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Thread: Software for controlling a TV media center

  1. #1
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    Software for controlling a TV media center

    Hey guys

    I'm finishing up my home theater center in my apt (super low budget!) I'm looking for software to control my audio / video over the TV.

    My "media server" computer *is* in the same room as my TV setup. I was thinking to do this, but I wanted the experts opinions before I do something without proper foresight and make a mistake!

    I've seen the 2.4ghz wireless transmitters that accept composite inputs (red,white,yellow) and can transmit them through the house. I was thinking I could put some type of card into my media server computer (if such a card exists??) that would output the composite inputs, and attach them to the wireless transmitter that would send the audio and video to my receiver and my television. This would take care of getting all the data into the tv system.

    But, how would I control the system? I'm guessing the best idea is to use one of the media softwares that has some type of IR remote control input. This leaves me with a few questions.

    Say I use an IR remote or whatever, (which are some good ones??) is it likely that it will interfere with my existing remotes (dvd, cable box, vcr, tv, receiver)?

    Also, will the 2.4ghz thing for transmitting the audio/video interfere with my 802.11b/g wireless network?

    Additionally, which softwares would you reccomend for this? I'm aware and impressed by MediaCar and MediaEngine, but I haven't checked the site in a while and see there is a lot of new types of software out here! I just need basic functionality: mp3 playing, play a few video formats (nothing fancy), use winamp visualizations, and nice, good looking interface, easy to use interface.

    Finally, how would I handle the resolution here? I'm using a 42" HDTV. It can support for sure that 1080i resolution or whatever, but the inputs would be via composite, so what would the max resolution be that I could do with this? Also, remember it's HDTV so its 16:9 and the software would look funny, or is there software that would morph?

    Thank you all very kindly, you are all wonderful, and this is an amazing and long lived community. Some great developers here. A truly talented group of individuals who are on the cusp of a cutting edge technology.

    - the new guy

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate wkolodny's Avatar
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    For remotely accessing and viewing:
    http://crossbarmedia.com/html/media_kit.html

    For interface:
    http://www.myhtpc.net
    Don't Fear The Gurkey
    Click here to check out My Setup

  3. #3
    Raw Wave god_of_cpu's Avatar
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    i haven't seen anything that works or looks better then windows media center http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/

    The only problem is that the only way to get it is by buying a new PC or through TechNet.
    StreetDeck.com Developer (I am Chuck)
    Get StreetDeck at http://www.streetdeck.com
    The Official StreetDeck Forums have moved, please visit us at http://www.streetdeck.com/forum for official support for Streetdeck.

  4. #4
    Newbie Cesar_Barba's Avatar
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    ATI has a video card that will output a HD signal, if I remember right, it's their Radeon 8500DV card. You could use the Yellow composite cable to connect the outgoing signal to the wireless transmitter. You will have to use a converter 'Y' type cable to convert the outgoing sound signal from your sound card into the Red and White cables that will connect to the transmitter. The ATI card comes with an RF remote, and it can also do widescreen output for you. For more info, here is the link
    http://mirror.ati.com/products/radeo...00128/faq.html
    As for interferance, you just don't want to have both your wireless router and your wireless transmitter too close to each other. Try making a call on a 2.4GHZ phone and start walking close to your wireless router to see how far you should keep them away from each other.
    I hope I'm right on all of this, but if anyone has any corrections, please let me know and the rest of the forum as well.
    Thank you.
    I know that your system is set up already, but depending on your video card, you may not get such a good quality picture on your television. May I ask what type of vide card your computer has? And just to play devil's advocate, how far away from the actuall tv set?

  5. #5
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    Hm.. That sounds good. I think i'm going to play with that myHTPC. It's interesting you guys reccomend that over the software developed here!

    For my remote, could I use something like this: http://usbuirt.com/ and just use the "audio" part of my remote on my universal remote to control it?

  6. #6
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    Hmm.. I went to the myHTPC page, and I click on Download, and it looks like it hasnt been updated in nearly a year!!

  7. #7
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    Trasmitters

    I've got a couple of those wireless transmitters from Radio Shack. I used them to transmit various downloaded movies to my TV set. Although they work and get the job done, the slightest thing will cause interference. Stepping in front of it causes major static, moving the antenna causes it, etc. It has to be a straight, uninterrupted path. If you can get a wire running to the TV or mount the transmitters near/on the ceiling (only place without real interference), it'd be much better.

    As for the transmitters messing with 802.11x, I haven't noticed any problems with mine. Should work fine.

  8. #8
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    check out showshifter.com i use it with ati allinwonder works great records in divix,pvr functionality etc.dont think it can stream video though, search also snapstream.anyway plugging directly to tv in and out to tv works best especielly if you have svideo ports on card.btw ati video card comes with r.f. remote.S.S. supports 16:9 & high def

  9. #9
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    Check out the Hauppauge MVP. I just picked one up today, and I'm very impressed.

    Also check out the forums dedicated to this unit.

  10. #10
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    That thing does look cool! The only thing that worries me is about the playing mpeg1/mpeg2 videos. How do I know if mine are in that format. I have all odd formatted videos, I had to download some codec pack just to play some of mine.

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