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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,


I have a couple of questions.


1. I have a Sony 985V 400 disc changer hooked to a Pioneer 50 Plasma in the living room. Can I use this with Cinemar DVD Lobby PPC and have control over the changer? This changer has no serial connection. If I can, please tell me what I need to get it to work.


2. Can I use the DVDLobby Pocket PC version on a Dell Axiom X51v running Windows Mobile 5?


3. I only want to run DVD's from the changer to the TV. I don't have any DVD's ripped to a computer. Will I still be required to have a PC in the living room near my TV?


Can you tell I am new? Please help! The DVD management of our 350+ discs has become an issue. The changer's built-in explorer is useless. I want my wife and kids to be able to find a disc easily.


Help me set it up! I had planned to get the Sony 777ES and the Escient DVD controller but the Cinemar interface looks perfect. I just need to know exactly what I need. My PC is connected to my network wirelessly. The airport base station sends the signals out for laptop and printer connections. I have no way to hard wire ethernet cable to my living room from my office.


My questions don't get completely answered at the Cinemar site.


Thanks!
 

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you'd need an IR blaster to send it IR commands. You wouldn't need a PC necessarily near the TV, but you'd have to find a PC-based device to blast those IR commands. I don't use Cinemar so I'm not sure specifically which IR devices it supports, but something like the R2DI IR card is a device that allows you to run cables to different rooms to mount IR blasters (or receivers) for this very purpose.


Of course,the simplest would be to put the megachanger near your PC away and out of sight, and just run component to the TV. Heck, may as well move the receiver too - the only reason I was allowed to buy a plasma was that I promised my wife that there would be zero equipment in the HT, just the TV & speakers. No DirecTV STB, no DVD player, no stereo, no megachanger, etc etc etc.
 

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I thought Smoothk answered this question on the Cinemar forums. Anyway.



1. You need any supported IR controller (USBUIRT, Slinke, Globak Cache or USBIR6). This needs to be placed near the changer. Where you place the changer and the number of changers you want to control over IR will dictate your choice. For example if it is just 1 changer the USBUIRT is the perfect cheap solution at $50. If you are looking at having multiple changers then the USBIR6 is a good choice since it has addressable IR outputs (1 output per changer).


2. I think it will work but I am not a mobile expert. I gave up on handhelds after the Newton.


3. The placement of the PC is dictated by the IR device you run. With all of the ones from above you need LOS between the unit and the changer. For the most part you can do this with a single pair of wires between the IR controller and a remote emitter. The emitter is tiny and depending on the one chosen can be used to shoot a signal across the room like a normal remote. The only drawback to this is the farther apart they are the harder it is for LOS so YMMV.


The last thing is you can run the ML server from your regular PC but I wouldn't recommend it. One day it will happen and you are going to want to your the DVD changer but can't because your desktop is of or some new device is interfering with USB ports on your system, etc. Set up a dedicated PC for the control and things will go allot smoother. The machine doesn't need to be a monster box for what you are doing so any old machine should work.


You had a question also about sending IR from your PocketPC to the changer. The problem is partially the range on most these devices. The IR was desigend for very short ranges, in some cases less than a foot, so it is really difficult to know what will and wont work. Also what if you want greater accuracy that IR allows? There is no easy way for just the handheld to control a 777 or similar changer. There are programs like Netremote that do allow some PPCs to be used as remotes but they do a poor job of mimicing what you are looking for. If you are really wanting direct control without any extra pieces then you are really limited to things like the Harmony remotes that will allow you to list all the movice in the changer and select them but it is really no frills at this. So no searching, movie overviews, trivia, etc.


Hope this helps to clear up some of the questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Lathan--thanks!


Without sounding dense, I am still having a bit of trouble understanding something.


I will have a dedicated PC for MLServer. However, it will be in my office. The changer and TV are in the living room of course. So some of the controllers in your post won't work, right? I thought some of them were actually PCI cards for a computer or must be attached via USB. How would I use them with the PC elsewhere?


I need to have the controller LOS to the changer--I understand that. That can be done. How do I get the info to the controller from my PC?


Finally, I downloaded the MLServer 30 day trial. It loaded easily and is running. How can I test what I want to do? I don't see any trials of the GUI's like DVDLobby. I hate to buy it and have it not work. What do you do with just the server trial?
 

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Any of the controllers will work in your situation it just depends on how you want to connect them. All support running long emitter wires back to the units. This is fine since it is a single wire connection that can be run in most installs. The next option is to go wireless. You can get wireless repeater system for $30 that allow you to retransmit IR to devices in cabinents. These systems work well when you cant run wire to the devices. One note is the repeater systems are normally 900Mhz so you can occasionally get interference from other devices since this part of the spectrun is a little crowded.


The last few options are expensive and i wouldn't recommend them starting out because of this but if you go this route you are building a more bulitproof system. The first is WiFi. For this you need a wireless bridge. Bridges allow you to connect any ethernet device to a wireless network. Think of it as a wireless access point in reverse. With this you can attach a Globalcache adapter to you network and use its IR emitters.


The second is wirless serial ports. These are either 1 or 2 piece radio repeaters for serial communications. The are great since the radios have better penitration and work 2 way so if with changers like the 777es you could place one anywhere and have total control of it or any serial device. These systems support long ranges so if you have a seial controlled device in an unattached garage that you wanted to control or monitor this would do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK,


So I have the PC running MLServer in my office. I have the PocketPC running DVDLobby in the living room.


In my living room cabinet I have a Global Cache IR unit connected to my wireless network via a WiFi bridge. The Global Cache will send IR to my Sony 985V DVD changer in the same cabinet that it receives via WiFi from the MLServer.


My network is actually built around Mac products---we have three macs, a desktop PC and a laptop PC. The WiFi is sent via an Airport base station. I can get an Airport Express to connect the Global Cache. I guess this is a "bridge" that you mention. It's about $100--is there something that will work that is cheaper?


Is this how you see the best potential for me. This is still cheaper than buying a new changer and Escient DVD controller.
 

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If you are trying to do this as cheap as possible go with the USBUIRT and the ir repeater. The Airport Express should work fine but the GC isnt' cheap at $150. You can get both the USBUIRT and ir repeater for $100 and the repeater will work with any remote. The USBUIRT is also supported by practically every automation and media center app so it is a good investment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What do I plug the USBUIRT into? I thought I needed to connect to the WiFi. My DVD changer is inside a closed cabinet. I currently control my HD cable box, receiver, DVD changer and another DVD player with a Hotlink IR block/receiver. I aim my remote at the receiver eye built-in to the cabinet and it sends IR to the components inside the cabinet.
 

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Server > USBUIRT > IR repeater. Place IR repeater next to the component or in your case near the input for your Hot Link system. It doesn't get any easier. Her is a link to Smarthome's description of the system. This one is by Powermid but you can also get them from Recton.



Powermid IR Repeater

Recton IR Repeater
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Is this the same thing? It's a little less money.
Radio Shack IR Repeater


So the USBUIRT goes into the PC in my office. I place the TX of the repeater near the back of the PC. The TX send the signal to the RX placed in my living room. The Hotlink receiver eye sends the command to the DVD changer.


Is this correct?


Or, does the "RX" of the pyramid get the signal from the USBUIRT and the TX sends to the Hotlink.


I know I'm making this more difficult that it really is!
 

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Your first explanation is correct. You could also put the RX end in the cabinet with the rest of the components. It comes down to what one gives you the best responce.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK, I ordered the USBUIRT and picked up the IR repeater at Radio Shack. I purchased DVDLobby PPC and installed it. I can't get it to work.


When I first installed, I had the green light and could see my (few) DVD's that I added into MLServer. Once closed on the PPC, it will never connect again. I get only the splash screen for Cinemar and a red light. If I reinstall, same thing each time.


I'm thinking about getting a refund. I just don't think this is going to be reliable enough for my wife and kids and I really don't want to be screwing with it all the time either.


Any thoughts? Someone in a thread mentioned manually copying the ini file to the PPC. I don't know where this is to copy it. Also, I am using Flash 7 for PPC. They said use Flash 5 but I can't find the older version.


Can you help?
 

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I don't have the PPC version of DVDL so I am at a little loss here. I have asked for a copy of the documentation from Cinemar. Once I get it I will take a look and let you know my take on it.
 

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Found a thread that may help.
http://www.cinemaronlineforums.com/f...&highlight=ppc


The file you want to edit is called dvdlobbyppc.ini I don't know if it will show up with the extension on the PPC. You may have to turn off hiding extensions to see the file.

- M$ if you are going to hide extension make them totally irrelevant. Use the meta tags so files know what program to open in. This is waaayy better then treating your users like morons and hiding things from them.
 

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Figured it was a DNS issue. Glad to hear you got it working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Now I just need to figure out how to get it to play a movie!


My USB-UIRT hasn't arrived yet so it's hard to tell. Mario emailed and said that I had to buy MLServer 3 AND DVD Lobby Pro to be able to use DVDLobby PPC. I thought I only had to have the server to make it work. It's getting more expensive now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
He also sent the following script:


MLServeCmd.Macro|MLDVDLobby|SETSOURCE~!MLUSBUIRT|SendIR

~DVD~stop

!MLPause|1.5!MLUSBUIRT|SendIR~DVD~stop!MLPause|1.5!MLUS

BUIRT|SendIR~DVD~Display!MLPause|5.5!MLUSBUIRT|SendIR~D

VD~Enter!MLPause|1.5!MLUSBUIRT|SendIR~DVD~!MLPause|1.15!MLUSBUIRT|SendIR~DVD~!MLPause|1.15!MLUSBUIRT|SendIR~DVD~!MLPause|1!MLUSBUIRT|SendIR~DVD

~enter!MLPause|7.5!MLUSBUIRT|SendIR~DVD~display


Do I have to modify this to work with my Sony 985V? When I enter movies into the database, what do I put for Changer # and Changer Location #? I figure that Location is the actual slot the DVD is in. What about the first?
 

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Changer number is the number of the changer. In my case this is between 1 and 5 for at least a couple more weeks. If you only have 1 changer you an leave it out but it is better to leave it in for future upgrades. The Changer location is the slot of the disc. As you add them to DVDLobby it will give you options to enter this information.


The basic command looks fine. You can test it out with your regular remote to see if it needs any tweaking . Just follow the button presses and see if it does the right things. (stop, stop, display, enter, changer disc location digits (3), enter, display) You may have to do a little tweaking with the pauses but that is just part of tweaking the system since some IR devices are more responsive than others.
 
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