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Easy control of theater lights


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I have step lights and wall sconces in the theater that are on separate Control4 dimmers. I'd like something that gave me direct control over those lights without having to do "List ... Lights ... <light> ... <level>". I don't see anything obvious but maybe there's an approach or a Control4 device I don't know about. A separate device would not be my first choice.

Sources in the room are currently DirecTV and Sony Blu-Ray. I thought of using the Red/Green/Blue/Yellow buttons and that would work for Blu-Ray but those are occasionally used in DirecTV and I can't see a way to track what DirecTV mode I'm in so that I can use them for this only when appropriate.

Use for this function would be independent of the Play/Pause/Stop actions. Maybe the "-" and the "*" for down/up, but I don't see how use those in programming. Is it possible?

Edit: Actually, I don't even see how I could use the Red/Green/Blue/Yellow buttons in programming.

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Good golly! Right after posting, I happened to find how to access the buttons. It's under "Theater ... Commands" rather than under the specific devices, right? Will it do what I want?

Maybe I could get fancy and track buttons to set a variable for certain DirecTV functions and then when that variable is set, don't change lighting upon the specified button press?

Basically, that would be something like "If source is satellite and Menu button is pressed, set Variable DIRECTV_MENU to true" and a "If variable DIRECTV_MENU is true and Cncl button is pressed, set variable DIRECTV_MENU to false". (Obviously not the actual programming statements.)

Then the programming for the chosen buttons would start with "If variable DIRECTV_MENU is false ".

Probably need a timer on the variable state so that it resets to false after some timeout period.

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I have the basic version working. If I'm not in a DirecTV menu, my Green button sets the sconces to 40%, the Red button turns them off. The programming is trivial.

It required:

1. A variable to track whether a DirecTV menu was active.

2. A timer to clear the variable after 30 seconds (in case the menu exits without pressing Cancel)

3. The Menu and Guide buttons reset the timer and set the variable to True if the theater current device is Satellite

4. Cancel button sets the variable to False and stops the timer

5. If the menu variable is False, the Green button sets sconces to 40%

6. If the menu variable is False, the Red button sets the sconces to Off

I think I'll probably change it to make the button press test the current level and then set it one step higher or lower -- I think that's the function I want.

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Don't you love this stuff? It sounds like you're having fun. If you're interested in documenting and doing a write-up for the blog, we'd love to have it. Community contributions like this are what keeps things moving...my time is stretched pretty thin lately.

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Don't you love this stuff? It sounds like you're having fun. If you're interested in documenting and doing a write-up for the blog, we'd love to have it. Community contributions like this are what keeps things moving...my time is stretched pretty thin lately.

I can write it up if you think it's worthwhile, but it's a pretty trivial little scenario. And it's going to get messy when I put in the second DirecTV receiver. Sure wish there was a way to concatenate the conditional with an "AND" or "OR", as in "IF this OR that, then ...". Of course, checking that the source was satellite was probably unnecessary; I'm just obsessive about precision.

So: trivial, but last night I was sitting in theater thinking about light levels for different occasions and got really annoyed about having to go through three or four steps repeatedly during the evening to change things. I knew there had to be a better way.

Yes, it's fun but even more fun is watching Blu-Ray from the Sony HW-15 on the SI Black Diamond 1.4 screen. That combo is amazing. My theater has black ceiling/front wall with very dark blue side walls. With the lights off you can watch a 2.35 movie without seeing gray bars -- just the extremely bright 8-foot wide 2.35 image on a nearly solid black wall.

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