LinuxMCE Forums

General => Users => Topic started by: jamo on February 18, 2013, 07:46:55 am

Title: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: jamo on February 18, 2013, 07:46:55 am
Make no mistake, I'm having loads of fun trying to get IR control to work with my el-cheapo TV and STB and all that.... but, putting all that tinkering enjoyment aside for a moment, can we have a quick discussion about the future of device control?

Where does everyone think it is going? Is there some convergence happening in the industry?

Is everything going to move to HDMI-CEC, USB or IP control? Any thoughts? Would be good to know. I know CEC is poorly supported at present but it is an option. IP - lots of devices are getting both LAN and WAN connectors on board but most of these are for updating your twitface status primarily, correct? Will there come a time when we can do more with them? What about USB - that is also in just about every new AV device but, again, can one actually control the device via USB or is it just to be able to play your media.

I'm assuming that looking forward we should regard RS232 as over, despite how good it was and still is.  I'm going to put on some shoes and go and visit some high-end AUDIO/VIDEO vendors this week and pretend I have the buying power for some of their units and see what they have to say about control of their HT Receivers. Will be interesting.... ;-)
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: posde on February 18, 2013, 09:24:38 am
I assume HDMI-CEC is going to be a way. and IR...
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: iberium on February 18, 2013, 03:10:17 pm
We do a lot of real high end homes and most of the equipment we is are now going towards ip control.  I would say over half of it, and this even includes all of the consumer devices.  Some devices support the commands but don't support communication while in standby, which creates issues.  As far as rs232, I think that is going to be around for a little while longer, as larger and older installs don't have the necessary cabling to completely switch over away from it.  New construction styles have changed in the way that distributed systems are roughed in.
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: acald on February 18, 2013, 06:02:52 pm
My humble opinion:  HDBaseT is going to simplify everything.  It will be another couple years before it gets to the consumer level but there are several in the pro arena that are supporting it and there are quite a few switches out there for it already.  It appears the technology is attempting to work up to critical mass.

Since it supports Uncompressed HD video (10.2Gb), Audio, Ethernet (100Mb), POWER (100W), and Controls.  With one CAT5e/CAT6 cable you have a piece of equipment completely connected and powered with one single cable.
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: golgoj4 on February 19, 2013, 04:59:46 am
I think another factor to consider is how long it takes certain tech to trickle down. As Iberium pointed out, the higher end home are seeing an uptick in ip controlled devices (would have killed for that dealing with jandy systems) and distributed systems _starting_ to be roughed in by contractors. So you have to to think, this legacy stuff will be here for a while. Much less the mid to low end manufacturers including ip control as an option. Im seeing it more and more now, but the quality is...terrible (ipcams in this case).

So I think we just need to constantly evaluate whats available. Thats the nice thing about Linuxmce, there are a ton of ways to interface with things.

my 2cents
-golgoj4
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: jamo on February 19, 2013, 09:46:02 am
acald: Diiva (http://www.diiva.org/) ? Mmmmmmm
edit: Oh, I thought Diiva and HDBaseT were the same but I see they're similar but with slight differences.

I wasn't even aware of this and yet I've wired my home for it. What a smart guy.

Let's see if my local A/V specialists have any diiva-enabled devices ;-)

Seriously, though, what it tells me is that CEC is dead in the water. Sadly, HDMI will probably be around for a while as everyone gets done with their vested interests but are they likely to standardise on the control-protocol in this time? Probably not.

Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: tschak909 on February 19, 2013, 04:53:16 pm
Basically, the lesson here is really simple:

If you want to be able to accurately control your AV devices, then you need to buy devices that are targeted towards the Custom Installation market. Companies like Denon specifically have a model line for this, (for Denon, this is the CI line, look for the CI next to the model numbers, e.g. 2312CI). Companies like B&H Photo and Video not only sell TVs and AV equipment with workable control ports and protocols, but they also have people who KNOW what an RS-232 port is, know if a given TV has control ports, etc. and will give you a much smoother experience.

Don't buy your stuff from Best Buy, if you don't know what you're looking for, guess what? the idiots who walk around the floor don't have a clue, and will not be able to help you.

and Don't go cheap for the sake of being cheap, you will get burned. Full stop.

-Thom
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: Techstyle on February 19, 2013, 06:53:30 pm
Thom,

unfortunately, most people are just going to buy stuff that suits their pockets and buy them from places like Best Buy or they have already got their equipement before deciding they want to take it to the next level.

Jamo,

Code: [Select]
I know CEC is poorly supported at present but it is an optionWhat do you mean?  CEC is in place on lots of HDMI equipment now but not neccesarily common codes - therefore DT's would need to be made for each device rather than each type of device (TV's, Blu-ray, PVR, Receiver).

I think support for a common, low cost 'USB-CEC injector' would be good step forward for LMCE.   

Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: hari on February 19, 2013, 07:34:31 pm
you can use a raspberry pi and write a DCE wrapper for libcec. That would be the first standalone DCE device built for LMCE :-)
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: jamo on February 20, 2013, 07:48:49 am
I think what Thom says is probably the truth but I fear what I will find price-wise in that regard. I may be wrong but if it's a case of tripling or quadrupling my budget for a receiver then it may be out of my pricing zone as techstyle hints. Sadly, I guess, the guys that play in the custom install market know that their customers do not have a budget problem.

Regarding CEC - I guess what I was saying ito poor support is that firstly graphics cards with HDMI outputs don't support it which is annoying. Unless it's way more complex than I realise, that would be a big step forward and we wouldn't have to worry about injectors. Then, secondly, I understand that the manufacturers typically have their own set of protocols and codes Bravia Sync etc etc with limited overlap. I gather if you have an HDMI port on your device you're obliged to wire it for CEC but not implement it unless you want to.

How about an Arduino injector? Would that be an option? Don't know much about Pi and Duinos except that Duinos are a bit cheaper and more accessible in my neck of the woods.

Anyway, it will be fun to see my local AV "Experts" sweat when I ask them all these questions ;-)
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: posde on February 20, 2013, 02:13:01 pm
Do what I do, and don't pick the latest generation. Who needs HDMI 1.4a, or 4 HDMI inputs?!
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: Techstyle on February 20, 2013, 04:27:53 pm
For TV's I specifically bought Sharp and LG with RS232 ports (from BestBuy :)). Just did my research first and therefore did not need to ask the 'experts' anything
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: posde on February 21, 2013, 11:33:41 pm
Since using LinuxMCE, I've only bought used Denon amps. Work great, are readily available for little money, and have everything I need.
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: jamo on February 22, 2013, 08:43:00 am
Possy, what control do you use with them, RS232?
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: hari on February 22, 2013, 11:17:03 am
Onkyo AMPs also work great. The new network receivers TX-NR 414, 515, and 616 all support full remote control.

Regarding price.. if you want home automation you can't just buy the cheapest parts from best buy. Do your homework.
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: tschak909 on February 22, 2013, 04:41:33 pm
The Denon 2312CI that I use, is currently being controlled via Ethernet. Works very well.

-Thom
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: posde on February 23, 2013, 03:42:39 am
Possy, what control do you use with them, RS232?

I only buy gear I can control via RS232
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: l3mce on February 23, 2013, 05:00:19 am
The future of AV.

One day LMCE will not fight alsa, it will bend it to its will, and audio will "just work" on everything.

One day lmce video of any kind will play cleanly on almost everything without fiddling with it.

That is the only future of AV I can see from behind all the code.
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: jamo on March 08, 2013, 11:03:42 am
The future of AV.

One day LMCE will not fight alsa, it will bend it to its will, and audio will "just work" on everything.

One day lmce video of any kind will play cleanly on almost everything without fiddling with it.

That is the only future of AV I can see from behind all the code.

And if you have anything to do with it, this will be the case, I am confident.

Another thought/question I've come across in the search for AV-control info/understanding/enlightenment-

App-control is a term that seems to be bandied around a bit. As I understand it this is the ability to download an APP to control your HT Receiver. Presumably to do this the Receiver must either be networked (wired/wireless) or bluetooth enabled. If the former, would a receiver that advertises App-control be easy (relatively) to setup a device template for, based on the assumption that the control protocol must be available if there is an APP that uses it? Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: totallymaxed on March 19, 2013, 03:15:06 pm
I think what Thom says is probably the truth but I fear what I will find price-wise in that regard. I may be wrong but if it's a case of tripling or quadrupling my budget for a receiver then it may be out of my pricing zone as techstyle hints. Sadly, I guess, the guys that play in the custom install market know that their customers do not have a budget problem.

Regarding CEC - I guess what I was saying ito poor support is that firstly graphics cards with HDMI outputs don't support it which is annoying. Unless it's way more complex than I realise, that would be a big step forward and we wouldn't have to worry about injectors. Then, secondly, I understand that the manufacturers typically have their own set of protocols and codes Bravia Sync etc etc with limited overlap. I gather if you have an HDMI port on your device you're obliged to wire it for CEC but not implement it unless you want to.

How about an Arduino injector? Would that be an option? Don't know much about Pi and Duinos except that Duinos are a bit cheaper and more accessible in my neck of the woods.

Anyway, it will be fun to see my local AV "Experts" sweat when I ask them all these questions ;-)

Interestingly the Raspberry Pi does support full CEC control when using MythTV installed on it. We're finding that essentially all TV manufactured in the last 24 months in our experience have full CEC control.implemented. We support the Pulse-8 USB powered CEC control interface too so if you need CEC control with an nVidia based MM/MD then you can use a Pulse-8. See here; http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Dianemo_S#Using_HDMI-CEC_to_Control_Media_Devices (http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Dianemo_S#Using_HDMI-CEC_to_Control_Media_Devices)

All the best

Andrew
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: tschak909 on March 19, 2013, 03:22:57 pm
What exactly is defined by "full CEC control?"

-Thom
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: totallymaxed on March 19, 2013, 03:49:48 pm
What exactly is defined by "full CEC control?"

-Thom

See here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_Electronics_Control#CEC

Any device that is HDMI 1.0 to HDMI 1.3a compliant will be also comply with the relevant CEC Rev. In our experience TV's that meet that spec in the last approx. 24 months do indeed comply with CEC (this based on the random selection of TV's we come into contact with).

Andrew
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: tschak909 on March 19, 2013, 03:51:33 pm
is the core/MD able to at least:

* power on/off
* input switching
* volume control
* channel control
* maybe launch internal apps?

-Thom
Title: Re: Future of (AV) device control
Post by: totallymaxed on March 19, 2013, 04:12:45 pm
is the core/MD able to at least:

* power on/off
* input switching
* volume control
* channel control
* maybe launch internal apps?

-Thom

Yes with the exception of launching internal Apps in a SmartTV which is not in the spec.

Andrew