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Main Lobby Controller Question

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Not sure if this is the right place for this question but here goes:

Was looking in to the Cinemar Main Lobby. Is it an app that you must have a smart phone, Android Tab, or ipad to operate?

How do you get your movie library on the Main Lobby?

Thanks.
post #2 of 22
Thread Starter 
Anyone?
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Anyone know what devices would be required to run this setup? Want to have a tv setup outside the theatre that has a now playing and coming soon visual with start and end times, trailer for the movie, etc. Thanks.
post #4 of 22
I used to be a Cinemar/MainLobby user, so I'll try to answer from (distant) memory:

MainLobby started out primarily as a PC-based home control application and has subsequently branched out to include iOS and Android 'client' modules - so to answer your question: you need a Windows-based PC to "host" the application (acting as a server), and then another device, be it a PC or smartphone/PDA, to act as the client (the client & server code can reside on the same PC).

As I presume you will have seen, the application is very 'modular' - some modules are free and others are for fee. To play music you need MainLobby and MLServer modules, PLUS the MusicLobby module. I haven't looked recently, but I suspect that you may need to spend $3-400 just to control & play music. For that money you get some great pre-designed screens and icons, as well as a very 'tried and tested' application. As an aside, Mario and David provide great support and are both really stand-up guys.

Importing music into MusicLobby is really easy and there is a very capable "auto-tag" function that can bring in lots of additional information for each track.

In one of your later posts you mentioned controlling videos (trailers, now_playing, etc.) - to do this requires the addition of yet another module - DVDLobby. At a cost of another >$100 (I'm guessing)

You haven't provided a lot of details about your setup, but to control devices like TVs, amplifiers, etc. will obviously require some form of connectivity, such as IP, IR, or serial - the latter two will definitely require additional hardware (like a Global Cache iTach, etc.).

I spent many hundreds of dollars on Cinemar products and at the time there was nothing much else around that had the flexibility or capabilities of the MainLobby suite, at the price point I was comfortable with. The landscape has changed significantly over the last few years, so you need to decide exactly what functionality you're looking for (and how much you want to spend). Suites like MainLobby and CQC/Charmed Quark reside towards one end of the spectrum, and apps like Roomie, iRule, etc. are at the other - every one of these has it's own pros and cons, each has a its' own set of characteristics and unique value proposition.

Sorry if some of this is stating the obvious, but hopefully some of it helps a bit!

Dave
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you for that in depth response. So let me make sure I translated everything correctly:
I NEED a PC to run the preview and coming soon bit.
I also need Main Lobby AND DVD Lobby(I won't worry about music for now)


My PC is 2 floors up so I wonder if a wireless router would work to network and bring the signal down to the basement. Or what about a laptop/tablet?

How do I get a library of movies? Just using digital copies or does the library come with the program?

How is it controlled? Through the keyboard on my PC?
post #6 of 22
Thanks Dave for helping out mijotter.

I wasn't aware of mijotter's post until today.

It sounds like mijotter you are trying to do the same movie poster solution I created in my own theater.
IMG_1626_small.jpg

As Dave mentioned you will need a Windows based PC in the mix. You could have that PC function as the server as well as the video feed to your Movie Poster TV.

We have a Content Manager application that comes with MLServer that will help you manage your movies. From our perspective, you can point to a file or even a disc in a Sony CX7000ES changer.
You will need a media player such as one of the Dune HD Media Players. We can control this unit over IP. Then you'll be able to select your movie from a variety of devices such as iPad, Android or windows based devices.
We do also have a 1920x1080 onscreen version for selecting movies as well.

You can call us anytime at the number on our website if you'd like me to walk you through some possible setups.
post #7 of 22
See, I told you Mario was really responsive!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Thank you for that in depth response. So let me make sure I translated everything correctly:
I NEED a PC to run the preview and coming soon bit.
I also need Main Lobby AND DVD Lobby(I won't worry about music for now)

Obviously Mario's statements are the definitive word, but maybe just to add to your understanding: You do need a Windows-based PC to run anything using MainLobby, not just the preview and trailer stuff. The whole ML suite is incredibly powerful and comprehensive - all of the heavy lifting is done on the PC (acting as a true server), with the UI and other limited activities being handled by the iOS/Android/laptop/touchscreen, all of which can be accessed wirelessly. The most basic ML configuration consists of MainLobby + MLServer: this pairing gives you the foundation layer on which to place additional functionality, such as using the DVDLobby and MusicLobby modules, and a whole host of other goodies, like home automation, security, lighting and sprinkler control, stock market reports, weather, horoscopes, etc., etc.

Dave
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
My PC is located on the second floor and the theatre is in the basement. Wireless signal is superb down there. Would it be possible to wirelessly connect my PC with the handheld device then to a wifi DLNA TV and run it that way? The Sony disc changer is WAY out of my budget as the cheapest one I found was $1,500 on ebay.

I was reading through your forums about use with the Kindle Fire. Were you able to get it to work on the Kindle nicely? Thanks.
Edited by mijotter - 4/15/13 at 11:30pm
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

My PC is located on the second floor and the theatre is in the basement. Wireless signal is superb down there. Would it be possible to wirelessly connect my PC with the handheld device then to a wifi DLNA TV and run it that way? The Sony disc changer is WAY out of my budget as the cheapest one I found was $1,500 on ebay.

I was reading through your forums about use with the Kindle Fire. Were you able to get it to work on the Kindle nicely? Thanks.

If your PC is on the 2nd, you'll need to get the video signal to your Movie Poster TV somehow. I'm guessing there are wireless VGA options available but I'm not an expert in that area. I personally used a VGA balun from Muxlab to send my video signal to the Movie Poster over cat5. This requires a directly line though, just because it's cat5 doesn't mean it connects to your home network and passes the video through the network.

Can you get a cat5 cable from your PC to your Movie Poster TV? You'll want this to be a dedicated PC though too since it will be at a very odd resolution and in portrait format.

You could pick up a very inexpensive PC that could probably sit right next to the Movie Poster TV as well and then just use wifi or a network cable to communicate with it. Then the video signal is right next to the Movie Poster TV.

A sample system configuration for you could be this:
* iPad for Remote Control
* PC for running MLServer and supplying video to the Movie Poster TV
* Dune HD media player for network movie playback in your theater

I'll have to check with Dave to see how his testing of the Kindle went.
post #10 of 22
mijotter, in another thread you said you only wanted to stream some MP3's. This is very simple with any $100-ish streaming box or blu-ray player and it's included remote (or your universal remote). The system proposed in this thread is awesome, but overkill for your simple requirements. If you want to go down that path, that's cool, but there are very cheap and simple ways to access your music library.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
No I was just wondering what the best way to stream music would be. This Cinemar system is something I eventually want. Just trying to piece some of the pieces together for my specific setup.

mcascio let me know what you find out about the Kindle Fire as I'm pretty close to purchasing one since they work with iRule as well.

I cannot run a cat5 from my current PC to the basement. Wouldn't want to open walls to do that. Will check in to the wireless option for VGA.

You mention the Dune HD player, why can't a Panasonic Bluray work as well? This one: http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/DMP-MST60
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

No I was just wondering what the best way to stream music would be. This Cinemar system is something I eventually want. Just trying to piece some of the pieces together for my specific setup.

mcascio let me know what you find out about the Kindle Fire as I'm pretty close to purchasing one since they work with iRule as well.

I cannot run a cat5 from my current PC to the basement. Wouldn't want to open walls to do that. Will check in to the wireless option for VGA.

You mention the Dune HD player, why can't a Panasonic Bluray work as well? This one: http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/DMP-MST60
You are correct that a Panasonic bluray player will stream music. That thing you linked will as well, but it's not a bluray player. Do you already own a bluray player? If so, that will probably stream music as well.

Dune is a far better solution long term because it can handle a lot more file types than any streaming bluray players or cheap streamers like the one you linked. Panasonic is typically pretty terrible at streaming. Not sure if that new model you linked is any good or not.

You need to think about your ultimate goals before wasting money on devices that won't work in the end.
Edited by mdavej - 4/17/13 at 2:22pm
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well basically I want the simplest(most cost effective) way to perform the DVDLobby preview thing is what i'm interested in.
Edited by mijotter - 4/17/13 at 8:15pm
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Any updates on that Kindle Fire experiment? I would be getting the newest edition of it with the Android OS. If I put the dedicated HTPC in the basement will I need a cat5 cable to run fro the PC to the TV or can that be done wirelessly, I ask because I'm slowly dry walling walls and would need to know before things are closed off.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Any updates on that Kindle Fire experiment? I would be getting the newest edition of it with the Android OS. If I put the dedicated HTPC in the basement will I need a cat5 cable to run fro the PC to the TV or can that be done wirelessly, I ask because I'm slowly dry walling walls and would need to know before things are closed off.

I spoke with Dave and he said you shouldn't have any problem running on the Kindle Fire.

Are you trying to use the HTPC to playback movies as well as feed your Movie Poster TV display?
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Eventually yes for both but for now the Movie Poster TV display. Good to hear about the Kindle Fire:)
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Eventually yes for both but for now the Movie Poster TV display. Good to hear about the Kindle Fire:)

I'd push you to the Dune for movie playback instead of the HTPC. You could pick up one of their low cost Smart Series B1, D1 or H1.

Then the PC would drive the video signal to your TV Movie Poster display.

In theory, you could use the HTPC to supply video to your theater and your TV Movie Poster assuming you have a dual output video ports. Then MainLobby would open up on your 2nd video card.

If you run cat5 from your HTPC, you'll just need a balun to convert to the appropriate format of your video output on your HTPC.

You could network your PC wirelessly, but you that is different from the video feed to the TV Movie Poster. I personally avoid wireless whenever possible. Just another opportunity for something to go wrong.

Hope that helps.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok I ran an HDMI and cat6 cable from where the receiver will be to where the HTPC will be. Then I ran a cat6 from where the HTPC will be to where the TV for the preview will be. Does this sound right? If, down the road I wanted to purchase and use a Dune system would I have the correct and right amount of cables to do so?
post #19 of 22
That's a loaded question. Were you planning to have the HTPC serve up your movies and the Movie Poster TV?

If so, what are the video outputs on your HTPC?

Is your network router/switch located near the Receiver too? You just want to make sure your network your HTPC too. So I'm assuming that's what the cat6 from the receiver to the HTPC is for.

You'll obviously need to convert the cat6 cable from your HTPC to the Movie Poster TV to a valid video signal like VGA or HDMI using a balun. If it's easy to do now, you could run an HDMI from your HTPC to your Movie Poster leaving a spare cat6.

If you replace the HTPC with a Dune you should be in good shape as well since you'll need a video signal (HDMI) and a network connection (cat6).
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
At this point I'm just trying to "future proof" this system for when I finally do get an HTPC and/or possibly that Dune system. Yes I will have a router down in the basement next to where the HTPC will be placed. So I have a 2 cat6 cables for running from the AVR to router and AVR to HTPC and then the HDMI from the AVR to HTPC so it will all be networked together.

I think once I get my HTPC down there I'll use that for movies and the Movie Poster TV yes.

So sounds like I have all the necessary cables for an HTPC and/or Dune setup.

Just to clarify, with a Dune media player, I wouldn't then need the HTPC to handle the movies, just the Movie Preview TV correct? But would I still need a cat6 coming from the Dune player or my receiver to the HTPC for the previews?
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Just to clarify, with a Dune media player, I wouldn't then need the HTPC to handle the movies, just the Movie Preview TV correct? But would I still need a cat6 coming from the Dune player or my receiver to the HTPC for the previews?

??
post #22 of 22
mijotter,

In either case, your Dune needs to be on the network over cat5/6. You then need a video feed from the Dune Player to your receiver. I personally use the Component and Digital Coax outputs of the Dune to go to my whole house matrix switcher. The digital toslink goes to my D-Box. And an HDMI output goes to my receiver. So in my case, I'm using quite a few of the outputs. The output you use will depend upon your receiver, but most likely, you'll end up using the HDMI output from your Dune to your receiver. If your Dune is not going to be located next to the receiver, I'd pull at least two cat6 in place of running an HDMI cable.

As long as the Dune is networked, it can access movies stored on your networked HTPC. They do not need to be connected together in anyway.
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