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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am brand new to the forums, and have searched and cannot find any posts that fit my situation, everyone elses posts and requirements for what they seek seem much more complicated, so I'd imagine my question is fairly easy, but I do not have the equipment to test it to figure it out, so I'm hoping someone knows and can make life easier



Anyway, I bought a new house, and it's being remodeled from top to bottom. The whole house will be wired with Cat6 with the obvious gigabit routers/switches, etc.


In the theater room, I have a 65" HDTV, and a klipsche sound system with an HDMI Upconvert receiver that manages everything currently.

I've wanted to add a HTPC for a while, but it's not worth the effort in my current house, but it is in my new one.


I only really want to rip all my movies/music and blu-rays to the HTPC (I find my CD racks and shelves, etc, pretty ugly, Plus I don't want to have to get up, find the movie case, take the movie out, put it in my blu-ray player, then exit my current task, etc etc.)My only real problem is I want there to be a small LCD touchscreen monitor that I will mount in a strategic location, that will just control the OS so I don't need a mouse that controls the HTPC, which will in turn play the movie I select via my touchscreen on my 65" HDTV. I am very techy, so don't have to dumb anything down, but unfortunatly I have no experience in dual monitor solutions. I have fifteen computers and have never needed two monitors for one of them.


I'd imagine I can use 2 video cards, but I am not sure....


Also, I'm an avid gamer, and the HTPC will be also used for gaming. The touchscreen will be absolutely useless for this, so I will need a wireless mouse/keyboard for that part. I know that is kinda dumb to have both, but I want the theater experience to be as "wow" as possible, no one will ever see the keyboard/mouse, as I don't frequently play FarCry 2 in my living room with company over, so the redundancy is mute to me.


If anyone could help me I'd appreciate it.


I have two servers mounted in a room I made in the attic, which looks something like you'd see at NASA, but I will either be storing all the music/video on those, or on the HTPC.


Update:

I suppose I could make a Home Media Server and put it in my "Nasa" room that would stream to my TV. The servers have no monitors attached at all, so I suppose I could just run a cord to the theater and hook up the LCD to it. Then, have a seperate computer for the gaming aspect....


Anyone who has done anything like me, please give me your ideas. I'm hungry for knowledge and would love to hear anyones current setup, or give me some insane ideas to do.


Thank you all very much
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrakanTheSly /forum/post/15527018


I am brand new to the forums, and have searched and cannot find any posts that fit my situation, everyone elses posts and requirements for what they seek seem much more complicated, so I'd imagine my question is fairly easy, but I do not have the equipment to test it to figure it out, so I'm hoping someone knows and can make life easier



Anyway, I bought a new house, and it's being remodeled from top to bottom. The whole house will be wired with Cat6 with the obvious gigabit routers/switches, etc.


In the theater room, I have a 65" HDTV, and a klipsche sound system with an HDMI Upconvert receiver that manages everything currently.

I've wanted to add a HTPC for a while, but it's not worth the effort in my current house, but it is in my new one.


I only really want to rip all my movies/music and blu-rays to the HTPC (I find my CD racks and shelves, etc, pretty ugly, Plus I don't want to have to get up, find the movie case, take the movie out, put it in my blu-ray player, then exit my current task, etc etc.)My only real problem is I want there to be a small LCD touchscreen monitor that I will mount in a strategic location, that will just control the OS so I don't need a mouse that controls the HTPC, which will in turn play the movie I select via my touchscreen on my 65" HDTV. I am very techy, so don't have to dumb anything down, but unfortunatly I have no experience in dual monitor solutions. I have fifteen computers and have never needed two monitors for one of them.


I'd imagine I can use 2 video cards, but I am not sure....


Also, I'm an avid gamer, and the HTPC will be also used for gaming. The touchscreen will be absolutely useless for this, so I will need a wireless mouse/keyboard for that part. I know that is kinda dumb to have both, but I want the theater experience to be as "wow" as possible, no one will ever see the keyboard/mouse, as I don't frequently play FarCry 2 in my living room with company over, so the redundancy is mute to me.


If anyone could help me I'd appreciate it.


I have two servers mounted in a room I made in the attic, which looks something like you'd see at NASA, but I will either be storing all the music/video on those, or on the HTPC.


Update:

I suppose I could make a Home Media Server and put it in my "Nasa" room that would stream to my TV. The servers have no monitors attached at all, so I suppose I could just run a cord to the theater and hook up the LCD to it. Then, have a seperate computer for the gaming aspect....


Anyone who has done anything like me, please give me your ideas. I'm hungry for knowledge and would love to hear anyones current setup, or give me some insane ideas to do.


Thank you all very much

You have lots and lots of options.


First off, I would use one of your nasa room servers to host your media. This way you can make the server as big/loud/ugly as you want and won't have to deal with it in your theater room. There's no need to run a cable from there to your theater room - just use the cat 6 cabling and your network.


I would then build a HTPC/gaming rig to keep locally in the theater room. You should be able to run the touchscreen and output to your TV off of the same two-port video card; just set it to run independent resolutions. You can then stream movies from "NASA" to your HTPC to your TV. There are lots of front end pieces of software that you can use to organize your archived movies. You can even set your media playing software to open on your secondary screen (the tv) automatically so that your GUI stays displayed on the touchscreen.


I'll try to explain my setup to you as I think it is similar to what you are trying to accomplish, but slightly more over the top and unnecessary. I have three separate computers:

1) Storage server - Windows 2k3 with RAID 6 for movies and RAID 1 for music. This is connected via 2 gigabit lines to my gigabit switch. The two cat 6 connections are aggregated into a single connection.


2) HTPC/Gaming - Vista Ultimate 64bit - this machine has a dual port video card with one port going directly to the matrix switch (and ultimately to the tv and projector), and one port going to my kvm switch (and ultimately my touchmonitor). I have all of my movie players as well as games loaded on here. This connects to the network via 2 aggregated gigabit connections.


3) Automation server - Windows XP - this machine runs CQC automation software and controls all of my A/V equipment, lights, etc via serial control. I also use it to manage my media collections. This box connects to the KVM switch and displays all of the custom screens displayed on my touchscreen. It connects to the network via a gigabit connection. I keep this on a separate server since I want it to be rock solid and don't want to worry about screwing up all my custom commands when I tinker with the HTPC. This machine is the hub of my whole setup and it used to control everything - all of the components (receiver, STB, etc) and the software loaded on my HTPC.


Other components:

ELO touchscreen - this connects to the KVM switch in my equipment rack and sits next to my couch. It is connected via serial control directly to the automation server to control the automation software. Via the KVM, I can also use it to do stuff on the HTPC in cases when i dont want to fire up the TV or projector (such as surf the web, check the weather, etc).


Wireless mouse/keyboard - this is also plugged into the KVM so that I can easily control either the automation server (if I need to do something that requires a keyboard) and can use it for the HTPC and gaming.


Here's an example of how I interact with the system:


For playing movies, they are stored on the storage server, cataloged on the automation server, and played on the HTPC. So, the touchscreen shows all of my movies that are loaded on the storage server. I then select a movie and CQC sends a command to Total Media Theater on the HTPC to fire up and stream the movie from the storage server. I can also choose if I want it to play on the tv or the projector via commands sent to the matrix switch.


For games, I just select them directly on the HTPC using the keyboard/mouse.


That help?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacknex /forum/post/15538280


cavalier240 have you put pictures of your system somewhere in the forums. If not could we see them?

My system is currently dismantled right now while I install middle atlantic racks and relocate the components, but once I get it back up and running I'd be happy take whatever pictures you would like to see.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavalier240 /forum/post/15543823


My system is currently dismantled right now while I install middle atlantic racks and relocate the components, but once I get it back up and running I'd be happy take whatever pictures you would like to see.

But, basically, your system is an automation computer with a touchscreen and another HTPC that plays the movies and such?


Can you run the automation software and video software on the same computer though?


Some of this automation stuff is cool. About as far as I went was to setup a Harmony remote to control my HTPC.


Peter
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshDorhyke /forum/post/15546560


But, basically, your system is an automation computer with a touchscreen and another HTPC that plays the movies and such?

Essentially, that's it. And then there is also a media server that I can access from any computer on the network.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshDorhyke /forum/post/15546560


Can you run the automation software and video software on the same computer though?

You definitely could, as the automation software is not that CPU intensive. I didn't do it because I have many, many of hours of programming screens and actions into the CQC program and I don't want that on the HTPC that I am constantly tinkering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshDorhyke /forum/post/15546560


Some of this automation stuff is cool. About as far as I went was to setup a Harmony remote to control my HTPC.

I have done that too, except for I took it one step further. I have programmed the automation software to recognize IR commands in order to execute actions, and then in turn send out the appropriate serial or IR commands to the various components.


If you have a basic understanding in object oriented programming, then you can do some awesome stuff.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavalier240 /forum/post/15547488


You definitely could, as the automation software is not that CPU intensive. I didn't do it because I have many, many of hours of programming screens and actions into the CQC program and I don't want that on the HTPC that I am constantly tinkering.

Any comments on problems you'd expect trying to display the touchscreen and a projector off the same computer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cavalier240 /forum/post/15547488


If you have a basic understanding in object oriented programming, then you can do some awesome stuff.

I'm sure. I spend enough time just with basic HTPC stuff though it seems. This type of stuff is cool but getting it working just seems to be never ending to me.


Peter
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshDorhyke /forum/post/15549417


Any comments on problems you'd expect trying to display the touchscreen and a projector off the same computer?

Nope. Say you wanted the touchscreen to just always display your automation screens and everything else to pop up on the projector. Just set your video card to extend the desktop with the projector as the primary monitor and the touchscreen as the secondary monitor. Then just set the appropriate resolutions for each screen. When you first open up your touchscreen automation software, just scroll it over to the touchscreen. From then on, any game or media program that you open will open up on your primary monitor (the projector).

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshDorhyke /forum/post/15549417


I'm sure. I spend enough time just with basic HTPC stuff though it seems. This type of stuff is cool but getting it working just seems to be never ending to me.

Welcome to the club. I started building this configuration 2 years ago and still don't have it just the way I want it. Especially since every time I get close to what I am looking for, someone out there goes and develops some other cool item/functionality that I want to incorporate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow, I didn't get a chance to check this yesterday, but I really appreciate it cavalier240. That sounds like exactly what I want, and you've really helped me plan it.


I'm sure I'm going to need a lot of help getting the programs, and getting into that automation system. That's all way out of my understanding, but I intend to do much research until I can start the actual theater(fun) part =)


The stuff you're describing is amazing, and makes me very excited.


Thanks again!


Thank you very much
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrakanTheSly /forum/post/15558530


Wow, I didn't get a chance to check this yesterday, but I really appreciate it cavalier240. That sounds like exactly what I want, and you've really helped me plan it.

I'm glad I could help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrakanTheSly /forum/post/15558530


I'm sure I'm going to need a lot of help getting the programs, and getting into that automation system. That's all way out of my understanding, but I intend to do much research until I can start the actual theater(fun) part =)

Here's where you can start getting into a ton of options. I would first determine exactly what you want to accomplish, and then just start searching the threads for software to accomplish that. Some general questions to think about:


1) How much do you want to automate, vs just having a nice front end to organize all of your media?


2) What are your future plans for expanding upon what your computer controls? I throw this question in because some automation programs are more expensive up front, but give you access to all of their functionality, while some charge you a la carte as you want to add in features.


3) How much time to you want to invest into programming vs buying a COTS prefab product?


Enjoy.
 

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I have looked in several forums, but non have seemed to have solved the problem I have. I use a touch screen with a HD projector. The touch screen is max at 1028 x 768 and my projector looks best at 720p. I want to have a "clone" or "dual" monitor (same image on each screen) with different resolutions. Any help? Is there any way around this?
 

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Any standard video card dual outputs now. Simply clone the displays.. set one to 1080p, and the other like 800x600 for a 10" touch screen. I build car pc's... it's no biggie to do. Any decent video card can handle doing that.


Honestly there is no need for any of that. Just get a harmony remote. It's more baller to have a Harmony anyways... It's a status symbol. The push of one button can do it all
 

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Ok...for the last time (since this pops up every few days on AVS)...you CANNOT clone at different resolutions. Aint gonna happen. CLONE means exactly what it is supposed to mean. The exact same resolution.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone /forum/post/15598262


Ok...for the last time (since this pops up every few days on AVS)...you CANNOT clone at different resolutions. Aint gonna happen. CLONE means exactly what it is supposed to mean. The exact same resolution.

Really? Do you need me to take a picture to prove my 9600GT's in SLI can? If you wait til tomorrow, I'll even do it with a 10" touch screen. Clone means both displays show the same thing, but you can change the res. The master screen controls the background size, icon size, taskbar size, and etc. Things are bunched up on the smaller screen. Thank you nvidia for big bang 2
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by soarertt /forum/post/15598179


Honestly there is no need for any of that. Just get a harmony remote. It's more baller to have a Harmony anyways... It's a status symbol. The push of one button can do it all

In my opinion, it's more "baller" to have a wireless touchscreen like a viewsonic touchpanel sitting on the coffee table over a plain looking harmony remote. While you are getting up to walk over to your media shelf, inserting the disk, walking back, sitting down, and then using the harmony to change settings on all of your components, I push one button. That one button queues up the movie off of hard drive, turns on the projector, switches all of my components to the appropriate settings, and then dims the lights. Give me enough time, and it will also pour me a glass of bourbon.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone /forum/post/15599296


show me.

+1. Show me too. As far as I know, dual view is the only way to have two monitors with different resolutions.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocSpringfield /forum/post/15598124


I have looked in several forums, but non have seemed to have solved the problem I have. I use a touch screen with a HD projector. The touch screen is max at 1028 x 768 and my projector looks best at 720p. I want to have a "clone" or "dual" monitor (same image on each screen) with different resolutions. Any help? Is there any way around this?

Just out of curiosity, why do you want the same image on the touchscreen as on the projector? Why not dedicate the touchscreen as a controller device, and then the projector as the viewing display?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavalier240 /forum/post/15600675


In my opinion, it's more "baller" to have a wireless touchscreen like a viewsonic touchpanel sitting on the coffee table over a plain looking harmony remote. While you are getting up to walk over to your media shelf, inserting the disk, walking back, sitting down, and then using the harmony to change settings on all of your components, I push one button. That one button queues up the movie off of hard drive, turns on the projector, switches all of my components to the appropriate settings, and then dims the lights. Give me enough time, and it will also pour me a glass of bourbon.


You just described the basic features of a Harmony remote.
 

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The touch screen is in adjacent room. I run all my jukebox (MCE and Itunes) from the touch screen so that I don't have to turn on the projector to change songs and such. I also l use the touch screen (15" display) for a extra "TV" that I can view from the bar area (like during ball games).
 
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