Auto control lighting from within MediaPortal with Harmony 1000 (1 Viewer)

bigbew

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  • June 7, 2008
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    Hi guys,

    I'm wondering if it is possible to automate lighting using MediaPortal.

    Basically I would want the lights to dim/switch off when media is playing and the return to full brightness/preset level when media is paused, stopped or finishes.

    I have a Logitech Harmony 1000 remote and a "Trust" infrared receiver to control MP:

    Trust - Wireless Vista Remote Control RC-2400

    I've read somewhere the IR Server Suite can do this, but I can't make head nor tails of anything to do with it. Also I've heard of something called "IR Blasting", but again I don't know enough about this to know if I'm heading down the right track.

    I know this isn't really the right place to ask this as this is a MediaPortal forum but it can't hurt! I haven't bought any lighting systems yet, but am looking at several halogen downlighters. What hardware would I need for these to be dimmable by the Harmony/MP? This includes IR transmitters etc.

    Thanks
     

    flixxx

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    December 7, 2007
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    Hello,

    From my understanding, you would need a RF remote (The harmony 890) and the light switch must be Zwave compatible (RF as well).

    By this point though, we're not discussing MediaPortal anymore, since this would be setup as an activity in the Logitech software.

    I am not aware of Mediaportal being capable of sending RF signals.

    You can also look into X10 light switches and the possibility of configuring Mediaportal to use the X10 drivers.
     

    jsimo01

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    ACT i think have some UK z-wave products, but you could also use X10

    Looking at it you would need to configure the remote to work with MP and then use the home automation plugin available to work with homeseer (or something...anyway third-party home automation software) which would use the pc interface of whatever system you have to change the lighting or heating or other home automation devices.

    I'm currently looking at trying this with z-wave in a couple of weeks myself, so let me know how you get on.
     

    bigbew

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    OK guys, I have found a company that do infact make IR controlled scene dimming equipment:

    Welcome to SceneStyle.co.uk - The Stylish Way To Control Your Lighting

    This looks promising as they provide their own remote control. So with that out of the way, is there any way to send a signal from mediaportal to the lights, rather than the Harmony directly. So when media is playing the lights dim, and when it's stopped, they return to whatever "scene" is programmed.

    Also if anyone could point me to a noobs explanation as to IR blasting I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks
     

    jsimo01

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    I couldn't see these being that practical; you would need a IR transmitter in every room either a remote or a client PC with IR transmitter,

    Z-wave is more expensive per unit but the units can act as repeaters and form a chain to pass on commands, the X10 devices on the other side are wired and somewhat cheaper and more established having been around longer but I think Z-wave is the way to go.

    Have a look at the Home Automation plugin, it uses the xAP protocol to control any xAP enabled devices:

    https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/...sc-enabled-devices-updated-9-01-2008-a-13929/

    If it is possible to use it to set up a scene for movies i.e. lights dim, blinds close on media playback it would be good to find out.

    Also found these at B&Q - http://www.diy.com/diy/jsp/bq/nav.j...y&x=17&y=13&fh_view_size=150&fh_start_index=0
     

    bigbew

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    Unfortunately B&Q's Home Easy range uses RF as far as I know.

    I'm being rather selfish here but SceneStyle is ideal for me as I'm only planning to use it in the same room as my HTPC.

    EDIT: I think one of these or something similar might help my cause:

    USB-UIRT Home

    As far as I can tell it can be programmed with the codes from the SceneStyle remote. I just need help with MediaPortal telling this device when to send out the correct signal.
     

    jsimo01

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    The Home Easy range has one other drawback; there is no PC interface - you need to buy an additional RF transmitter from RFXCom and use with Homeseer and RFXCom Homeseer plugin which adds a significant amount to the price.

    The MP part is going to be the most difficult; the current plugin requires homeseer to be installed and I guess this is the better way to do it as it is supposedly pretty versatile in terms of being extended with plugins and scripts. The problem at the minute is getting the scene control to change scenes on media playback from within MP, Control4 have a working solution with XBMC and have a video demo on YouTube and there are other solutions that are up and working with MCE, I think mPanel have something that recognises events in MCE and changes the scene.
     

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