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Marketplace / CHT Launches Kickstarter Campaign to fund Open Source Dianemo
« on: September 03, 2014, 03:29:34 pm »
We want to make Open Source Dianemo available to anyone who wants a Home Automation system or solution and have launched a Kickstarter campaign to support the engineering effort to do so;

If we reach our goal we aim to ship the first Open Source Dianemo release in May/June 2015.

We need your support so please back us if you can and spread the word about our Kickstarter campaign in anyway way you can - facebook, twitter, forums. Even if you can't afford to back us then just making sure the word gets out there about our Kickstarter campaign to anyone you know is incredibly helpful - bloggers, writers, journalists...even your aunty and all her friends. Please spread the word for us - we appreciate any help that you can give.

If you have questions that aren't covered by our information section on Kichstarter you can either post them here or in the FAQ section on our Kickstarter campaign page at the url above.

Best regards and thanks for any help you can give.


Users / Re: Dianemo - Looking for Athena Orbiter & UI Layer Alpha Testers
« on: September 02, 2014, 01:29:17 pm »
Hi all,

Just a quick update re getting involved in testing the Athena Orbietr & UI Layer;

Some people have asked how much time we will expect you to commit to testing etc and how frequently code updates/drops will happen. While we'd like as much feedback on Athena as possible we realise that everyones time is valuable and so we are happy for you to commit as much time as you are comfortable with to using/testing Athena. The minimum commitment from you is that you simply volunteer and get involved - beyond that whatever time you have to using/testing/reporting bugs will be very gratefully received by us.

As to how often updates/code drops will happen - we expect to deliver weekly updates to Athena during the alpha testing period.

Any more questions  re Athena alpha testing - please post them here.

All the best


Users / Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« on: August 29, 2014, 11:08:32 am »
A Quick question Andy.

Am I correct in assuming that the new orbiter does not work with LMCE ?


Athena is not compatible with LinuxMCE due to numerous internal differences. We will have some further news on this shortly.


Users / Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« on: August 28, 2014, 05:52:28 pm »
Below is a url to a Youtube video of our new Athena Orbiter in action. The demo uses our new Athena Orbiter - and has a slick dynamic UI etc...but all the non UI based capability is all part of how you can setup systems without MD's and thats the main point of posting this video. I'm posting it here really to show a Dianemo system without any MD's performing various control functions with Internet Radio, iTunes library based music content, Spotify and streaming a ripped movie to and controlling a SmartTV (Panasonic I believe in this case).

All the best


Am I right to assume that only Dianemo users can apply?!

Yes you are - as mentioned in the linked post.

Currently builds of Athena rely on too many Dianemo specific features and technologies.

All the best


Nice interface. Nice video. Next time *I* would love to have it a bit louder :)

Noted :-)

...and new video posted with better sound levels ;-)

Just a note on the Athena Orbiter;

The Orbiter itself is written 100% in HTML5 so it is compatible with any modern HTML5 compliant browser. The demo in the video uses the Safari browser on an iPad - but importantly this could be an Android Phone or tablet or indeed a Laptop/PC running Chrome, Safari etc. One of the big wins we get from writing the Orbiter in HTML5 is immediate portability to any device on any OS/Platform.

We have also written new code that provides an abstracted two way interface between the internal Dianemo systems data structures. This UI Layer code provides the glue between the Athena UI and the legacy Dianemo DCErouter style code etc.

All the best


Users / Dianemo - Looking for Athena Orbiter & UI Layer Alpha Testers
« on: August 28, 2014, 01:42:12 pm »
See the forum post below for details of how to join our Athena Orbiter Alpha test program - make sure you watch the video linked to in the post;



Users / Re: Entertainment Areas without an MD
« on: August 27, 2014, 06:45:43 pm »
Run /usr/pluto/bin/UpdateEntArea -e XX where XX is the entertainment area where you have your stuff associated with. That should generate the media scenarios. At least, it just did do that after I added a Squeezebox to one of my rooms.

mysql pluto_main -e "SELECT PK_EntertainmentArea, Description FROM EntertainmentArea"

will give you a list of all EA IDs.

If you go to Web Admin;

Wizards->Basic Info->Room

The numbers with a '#' in front of them are the EA ID for the room listed above.

All the best


Users / Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« on: August 27, 2014, 03:53:46 pm »
Thanks for the explanation Andy.
So if you add a sat box to the same room, controlled by the core, can you configure the the Rpi to switch the TV to the correct input for the sat box?


Yes you can do that if the TV supports Input select via CEC (which most do). Obviously you need to get the HDMI signal from the STB to the TV but if their in the same room that just needs an HDMI cable. If the STB is remote from the room then you need to get the HDMI signal from the STB in the central rack, to the room, and that can be done with some HDMI over CAT5/6 transceivers (those require a dedicated CAT5/6 cable) or a pair of IP based HDMI over CAT5/6 transceivers that can send HDMI video over a standard gigabit CAT5/6 network cable.

All the best


Users / Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« on: August 27, 2014, 02:57:07 pm »
Andrew, could you expand on that a little, mainly on controlling the Rpi and how do you attach it to a room with no MD ?


If you have a recent SmartTV with a LAN connection then you can use that LAN connection to both stream HD video and to provide control of the TV too. Dependent on the TV make/model you may also need CEC control as well as this is the only way to turn on a TV from stand-by for example. In Dianemo we place the TV in the required room and then configure pipes to make sure commands & audio etc are routed correctly from the Core to the TV.

If you have an older TV that has no LAN capability then we can use a Rpi with our build of RaspBMC + CEC installed. The Rpi in this case then performs all the functions of the SmartTV above including using CEC control via the Rpi's HDMI port to power on/off and perform other commands/functions eg input select on the TV in some cases or Vol up/down/Mute. Again in Dianemo we place the TV + Rpi in the required room and then configure pipes to make sure commands & audio etc are routed correctly from the Core to, in this case, the Rpi. One of the big advantages of the Rpi is that not only do you get a great media player by installing RaspBMC but you also get a great CEC control device too for free.

You could also use a commercial media player + older TV - but this would not provide CEC control so in most cases the Rpi is the more economic & less complex solution.

There are a few other details in the above arrangements but thats the basis of how we configure systems with SmartTV's or Rpi + older TV's.

All the best


Users / Re: Entertainment Areas without an MD
« on: August 27, 2014, 10:09:28 am »
This issue came up in another post I had

The inability to get media scenarios for entertainment areas that have not been configured with an MD. 

If anyone is interested in helping me get this to work properly I'd be happy to assist in any way I can. 

I have a fresh install of the latest 1404 dvd image with an entertainment area set up that has a TV, receiver, a cable box, and a dvd player.  No scenarios are generated, so it seems the issue still persists in 1404.  This exact setup worked perfectly with a 1204 install when I set it up using an MD, and then after setup removing the MD. 

I can provide any logs, and perform any experiments anyone would like on this setup.  I can also provide remote access to this set up if anyone wants to help me investigate the issue and fix it.

If the room/entertainment area has no MD then no auto-generated scenarios are created. You need to set the zone to manually managed in Web Admin. If you add an MD, then later remove it from the room/entertainment area you are essentially doing the same thing as setting it to manual.

All the best


Users / Re: Why Do Media Directors Exist?
« on: August 27, 2014, 10:05:02 am »
If I may weigh in. A few main points on MDs and why as a user I continue to use them and would be disappointed to see them relegated to a unsupported system.

Number one for me is Cost. An ip controllable HDMI matrix, HDMI endpoints, multiple set top boxes/STBs = multiplying the cost to every-room and every zone you add. You can add 'smarts' to any display with a relatively low cost MD and a remote.

I enjoy the ability to control any zone/room from and zone/room without having to have a dedicate room controller (ie. iPad) in each room. Call us 'old skool' but we also prefer to flick through with a remote rather than always use an ipad, ipod touch etc.

The philosophy of LinuxMCE/Dianemo is the central home control. Not just single point to point but in addition multipoint and the ability to move that media/user experience between rooms seamlessly. This includes the same UI, the same control process and access to all media in all rooms. As well as lighting, heating etc. controls. In your model, the only UI is on the mobile orbiter.

Telecom, Game player and surveillance cameras are not considered here yet within the thread. Whilst I agree that the most used component of the system is media, it is the integration of all these smart home systems in one point and turning any display device into a controller and viewer that got me so enthused in the system.

In having said this, not all times is there a need to have a UI and consistent user experience. I use media players and upnp in conjunction with squeezeslaves and traditional MD to get a mix throughout the home. I would just hate to see them become unsupported. 

Food for thought.

All good points but I think you have misunderstood some of my comments here and in other threads. So let me try and clarify things;

In Dianemo & Linuxmce we have an incredibly flexible tool. We can organise and structure our installations using many different approaches/strategies. Some of those can include centralised resources like STB's with HD video distributed to each room via IP Controlled HDMI Matrices. Some might prefer no centralised traditional STB's but  instead use Myth or VDR backends running in the Core. Some might prefer STB's in each room - but that is very rare indeed. But all of these approaches and many, many more are possible.

With today's TV's you already have 'smarts' in the TV - just plug a network connection into the TV and it can be controlled from anywhere by any Orbiter. If your TV is slightly too old to have an on-board Network connection then install a Rpi running RaspBMC behind it and you can get all the same capabilities, including CEC control, on your existing TV.

Orbiters provide the ultimate in flexible control. Yes you can rely on on-screen Orbiters for all control but that means you need a TV in each room to access the UI - and what about those rooms where you may not have a TV? With portable devices we can take our Orbiters to any part of the house and control that room, and we can still control any other room while we are there. I addition we can do that without having to have MD's and TV powered up to do so.

With Dianemo or LinuxMCE we have centralised home control - but is does not require multiple MD's + TV's all over the house to achieve it. Every device type that is supported by either system can be integrated,  controlled and accessed without a single MD - they are not required to achieve that at all. But you can have an MD in any room if you want it with an on-screen Orbiter - mix & match without limitation. Orbiters running on portable devices or on PC's can be used without limitation to control any room and any device anywhere in the system. You don't need, and I have never seen, an installation where you need a portable Orbiter dedicated to each room. You take your Orbiter with you or use one that is already in the room.

There are two scenarios where that require an MD;

- Live TV streamed from Myth or VDR in the Core.
- Using the Game emulator

Everything else can be achieved without MD's and without any loss of capability, flexibility or centralised control, while at the same time reducing complexity and energy costs. But in the end of course it's your decision - that's the ultimate in flexibility.

All the best


Marketplace / Announcing - Athena Orbiter & UI Layer Alpha Program
« on: August 27, 2014, 09:19:42 am »
The new Athena Orbiter & UI layer is a complete re-imagining of how the Dianemo UI is engineered, designed & updated. We started with a clean 'sheet' of paper when engineering the Athena UI layer and it is all new code from the ground up. Athena in fact is the internal name for a project that will deliver a number of new technologies for Dianemo that we will be rolling out in the future, the Athena Orbiter & UI layer is just the first.

This video shows the basic Athena Orbiter in action on a live Dianemo system;

The Athena Orbiter & UI Layer are still in development and we expect to release them in the latter part of Q4 this year. In preparation for release we are looking for a small number of brave 'Alpha' testers who will be given access to early alpha releases of Athena. Please bare in mind that these releases will be alpha code ie they may well be unstable and break periodically (or frequently!) and we can offer no commitment to direct support for these releases during the alpha testing phase. We are looking to hear from you about your experience with these alpha builds though and your feedback will contribute to shaping the final release version. You must have a Dianemo installation to take part in the Athena alpha program.

If you are interested in participating as part of the Athena alpha program please PM me here on the forum.

Thank you


Athena Orbiter & UI Background
The Athena UI itself is built using industry standard HTML5. This makes it incredibly easy to customise using standard HTML5 markup and tools. In fact if you are familiar with HTML5 then a text editor is all you need to customise the design or layout of any Orbiter screen. Any graphics App that can output a gif or jpeg file is all you need to adapt or modify any of the graphical assets used in the standard Athena UI pack.

The standard Athena UI files are all located in a directory structure on the NerveCentre and all the HTML5 source files for the Orbiter include plenty of embedded notes on modifying the various sections of each file. No deep knowledge of the underlying system is needed to modify or create a new Athena UI skin either. Creating a new UI skin for Dianemo has never been this easy before, make a change, refresh the screen and its there - no UI Regens are required.

The new Athena Orbiter & UI layer will, we hope,  open up Dianemo UI design and customisation to a much wider audience than ever before. The Athena UI is targeted for release during last quarter of 2014 and will be a free update for all current Dianemo customers.

Users / Re: Recommendations for server and station computers
« on: August 25, 2014, 10:39:40 pm »
Thanks very much for all that great information!  I think I have most all the details ironed out consistent with your recommendations.  As for the over-spec on the server, I found this ( after I had put down the specs in my last message.  In comparison, I can probably drop some $$$ by backing off the specs quite a bit and not lose performance. 

This info was extremely helpful!  Thank you again.  I'll do my best to keep information flowing with respect to how I put it all together and the equipment I use.  Is there a location where someone can add details of a particular setup for others' benefit?  Somewhere in the wiki?


Re adding your config to the wiki; just create a page and add your systems spec there. Glad to be of help.

All the best


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