I have been searching for the perfect remote for a while now. I've done my fare share of testing devices and services and I've come to the conclusion that for me to get what I want, I need to build it myself.The Project
Why Flash CS6 - I'm familiar with it. I started dabbling in flash back in version 2. I know my way around ActionScript 3.0 pretty well. The interface is almost limitless in both design and scripting capabilities.
I was inspired to try using flash a few weeks ago when one of my clients asked me to create a virtual demo of a control system I had done for him. He was struggling to explain to his clients why they would want a control system. So I built a virtual system.http://www.cantrellsmediasystems.com/restaurant_demo.html
The link above is of the Demo. It shows exactly how the system works in the restaurant.
While I was building the demo, I asked myself why couldn't this be the control system? So I started playing around. After I found the right HTPC, configured my network appropriately, signed up for the Apple iOS developer program and doing a fair share of research through the forums, within a week I had a Flash App communicating with XBMC on my iPad. Now, I'm controlling the Pioneer 1021, DTV and XBMC.
The design aspect in Flash alone is worth the effort. I've purchased graphic sets from multiple sites, its easy to import the graphics into flash, search, adjust, the list goes on.
Actionscript: Using ActionScript offers amazing control capabilities. I've only just begun with this. At the moment I'm using sendToURL to achieve communication with my devices. It's simple and doesn't sandbox me. As I learn more about two way communication I will post more. The plan is to use my Zbox as both a media player and control host. I have ubuntu 12.04 installed with apache server. I anticipate using php files to manage communication between devices.
Up comming hurdles: I'd like to be able to send commands to an iTach device. At the moment, there is NO literature about how to do this within ActionScript. As far as I can tell, no one is doing this yet...
Two way communication will be an issue. I can program control systems all day long, but writing to and responding to txt files on a server is new to me. I'm signed up on lynda.com and most actionscript forums so I'm ready for the challenge.
If it's IP controllable, I can control it, if it's older, I'm going to have to work with it. :-( I have a lot of old equipment.
As a temporary solution, I'll be using my RedEye Pro to send IR commands to my old devices. If you've ever used RedEye you know they have a web interface. That interface offers URL commands for every IR command. I can use this within Flash to control my old stuff immediately. The major draw back to this is both cost and efficiency. The cost of the device is high and the URL commands are different per device. SO, no reusing any of the commands in a different setup.
Well, I've typed so much today I'd like to get to the project. I'll update this forum as I move along.
Obviously any help, suggestions or questions are welcome.