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Controlling it ALL..
#1
Im starting to get a better idea on how all this CQC works but my next questions are

1. how does CQC "talk" to and control the other devices, for example.. Im going to purchasing a HD martix switcher(Extron 100\200), hooking up my HTPC w\component out to the switcher-it will output to all my HD TVs in my house (4 in total). When Im in each room using a remote(tabletPC) what connection would be used to talk to my equipment thats in my media closet? IR, RF, Wireless?

2. With a HD Matrix switcher, in my case does the output "mirror" to all TVs? For example lets say im in my Den watching live TV (through my htpc) can my wife who wants to watch a movie through the HTPC, can she watch a movie in MCE while im watching live TV? Or does it work where all 4 TVs will see the same output on all TVs?

3. Relating back to #1, would i have access\control to my whole system from anywhere in the house using the same remote
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#2
sweethip Wrote:1. how does CQC "talk" to and control the other devices, for example.. Im going to purchasing a HD martix switcher(Extron 100\200), hooking up my HTPC w\component out to the switcher-it will output to all my HD TVs in my house (4 in total). When Im in each room using a remote(tabletPC) what connection would be used to talk to my equipment thats in my media closet? IR, RF, Wireless?

That depends on your wants/needs. I intend to use tablets and touchscreens in my house. I haven't worked through all the pieces yet but anywhere there's a tv, there will be something to control it.

You can also use an IR repeater, a receiver that CQC can interpret the commands, etc. I opted not to do this as I don't want to buy remotes for every room all that jazz. This way I can change the interfaces at will. Oh, the remotes are constantly eaten by the purple remote eaters at my house. They do come back eventually but I'm hoping a touchscreen won't disappear.

sweethip Wrote:2. With a HD Matrix switcher, in my case does the output "mirror" to all TVs? For example lets say im in my Den watching live TV (through my htpc) can my wife who wants to watch a movie through the HTPC, can she watch a movie in MCE while im watching live TV? Or does it work where all 4 TVs will see the same output on all TVs?

The matrix switchers take X inputs and give you Y outputs. They allow you to connect any X to any Y. If you want to select the output and put it to every TV, you want a different product. As to your HTPC question, you'll need an HTPC or some other input for each concurrent viewer. I have an HTPC, a Sony 777, 2 DVR cable boxes, etc so they will be selectable from any viewing location in the house. I will not be able to watch 2 different HTPC options without putting another HTPC. This is why I have 2 DVRs (and to help w/ the hard drive clogging up when I get behind).

sweethip Wrote:3. Relating back to #1, would i have access\control to my whole system from anywhere in the house using the same remote
I think I answered that in #1. You'll need to decide how you want this to work. IR is an option but keep in mind that you may decide later to add lighting, heating, caller ID, etc and not being able to work with those might not be desirable.

As an aside, I think there are a good number of us that have moved equipment into a central location (or are working toward this) and piped the audio/video around as needed. You might look in the User Systems forum for ideas how some have done things.

Russ...
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#3
Russ essentially answered your question but in a slightly different way, I'll try again. Hopefully I wont be too redundant.

sweethip Wrote:1. how does CQC "talk" to and control the other devices, for example.. Im going to purchasing a HD martix switcher(Extron 100\200), hooking up my HTPC w\component out to the switcher-it will output to all my HD TVs in my house (4 in total). When Im in each room using a remote(tabletPC) what connection would be used to talk to my equipment thats in my media closet? IR, RF, Wireless?

Each device has a driver associated with it. Those drivers are generally located on a PC which the device attaches (if serial through control). The driver then talks to the Master Server.

You could attach all your devices to the Master Server directly but that's pretty restrictive. So, there is a CQC Server which get's installed on any PC that would have a device attached to it. This is what makes CQC so powerful. It's completely distributable within your network.

On any machine which you would interface with, there are 'user tools' installed which run the interface viewer, etc. Since CQC basically understand where all the various parts and piece are located on your system, a user on a touchscreen pc in the bedroom can effectively tell the 'system' to start a movie, adjust the matrix switch, turn on the receiver, turn on the TV, etc. Each of the 'steps' involve potentially a different device all of which may be attached to one or more computers on your network.

Now if you have devices that can't be attached via serial control, then IR (or RF) would be your choice. In that case, you would have to have a way to receive IR signals and transmit them to an IR receiver (such as a USB-UIRT device). The USB-UIRT would then attach to a PC and a be 'trained' to understand the IR signals. Again this device can attach to whatever PC is appropriate to your system, in my case it's in the equipment closet.

Hopefully that's what you were asking and I didn't over simplify it too much.

sweethip Wrote:2. With a HD Matrix switcher, in my case does the output "mirror" to all TVs? For example lets say im in my Den watching live TV (through my htpc) can my wife who wants to watch a movie through the HTPC, can she watch a movie in MCE while im watching live TV? Or does it work where all 4 TVs will see the same output on all TVs?

Each input on the matrix switch is a source - HTPC, DVD, Cable box, etc. Each output is attached to a different TV. With the matrix switch you can route any single source to any output. Likewise, you can generally route any single source to multiple outputs.

However, just like you can't watch 2 different DVD's on the same DVD player, you can't watch multiple movies on the same source. It is possible to watch a DVD on one TV and something from the HTPC on another TV (assuming the DVD player and HTPC are separate sources). Whether its possible to watch two movies from the HTPC depends on the PC (if it's powerful enough) and depends how it's attached to the matrix switch. If the PC can handle two streams you'd then have to have 2 separate outputs from the PC going into 2 separate inputs on the matrix switch. Each would appear to the matrix switch as a unique source.

So in your case, if the TV and movies are both running through the PC, you'd need two (or more) outputs from the PC to the matrix switch or you're stuck watching the same thing.

sweethip Wrote:3. Relating back to #1, would i have access\control to my whole system from anywhere in the house using the same remote

That depends. If you are using a tablet PC attached to a wireless network, then yes, you have control.

If it's a remote, it would depend on how you pick up the IR signals throughout the house. There are others here who are far more qualified to answer this one than me.

Hopefully this helped explain a few things.
Keith
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#4
thanks russ and keith, im know starting to see the whole picture on how CQC communicates to our devices..

So
Serial Connection works through your house's wireless network (talking to the CQC server)
IR and RF would need a IR blaster with emitters on each of my hardware (also talking to the CQC server w\ a USB-UIRT connected to it (for PC based Apps) and i guess i can just get some IR blasters from smarthome to hook up to my other non PC devices(TV,DVD player,DirecTV box, etc) and program my harmony 880\890 to them for each room, but at the same time i wont get 2-way communication (meaning i get no info on my TS display or function)

Keith you said you have ur USB-UIRT in your equipment closet(hooked up to ur PC), how did you extend the IR to your TV or to that particular room. USB to cat5 balun? I have the USB-UIRT for my carPC and its a USB connection only,

Now my only problem is how is the wireless connection and more importantly how reliable is it. I really dont need my wife busting my balls, saying i cant control anything()because of no wireless connection)

I know its a pain sometimes with it dropping out, depending on where im located in the house

thanks again guys
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#5
sweethip Wrote:When Im in each room using a remote(tabletPC) what connection would be used to talk to my equipment thats in my media closet? IR, RF, Wireless?

I couldn't tell if this question was really answered, so in the interest of OVER-informing, I'll take a stab at it too.

Your devices are connected to computers, which are connected via your home network. Once that is true, then your remote or tabletPC will communicate to your devices via whatever you have for a network connection. For instance, my fujitsu touchpad has a wireless card in it, and thus through my wireless router, it communicates with the CQC servers, which control the devices. However, I can also remove the wireless card from the tablet and sit the tablet into it's docking station, and now it's on a hard-wired network connection. I haven't had to change anything, it still can control devices.

For a non-IP based remote (an IR remote), then I believe what has been described to you is use a USB-UIRT, and CQC can use that to interpret what your remote is doing into a device command.

Dunno if that helped anymore of was already said by smarter people, but there it is.
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#6
thanks again for the info

can CQC control MCE\VMC ?
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#7
not yet for MCE. im patiently waiting for that.

i have no clue what vmc is.
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#8
Dean's Blog, in the last day or two, talked about his work on MCE so that's a positive sign for those interested.

Russ...
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#9
There's a first cut at an MCE driver in the 2.0.17 release.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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#10
Dean,

Is there any docs on the MCE capability yet? I looked yesterday in Supported Devices and didn't see anything.

Will this work in conjunction with the new Sony firewire changer your working on? How is the firewire changer stuff coming?

Thanks,

Bryan
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