Nokia 770 for controlling HA and its CHEAP! - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 59 Old 07-08-2007, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Im just working with my small 770 touchscreen and its incredible. And for the price buy 5


Lots of debate on here about touchscreens, controlling HA and so on. Price ranges from 1K to 15K for this type of portable control. For everyone out there that wants portable touchscreen control and needs 5 or 6 this is seem to be a very viable option and its under $150 each.

Pros
1. Portable with WiFi
2. RDP or Web access
3. High resolution small screen
4. Extremely cheap for highly portable HA control
5. Take it on the road and watch movies (Now that is cool!!!!)

Cons

1. RDP session timeout or disconnect
2. Small screen, real estate for design limited but resolution is incredible.
3. um......battery life unknown (its new I havent worked with it more then 3 days)


Just wanted to post this option for those looking cost cutting solutions. My HA prototype solution just dropped by $4000 since I dont need 5 $1000 touchscreens.

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post #2 of 59 Old 07-09-2007, 08:16 AM
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Holy moly-- that's a significant price drop. I just ordered one. I've been lusting after the iPhone's album art flip interface for controlling audio in my house. Now I'll use this to roll my own!!!
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post #3 of 59 Old 07-09-2007, 09:17 AM
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Has there been an official price drop? It's still $279 on their website.
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post #4 of 59 Old 07-09-2007, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

RDP or Web access

Why would you use RDP when you can use web access? Not arguing, asking.
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post #5 of 59 Old 07-09-2007, 09:19 AM
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I don't know if it's official, but I just paid 150 less than that, and I'm seeing those prices at several places.
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post #6 of 59 Old 07-09-2007, 09:24 AM
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p.s. I assume this is a closeout as the 800 is the newer model and is still $399.
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post #7 of 59 Old 07-09-2007, 09:59 AM
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Saw it on buy.com for very low price w/ free shipping. This seems like a viable option as I considered this a few months back but was waiting to see if anyone implimented it in their HT setups but saw no takers. Glad for the heads-up on the price drop penngray. Would this be a good candidate for use with CQC or Main Lobby software for control of devices?

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post #8 of 59 Old 07-09-2007, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ion-man View Post

Saw it on buy.com for very low price w/ free shipping. This seems like a viable option as I considered this a few months back but was waiting to see if anyone implimented it in their HT setups but saw no takers. Glad for the heads-up on the price drop penngray. Would this be a good candidate for use with CQC or Main Lobby software for control of devices?

A user on the MainLobby forum just got one and likes it. He is using RDP. Smoothtlk advised against it.
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post #9 of 59 Old 07-09-2007, 11:22 AM
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Thanks MurrayW, I just checked the link. I honestly have never used RDP, so I will have to ensure my network is secure before going that route. I see smoothtlk is suggesting the UMPC from Samsung instead but since I don't need it for anything to intensive it should suit my needs. Just have to figure out how to get it done . Good price though.

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post #10 of 59 Old 07-09-2007, 12:07 PM
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There's a lot of discussion on our support forum about this device. A number of folks have started using them. RDP has it's pros and cons. It's better than a web interface since you get the full use of our interface viewer to create much more powerful touch screeens. But it's not as good as running the viewer locally since it puts all the burden on a single machine (the back end machine running the RDP sessions) and the video performance isn't as fast since the actual pixels that change have to be send over the network, as apposed to just redrawing locally.

So it's a compromise but for a small device like this it's probably the most reasonable solution.

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post #11 of 59 Old 07-09-2007, 12:30 PM
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What does RDP do to the local machine's monitor? Does it black it out like XP's remote desktop does? The reason I ask is that I have a laptop hooked up to a elo touchscreen in my lobby that I control my theater with. If I connected via the Nokia with RDP as a 2nd controller (remote for the seats) would it make me have to log back into the computer if I wanted to use the elo touchscreen?

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post #12 of 59 Old 07-09-2007, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barhoram View Post

What does RDP do to the local machine's monitor? Does it black it out like XP's remote desktop does? The reason I ask is that I have a laptop hooked up to a elo touchscreen in my lobby that I control my theater with. If I connected via the Nokia with RDP as a 2nd controller (remote for the seats) would it make me have to log back into the computer if I wanted to use the elo touchscreen?

Yes, RDP will take over the local machine's monitor...unless you do a fairly easy hack to allow concurrent sessions. Here's a link that explains how to enable it. It works for XP...I don't know if there is a comparable Vista work around. I used this to RDP into my MainLobby Server machine when I was using a very underpowered (100 Mhz) Fujitsu Stylistic Point 510 several years ago. The RDP experience was pretty much how Dean described a few posts above with occaisional drop outs requiring me to log back on to the remote machine.

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post #13 of 59 Old 07-09-2007, 01:40 PM
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I was always doubtful of RDP, but I've been converted recently.

I have had great success using CQC on a Nokia as well as another thin client (a webDT wireless tablet). As Dean said, if there is a lot of pixel redrawing the performance drops. The only time I see this is with a window slideout. Otherwise, for routine/typical touchscreen duites, there is no difference between using RDP and having the interface run on the client. I'm guessing security cameras wouldn't work well, but I haven't tried that yet.

I'm using a modern server for RDP with plenty of memory. I can connect 3 clients without any slowdown at all. One big advantage then, is I only have one computer to maintain as opposed to 3+.

Also, in addition to the multiple session hack that MurrayW mentioned , there is a commercial solution called xpunlimited. It's not too expensive, and it works perfect. I've almost never lose a connection (although I also upgraded my wireless cards, routers, etc recently).

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post #14 of 59 Old 07-09-2007, 02:28 PM
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I tested the Nokia when it first came out. Pretty lightweight device (performance wise). yes, it will work with MainLobby via RDP, but not nearly as well as a full UMPC. My forum post with a thumbs down was specifically addressing one of our new dealers that was inquiring about it. I don't recommend it as a pro solution. Not nearly as solid as a UMPC. With the UMPC and running MainLobby locally, we have full access to the hardware buttons that make the UMPC also be a practical "remote control" for volume and channel surfing. Not something I would want to do with a Nokia and RDP solution (no matter what software). Not to mention it isn't current line anyway and a dealer shouldn't be investing any time into a dead product. Does it work? yes. Pro solution? No.
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post #15 of 59 Old 07-10-2007, 09:05 AM
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smoothtlk,

What UMPC do you recommend for use that does hardware buttons well? The Q1, if so, how do you typically map them for volume, channel surfing, etc? Thanks in advance.

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post #16 of 59 Old 07-10-2007, 10:32 AM
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Hopefully this will answer your question re: which UMPC and the mapping:

http://www.cinemaronlineforums.com/w...PORT_REFERENCE
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post #17 of 59 Old 07-10-2007, 11:11 AM
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You can also use the demo version of xpunlimited for free. It is a fully functioning version with no time limit. It simply limits you to three RDP sessions which is probably fine for 90% of the HA users out there.

I currently use the 770 to control my CQC setup. Works great with normal templates and popups. You just have to stay away from popouts (which are simpy popups that are suppose to slide out from the side - it is strickly for eye candy - there is no difference between a popup and a popout except for how they first appear on the screen).

I agree with David that the 770s are not good enough for a pro install (which has to work 100% of the time - no matter what). But aside from the occational need to reconnect the RDP, it works great.

Some of the CQC guys are working on a script that would auto connect the network and RDP connections. Then it would be much closer to the ellusive 100% reliability.

Certainly there is no better "bang for the buck" right now - especially at $150 or less.

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post #18 of 59 Old 07-10-2007, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Why would you use RDP when you can use web access? Not arguing, asking.



QQQ, you never argue. I honestly believe you ask and post the right questions or question properly so dont need to ever qualify with me

The reason for the RDP solution is that I can write the screen once and use it many places. Im not a fan of having windows based screens and also having web based screens. Web design also is very intensive and I hate writing scripts (html, javascript, etc). Im a drag and drop object developer in the end. This is simply a personal preference, I write web apps using python all the time in the business world but those have a re-usable framework.

If CQC had a web based framework then I would consider web development but until then...RDP is pretty cool


Smoothtlk,
I dont think a comparison to a UMPC is valid here either since the Q1 is $1000 and this is $139 on buy.com or ebay right now. Obviously there is a huge price difference but with the RDesktop installed on the 770 it is as powerful as a desktop PC, heck it shows the desktop on that tiny screen. I was websurfing....not for those with bad eye sight btw, I love the Q1 also!

barhoram,

I use XPunlimited on my PC I use all day for work. Its only a Pentium 4 2.4 machine so its not that powerful. I have currently 3 RDP sessions running and I do not see performance issues and I work night and day on it. I still work on my PC will the other RDP sessions are in use.

The Demo version of XPunlimited only gives me 3 sessions and now I have requirements for 4 RDP sessions so I need to go a different route but its work very well for 6 months.

Can these be used for a professional install? I would say yes with a very well developed web app front end.

For me this is a huge find, real cheap wireless control and up there on the really cool factor, Im very happy with it so is my wife!

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post #19 of 59 Old 07-10-2007, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
video performance isn't as fast since the actual pixels that change have to be send over the network, as apposed to just redrawing locally.

I really dont see lag in any of my screens over RDP. I ask my wife last night to give me some honest comments on it and besides usage changes she said it was pretty smooth.

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post #20 of 59 Old 07-10-2007, 12:22 PM
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I looked at the XP Unlimited website and all I found were prices in euros if you buy it from them directly and their reseller links didn't have any US sellers. For you XPUnlimted users I have a few questions:

1. If you live in the US, where did you buy your license?
2. If you are using the trial version, does the nag screen cause any problems with the Nokia 770?
3. What are the advantages to using XPUnlimited vs. the RDP hack for these purposes, assuming you only have 5 or fewer clients? Is it just that the setup is easier or does the load balancing make a difference?

thanks,
Murray
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post #21 of 59 Old 07-10-2007, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

If CQC had a web based framework then I would consider web development but until then...RDP is pretty cool

Yep, that's why I asked.
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post #22 of 59 Old 07-10-2007, 01:33 PM
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Even with a web based framework, it would be hard to create anything like what you can create with our interface designer. It would take some really, really fancy dynamic HTML stuff to do that, which you can create very easily with our tools. Definitely HTML has it's uses, such as for access from the road. That kind of connectionless scheme works well from the road. Even with 'high bandwidth' connections in hotel, they are still slow compared to the local network, and people tend to take advantage of that really high bandwidth in the home network when creating their interfaces.

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post #23 of 59 Old 07-10-2007, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post

Does it work? yes. Pro solution? No.

I would agree with this as well. It works great 99% of the time, but then there are times you have to reconnect, etc.

Also a question:
Another reason I like the thin clients via RDP is that at least the windows based devices are instant on. I come home, hit one button on my webdt, the device turns on in 1-2 seconds, and the CQC interface is up in 10 more. That said, I would like to move to a more robust solution. Does the Q1 have a provision for standby or hibernate, and can it recover (including the wireless connection) from that state quickly?

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post #24 of 59 Old 07-10-2007, 02:06 PM
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I may just try one out. I tried XPunlimited, and it does work as advertised. Just to be certain, the 770 touchscreen works with a stylus or finger??

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post #25 of 59 Old 07-10-2007, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barhoram View Post

I may just try one out. I tried XPunlimited, and it does work as advertised. Just to be certain, the 770 touchscreen works with a stylus or finger??

both
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post #26 of 59 Old 07-10-2007, 02:09 PM
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Yes, the 770 is a Passive touchscreen so a finger works. But.....the screen is small so your UI will have to have few, large buttons for a finger to work effectively. With MainLobby, we include sliding menus for the smaller devices to leverage the available screen real estate as effectively as we can that only bring the controls into screen when needed and contextually readily available.
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post #27 of 59 Old 07-10-2007, 04:09 PM
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Though, as mentioned, sliding menus (what we call popouts) aren't optimal on RDP because it involves a lot of screen redrawing.

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post #28 of 59 Old 07-10-2007, 04:18 PM
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Well, that is the case, but at the end of the day, they work fine RDP or local client.
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post #29 of 59 Old 07-10-2007, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MurrayW View Post

I looked at the XP Unlimited website and all I found were prices in euros if you buy it from them directly and their reseller links didn't have any US sellers. For you XPUnlimted users I have a few questions:

1. If you live in the US, where did you buy your license?
2. If you are using the trial version, does the nag screen cause any problems with the Nokia 770?
3. What are the advantages to using XPUnlimited vs. the RDP hack for these purposes, assuming you only have 5 or fewer clients? Is it just that the setup is easier or does the load balancing make a difference?

thanks,
Murray

1) I use only the trial version so I cannot answer that.

2) No nag screens - not sure where you might have read that, but the trial version I have has no time limit, nag screens, etc - only the 3 user limit (I regularly have 2 concurrent sessions logged in without any issues).

EDIT - After more thought, I realized that XPUnlimited will typically load an internet page when you first log in. On my thin client, I usually want a web browser open, so it actually saves me a step - I simply use that browser and change to the site I really want to go to. I run a full screen kiosk style CQC viewer, so I never actually see the web page come up (it's behind my CQC viewer) and it doesn't slow anything down since it simply loads the page one time and simply sits there.

3) For me, the simplicity of loading the XPUnlimited program appealed to me more than trying to figure out a hack. Would the hack have really been any harder to impliment? I don't really know, but I do know the XPUnlimited was an easy install.

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post #30 of 59 Old 07-11-2007, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sic0048 View Post


3) For me, the simplicity of loading the XPUnlimited program appealed to me more than trying to figure out a hack. Would the hack have really been any harder to impliment? I don't really know, but I do know the XPUnlimited was an easy install.

The hack is pretty painless....You click on a link and it's done. It does change a few registry entries, so if you're the nervous sort, backup your registry. I'm using the hack and have zero issues.
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