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With the help of some top freeware/shareware I have been able to create a very easy to use front end for Kryton. I now have a Pronto which I use to control all the functions. Control of Kryton goes something like this;


Press Power on button (powers up Denon amp, TV and Kryton)


This takes you to a screen displaying what you can do, DVD player, Music, Internet, Games, TV, Aquarium. The same options are available on the Pronto main screen.


Pressing the DVD option takes the pronto to the DVD player functions. Power on runs WinDVD, sets the amp to the correct input and sets it to THX as default. The DVD starts up showing the usual DVDs menu and I can now use the pronto to control as a regular DVD player. Power off ends WinDVD and returns me to the main screen.


Pressing Music takes the pronto to the music player functions. Power on starts WinAMP, from here I can play any of my CDs which have been digitally copied to HD. As I start to play the name of the band/singer & song title are displayed on krytons VFD display.


By pressing another button on the pronto I can start a full screen visualization plug-in which displays graphics and lines which move in sync with the music. Or for a more serene atmosphere I can start up a photo realistic aquarium.


When I'm finished pressing the Power off button from the main screen powers everything off.


So there you go complete automation on a PC, no windows, no mouse (not even the pointer), no keyboard. Just a Pronto to control it.


My thanks go to all the programmers of the likes of Girder, YXY, dTV, WinAMP that make this sort of thing possible.

 

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Although it definitely takes a lot of work to get there, it is indeed quite rewarding to be able to do everything from the remote. If I hadn't been able to do this, my wife probably would have never accepted the HTPC in our home theater, even if the picture is better. Useability is important. I've even been able to set up DVD Profiler for control from the remote, so that you can press 'Browse DVD Catalog' on my Pronto home-screen and browse through the list of DVD's in my collection.


I've got things to the point now, where the only time I need to get the Airboard out is if something crashes or goes wrong. Unfotunately that does happen on occasion, but things will hopefully improve in the future with WindowsXP.


All I can say is thank God for Girder, because without it this level of automation wouldn't have been possible. It seems like I'm always discovering new capabilities in that program that never cease to amaze me.


Jeff
 

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