PC's, Plasma and PC remote control

S

sharon

Guest
Not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, but...

I have a Panasonic 42" Plasma on my living room wall, which is feed by all my AV stuff which is now in the cellar directly underneath. I have a Marantz 9200 with RF Extender transmitting the remote control commands to the stuff in the cellar, and it works wonderfully except...

I now want to transfer my CD's onto a PC in the cellar and control that with the remote as well (so I don't have to go downstairs every time I want to put a CD on). I've figure out all the hardware so I can get the right sound quality (as good or better than a mid to high end CD player) but is there anything out there that will let me remote control the PC?

Sharon
 

codlord

Standard Member
Sharon,

I have a setup like that - a PC which I primarily use as an MP3 jukebox.

I bought an infra-red keyboard which has an integral mouse pad to control the PC. As I also have a Pronto programmable remote control I can obviously teach it any keyboard keypress from the PC keyboard, which I can then use to control the basic MP3 playing commands.

I also got some macro software for the PC which allows me to perform intelligent commands, so a button on my remote will not just press a single key on the PC but do basic programming things like:
####
if MP3 player software is running
switch to mp3 software
else
start mp3 software
end if
issue a play command
###

This kind of intelligence is almost a necessity when trying to control a windows PC with a remote.

I also have another very useful bit of software for the Pronto remote which allows you to catalogue your MP3's and have alphabetical indexed lists automatically generated for your pronto remote - I can search for artists/albums/tracks etc.

I hardly ever use my CD player now as I can play any CD from the PC or even select mixtures by genre or whatever.

Takes a bit of time to set up but once you have it done it's done and very easy to update when you buy new CD's etc.

The Plasma is also great to run MP3 player visuals on in time to the music, or works of art displayed on a timer etc.

Let me know if you want further information or want details of any of the software (most of it is freeware/shareware).
 
S

sharon

Guest
codlord

The software for the Pronto that let's you catalogue your CD's sounds great, although I find programming that Marantz (which is just a colour Pronto with a few extra bits) a total pain in the backside.... is it on www.remotecentral.com anywhere?

I was kinda hoping that I could just leave realplayer (or windows media player) running all the time on the PC, so I hope I can get away without the macro software for the PC. There again might be useful, so yes please where can I find that as well....

Thanks so much

Sharon
 
M

mikeq

Guest
Hi,

Maybe not what you are looking for but have a look at the SliMP3 device.

SliMP3

Basically the PC runs as a server for MP3 files, the SliMP3 device networks to the PC via RJ45 connection and the device has 2 phono outputs to go to your amp. You can have different SliMP3 devices in different rooms all playing different selections at the same time if required.

I will be going down this route. Now if only I could get it to work with a wireless network:(
 

codlord

Standard Member
Sharon,

The software getting CD/MP3 lists on your pronto can be found here:

http://www.theheartofthecorporatebeast.com/nudelist/index.html

It is designed to control CD changers/jukeboxes but can be applied to MP3's too.

You may be able to get by without macro software but you will probably find (like I did) that windows applications tend to lose focus if screensavers kick in or windows warning messages or anything pop up. The macro software I have is called Macro Magic, you can find out info and download a trial version here:
http://www.iolo.com/
 
M

mikeq

Guest
Neil,

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I had seen an Orinoco product which is similar but was about £180 not including a wireless network card.

£79 +vat makes this a much more realistic option to running CAT5 all over the house.

Mike
 
J

julianc

Guest
Is the PC just for audio or for video/gaming/www too?

If its just for audio then SliMP3 looks pretty cool.

If you want to store movies or watch streamed video or use the PC as a PVR then its doesn't look like its enough.

I use a logitech wireless keyboard and mouse for the PC. Its a bit prone to interference though and I don't know if it would go through the floor to your cellar. Wireless mice are pretty cheap these days ( £6-7 ) so you could just try it.

The "ultimate" solution is probably a PDA with Wireless LAN card but software would be needed.

PC-TV cards and sound cards often come with IR remotes these days, so this is an option.

Once you put the PC on the TV it changes the way you watch TV - when a film comes on you dive straight to IMDB etc.

We stay on the PC most of the time and let Digiguide spoken announcments tell us when there is something we want to watch or listen to on the radio on.


Julian
 

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