Anyone using one server to distribute A/V to multiple zones?

good place to post your setup and get feedback from others.

Anyone using one server to distribute A/V to multiple zones?

Postby reynoldswu on Sun Feb 11, 2007 5:09 pm

Is there anyone using a single server with either multiple sounds cards and video cards with at least, say, 2 DVI outs to multple zones? I would like to use my server running XLobby (which is awesome by the way) and have a video and audio out for each room, then probably use a DVI to Cat5 balun to transmit and receive the signal (Cat 5 is pretty cheap stuff). Then to control, would place IR receivers in each zone. I'm not sure if any of this is possible, I'm just trying to avoid having a set-top box or thin client in each zone.

Thanks for any and all help!
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Postby bmblank on Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:01 pm

As far as I know the hardest part would be porting video to each individual video output. People are already using multiple soundcards or one soundcard with multiple outputs with multiple or even single instances of winamp. Having IR recievers in each room is also possible, though every room will be controlling the same box and that seems like a recipe for confusion.
Do some more searching around this forum and you'll find people do a whole lot of stuff wiht xlobby.
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Postby Colby on Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:24 am

I use an USB-uirt and an RF transmitter/reciever box to control 1 HTPC. I dont need clients, only remotes. I split video with video cards, and audio with my reciever. Just a thought.
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Postby reynoldswu on Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:44 am

Colby wrote:I use an USB-uirt and an RF transmitter/reciever box to control 1 HTPC. I dont need clients, only remotes. I split video with video cards, and audio with my reciever. Just a thought.


That sounds like exactly what I want, no clients. Do you have a description and/or depiction of your system? I have some questions if you don't mind:

1. I'm curious how you've managed to assign video outs and sound cards to each zone. Do you have multiple video cards with more than one video out, say a dual DVI output?
2. If so, what video cards do you have?
3. Are you running multiple instances of WinAmp for your sound?

Thanks for your input. It's at least good to hear someone is doing exactly what I want.
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Postby joebob2006 on Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:00 am

what i have been doing is running two separate VMs in VMWare which refrence the same databases on the host machine, the VMs can be assigned specific hardware to use on the host (like which sound card, and video card) so there is no confusion.
This takes a friggin powerful PC to run smoothly so I wouldnt recomend it.

I would be interested to hear how you set that up Colby, because that sounds considerably easier than what im currently doing
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Postby jowaldo on Thu Feb 22, 2007 11:52 pm

joebob2006 wrote:what i have been doing is running two separate VMs in VMWare which refrence the same databases on the host machine, the VMs can be assigned specific hardware to use on the host (like which sound card, and video card) so there is no confusion.
This takes a friggin powerful PC to run smoothly so I wouldnt recomend it.

I would be interested to hear how you set that up Colby, because that sounds considerably easier than what im currently doing


yeah if possible vm's rule!
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Synching is off

Postby reynoldswu on Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:05 am

Does anyone know why Synch All seems to become off the longer the song plays? It seems the zones start at the same time, but after a while they get separated with one zone ahead of the other.
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Postby Marbles_00 on Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:36 am

That's been a known issue, not only with xlobby, but when trying to sync multiple instances of winamp together to play the same song. Remember, it has to output to multiple outputs from different sound cards at the same time. Interrupts have to be dealt with. Not to mention hardware limitations and buffer sizes, and I'm only scratching the surface.

That's why a good majority of us are doing it differently, by either using Creative Lab cards based on the EMU chip, or using VAC (Virtual Audio Cable).

Do a search on either topic, and you will find lot's of posts to fill your fancy.

Hope this helps.
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Postby reynoldswu on Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:37 pm

Marbles_00 wrote:That's been a known issue, not only with xlobby, but when trying to sync multiple instances of winamp together to play the same song. Remember, it has to output to multiple outputs from different sound cards at the same time. Interrupts have to be dealt with. Not to mention hardware limitations and buffer sizes, and I'm only scratching the surface.

That's why a good majority of us are doing it differently, by either using Creative Lab cards based on the EMU chip, or using VAC (Virtual Audio Cable).

Do a search on either topic, and you will find lot's of posts to fill your fancy.

Hope this helps.


Thanks again Marbles! I will be checking out the VAC, it sounds interesting from what I've read already. I have another question for you; I can't for the life of me figure out how to link to new screens I've cloned. So for example, I've cloned a screen and modified it the way I want. Now, I want to set a Goto event on a button to get to the new screen, but can't figure out how. It doesn't show up in the Goto list of events. I've looked around in here and all through the help guide, but i don't see how to do it. I'm sure it's something very simple but right now it's totally escaping me!

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Postby Marbles_00 on Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:33 pm

Goto F2(Setup)/Events.

Yeah first highlight the "Group" you want to add your new event to. Groups look like directory icons.

Click on Add Event, and name it to what you want "Goto X" as an example. With that new event highlighted, click on the Xlobby command "+" symbol to open up the list of commands.

Scroll down to the "goto screen" command, and enter the name of your new screen. Don't fill in a password (that will be a future lesson :wink: ).

Click on the Add button, and the command should be associated to that event.

Close the Setup screen.

Open the skin editor (pause/break), select the button you wan to add your event too.

Select Events in the skin editor. Under "Click Event" select Assign.

Goto the group where your new event resides and select the event.

Good as Gold, and ready to rock and roll.

You will find that process is the way it is done for almost every button.

Hope this was helpful.
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Postby sharp_1 on Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:44 pm

reynoldswu wrote:I have another question for you; I can't for the life of me figure out how to link to new screens I've cloned. So for example, I've cloned a screen and modified it the way I want. Now, I want to set a Goto event on a button to get to the new screen, but can't figure out how. It doesn't show up in the Goto list of events.


Maybe this will help you too.
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Postby reynoldswu on Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:33 am

Marbles_00 wrote:Goto F2(Setup)/Events.

Yeah first highlight the "Group" you want to add your new event to. Groups look like directory icons.

Click on Add Event, and name it to what you want "Goto X" as an example. With that new event highlighted, click on the Xlobby command "+" symbol to open up the list of commands.

Scroll down to the "goto screen" command, and enter the name of your new screen. Don't fill in a password (that will be a future lesson :wink: ).

Click on the Add button, and the command should be associated to that event.

Close the Setup screen.

Open the skin editor (pause/break), select the button you wan to add your event too.

Select Events in the skin editor. Under "Click Event" select Assign.

Goto the group where your new event resides and select the event.

Good as Gold, and ready to rock and roll.

You will find that process is the way it is done for almost every button.

Hope this was helpful.


Thanks to you! This worked great, very helpful! Now I have more questions: Do you know how to make the zones so that, say you have 4 zones and you have 3 zones playing different music. Then zone 1 sees what zone 3 is playing and wants to just synch with that zone without making all the rest of the zones synch. Any idea how to do that? The only event script that I see is Synch All.

Thanks again for all the help! The skin is coming along great, except I keep rethinking how I want to do it, so I keep going back.
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Postby Marbles_00 on Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:48 pm

reynoldswu,

Check out this post:
http://www.xlobby.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5441

It pretty much does exactly what you want. For 4 zones, use an Audigy 7.1 card that is compatible with the KX Drivers (google KX Drivers to download). Don't use...or even install the creative ones.

You will also have to download my ZoneSkin3 to get the PervTalk devices required (as they are not seperately downloadable at this time).

Basically, PervTalk is used to communicate between Xlobby and the KX Drivers. This give you control, and even feedback from KX which can be shown within XLobby. Read the document included with ZoneSkin3, the forum posts for kXd and for xPert.

Takes some learning, but you can achieve 4 sources/4 zones.

The other way of doing it is using VAC (Virtual Audio Cable). Right now, if you require more then 4 zones and sources...that is most likely the way to go. There are most likely even more ways, but I'm biased towards the Audigy/KX way as I know it works.
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    -OTA
are all discussed.

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Postby reynoldswu on Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:16 pm

Marbles_00 wrote:reynoldswu,

Check out this post:
http://www.xlobby.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5441

It pretty much does exactly what you want. For 4 zones, use an Audigy 7.1 card that is compatible with the KX Drivers (google KX Drivers to download). Don't use...or even install the creative ones.

You will also have to download my ZoneSkin3 to get the PervTalk devices required (as they are not seperately downloadable at this time).

Basically, PervTalk is used to communicate between Xlobby and the KX Drivers. This give you control, and even feedback from KX which can be shown within XLobby. Read the document included with ZoneSkin3, the forum posts for kXd and for xPert.

Takes some learning, but you can achieve 4 sources/4 zones.

The other way of doing it is using VAC (Virtual Audio Cable). Right now, if you require more then 4 zones and sources...that is most likely the way to go. There are most likely even more ways, but I'm biased towards the Audigy/KX way as I know it works.


Okay, that one's going to take some time for me to figure out and use, but thanks for the tips! I really do want to get the synching working really great, so I will definitely be trying the method you described. Right now, I'm just running into buggy things that I can't figure out. One is, I'm using an overlay to display album tracks once the album is clicked on. It works really good most of the time, but then all of a sudden I'll go to click on an album and rather than open the album, it just plays it without opening it. I can't figure out why it just does that on occassion. Any ideas?

My other problem is album cover art. It barely is picking up any album covers. When I have my songs in Media Center, most of my albums have cover art, but in XLobby, only like 5 show up out of about 1000 albums.

I would like to get these kind of little kinks worked out before I try accomplishing the multi-zone synching stuff, which for me might involve a larger effort. I have spent quite a bit of time working on my skin which I am really liking, so I would rather not have to use another skin at this point. To me, this is one of the coolest things about XLobby...the ability to have your own custom skin, so I don't want to abandon it.

Your help has been great and is much appreciated!
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Postby Marbles_00 on Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:52 pm

I'm using an overlay to display album tracks once the album is clicked on. It works really good most of the time, but then all of a sudden I'll go to click on an album and rather than open the album, it just plays it without opening it. I can't figure out why it just does that on occassion. Any ideas?

My other problem is album cover art. It barely is picking up any album covers. When I have my songs in Media Center, most of my albums have cover art, but in XLobby, only like 5 show up out of about 1000 albums.


These issues you should ask over in the Support forum as you will get more responses. Others who can help as much (or more) than myself, looking at the title of this post, may even read these issues you have, thus virtually isolating yourself. Just some advice.

Anyways, dealing with the overlay issue, I'm not too sure but you may have an event that is connected with that overlay, or category, which may automatically play whole album after the first time you enter it...maybe.

The cover art issue, could be that fact that you may not have the coverart residing in the individual album directory. Xlobby, I think will tag coverart to the album if the .jpg, .bmp, .gif file is found within the directory. This can further be defined under Setup/Databases and select the "Import" tab. Next to Template, in the drop-down, select music. Verify your graphic type is defined in the Coverart space. By default (meaning I've never touched it) the ones listed are jpg,jpeg,bmp,gif. If your artwork is a different graphic type (png,tiff...whatever), that needs to be entered there.

Hope that helps.
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    -UnRAID box
    -OTA
are all discussed.

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