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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are the most popular IR blaster devices? We are writing home theater / Windows automation software and need to know in what order should we support these devices. We already have support for USB UIRT.


Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Many of you use a USB transmitter/receiver right? Can you please post which one so we have some idea of which are the most popular?


Thanks!
 

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Is there a web interface that will allow you to blast an IR signal?


The only one I've seen is SlingBox.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the responses. The API for the MCE receiver and blasters seems pretty straightforward. Support for this will be added!


Bob, the automation software can be completely controlled through programming (Java, scripting langauge, etc). It will be possible to run a servlet container (for the non-techies, this is basically just a web server) and do server side scripting using the automation software. This means you could easily write web pages to send IR codes (or take ANY other action, like close a program, turn off the lights, turn on the sprinklers, etc). Currently support for this is not complete, but it will be soon. It will be a lot easier than it sounds as well, the primary goal for the project is a powerful but easy to use API.


You can also connect to the software through a Java applet in your internet browser or by using any telnet client (MS Telnet, PuTTY, etc). This gives you an interactive shell where you can send script commands to do ANY action. This gives you total control from any computer connected to the internet. Currently support for this is complete, although security is not yet in place.
 

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Sounds very cool! And something I would buy.


Whats your ETA? (year, month or day) :)


Thanks


Jeff


PS: Right now using MCE remote/Receiver, but also have USB-UIRT and earlier Imon built into case. and will probably end up using some combo of these three to get ALL functionalities.
 

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NaTeDoGG,


Can't wait for the API for MCE. That's the ticket. Really cool.


Q's:

1. Will there be a database of remote control codes?

2. Will there be an ability to decode IR signals for signals not in database?


I'm invisioning the API could be exposed into a skins + drag and drop + device inheritance interface for rolling your own personal remote.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I hope to do some closed alpha testing in the next few weeks. It would be great to get some early feedback! If anyone is interested, please shoot me a PM. The website with forums, etc is not ready. Its still in an early stage but as soon as things are fully baked there will be an open beta.


Jeff, you mentioned you may try to use some combo of the three IR devices. Do you see any need to run more than one IR device? Currently I've only planned for controlling one device at a time because this simplifies things a bit. If multiple IR devices are connected, you can choose which one to use, but you can't use more than one at the same time.


Does anyone see a need to run more than one IR device connected to the same PC? I can see having another PC on the network running another instance of the automation software and having its own IR device. The two software instances could talk to each other and each controls their respective IR devices, but there would still be only one IR device per PC.


Bob,

1. Will there be a database of remote control codes?


Sort of. Plugins can contribute codes for different devices, but there is currently no master database of codes to pull from. It would be possible to take some existing IR code database and create a plugin that contributes all the codes for the various devices.


It is easy to define a set of codes and export them as a plugin to share with others.

2. Will there be an ability to decode IR signals for signals not in database?


Yes, currently codes can be learned from any remote for both recognition and retransmission.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NaTeDoGG
Jeff, you mentioned you may try to use some combo of the three IR devices. Do you see any need to run more than one IR device? Currently I've only planned for controlling one device at a time because this simplifies things a bit. If multiple IR devices are connected, you can choose which one to use, but you can't use more than one at the same time.


Does anyone see a need to run more than one IR device connected to the same PC? I can see having another PC on the network running another instance of the automation software and having its own IR device. The two software instances could talk to each other and each controls their respective IR devices, but there would still be only one IR device per PC.


Bob,
Hi Bob


Well the MCE remote (for me) does most all for my setup "right now", (MCE-TT) but well all know how things change.


I would like to use my IMON with the MCE for powering my htpc on/off as the imon does. And with the USB-UIRT blasting side of things, I could see wanting to control harware/other software that MCE doesnt interface with at the same time. Benig able to use 2 or 3 at once would just be the icing and allow you to use "other" programs at the same time as MCE, for Whole House Audio, other automation and whatnot outside of MCE (or only available MCE 3rd party.)


But NONE of this is a deal breaker! One is great, and maybe more in the future (unless it would require a rewrite). More than one just opens lots of possiblities.


Then again, what do I know :)


But thanks for asking!


Jeff
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NaTeDoGG
1. Will there be a database of remote control codes?


Sort of. Plugins can contribute codes for different devices, but there is currently no master database of codes to pull from. It would be possible to take some existing IR code database and create a plugin that contributes all the codes for the various devices.


It is easy to define a set of codes and export them as a plugin to share with others.

2. Will there be an ability to decode IR signals for signals not in database?


Yes, currently codes can be learned from any remote for both recognition and retransmission.
I can't imagine building apps without a database/library of remote control codes. There will have to be a mechanism to correct and update the database.


Here's some API/object architecture as I would want it:

1. The API needs to offer a way to access a collection of remote control device entries. Members include name, description, manufacturer, device type, id, etc.

2. A buttons collection should exist for each device. It would contain name, description, button sequence, id, IR code, perhaps function group (DVD, TV, ...), etc.

3. An IR code collection would have info similar to the buttons collection but ordered by IR code.


I invision an app needing to collect all the ir codes so it can identify the IR device in use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Jeff, I think I see what you are saying. Our software can do what you want -- total control of your PC. It doesn't matter which IR device you use, you will be able to hibernate, power off, open and control applications, move the mouse, etc. The software is meant to give you complete control in response to ANY external input. It doesn't matter if the input is from your IR remote, a keypress, an application opening, the time of day, a rain sensor in the yard, etc. You can respond to these inputs any way you like. A "play" command could be sent to a DVD application, an IR or X10 signal could be sent out, a keypress could be emulated, devices can be controlled through serial cables, etc.


IMHO, other systems that attempt this have turned out bloated and overly complex. This software project was born out of frustration, with the theme of Keep It Stupid Simple. Other systems provide a limited set of functionality and a rigid mechanism for excersing that functionality. Once you have a need to do something beyond what is provided, you are completely stuck. The very nature of the problem requires a more flexible solution. I agree that much should be provided out of the box, but going beyond that should not only be possible, but it should be a straightforward and pleasant experience.


Bob, I agree a library of codes would be great. We need good support for a large number of codes, categorization, etc. Once we have this, we can import an existing IR code database into our system (I assume a db already exists that can be leveraged). This has impact significant enough that we are going back to the design phase to ensure we get it right. Thanks for your input!
 
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