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Introducing HTPC Cinema Managerâ„¢ 1.0 - AVS Forum Version


The first and only application designed specifically for Home Theatre PC software management. With Cinema Managerâ„¢, users can store all inputs like DVD, TV, HDTV, Cable, dScaler and associate screen resolutions and pixel depths into a profile specifically for a display device. Additionally, users may add custom settings for specific setups.

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  • Create a personal profile of your display device and display inputs or applications accessible through keyboard, monitor or context menus.
  • Save current computer settings with display inputs (screen resolution, pixel depth, application association and more…)
  • Switch between saved display inputs or applications through keyboard shortcuts, HTPC Cinema Manager start menu, or window slide outs.
  • Import applications and settings for your projector.
  • Automatically start an application even if the application is not running.
  • Simple step by step wizard for adding inputs.
  • Share projector/input settings with friends. Easy export option allows you to email settings to friends.
  • Infinite display storage.
  • Keyboard shortcuts that are user defined.
  • Extremely configurable. Built in options to simulate keyboard shortcuts to other applications through a macro enabler, ability to set the window bounds for a given input and the ability to provide application parameters.
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SPECIAL OFFER $24.95 AVS Version When Ordering! ($29.95 Normal) ---> MORE INFO HERE!
 

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I'm relatively new to this HTPC stuff, so please excuse this rookie question.

Does this replace Powerstrip, or work with it?

Thanks!
 

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The simple answer is no. Although PowerStrip has some similar features, Cinema Manager is intended to help automate switching between applications and video modes you would create with PowerStrip or native rates.


For instance, through a keyboard short-cut or the UI you can switch between or open applications like hipix, dScaler, powerDVD etc all with different aspect ratios, bit-depths and h-v rates. It does this by allowing the user to add application parameters and simulated keyboard shortcuts to the application that is being "switched" to.


As well, say you have film-based material at 24fps and ntsc 60fps and both were viewed through dScaler. With Cinema Manager you could issue the necessary context change by a key-shortcut or the UI to change refresh to 72 or 60 fps. In other words, you would not have to minimize dScaler, rt mouse on powerstrip or the desktop to change video modes.


Hope this helps!
 

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Good job guys, it was time to simplify our HTPC.


In my case I´m the only at the family who knows how to start a HTPC sesion thru. our projector.


I supose I´m not alone, je, je...


So, What dou you think about an interface autoexecutable at windows starts that ask you about what source you want to see?


This way you will have only to start the HTPC, "click" on the right button and it runs, no more wife questions......


P.D.: Does the program end Dscaler (or other program) before open WinDVD (or other DVD software), for example?. If I don´t do this in my HTPC the overlay falls.
 

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Another question -- can the program be used to change the settings of the M-Audio Delta Control Panel? For example, I have one setting for my Delta 410 soundcard that I use for DVD playback and another completely different setting (different bass management settings, different speakers selected, etc.) that I use for playing music files on my outdoor speakers.


Therefore, in order to change between watching a DVD and playing music outside, I have to change applications (from PowerDVD to Winamp) and change the soundcard's settings in the control panel. I use a Talisman interface to make the switch between apps, but I haven't found a way to automate the soundcard settings.


Will this app do it?
 

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nachin: that would be a great feature... I will add native support to our next release. For now I think there is a work around but I will need to tinker. I'll get back to you.


However, you can automate and go to full screen by adding keyboard shortcuts under keyboard macro in the advanced menu. You still have to use the slide windows/start menu or keyboard short-cut to access it.


Like for instance, I issue 'ENTER' key when switching to powerDVD which forces the app to autoplay. I also have CM maximize the window. Since dScaler uses an overlay I have CM issue, I think, 'f' to make the overlay go full screen (I also switch refresh rate and aspect ratio). If you want, Rt mouse on your profile within the edit profiles menu and email it to me at [email protected] . I will modify it and send it back to you with my settings. So you can compare.


Yes it does end previous apps, however, you must select Close Previous Input Application in the Settings dialog.

K-Wood: The answer is no for the present. I talked with folks at M-Audio about this (I was hoping with the new tray icon that they would support keyboard shortcuts). In theory, As soon as M-Audio supports short-cuts then CM can interact with it.
 

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does it work with thr evil XP?
 

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GBishop, yes it does support grin XP.
 

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nachin tried to bootstrap the auto-launch, unsuccessfully.


It is definitely going into the next release. Great request, would love to hear any more!


One thing we have been talking about is adding rs232 support for newer receivers (thanks David!) via an XML plug-in architecture. Basically, you would have common controls for all receivers like switch input, volume, bass etc... Then you would map the rs232 receiver specific command via a XML file. Voila you could manage your receiver through CM and theoretically switch input sources as well as decoding, speakers . . . And as new receivers come on the market which support rs232 all that would be needed is a new simple xml file.
 

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Can you explain a bit about how it integrates with and/or replaces Girder, IRMan, RS232 I/O (eg for connection to a Stargate or lighting system), etc. From a quick review of your site I'm guessing I'd still need Girder for these.


Thanks,


Aslan...
 

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I've just downloaded the trial version, and I guess I'm not your target market.


24 bucks for an application launcher? It doesn't replace powerstrip. It doesn't replace girder. I can do everything it does, more cleanly with girder and a remote control, or get the same functionality from girder and a keyboard. I don't want to bash your program, so please don't take it that way. The one feature that would be kind of useful, displaying input details on the start menu, doesn't appear to work on my XP machine.
 

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Do you have the trial version with an expiration date?


Very interesting, I would like to give it a try first though..
 

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lawdawg


Before we get into discussion... try going into Settings and clicking Display Input Details (this way you can see all the nitty-gritty details)...


Actually lawdawg your point is well taken... however, I see your argument as bit more philosophical in nature. Bear with me... going to wax philosophical here for a bit.


I know many folks who will not use HTPCs because of the difficulty in using them. In a lot of respects, you have to be quite technically savvy. I think you are of the technical savvy type :)


What CM tries to do is to simplify the setup and use of HTPCs so that more folks can use it. Like for instance my wife :).


Further, a lot of applications built around HTPC or applications that can be used for HTPC are "advanced" and meant for "advanced" folks. What about folks that are not as technically advanced?


I personally think the HTPC is one of the coolest little secrets that nobody knows about. I love to show friends that have 100K setups what my >15K (Zenith 895, HTPC, Infinity Prelude, 110" Stewart 1.3) setup does. Each time they are amazed. What inadvertently happens though, is that they see the complexity and are scared away from it.


So, I would like to see the forum grow and the adoption of HTPC grow. Logically I conclude that in order for both to happen the setup and operation of HTPC must become easier. As well I would like to see more apps and products specifically built for the HTPC market.


thanks, jeff
 

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Hey Jeff, first let me say that I appreciate what you are trying to do. I'd like to see more apps for the HTPC crowd, too.


On the Display on start menu thing, I had checked that, however I thought that meant it would stick an icon on the "Real" start menu. I think this would be a nice feature, or you might want to think about replacing the text on that item to be something like "HTPC Cinema manager start menu."


I wish you sucess.


Adam
 

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Hi, Jeff:


I'm still confused about what Cinema Manager can do that Powerstrip can't. As I'm sure you know, you can associate Powerstrip settings with keyboard shortcuts. So, you can have a keyboard shortcut change your resolution, aspect ratio, refresh rate, etc. You can also have Powerstrip auto-change settings when an application starts (or goes into the foreground, I think). And, you can set up keyboard shortcuts to auto-start apps in Windows itself. So, if you don't mind, could you briefly explain what Cinema Manager does, beyond this?


- Dave
 

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Hi Dave, sorry I am late getting back to your post. I have been vacationing...


CM is designed to work with specific applications through application inputs. So, for instance, when you switch inputs like going from dvd to dScaler, CM will close the dvd app and start dScaler. It also allows you to specify specifically for the application:


a) command line arguments dScaler arg1 arg2 etc

b) resolution and h/v frequency

c) keyboard shortcuts to the particular app

d) bounds of the window

e) force full size


As well, you can:


a) access app inputs through start menu, slide windows and keyboard.

b) share your profile by rt mousing and sending to a friend.

c) manage multiple profiles by storing profile to projector type


Powerstrip's strong point (as you know) is building custom resolutions... they do offer some facilities, however, they are more global in nature and are not specifically tied to an app. CM can do some video manipulation but it is more focused on app specific switching!


Hope this helps, jeff
 

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Red Dwarf, sorry for the inconvenience... We had a small problem with the eval build that happened to make the s/w invalid on June 12, 2002!


We have patched the build. If you re-download the software, it will correct the expiration bug.


thanks and if you have further ?s email at [email protected]
 

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Randy, yes. We tested TheaterTek on Win2k.
 
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