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EV Drivers for media servers and C4 integration


ScottGA

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I'm sorry for cross-posting this note, but I didn't get a response under the Third Party Hardware forum. I think it might be a better fit on the Third Party Software...

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I am new to the C4 world, but loving every minute of it. My head is exploding with ideas and I think I'm getting addicted to this forum...is it bad if one clicks the "show new posts since your last visit" link about 40 times a day?!?!?

We just moved into a new house and had a dealer install a HC800, 25+ switches, keypads, etc. We have a fullyintegrated home theatre, GE alarm system, HVAC, Sonos, audio matrix, etc all tied in too. Our Yale touchscreen deadbolts are on their way. I'm constantly tinkering in Composer HE and trying new things out. BTW, I am very appreciative of all the knowledge shared on this site and others like C4Central.com and c4diy.com. (Any other sites I should check out for more ideas/tutorials?)

I'm looking to add a media server to our setup in the not too distant future. I've done a good bit of research on this board and others to learn as much as a I can. My current feeling is that I need to add a NAS or full RAID setup, get the media server (perhaps the PCH A400, but will probably wait a few more weeks to see if Dune comes out with the Dune HD Max 3D), My Movies Collection Management with AnyDVD HD and the necessary Extra Veggetable drivers.

My main question is about the EV driver integration with C4 between the Dune and Popcorn drivers. Do they both provide the same experience in terms of C4's native media database and control of the media server itself? I spent some time looking at the EV site for both server drivers and it talks about "reliable IP Ethernet control" for the Dune driver, but doesn't say anything like that about the Popcorn driver.

Any thoughts or suggestions about the above setup would be greatly appreciated!

And finally, one non-related random question...is the any way to do a system wide export/list/documenting of programming, events or key taps that are setup in Composer HE? I've started keeping a manual spreadsheet of light switches that have double/tripple tap functionality, but it would be great if there was a way to have that type of info exported from Composer HE.

I apologize for the rambling message. Thanks for reading! ;-)

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EV's MyMovies driver scrapes the data for coverart, synopsis, etc from an installation of mymovies on a pc on your network (this pc is monitoring the nas drive or a folder with movies in it). It puts this information into the Control4 database automatically, checking for updates every minute or so. This way, you can use the control4 user interface for browsing movies on tv screen, myhome applications, remotes, touchscreens, etc. - and then when the file plays it goes out to the Dune or Popcorn hour, etc. and those boxes are controlled by IP for play, pause, stop, etc.

The dune/popcorn hour drivers are separate from the mymovies media management driver - the Popcorn driver from EV is here.

http://extravegetables.com/products/popcorn-hourpopbox

You can use the dune driver or popcorn driver without the Mymovies driver if you wish, but to use the mymovies driver I really recommend using their dune/pch driver as well (I use MM with Dune).

Hope that helps.

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Basically they both work the same. Preferance would be largely personal.

MyMovies is a great solution, unless you feel up to managing all you movies manually. I do the latter for myself, but I want to put everything in personal selected/created genres, select my personal preferred cover art (bond movies have about 100 different covers and wanted all mine to have the same look, dont want the "special edition steelbook" cover, that sort of thing) etc etc anyway. That said, 3500 movies took me several weeks (if not a few months - think I blocked it out) to fully edit etc.

So for ease - the MyMovies driver is a great "tool".

As for exporting all the programming to a document - for a user not really. Detective suite in ComposerPro can do it - so you could ask your dealer. And there's an old tool from pre-detective suite floating around but I'm not certain how well that still works, and it's print-out isn't all that pretty.

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I think spending all this time an money on a solution to have the movies and tv shows in the terrible C4 interface is kind of pointless. I find that having a media player with the media management built in, is much easier to use and manage. XBMC does this so well. I do like the dune and popcorn hour players, but i still feel that they lack the slick GUI of xbmc, plex, Jriver, and many others.

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If you feel tha ability to simply select a movie from any C4 enabled interface w/o loading the player interface (ie starting a movie in another room for the kids with your phone) is pointless, that's an opinion you're free to have.

C4's idea is to have everything operational from a single uniform interface with minimal learning curve - again you're free to prefer using many different interfaces.

Then again NONE of this stops you from using the original player's interface.

Personally I still very much LIKE the C4 interface as such (then again I don't do very many TV shows) and once edited to my liking it is now extremely simple to find a movie I like. Want a Bond movie? no problem, Stand-Up Comedy, no issue, feel like a movie with Bruce Willis - instant.

The media MANAGEMENT is far from ideal (with MyMovies making this much better) mind you and surpassed over the years by others. The user interface is perhaps simpler and not as pretty - but it's extremely easy to use even in it's basic form - keep in mind that the majority of people on here are very much NOT the majority of users. C4's interface is usuable by the most non-technical users without much explanation.

Mind you I've done many different players and used there interface, as well as other automation systems, and many are undoubtedly superior (as in fancier) looking - but few match it's simplicity. Again I'm not talking about drop-out menus for tv-shows or similar neat (and usefull) features (that I would love to see incorporated, make no mistake), but for me - and many others I believe - the ability to select movies easily in one single interface (the C4 touchscreen/MyHome) together with changing the lights and turning on the fireplace is a large part of what home automation/smart home is about.

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