Author Topic: Can I extend my AV receiver's vfd/lcd display via a LinuxMCE supported vfd/lcd ?  (Read 1735 times)

TinkerMan

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What I want to do is put all my AV equipment in the rack with my network equipment and computers, a hybrid LinuxMCE being one of them.  But the only thing holding me back is the fact that I will be unable to see the receiver's lcd/vfd display, I still like to listen to regular radio and I need to be able to tune the stations. In the past (before I started using LinuxMCE) I tried googling for a way to extend the receiver's display by hacking it with a networked connected microcontroller and then being able to view the display in multiple rooms via network connected microcontrollers with attached lcd/vfd (if anybody knows of a link for this kind of thing I'm still interested in knowing how).  Now that I am running LinuxMCE I realize that it supports lcd/vfd (I have a CrystalFontz on the way) and not just MythTV's lcd support and also knowing that LinuxMCE can control a receiver via and rs-232 connection (I don't have one yet this is why I'm asking the question). So now is it possible to do what I want to do without electronic hacking??? Can LinuxMCE support multiple vfd/lcd for different zones that will not have a Media Director and just speakers connected to a receiver controlled by LinuxMCE??? 

Thanks, TinkerMan

p.s. this would make the ultimate home AV networked system!!

tschak909

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You're thinking too hard. :)

Add a USB UIRT to the system, do a device template for your amplifier, using the Yamaha RX-V1x00 template as a basis. Teach the system how to control the amplifier via IR learning, make sure the tuner is specified as an embedded device, copying the extra data fields from the RX-V1x00 template. The system can then automatically switch your amplfier to the tuner, and you can then use the tuner.

-Thom

TinkerMan

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Wow thanks for the speedy reply!!

Let me clarify the situation a little more, I have a USB UIRT already (but not yet installed, been busy playing with X10) and will use that until I upgrade my receiver and that's only if I have to. Here are two scenarios that I don't think will work without bi-directional communication (via rs-232 only and not IR) please correct me if I'm wrong.

#1  I would like to have a room without a media director and just speakers in the ceiling connected to the receiver and a lcd/vfd with buttons, like a iMON Ultra Bay if it gets supported by LinuxMCE and not just MythTV or my own version of a CrystalFontz with custom buttons controlling LinuxMCE via lirc somehow. The lcd/vfd would be mounted on the wall in a picture frame like appearance with buttons like Music, Movie, DVD, TV, Radio, XM or Sirius for the menu options, and play, pause, mute, ff, rev, stop, for the action buttons and also a navigation with a select button.  For example I would select Radio (FM) and LinuxMCE would control the receiver and change the output to FM radio. I know this much can be done with USB UIRT but now I think is where rs-232 come in play, I would now like the extended lcd/vfd to display the station I am listening to and would like to use left and right buttons to scroll through the presets and up and down buttons to tune in a station and have that displayed on the lcd/vfd and not just the fact I'm in radio mode and scroll and tune blindly. If I were to get a receiver that is XM or Sirius ready I would like to have the similar display capabilities as fm radio.

#2 I would also like to have a cheap DVD player connected to Video 2 (LinuxMCE is Video 1) but located near the TV not in the AV rack.  When I use the remote to change the input on the receiver to DVD I then lose the Orbiter display because I changed the video input. It now would be nice to be able to see the receiver's display on an extended lcd/vfd. I know you can route the DVD's cables through an PVR-x50 AV input capture but the you lose Dolby Digital or you have to deal with latency issues otherwise.  I know it sounds stupid that I want a cheap DVD player in the first place but the only real reason for it is to test burnt dvds to make sure that the will work properly on standard player or just an easy way to watch a DVD without having to go down stairs to put it in the hybrid machine, I know it kind of defeats the purpose but it's more for my roomates or future family that doesn't understand the system.

Thanks again, TinkerMan

TinkerMan

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OK looks like I have to bump this a bit

I will ask two, (more specific) short answers questions so that I will know if this is worth trying to figure out.

#1 I know that rs-232 is a bi-directional means of communication between a receiver and LMCE, but does it or can it send more information (like what's being displayed on the receiver's vfd) to LMCE than just an acknowledge of the received command from LMCE and it's current status.  being I don't have a receiver with rs-232 (I will buy one and work on this if it's possible) I need someone that does to enlighten me.

#2 If the first question is possible then is their a device template capable of displaying this info on a lcd/vfd screen or is it possible to make one?

If any of this is possible it would also be cool for the information to be overlaid on a MD for a short peirod of time after the receiver has changed a setting.
This would be a great option for a room like a shop, garage, or a kitchen when you just want audio and don't want to have the expense of buying a MD, monitor, and a remote just for listening to audio.

Thanks again and keep up the great work this is a phenomenal software package,  TinkerMan
 

colinjones

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Not really, technically possible to send anything back to LMCE on 232 - however it's entirely up to the amp what it sends back. Typically, they send feedback on what the user has done manually like changing volume so that LMCE can keep track of the volume level and control it intelligently. It is very unlikely that an amp would send the contents of its VFD. And if it did, what would you do with it when it got to LMCE?

You really don't need to do this. Get an amp that has 232 control (not just service port), then use LMCE to control it. If you tell LMCE to set radio channel 1, it will do that, you don't need to see the VFD, the control and display is driven from LMCE, it will tell you that it is on radio channel 1 because that's what you selected from LMCE and that's what it told the amp to tune to (and probably the amp confirmed it as well)... think it through, there is no need to see the amps VFD.