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Us HTPC'ers have much to learn from you guys

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  • Us HTPC'ers have much to learn from you guys

    I've been doing HTPCs for a few years and have a somewhat robust & complex setup for the house. I've just discovered this site recently, and oh my, do I and my fellow HTPCers have much to learn from you guys.

    Some of the fabrication stuff going on is pretty intense, and very professional looking.

    Anyhow, here's the first idea I already stole off you guys [and bought from one of you]. Thanks, I look forward to continued plagiarism. This is a post I just did on avsforum.com in the htpc section.
    ________________________________
    i just put CQC(www.charmedquark.com) on my $250 10" Fujitsu Sylistic 3400 w/winXP touchscreen. Very happy I went this route for the living room and left the PDA cellphone control for the outside patio. The additional screen size really drives up usability, and the price is dang cheap. [docking station was another $60 - not sure if I'm going to keep that or not]

    I've only done a wee bit of testing as kids are asleep, but it seems very acceptable esp given it's role will be as a living room/zone 2 controller for music, heat, maybe lighting someday. The screen is very clear, the digital camera & using small jpeg makes it look fuzzy.

    I'm going to build some form of wooden case-mount for the back to hide the docking station. Also, I may run CAT6 to it so I don't have to worry about any wifi dropouts; haven't quite decided yet. It would be nice to just pull out of dock and hand it to a guest to pick music, though.













    Here's the screens that'll be put on it:
















    Last updated 4/11/06 - My personal website with my slick integrated HTPC GUI and HA System
    My HA/HT blog

  • #2
    Thats really cool, but personaly I would have molded it into my dash.

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    • #3
      one day.. when i have a house.. i'd love to get into this stuff.. =)
      Dr. Ron Paul for President 2008

      Hope for America - http://www.ronpaul2008.com

      Who is Ron Paul? - Why do we need Ron Paul?

      __________________
      CarPC Newbs Start Here: All your questions answered, as if by E.S.P.

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      • #4
        That is freaking beautifull!!!

        Peace,

        Rafster
        Post # 3000

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        • #5
          Damn thief! will u rip all my ideas....

          kidding...


          But now seriously... its freaking ugly, get that tablet rather!

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          • #6
            looks ok, it controls plant watering ? I was thinking of adding water jets to my intercooler for more bhp on 0-60 and 1/4 mile runs, just a thought......

            Lol.

            Think I'l just have a switch.

            On a positive note as soon as I get the car sorted I want to build a HTPC so stay around, I may be asking questions.....
            Lez, more widely known as flez1966

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            • #7
              Originally posted by P3rv3rt B3ar
              Damn thief! will u rip all my ideas....

              kidding...


              But now seriously... its freaking ugly, get that tablet rather!
              oy, i feel stupid - no idea what this means. Isn't the 3400 considered a tablet?
              Last updated 4/11/06 - My personal website with my slick integrated HTPC GUI and HA System
              My HA/HT blog

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lez
                looks ok, it controls plant watering ? I was thinking of adding water jets to my intercooler for more bhp on 0-60 and 1/4 mile runs, just a thought......

                Lol.

                Think I'l just have a switch.

                On a positive note as soon as I get the car sorted I want to build a HTPC so stay around, I may be asking questions.....
                If you're going to get into HT, I'd advise you to at least check out what's possible in HomeAutomation for the same ludicriously low cost. My $1000 PC including h/w & s/w will have the ability to control, and more importantly integrate into a common UI as shown above:
                heat, lights, curtain control, security, irrigation, all media mgmt [regular A/V stuff including multi-zone control], all via either PDA, the 3400, or my PC.

                If you think you'll get into HT & HA in the next 3-6 months, you may want to start monitoring the charmed quark site now. I ended up spending big $$ on HTPC stuff based on the A/V guidance i got via avsforums.com, then realized what was possible via CQC as I already had all the PC infrastructure up, and ended up respending some $$ based on poor initial decisions I made.
                Last updated 4/11/06 - My personal website with my slick integrated HTPC GUI and HA System
                My HA/HT blog

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                • #9
                  Man, that is cool. I want one, but I am pushing all my money into the car computer venture for now. Someday, someday soon.
                  Tucka Tucka

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                  • #10
                    i dont understand what your paying for with charmed quark....that apps like mce, or meedio dont have...with plugins
                    PC Components:
                    Lilliput; XPC/FLEX mobo; 1.7 ghz P4 Mobile;512 DDR; 160 gb HDD; opus 150; slot usb dvd-rw
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Peoples
                      i dont understand what your paying for with charmed quark....that apps like mce, or meedio dont have...with plugins

                      Ok I understood what the other guy said, but after reading that I wondered if I was still on the vodka.......

                      I take it cq? is freeware or cheap, and its like mce, then I get lost, it does / does not have plugins, like meedio?

                      I thought I had sussed Anglish.
                      Lez, more widely known as flez1966

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Peoples
                        i dont understand what your paying for with charmed quark....that apps like mce, or meedio dont have...with plugins
                        Honestly there's just no comparison. If you're looking for the ability to direct-connect many back-end devices, and create a simple UI that's stable and that non-techies can use [i.e., my wife, 4 yr old kid, MIL/FIL, brain-dead BIL], this is your only real option. I speak from experience - I own copies of Girder, Meedio, paypal'ed support for myHTPC, spent countless hours on XLobby...

                        MCE & Meedio are meant for front-end control only, and don't give you simple ability to create new interfaces that can reliably work over a network or on a PDA-level device. Hence they give you 10% of the complexity of any real system. CQC is $200 for the base, which is all I need to run above. Meedio is $80. For the extra $120 you get:
                        1) Stability. Plug-ins just don't work reliably. MCE really doesn't work reliably especially when you add in a ton of components [i.e. HDTV, XM, ...] When you have a single package driving both the front-end and back-end, there are no handshakes that need to happen.
                        2) Back-end control. Imagine this, and this is all possible within 3-6 months:
                        - To leave your house: You punch in an exit code to your security system. CQC then: turns off all TVs, radios, stops playback of any audio, turns off lights, turns off heat.
                        - To enter your house: Press an RF button on your keychain. CQC turns on any desired lights, turns up heat, disables security system, unlocks and opens door
                        3) Ludicrously simple Front-end screen painting ability. The interface editor makes it trivial to paint screens that are usable either over your PC or your PDA.

                        Check out this screenshot for my HTPC control via my PDA-cellphone. It's the CQC interface editor and the resultant screen where I display some songs AND the status of my Denon receiver. can it get any simpler than this? If I wanted to display anything else [ie temperature], or add a command button [ie close curtains/turn lights on/heat up], it would truly be trivial.


                        Last updated 4/11/06 - My personal website with my slick integrated HTPC GUI and HA System
                        My HA/HT blog

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lez
                          Ok I understood what the other guy said, but after reading that I wondered if I was still on the vodka.......

                          I take it cq? is freeware or cheap, and its like mce, then I get lost, it does / does not have plugins, like meedio?

                          I thought I had sussed Anglish.
                          CQC is $200 for the base package, $300 for the full deal. It sounds expensive only until you realize how much you'll have to pay to achieve same fxnlty. [Girder + NetRemote + HomeSeer + Meedio].

                          If you use freeware/shareware, you won't have close to the same level of functionality, and the current state is that it's too unstable for the non-techies to turn over control of their house to it.

                          After all, in 4-8 weeks my HTPC will be the primary controller for heating, irrigation, and all A/V content. I have no standalone TV system and all my DVDs & CDs are in the attic. If the HTPC dies, you'll be cold as hell with nothing to watch or listen to. If it was just me, I wouldn't care. As it's a wife, 4 yr old, and 2 yr old who'll kick my a$$, I won't do ANYTHING that's not guaranteed stable and brain-dead simple to use.

                          Plus, for the cool factor, I can put one of the $250 3400s I posted above in every room and independently control what the TV/speakers in that room listen to, or synch up with any other room. That type of stuff costs $000s via creston or AMX.
                          Last updated 4/11/06 - My personal website with my slick integrated HTPC GUI and HA System
                          My HA/HT blog

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                          • #14
                            Nice job, I have an HTPC using Sage too, what frontend is that? Obviously you have your whole house wired, I only have my TV. Looks good though!
                            '02 GTI
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                            • #15
                              Wow very cool. And i thought my simple htpc was cool. I'm impressed.
                              Alex
                              90 300zx twinturbo conversion
                              Epia C3, 512 ram, syntax mobo, 80 gig WD, Mediacar, GPS w/Routis, all behind drivers seat, 7in Lcd Lilliput VGA with Touch, wireless adapter for stumbling, Consult ODB1 adapter and data scanner.

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