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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all -

I am about to undergo the ever-popular "Philips Ambilight Clone" build in my home theater but I had some questions.

I know it is somewhat easy to build this using a Raspberry Pi or similar device running software fed by a dedicated computer/HTPC but I would like my solution to have the ambient lighting function with all of my input devices and not just what I am watching on my HTPC.

My current setup is like this:

PS3 (Used for Blu-Ray/Netflix viewing and games) via HDMI

Xbox 360 (Games) via HDMI

Xfinity Cable Box via HDMI

HTPC running XBMC via HDMI

All of the above feeding a Yamaha receiver with one HDMI cable running up to my Samsung TV.

Obviously HDCP is a requirement and will be a problem.

For what its worth all of my AV components are shelved in my basement so the requirement of having one individual HDMI cable feeding my television which is on the 1st floor is pretty concrete.

As I said above it seems like I would not have a hard time getting an ambient lighting solution to work with anything being viewed on the HTPC/XBMC computer but I start to get lost when trying to figure out how I can get it to respond to the other video signals.

It is also worth mentioning that I plan to run boblightd on the raspberry pi and use boblight to provide the control signals to the LED array - as such my questions are as follow:
  • Is there any way to take the single HDMI signal from the receiver and split it into the HTPC so that boblight-v4l can simply process all video the TV sees? Upon initial investigation it appears that HDCP will really get in my way here but if I am overlooking a way to get even low/standard definition video split from the main HDMI signal while leaving the primary HDMI signal to the TV 100% in tact this would probably be the ideal solution.
  • Depending on the answer to the above, would it be possible to have a device such as the raspberry pi be completely independent and capture the video signal itself such that the Ambilight solution does not rely on the HTPC to function?
  • Is there a completely different way to approach this that I am missing?

I am very much in love with the idea of having dynamic ambient lighting in my home theater but since my HTPC/XBMC system only represents a fraction of what I watch on my TV doing all of the work to implement Ambilight and not even be able to enjoy it when watching a blu-ray or playing a video game would make it not worth the time.

Any ideas, insights or otherwise would be greatly appreciated.

398 Posts
You guys might be interested in this...


Looks pretty solid and is the most polished version of amblight I've ever seen. Only problem is you need to buy 2 of them for TV's bigger than 50" since they don't have enough power to support more LED's. In order to avoid the wire mess of 2 units I was hoping to hack it and add a bigger power source so I can add more LEDs, only problem is I don't think it's as easy as adding a bigger power source.

This guy is working on one that is usable with any source, not only computers. Pretty amazing stuff but I have no clue when he's going to offer a finished product or put up instructions to make one.

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