Baddabing's Xlobby Home Theater

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Baddabing's Xlobby Home Theater

Postby BaddaBing on Thu Feb 16, 2006 5:04 am

Thanks to StevenHanna for putting together such a great piece of software. With XL I have the capabilities of a Crestron control system, an Escient music server and a Kaleidescape DVD System all rolled into one.

    Overview of the HTPC
    Image
    HTPC: Thermaltake Bach black HTPC case with Media Lab VFD, AMD Athlon 64 3700+, 1 Gig RAM, 300 GB Seagate SATA HD, VistaView Saber2020 Dual TV Tuner PCI-E1 Card, USBUIRT, dual video cards: GIGABYTE GeForce 7300GT 256MB PCI Express Video Card to BARCO CRT projector via Extron RGB 120p and an NVidia 64 MB PCI card to a 12inch ELO touchscreen, Audio: Auzentech HDA Digital X-Mystique 7.1 Gold PCI Card, audio via optical-out to pre-amp, Gigabit network CLICK HERE TO SEE HTPC BUILD: http://www.xlobby.com/files//badabing/htpc/index.htm

    Media Server: 2.6 Ghz AMD with 1 Gig Ram, Intel 10/100/1000 NIC, 9 X 400GB SATA Seagates, OS: unRAID LINUX from Lime Technology

    Image

    Software: XP Pro, Xlobby, Girder, DScaler, ZoomPlayer Pro, Sage TV and WinAmp

    Config: Xlobby controls the system components using a USBUIRT via Girder as well as RS232 communication for the Barco projector

I thought I was done skinning - but it turns out that once you get the skinning bug - you're hooked. This is the latest skin I've created for myself, designed specifically for a touch screen set up. It's a combination of bits and pieces from the various skins I have posted as well as a few new graphics. The skin is still evolving - probably be one of those 'never really finished' skins becaquse I'll always be tweaking it.

The goal of the skin is to provide easy navigation and access to all the relevant controls. By adding the navigation bar across the top I added the ability to peruse one category while listening or watching another. As I'm running dual video cards I always have Xlobby on the touch screen while a movie, TV or MilkDrop plays on the big screen. A THX wallpaper on my desktop acts as the default view. This setup means I can display just the relevant controls and information on the XL screen as illustrated in the movie and TV/Sat screens below. As they say, it's not the destination - it's the journey. :wink:

NOTE: Refresh your browser to make sure you see newest images
Images Updated February 8, 2007

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LARGER IMAGE HERE: http://www.xlobby.com/files/badabing/images/theater/home_theater01.jpg
Main Theater View with DayLite 100" screen and Atlantic Technologies THX Speaker System with MilkDrop running on the screen. The room was not originally a theater, I did all the work (carpentry, paneling, painting and electrical) myself.

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LARGER IMAGE HERE: http://www.xlobby.com/files/badabing/images/theater/theater_seats.jpg
Theater seating, equipment rack and Barco CRT projector. Visible in this picture is the ELO 12 inch touchscreen that controls the system sitting between two of the chairs. All four of the seats recline making for a very comfortable movie watching experience.

If you look at the larger image you can easily see that one third of the equipment rack is now empty - just blank panels. As I now use a media server for movies and music I was able to get rid of three 300 disc CD changers and a 300 disc DVD changer. The money from their sale helped pay for the new theater seats

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LARGER IMAGE HERE: http://www.xlobby.com/files/badabing/images/theater/touchscreen_music.jpg
Elo touchscreen w/Xlobby in Music mode and MilkDrop on main screen.

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Last edited by BaddaBing on Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:09 am, edited 130 times in total.
BaddaBing
 
Posts: 562
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Great setup!

Postby berniejr on Thu Feb 16, 2006 7:27 am

BaddaBing, let me be the first to say, great setup! All of your skins that I 've seen (and used) are always extremely polished and professional, and one of the main reasons that I navigated to Xlobby. I enjoy seeing others user setups in action, as it verifies what can be done, and gives a ton of inspiration. setup is similar to yours so I will definitely be "borrowing" some of your ideas for my setup. Oh and by the way that skin looks amazing, any chance of releasing it for public use?? :wink: (Not that you haven't already provided several great skins) :D

P.S. Three more questions for you:

1.) Are you running an instance of Xlobby on your server or is strictly for storage?

2.) What solution are you using for TV/PVR ?

3.) How is Xlobby controlling your Xbox? Via the USB-UIRT or are you running an emulator, or by some other means?

Thanks again
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Postby BaddaBing on Thu Feb 16, 2006 4:12 pm

1) The server is strictly storage - no software other than the OS, Windows Server 2003 R2, firewall and anti-virus software.

2) USBUIRT control over Sat/PVR box primarily. Also have Sage integration but don't use it as much as I thought I would.

3) Again, USBUIRT - Xlobby is just switching the audio/video inputs on the pre-amp to the xbox (I'm running the optional s-video and dolby digital outs on the XBox) and providing projector and volume controls - the rest is just straight XBox.

As for the skin, it is configured specifically to my hardware setup - with so many RS232 and Girder commands in the events file it would not even have basic functionality on anyone elses system. So, sorry, but no plans to post this one.
Last edited by BaddaBing on Thu Apr 27, 2006 6:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Posts: 562
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Location: DFW Texas

Postby summerall on Thu Feb 16, 2006 7:56 pm

BaddaBing

Do you use your USBUIRT with any other IR distribution equipment? Say like a Xantech IR distribution block/IR emitters?

Reason I ask is because I need to route my USBUIRT's IR output to another room (wiring closet) and I was wondering how others did this.

Thanks
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Postby BaddaBing on Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:51 pm

Not using it now, but have done it before. Just add an additional IR emmiter to the USBUIRT (thats what the little jack on the back of the USBUIRT is for) link it up to a connecting block with an IR Receiver (you may want to use an amplified connecting block like a Xantech CB60 depending on the length of the run) then run wire to the cabinet and install some IR flashers.
Last edited by BaddaBing on Fri Feb 17, 2006 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BaddaBing
 
Posts: 562
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:39 pm
Location: DFW Texas

Postby sharp_1 on Fri Feb 17, 2006 3:55 am

BaddaBing wrote: with so many RS232 and Girder commands in the events file it would not even have basic functionality on anyone elses system. So, sorry, but no plans to post this one.

How are you splitting the rs232 connections?? do you have more than one RS232 port on you HTPC?
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Postby GFORCE on Fri Feb 17, 2006 8:45 am

I Would Really love to expand to the touchscreen control like you have, How are you running that?

Is it in Client Mode?
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Posts: 193
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Postby ingalls on Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:25 pm

Hello, bababing!
happy to see you again here!
I love your skins and I use the HaevyMetalX a little bit modified to have xltv features, etc.. and to have the traditional haevymetal look.

I love the skin you made for your incredible hometheater! I would like to try it if it is possible! he looks really great! Could you upload your skin??? Pleaaassseeeee!!!!!!!!! :wink: 8) :lol:

I have one more question for the server: where did you find it? What is the cost? Is it noisy?
Member of XLobby FR Team
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Releases from the French team
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Postby BaddaBing on Fri Feb 17, 2006 7:11 pm

sharp_1
How are you splitting the rs232 connections?? do you have more than one RS232 port on you HTPC?


Each device that you connect to via RS232 would require a dedicated serial port on your PC. You can purchase add-in cards to increase the number of serial ports on a machine. Using Girder you can then select the command you want and which port you want to send it to.

GFORCE
I Would Really love to expand to the touchscreen control like you have, How are you running that?

Is it in Client Mode?


No, it is not in client mode. I am running a dual video cards (an NVidia AGP 256 MB card to to BARCO CRT projector via an Extron RGB 120p , and an NVidia 64 MB PCI card to a 12inch ELO touchscreen) that allows me to stretch my desktop across two monitors. I'm running Xlobby at 800x600 on the right monitor (the touch screen) and have ZoomPlayer and Milkdrop configured to run on the 'left' screen (the projector).

The video signal for the projector runs through the pre-amp. I have commands in my event files that switch the inputs on the pre-amp so when I select "Movies" in Xlobby a command is sent to the pre-amp to switch the video input to the computer. When I select "Games" it switches the video to the XBox, when I select "TV" it switches the video to the Sat/DVR. Since the touchscreen is hooked directly to the PC it is always on regardless of what source is selected. So when I'm watching TV I can click a channel button on Xlobby to control it.

ingalls
I have one more question for the server: where did you find it? What is the cost? Is it noisy?


I built the server from parts. You can find the case I used here:http://www.plinkusa.net/web5101.htm The total cost was just under $2500 U.S. And yes, with 9 drives (8 in RAID + 1 for OS) it makes noise. It has since been moved out of the theater rack and into a closet. I run a gigabit network so no problems with lag. The server goes to sleep when not in use and is brought on line using Wake-On-Lan Magic Packet.
Last edited by BaddaBing on Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby GFORCE on Sat Feb 18, 2006 7:37 am

ah, yeh i have my amp going like that aswell.
switching the video inputs,

too bad my plasma doesnt have the RS232 controllable firmware in it.
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Postby ingalls on Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:35 pm

No, it is not in client mode. I am running a dual head video card that allows me to stretch my desktop across two monitors. I'm running Xlobby at 800x600 on the right monitor (the touch screen) and have ZoomPlayer and Milkdrop configured to run on the 'left' screen (the projector).

The video signal for the projector runs through the pre-amp. I have commands in my event files that switch the inputs on the pre-amp so when I select "Movies" in Xlobby a command is sent to the pre-amp to switch the video input to the computer. When I select "Games" it switches the video to the XBox, when I select "TV" it switches the video to the Sat/DVR. Since the touchscreen is hooked directly to the PC it is always on regardless of what source is selected. So when I'm watching TV I can click a channel button on Xlobby to control it.


We can see you have sometime the xlobby screen on your projector. How do you tell the video card settings to change the video output settings via Xlobby?
Member of XLobby FR Team
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Releases from the French team
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Postby BaddaBing on Sat Feb 18, 2006 5:14 pm

ingalls
We can see you have sometime the xlobby screen on your projector. How do you tell the video card settings to change the video output settings via Xlobby?


The picture with xlobby on the main screen were taken before I began using the touchscreen. Xlobby now only runs on the touchscreen and not the main screen. For displaying photos I use Picasa controlled by girder. See this link for info: http://www.xlobby.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3417&highlight=picasa

If you really want to switch xlobby between two monitors the easiest way to do it is just install two copies - each configured to a particular screen and resolution - you can put a button on each that calls a batch file that kills one instance and starts the other to make it look even more seamless. Only drawback is music play would be interupted.
BaddaBing
 
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Location: DFW Texas

Postby ingalls on Sun Feb 19, 2006 10:49 am

Very interesting!
I would love to see your settings file for your skin and girder to try this feature!
Thanks :wink:
Member of XLobby FR Team
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Releases from the French team
ingalls
 
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Postby ThE ScReW on Sun Feb 19, 2006 5:51 pm

nice nice nice, very very nice :)
I am removed, somebody hates me! :-(
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Postby GFORCE on Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:51 pm

Baddabing,

How do you run your PPC in Portrait Mode?
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