with my VFD? I am totally unfamiliar with Girder, unfortunately.

Second, I have the IR remote that is optional with the HT-200 case. Girder seems to recognize that it is present, but it doesn't receive the signal. I assume that once I get it to work that I will be able to control TheaterTek with it?

Thanks,
Phil
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Old 01-20-2004, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I need some more info re the samsung unit. Is this a 2x20 or 4x20 display? Parallel or serial? Is it supported by Girder's LCD Driver? I do not anything about the included DIGN IR and how that interfaces with Girder. If there is a plugin for it then Girder will control TT.

What happens with the weather?

As the manual says, you will need to learn a little/moderate amount about Girder to get this working. Maybe you know some other users with this case who are Girder savvy?

Mike
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Old 01-21-2004, 06:49 AM
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mj,

I am buying a new case and I am looking at getting one with a VFD Display.
I have read that you had a 2 line display but now have a 4 line display. I am curious as to what display you have. If it is good enough for mj, then it should be good enough for me.
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Old 01-21-2004, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I would suggest the martix oribital 4x20 vfd display - serial or usb.

Mike
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Old 01-21-2004, 09:59 AM
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mj,

It's a 2x16 VFD display, parallel port connection.

I think the weather problem says something like "not available" or something like that. I may be missing a plug in, but I don't really want the weather, I just thought I would mention that it wasn't working in case that was indicative of a more serious problem.

Unfortunately, I don't know anyone with this case, nor do I know anyone who knows anything about Girder. I am slowly learning, and am trying to learn more.

As far as the IR interface goes, I found a post on the Girder forum that claims that WinLirc works with my remote/ir interface, and that if I add the WinLirc plug-in to Girder that it will work. The post says to install the plug-in in Grider and "use the Learn function, with the source being winlirc, to create the events that match the remote codes you created under winlirc."

Even though I haven't figured out exactly what that means yet, I'm going to play with it tonight.

So, it looks like I have answered all of my own questions with the exception of how to make my VFD work. If you can help with that, I would appreciate it.

Phil
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Old 01-21-2004, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Phil,

The VFD probably will work with the Girder LCD driver. Download it and read the instructions. The downside is LCD master currently has very limited support for 2 line displays. So unless someone does some work for 2 line displays, it will be of limited use to you (until you get up to speed on Girder and LUA)

Glad you got the IR portion working.

Mike
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Old 01-21-2004, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I would like to hear back from some users with the Atech case and hear how the buttons/powermate are working. OrbitzBoy?

Mike
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