iMON VFD/LCD MiniDisplay driver for MediaPortal 1.1.3/1.2.1

Discussion in 'MediaPortal 1 Plugins' started by stefanuhrig, April 22, 2011.

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  1. stefanuhrig

    stefanuhrig Portal Member

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    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    - THIS REWORK IS ADDED TO MEDIAPORTAL CORE SINCE 1.8. -
    - IF YOU HAVE ISSUES, PLEASE OPEN A NEW THREAD IN BUG SECTION -
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hi community,

    most SoundGraph iMON LCD/VFD owners have probably noticed that MiniDisplay does not work with iMON Software version > 7.77.1022. I've recently bought a HTPC case with an iMON VFD and was quite upset about that.

    Fortunately SoundGraph has released an iMON Display API (iMON Display API - Soundgraph Forums). I've used that API to develop a MiniDisplay driver that supports iMON VFDs with the current iMON software version.

    Update: Thanks to Cinnabuns (see post #65) the driver supports LCD displays now as well. For convenience reasons I've updated the binaries below with the versions provided by Cinnabuns. Furthermore I've updated the iMONDisplayWrapper, so that it's not necessary any longer to start iMON Manager in Adminitrator mode when configuring MediaPortal.

    Thank Cinnabuns if you have an LCD and the driver works for you.

    If you own a HTPC case with an iMON VFD or LCD display you might want to try the new driver. To install it follow these steps:
    1. Update to the latest version of iMON Manager (>= 8.01.0419)
    2. Ensure that plug-in mode is enabled (iMON Manager --> Option --> Plug-in Mode --> Use Display Plug-in Mode)
    3. Unpack the attached Binaries.zip file to your MediaPortal 1.1.3 installation folder overwriting the existing MiniDisplayLibrary.dll
    4. Start MediaPortal Configuration
    5. Go to the MiniDisplay Plug-in configuration dialog
    6. Select type "iMON VFD for iMON Manager >= 8.01.0419" or "iMON LCD for iMON Manager >= 8.01.0419"
    7. Click "Test Display" and hope that it works ;)
    8. Start Media Portal

    Feedback is welcome. I hope it works for you.

    Cheers,
    Stefan

    Update: I just did a fresh install of my OS, only to find that the driver is no longer working with MediaPortal. It works from a stand-alone application, but not from MediaPortal. I don't know the reason yet, but I'll investigate... So don't be disappointed if you have a VFD and it's not working. Stay tuned...

    Update 2: I figured out the reason why it does not always work. Seems to be related to the iMON Manager. If you start iMON Manager in Administrator mode under Windows 7, everything works fine. If you don't and have user account control (UAC) enabled, the MiniDisplay driver won't work... Did not recognize that during development, because UAC was disabled in my Windows 7 installation.

    Update 3: Figured out the cause... On Windows with UAC enabled both the iMON Manager and the application using the iMON Display API must run in the same mode, either both in Administrator mode or both in "normal" mode. Updated the installation description.

    Update 4: Updated the driver to replace unsupported characters with '#' characters. Deda: Thanks for reporting this issue.

    Update 5: Updated files with the versions from Cinnabuns with LCD support. Updated iMON wrapper so that starting iMON Manager in Admin mode is not necessary any longer.



    Update 6: The plugin is now able to display supported Cyrillic characters on a VFD. Thanks to ShIvADeSt for reporting this.

    Update 7: Extended plugin to support some characters from Latin 1 Supplement. Furthermore the backslash character is now displayed correctly.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: July 8, 2014
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  3. Deda
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    Re: iMON VFD MiniDisplay driver for MediaPortal 1.1.3

    Nice, thx for your work. I will try it, anyway I'm not using IMON remote, only VFD so lets have fingers crossed :)
     
  4. Deda
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    Re: iMON VFD MiniDisplay driver for MediaPortal 1.1.3

    Just to inform you, it works (I'm using latest SVN for 1.2.0 beta) :). I just missing graphic equalizer on music play. I stucked in 7.77 for a long time, and now it's the time to move on to a present day :) (I hope they improved iMON manager till now :) )

    Maybe this is something to think about to include for 1.3.0.
     
  5. 1stdead

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    Re: iMON VFD MiniDisplay driver for MediaPortal 1.1.3

    Cool, is LCD much different from VFD?
     
  6. SilentException
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    Awesome! Is there a way to utilize the API to get remote natively working in MediaPortal also?

    //via mobile
     
  7. 1stdead

    1stdead Portal Pro

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    Re: iMON VFD MiniDisplay driver for MediaPortal 1.1.3

    SilentException: Are you using IRSS right now?
     
  8. dreamcrawler

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    Re: iMON VFD MiniDisplay driver for MediaPortal 1.1.3

    Wow thanks for the work. Though I own an imon LCD instead of VFD so tried it and no luck for me :(

    I have no idea of programming or compiling it, so if its not too hard to do, could you release a LCD version of it? I would test it for sure!
     
  9. stefanuhrig

    stefanuhrig Portal Member

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    AW: iMON VFD MiniDisplay driver for MediaPortal 1.1.3

    Deda: I didn't realize that the old SoundGraph driver has equalizer support. I've seen it now. Equalizer data is not pushed to a MiniDisplay driver. Instead the old SoundGraph driver pulls it from MediaPortal. That's somehow chaotic. Some data is pushed to the driver (like the text to display), other data is pulled. I will add equalizer support in the next release.

    1stdead,dreamcrawler: The SoundGraph API supports LCD as well. However, I would have to implement it blindly. If you volunteer as testers, we can give it a try.

    SilentException: SoundGraph has announced an Remote Control API, but they haven't released it yet. Once it is available, adding native iMON Remote Control support to MediaPortal shouldn't be a problem.

    I'm currently thinking it's best to write an own iMON plug-in instead of extending the existing MiniDisplay plug-in, because
    • the MiniDisplay plug-in has not to be replaced by a patched version
    • many settings from the MiniDisplay plug-in are not relevant for iMON (like the port, columns and rows settings)
    • the driver interface is suboptimal (some data is pushed to the driver, some data has to be pulled)
    • in an own iMON plug-in support for native Remote Control can be added once it is available

    I will start working on that, but it will probably take some time.
     
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  10. 1stdead

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    Re: AW: iMON VFD MiniDisplay driver for MediaPortal 1.1.3

    Sure, I can give you access via teamviewer+webcam etc to you can test and try everything out. :)

    Before starting i would recommend you to talk to chemelli (and belcom) before starting on this. They will wait for imon to release their remote API before starting programming API imon support at all for Mediaportal.
    So maybe talk with them to know to know how they think it should be implemented and hear their advice. :D (So that no double work has to be done once the remote API is released)
     
  11. Deda
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    Re: AW: iMON VFD MiniDisplay driver for MediaPortal 1.1.3

    Great news, don't need to hurry :), equalizer is imho nice to see while listening music nothing else. Btw, while you improving driver I found some minor glitch (easy to repair I think). When some text contain strange chars like (in my example red bold):

    Lion king ½
    Metallica: Orgullo pasión y gloria. Tres noches en la ciudad de México

    driver don't want to display text or if in scroll mode it stops to scroll when it reach ½ or ó. I think you will need to clear (replace with suitable chars) text before sending to display from such a chars (symbols or unsupported foreign chars).

    That's all I found, overall it work great without problem :D.
     
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