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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All:


Okay, I am running in to a dilemma that I thought I would ask. I know that its probably been asked a MILLION times, but what is the best control system for a home theater? Ok, here are the parameters:


- I have access to a PC, IBM x41 with touchscreen ;-). Its a P4 model so I don't see any problems with running big software.


- I also have access to a Crestron ST-CP module and a ST-1500 wireless panel.


- The theater consists of a a D-ILA unit (Dukane 9015, but will respond fine to JVC G15 codes), a Kenwood Soverign receiver (for now) and with a Pioneer cheap DVD player. Scaler is an Quadscan Elite HD.


- The receiver will be upgraded, scaler replaced and DVD player replaced. Not sure what they will be replaced with though. I am looking in to that now.


- Ok, about me. I am quite computer literate but I do *not* like to program. I have looked at the Crestron SIMPL+ system and while cool, its a pain ;-). I have looked CQC and others, but I am having a hard time grasping the "concept" behind their systems.


Soooo..what do I want? I would like to have something that has better documentation than the Pronto (have one of those, am working on learning that...), with the flexibility I need when I change components and at the same time is programmed with a drop/drag interface or something similar. I am not adverse to scripting, but I would prefer to avoid it when I can.


Any thoughts? Thanks!!


Allen
 

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The concept behind CQC, at it's most basic is this:

http://www.charmedquark.com/CustImag...lestSystem.JPG


It all comes down to that. There are devices, under the control of a controller, and that controller sits between those devices and provides a consistent interface to them so that Input/Output devices (user drawn interfaces, IR remotes, keypads, keyboards, etc...) can control them in a standard way. Each device is exposed as a set of named 'fields', e.g. Volume, Tint, Power, etc... that you can read and/or write to get data from a device or change the state of a device.


In CQC's case, it is a distributed system, so you can have more than one controller and numerous I/O devices.

http://www.charmedquark.com/CustImag...ncedSystem.jpg


That's it in a nutshell. Everything else is just a way to manipulate that basic architecture. You create 'actions' and you can invoke them from buttons on user interfaces, via keyboard, via IR remote, etc... An action is a sequence of reads or writes of a field value, invocations of a macro, or pauses.


If you haven't looked recently, I've added a new Get Started section that describes the architecture fairly thoroughly. You don't need to do any programming to use CQC, though if you are capable, it can allow you to write smarter, more flexible macros. The interfaces are designed in a drag and drop manner, and you see what you are creating as you create it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dean, thanks for the info. I'll look closer at CQC. My main thing is that I have a brain fart that prevents me from getting programming ;-). I'll give the 30day trial a go some time soon. I've got an extra PC or two that I can dedicate to this, but the construction details beckon first! Thanks again!!


Allen
 

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The only no programming box I know of is the Destiny Domain controller ( www.destinynetworks.com ) . You profile the devices (they have the profiles already built for some of your devices), profile the interconnects and your pretty much done. The controller itself is built on Linux. I'd imagine your talking less than 2 hours set-up for the system you described. It already knows how screens, projectors, scalars and amps work together....Given your description, I think it's what your looking for. You can leverage the IBM touchscreen for a dedicated GUI. It also has an RF hard button remote that's pretty reasonable. The Crestron wouldn't be worth the trouble.


If your in the bay area (or want more info), send me a pm.


-Aaron Rosenbaum
 

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It also looks like you wouldn't get it for less than $5500.


DN-DOM-5000 Domain 5000 Controller with Ubiquity Software $3,500

DN-DOM-350 Domain 350 Sensor Hub $2,000

DN-ACU-57 Acuity 57 Area Sensor $250

DN-ACU-47 Acuity 47 Entry Exit Sensor $125

DN-DOM-43 Domain 43 IR and RF Remote $79

DN-CON-11 Domain Pluggable Connectors, 6 pin, 10 per package $79

DN-CON-10 Domain Pluggable Connectors, 3 pin, 20 per package $79


You could buy a $1000 PC with an LCD touch screen, $200 for CQC, a few hundred more for serial ports and IR blaster/receiver, and control a system like his just as well, and be able to draw your own screens that do exactly what you want them to.
 

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Allen:


There is an older version of Crestron software on their web site called SmarTouch wizard that is drag and drop (and free). It is the predecssor to the current drag and drop program which is called Application Builder (which is not free and available only to dealers). It does NOT work with ALL of the newest hardware, but it will work fine with the ST-1500C and ST-CP. If you are interested and can't find it, let me know and I'll direct you to it.
 

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p.s. I would rate the program difficulty level somewhere around the Pronto, MUCH simpler than SIMPL. As far as whether documentation is better or worse than Pronto, I'd say that's an open question. Probably a little bit better and there are some tutorials in the online help section.
 

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As president of Destiny Networks, I'd like to concur with Aaron's comments in that the software really is configurable, no programming.


The post by Dean Roddy was not quite accurate concerning Destiny Networks' products. The only product required to do the theater control suggested is the Domain 5000, which has a retail price of $3,500.


We understand that many people find this expensive, so we are considering a new product that does the same thing for one room (instead of the whole house). I am curious how many people would find this attractive at $1000 price point.


Best Regards,

Mark
 
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