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AVAtrix setup - Page 3

post #61 of 95
In my case I am running MainLobby with touchscreens in each room and IR remotes for the basic functions. The commands are sent to IR receivers in each room then processed by ML. ML then resends the correct controls to the various components. The remotes for each room are configured to send commands specific to each room. If I select the DVD in the living room via either the touchscreen or remote ML checks to see if it is in use. If it is ML puts a message on the touchscreen saying it is in use and plays an alert over the speakers in the room. If no one else is using the dvd, it switches normally. I take it a little further since I have multiple changers so it takes the movies playing and locks out selecting other movies on that changer but still allows access to the rest of the changer.

The ML server lets me put an extra trackable layer between the devices. The server tracks what functions are being used in each room and knows the correct commands, limits access based on different rules, knows the correct volume and input settings for the various displays. So with my HTPC issues I found that 1 TV wouldn't play nice and only looked good at a resolution that none of the others could display. When I select the HTPC as the source for the problem TV ML changes the resolution on the source to the correct one automatically.
post #62 of 95
Thanks.

Are there usually consultants one can hire to help with the purchase of the equipment and software necessary to do accomplish what you are doing? I am not sure I could do all of that myself (time) and get it right within a reasonable amount of time.

Would this setup work with the AVAtrix? Do I have a basic understanding of the path correct below?

RC => ML => AVAtrix => AV device => ML => RC

John
post #63 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by LathanM View Post

In my case I am running MainLobby with touchscreens in each room and IR remotes for the basic functions. The commands are sent to IR receivers in each room then processed by ML. ML then resends the correct controls to the various components. The remotes for each room are configured to send commands specific to each room. If I select the DVD in the living room via either the touchscreen or remote ML checks to see if it is in use. If it is ML puts a message on the touchscreen saying it is in use and plays an alert over the speakers in the room. If no one else is using the dvd, it switches normally. I take it a little further since I have multiple changers so it takes the movies playing and locks out selecting other movies on that changer but still allows access to the rest of the changer.

The ML server lets me put an extra trackable layer between the devices. The server tracks what functions are being used in each room and knows the correct commands, limits access based on different rules, knows the correct volume and input settings for the various displays. So with my HTPC issues I found that 1 TV wouldn't play nice and only looked good at a resolution that none of the others could display. When I select the HTPC as the source for the problem TV ML changes the resolution on the source to the correct one automatically.

LathanM, As an ML user, I am curious on how exactly you have the remote in each room sending commands to ML. You are a few steps ahead of me on the AVAtrix setup, so if you can help me speed up my learning curve I would appreciate it.

This is my current plan on how I want to implement it, but if you have a better way, I am all ears.

  • Touchscreens in each room that will control the AVAtrix through serial control and send appropriate IR commands to my DirecTiVo's through my USB-UIRT.
  • Use the standard DirecTiVo "peanut" remote in each room.
    • Use a Y-Stereo miniplug splitter coming off the AVAtrix IR out port.
      • One leg will go to the AA IR router
      • Other leg will have an IR emitter connected that will be attached to the IR window of my USB-UIRT to allow communication to ML.
    • Program a different TV code for each room to use as a room identifier.
      • Press 1 through 6 to select the appropriate source.
        • This IR signal will be captured by the USB-UIRT and update the MLServer AVAtrix_Source variable for that room and switch to that source through serial control.
      • When the remote control switch is set back to the normal DirecTiVo mode, then any remote signals sent through the wall plate in that room will be routed to the appropriate source by the IR router. When the signal is sent to the USB-UIRT, it will just capture the IR code to possibly update some MLServer variables (channel being watched, etc. -- it won't transmit the IR signal)
    • The USB-UIRT would only be used in the receive mode and would not transmit signals. All IR signals would be sent through the AA router. I am hoping that this would lead to faster response times and would not be dependent upon MLServer to do basic remote control functions.
  • Each component to be controlled through IR would have 2 emitters attached to it. One coming from the AA IR router and the other from a Xantech connecting block attached to my USB-UIRT (or I might try to set up the USB-UIRT's output as the local input for the AVAtrix).
The above would all be what I would do for the 4 DirecTiVo's that are connected to the AVAtrix...I haven't really given much thought to the HTPC control yet.
Hope all of that is clear and as I stated I would be interested in how you are doing your IR control so I can adapt/modify my plans accordingly.
thanks,
Murray
post #64 of 95
MurryW,

That should work but will limit some access to different TiVo units since each remote will only control 1 unit. The IR address on the remote and the TiVo have to match. This is fine until you want to watch a show recorded on a TiVo in a different room. I had this problem initially since my wife and I have different recording taste. So I could switch to the correct input but couldn't control it from the remote. I got around this with Harmony remotes at first them switched to running them through ML.

With the Harmony (or any macro capable remote) you would program multiple Watch TV buttons on each remote. Each TiVo would be set to a different address. Each Watch TV button would control 1 TiVo. When pressed it would send an IR signal to the AVAtrix to set the zone and source for the room. The only issue is you don't have feedback to the users if a tuner is in use but you could put a message on the touchscreen for this.
post #65 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by LathanM View Post

MurryW,

That should work but will limit some access to different TiVo units since each remote will only control 1 unit. The IR address on the remote and the TiVo have to match. This is fine until you want to watch a show recorded on a TiVo in a different room. I had this problem initially since my wife and I have different recording taste. So I could switch to the correct input but couldn't control it from the remote. I got around this with Harmony remotes at first them switched to running them through ML.

With the Harmony (or any macro capable remote) you would program multiple Watch TV buttons on each remote. Each TiVo would be set to a different address. Each Watch TV button would control 1 TiVo. When pressed it would send an IR signal to the AVAtrix to set the zone and source for the room. The only issue is you don't have feedback to the users if a tuner is in use but you could put a message on the touchscreen for this.

LathanM, I think I am OK with using the standard remotes. This is what I will have set up:
  • TiVo1 -- Remote Address 1
  • TiVo2 -- Remote Address 2
  • TiVo3 -- Remote Address 3
  • TiVo4 -- Remote Address 4

In each room there will be a TiVo remote control set to use address 0. This will be able to control any of the 4 TiVo's. The AA IR router will only route this address 0 signal coming from a room with a wall plate to the source that is selected, so the other 3 TiVo's will be unaffected. The only problem would be if someon were to access the System page where the remote address is displayed with this "0" addressed remote which would change the remote address on the TiVo to 0 -- but this shouldn't be a problem since I am the only one that is likely to go into the system menu.

When I send IR commands from my USB-UIRT (from ML buttons on my touchscreens), the signals will go to all TiVo's since they will not be passing through the AA IR router. So for these cases, I will send the IR signal that is specific to the remote address of that TiVo.

So how are you capturing the signal from your wall plates into ML and then re-transmitting them?

thanks,
Murray
post #66 of 95
Thread Starter 
Murray,

How will you change the source in each room? Using the touchscreen only? I'm still hoping to get a programmable remote with Sat1, Sat2, Sat3, DVD and htpc buttons. When pressing a labeled button it switches to that source and then operates the source. Simple for a child. I will definitely do touchscreen, but maybe not in every room.
post #67 of 95
I'm with you RxMan1. I plan on having 4-5 Dircetv boxes, maybe a dvd changer and a NAS media streamer on number 6.

I would like to have simple programmable remotes that can not only switch my source on the AVAtrix but then also control the device (e.g change channel on the DTV box or fast forward a DVD).

I would think the above is possible. Right?

I would also like a remote that could control all the devices from anywhere, but maybe the above solution with box identifiers would work.

John
post #68 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by RxMan1 View Post

Murray,

How will you change the source in each room? Using the touchscreen only? I'm still hoping to get a programmable remote with Sat1, Sat2, Sat3, DVD and htpc buttons. When pressing a labeled button it switches to that source and then operates the source. Simple for a child. I will definitely do touchscreen, but maybe not in every room.

Programmable remotes would definitely be easier, but I want to stick with the DirecTiVo peanut remotes that everyone in my house is familiar with.

There is a switch for Sat/TV, so my plan is to program different TV codes for each remote (may not even use the code for the TV in that room). Then if you wanted to switch to source 4 in that room, you would move the switch from Sat to TV then press the 4 on the remote. That would send the IR code for the 4 for that TV to my USBUIRT through the wall plate -- it would also go out to the current source associated with that room, but since that code is not specific to the source component, it would be ignored by the source component.

When the USBUIRT received the unique IR signal for that room and number, it would send the appropriate RS-232 signal to the AVAtrix to switch to that source for the given room. Then the person in the room that initiated the source change, would move the switch back into the Sat position and control the DirecTiVo using the AVATrix's IR router to get it to the correct source.

I don't really plan to have touchscreens in each room, but will have a couple of portable ones that can be moved from room-to-room. I anticipate that most of the time, the remote is going to be used to select sources and navigate through the source's functions.

I haven't really given the HTPC control much thought yet, but I am guessing that might have to be a little more touchscreen intensive to select movies and get them started. After that, I should be able to use the DirecTiVo remote to perform the basic transport functions.

This is all theory, so I hope to get everything going in the next week or two. My xantech IR receivers are supposed to arrive today so I should have everything I need other than time to get it all together. Who knows, maybe a couple of weeks from now, I wil be going the universal remote route!

Murray
LL
post #69 of 95
Thread Starter 
I know one possibilty is the mx-500 remote. It is a large remote, but you can name some of the buttons on it. I currently have one, but was hoping for something smaller. Like jkseger said above, something that can switch and then control. I would get 4 of them so everyone would be familiar with the remote regardless of the room.
post #70 of 95
I keep forgetting about the 0 code with the TiVo remotes. This clears up some of the issues but what happens when you press a button to control a TiVo? The AVAtrix doesn't have zone outputs so how are you controling what TiVo gets the command?
post #71 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by LathanM View Post

I keep forgetting about the 0 code with the TiVo remotes. This clears up some of the issues but what happens when you press a button to control a TiVo? The AVAtrix doesn't have zone outputs so how are you controling what TiVo gets the command?

The AVAtrix comes with the AA 1108 IR router, and from page 12 of the User Manual:
Quote:


d. Audio Authority Model 1108 (sold separately) addresses the problem of controlling multiple identical sources from a Wallplate. The Model 1108, when used with individual IR emitters attached to the sources, routes the IR command from a Wallplate to the appropriate source only.

Murray
post #72 of 95
Hi all,

Are any of you using the AVAtrix for audio distribution, by using a NAS and a media streamer? I was thinking of using the 6th input for a NAS/media streamer like the TVIX. That way I could get audio and video to all rooms with a wall plate.

I guess the other option would be just to hook up a couple of DirecTV H20 HDPVRs and use their new networking capabilities.

I also thinking of just going with a Sonos for audio.

Your thoughts?

Thanks,

John
post #73 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by MurrayW View Post

The AVAtrix comes with the AA 1108 IR router
Murray

Ah missed that part . Guess I will be speeding up replacement of my present switches and clean up some of the complexity.

How is the ML driver working out?
post #74 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by LathanM View Post

How is the ML driver working out?

It is sending commands that are sometimes acted upon. I have a feeling that it is trying to send and receive commands too quickly and ends up making errors. I've sent Mario the details and am waiting for his developer to make some modifications. I am sure that it is just a matter of time before they get this working.

Murray
post #75 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by MurrayW View Post

In each room there will be a TiVo remote control set to use address 0. This will be able to control any of the 4 TiVo's. The AA IR router will only route this address 0 signal coming from a room with a wall plate to the source that is selected, so the other 3 TiVo's will be unaffected. The only problem would be if someon were to access the System page where the remote address is displayed with this "0" addressed remote which would change the remote address on the TiVo to 0 -- but this shouldn't be a problem since I am the only one that is likely to go into the system menu.

Doesn't the TiVo reset the address when you use a remote with an address of 0 on it? I think it does.
post #76 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmackDaddy View Post

Doesn't the TiVo reset the address when you use a remote with an address of 0 on it? I think it does.

Only if you are viewing the system menu on the page that shows the remote address setting. So it is pretty unlikely that anyone else in my family would navigate to this area unintentionally and nobody else would have the desire or curiosity to do that other than me!
post #77 of 95
I have successfully installed an Avatrix 561/1176 wiring the cat5e myself. The transmission to my plasma from my DirecTV HR20 is flawless. Unfortunately, I am not able to get the IR to relay to my HR20. I am using a Channel Vision IR receiver. It indicates that it is properly receiving the signal (by virtue of the light blinking when the remote keys are pressed). On the 1108, I see a small light blinking to indicate that the signal has been transported but my receiver does not respond. Am I to believe that I need a Xantech receiver; xantech emitter or what? This notion that I must spend 3 times the prices for an IR reciever or emitter is a bit hard to take given the cost of the Avatrix.

Is there a rational explanation regarding the differences of different brands?

Thanks for any help.
post #78 of 95
Thread Starter 
There is/was an issue with Channel Vision IR receivers. The issue has since been resolved, but I'm not sure what can be done to make yours work. I beat myself over the head for about 5 days trying every combination of source and outputs. The problem is with the Channel Vision IR receiver. Call AA on Monday and maybe they can help.
post #79 of 95
Wondering if you would know what the issue was. Is there some setup that needs to be done to insure proper working. I have a simple setup right now. One wallplate. Only working with one source at the moment (DirecTV).

Against my personal inclination (but wife wants it NOW) I am going to BestBuy to purchase another emitter to see if that is the issue. I find it hard to believe that a silly wire with an emitter designed to emit RF can be so different from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Thanks in advance.

P.S. Avatrix rocks!
post #80 of 95
Thread Starter 
The emitters are NOT the problem. It is the Channel Vision IR receiver. Mine also showed a blue blinking light making it seem to work when in fact it was not passing the ir commands correctly. I contacted Trent at AA and actually sent my Channel Vision receiver to them to test.
post #81 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by RxMan1 View Post

The emitters are NOT the problem. It is the Channel Vision IR receiver. Mine also showed a blue blinking light making it seem to work when in fact it was not passing the ir commands correctly. I contacted Trent at AA and actually sent my Channel Vision receiver to them to test.

You have confirmed my experience. I am seeing the blue blinking light and i see a blinking light at the 1108 confirming the signal is coming from the wallplate. But I now understand you say it doesn't pass the codes correctly? Makes some sense.

And what did they say would correct it other than using a xantech receiver? Are they testing the Channel Vision to adjust? Just wondering. Would be nice.

I am having a hard time accepting the fact that I have to spend $120 instead of $40 to make this puppy work.

Thanks for your input.
post #82 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpw94 View Post

You have confirmed my experience. I am seeing the blue blinking light and i see a blinking light at the 1108 confirming the signal is coming from the wallplate. But I now understand you say it doesn't pass the codes correctly? Makes some sense.

And what did they say would correct it other than using a xantech receiver? Are they testing the Channel Vision to adjust? Just wondering. Would be nice.

I am having a hard time accepting the fact that I have to spend $120 instead of $40 to make this puppy work.

Thanks for your input.

It definitely is something wrong with the channel Channel Vision receiver, but AA worked with Channel Vision and Channel Vision supposedly fixed the problem. Trent sent me an email detailing what the problem was -- faulty firmware. Here's a portion of that email:

Quote:


The long and short of it is that there was a mistake made in Channel Vision's firmware implementation on the Microcontroller used inside the IR receiver. Basically, they got a batch of microcontrollers that were a bit out of spec, but due to the firmware error, the correction protocol in the microcontroller that would have compensated for the out of spec chip, was not active. Basically, your receivers were passing gibberish through the AVAtrix, which is why the IR signal could be passed, but neither the AVAtrix or your sources could understand the signal.

I asked Trent what Channel Vision was doing to recall the faulty units in the distribution chain (I think RxMan and I bought our Channel Vision receivers from different vendors) but he never got back to me on that.

I would definitely call AA and let them know of your problem. I also have the name and phone number of the person at Channel Vision who worked with AA on this problem and can give that information to you via a PM if you are interested.

Good luck!
Murray
post #83 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by MurrayW View Post

It definitely is something wrong with the channel Channel Vision receiver, but AA worked with Channel Vision and Channel Vision supposedly fixed the problem.



I asked Trent what Channel Vision was doing to recall the faulty units in the distribution chain (I think RxMan and I bought our Channel Vision receivers from different vendors) but he never got back to me on that.

I would definitely call AA and let them know of your problem. I also have the name and phone number of the person at Channel Vision who worked with AA on this problem and can give that information to you via a PM if you are interested.

Good luck!
Murray

Thanks Murray. I have received the same info from AA. I called Channel Vision technical support and they were unaware. However, Trent did give me the name of a person to deal with. I have left that person a message and am hoping they can come up with a reasonable solution. When I have that info, I will post it here.
post #84 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpw94 View Post

Thanks Murray. I have received the same info from AA. I called Channel Vision technical support and they were unaware. However, Trent did give me the name of a person to deal with. I have left that person a message and am hoping they can come up with a reasonable solution. When I have that info, I will post it here.

When you do talk to them can you ask what they are doing with defective units that are already out in the stores. I will probably be adding 2 more wall plates to my system (only bought 4 initially) and would prefer to save some money going with the Channel Vision receivers, but right now would not feel comfortable buying them without some assurance they are purging out the bad ones.
thanks,
Murray
post #85 of 95
Hi Murray - Hi everyone,

Channel Vision hasn't told me of any plans to recall units - I'm not sure if this problem exists with all of that model, or just a few units. Their general tech support is not aware of the problem, as it has not been escalated to that level yet, but anyone who needs to get in touch with someone there about the IR receiver incompatibility with the AVAtrix can contact me and I'll give them the information.

Trent
post #86 of 95
Success!

I have spoken to a Channel Vision application engineer and he has gladly provided me his contact information for you to deal directly with him. His name is Jack Urrutia and he gave me an RMA request form. When you get an RMA, you will send your units to them, they will update them and will test them with an onsite AVatrix (as soon as AA gets them the one they promised!! -- ahem!). They promise to turn this around immediately. He will gladly speak to any of you who own the product. His number is: 800-840-0288, ext. 1804.

Also, I found a source where I think I can get a group deal on the CV 2105's. It will be somewhere in the ballpark of $50 plus s/h. I will confirm the pricing shortly.

Thanks to Trent of AA for pointing me in the right direction!!
post #87 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpw94 View Post

(as soon as AA gets them the one they promised!! -- ahem!)

I'm working on it!!! If you guys would just quit buying them for a minute, then maybe I'd have an extra one to send to Jack

In all seriousness, we're going to get a unit to them absolutely as soon as we can. I'm glad CV is stepping up to help you folks out - great customer service from them.

Trent
post #88 of 95
If mine wasn't on backorder for a month I would send it back so you could send it to CV... NOT!
post #89 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by emillika View Post

If mine wasn't on backorder for a month I would send it back so you could send it to CV... NOT!

Are you talking about an order through Smarthome? I'm going to check on their orders this morning.

Trent
post #90 of 95
Yes Trent... The order placed last week with Smarthome and I have been told the expected ship date is 4/9.
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