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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am sure this has been asked a million times, ( I just could not find the thread :D ). Anyhow which one is it? I am new to HTPC and curious to see what everyone is using. Feel free to post why you use your particular frontend. Thanks
 

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I use CQC . In my case, I use it because I created it, so it's what I think an automation system should be, which of course means that I think it's the best one. I'm biased of course, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong :)


Actually, CQC is an automation system that has strong front capabilities, as apposed to a front end that has some automation capabilities. People use the term 'front end' loosely, so the discussion can get slippery sometimes. To some folks, a front end is purely a computer based media management thing, whereas to me a front end is just the visible part of a much larger underlying automation system which can also include media management.
 

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Using myHTPC rite now but I am slowly trying to migrate to meedio
 

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MyHTPC right now and I haven't tried to migrate to Meedio yet because I am using too many MyHTPC specific plugins.
 

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Mainlobby suite for whole house and HTPC control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the replies. I am considering Meedio. I have used myHTPC just a little bit but it looks like there is not any support for it anymore. Am I wrong?
 

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Xlobby is by far the best.....In my opinion. I have tried Meedio.....
 

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Went from successfully using myHTPC -> to Xlobby -> to briefly testing Meedio,

and now back to myHTPC while I'm working on getting Mainlobby to do client/server throughout the house.
 

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My vote would go to CQC. This is especially the case if you're looking to have a complete control system similar to Crestron in it's flexibility versus just controlling your computer. It will do that to by the way. The feature that sold me was having it set up as a whole system controller with HTPC control as one of the features as opposed to many that seemed to be a HTPC controller with the other parts added on later.


I looked at most of the others mentioned here and came away with the uniform impression that they were done first as a HTPC controller and then the system control added later. I needed the system control primarily with the HTPC as a distant second. The control part of the system is still under creation but as near as I can tell CQC has no limit to how far it can expand for home control.
 

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Making it easier for non-professionals is now very high on our list, and the first of the steps we are taking to help in this regard will show up in the next release (1.3.5), 'theme' support being one of the important ones. You will be able to select from various themes to create attractive looking interfaces without having to have any 'artistic gene', which many of us do not.


The big improvements in this space will show up in the 1.4 release, which will make a huge difference in how easy it is for non-professionals to install and configure.
 

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Simon,

As you may have already noticed Dean is very supportive. I can personally vouch that this continues off the public forums also. The tech support has been excellent.


Just reading through the web site can be somewhat daunting. I understand. While I have a technical background I'm in no way a programmer. As long as you don't want to write your own macros or hardware drivers you will likely find it about as easy as any advanced programable remote. There is a little learning curve for that but it isn't bad.


Macros and drivers on the other hand still completely baffle me. If you've done any programming you may not have this problem. But and it's important to keep in mind as long as you don't want to do drivers the rest is pretty straight forward and getting easier all the time. The driver data base is growing and Dean seems to be agressively working to add more. Once the driver is there it's not much more then selecting a desired action from a drop down menu and sometimes deciding true and false. Keep in mind that the drivers are only an issue if you are using serial control or controlling applications on the PC.


If you're looking to control IR devices it's about like any learning remote. I'm using a USB-UIRT for this. It's a little tedious training it if the IR library isn't done yet. Typing in the command name for the action can also be tedious but it's not difficult


The serial control is very reliable since it's hardwired. Application control on the PC seems to work quite well also. It's not a major issue for me but I like that it doesn't lose focus like girder can on occasion from all the moans I've heard in these pages.


As to what I using it for. Theta Casablanca and Dreadnaught, Sony 10HT PJ, Denon DVD, Pioneer LD, Tivo, JVC 30K VCR and MyHD on the PC. I've got most of the hard bits done though I still need to pull the serial cables through the walls to get them out of the way. The IR stuff was simple. About the only thing left to really do is set down and turn the bits and pieces of the interface into something usable. My day job keeps getting in the way so it's slow going. I'm not looking to do anything fancy, just simple and legible.


I'm using a viewsonic airpanel v110p which probably should have sold as beta hardware. It works but can be a little squirrelly at times. The need to remote login can be a little troublesome to. I'll end up getting thinsoft for that. The beauty of it is that you don't need to go this way. CQC is happy over a network so you can use a laptop, tablet, second display on the host PC or whatever to control it. Options are endless.


A rather long winded rambling answer to a simple question. Hopefully I hit on the points you were interested in.
 

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I'm using both NetRemote and CQC. I have to agree they both can be a bit tricky to set up but they're really powerful in what can be achieved and things are getting better over time on the ease of use side.


I think it's more important to have a robust technical foundation that can support your future needs in place, then add a layer to improve user friendliness and ease of setup than going the opposite way (having a nice GUI and trying to squeeze as many functionality in later).


In that respect, CQC is a fully distributed system that can control nearly anything you want. And yes, if the device driver does not exist or you want to do something really specific, you'll have a learn a bit that macro language. But you'll get helped on the forums and at least, you'll eventually be able to do it, there's no limitation.

For instance, I don't have a discrete code for my VCR, so I use a video sensor and IR routed through CQC via a macro. That way, I can be sure when I turn the thing on and off. Maybe a bit complex, but at least it was possible.


Eric
 
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