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Updated iMON (Soundgraph) LCD Driver

Discussion in 'External Display' started by ralphy, August 16, 2007.

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  1. ralphy

    ralphy Portal Pro

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    After uncovering some issues in the initial release (thanks to the folks posting on the original thread), hopefully these have now been resolved.

    Attached is a new ProcessPlugins.dll for MediaPortal 2.2 and for 2.3 RC1.

    Improvements include:
    • bitmaps are included for "ü", which of course was a real problem for the German users
    • fixed the bitmap for '['
    • added a new driver iMONLCDg, which is graphics based (essentially the same driver iMONLCD, but with graphics enabled)
    • Made two modifications to DisplayHandler.cs to address two problems I encountered being
    1. when using the graphics driver and not forcing graphical text, the screen blanks momentarily when scrolling; and,
    2. if settings are saved with a graphics driver, these configurations are loaded by a non graphics driver. If you happened to have had the force graphics text changed, then you might not get any text displayed.
    I will let Jim Dalton and the MP development team decide which driver they want to use at the end of the day (if any!) I include both, because if the change I made to DisplayHandler.cs is not acceptable to the MP team, then we might need both the text driver for those who want two line displays with the default ExternalDisplay.xml, and a graphics driver for those who want that graphics flexibilty.

    Still some room for improvements (eg using the icons and graphic equaliser, backlight and contrast, and fixing bitmaps for non-english characters), but unfortunately, I will be unable to support these in a hurry (I will one day). With the source code published as well as an API, and I am sure others can implement these features.





    Don't forget - make sure that SG_VFD.dll is version 5. I believe that the Version 5 dll should continue to work with the VFD type display from Soundgraph, provided you continue to select the old iMONVFD driver

    If you choose the graphics driver (iMONLCDg), don't forget to select 96x16 pixels. Arial Black font is a bit blocky for my liking - Arial is better for this size LCD. Also note that the default ExternalDisplay.xml is designed for a two line display, so if you do choose the fulls graphics option, you'll only get a one line display and miss out on all the other useful information on the second line. You can get two lines by toggling the ForceGraphicsText, but this just defaults back to the basic iMONLCD code. I presume you could change the xml file to customize the display to some degree - am I correct?)

    More instructions are in the README.txt..

    Hope there are fewer problems with this install compared to the original.

    Please note these drivers ONLY WORK with the LCD and WILL NOT WORK WITH THE VFD

    You only need to download the ProcessPlugins.zip file. The second zip file is the source code.
     

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  3. iSP

    iSP Portal Pro

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    Textmode: Working without iMon manager even running(!) just the processplugin.dll and SG_VFD.dll
    Graphicmode: Same as above :)

    So this version completely takes over the lcd without interference of the iMon manager, I like it :)
    Really a great step forward, now works with less issues as well.
    For now I prefer the textmode myself.
     
  4. mimk97

    mimk97 Portal Member

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    It works perfectly, thx :D :D :D

    Without Frontview :D
     
  5. Johan

    Johan Portal Pro

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    VERY nice work!

    I had more or less given up my hope to see a good solution for my soundgraph LCD. And what happens :)
    Thanks alot!

    I think however that åäö is not working. At least ä is not shown correctly. Which is a problem for swedish users.
    Do you think you can fix this?

    Is there by the way to make the LCD go completely black when I enter hibernate?
     
  6. ralphy

    ralphy Portal Pro

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    Sorry about that Johan (and other Swedes). I found a few problems with the bitmaps I downloaded, but looking at 255 lines of hex isn't an easy way of checking everything. I am sure (as I noted in the TODOs in the source) that there are other bitmap problems too. The graphics driver version should not have this problem, because it uses windows fonts to generate the bitmaps (but has the one line display problem in the default mode). I didn't use windows font in the text version because at the time I wrote the demonstration code, I didn't know how. Now I decided that using a font bitmap array is marginally quicker computationally, so I didn't bother using windows fonts and bitmaps to generate a bitmap for the 'text' mode. (Actually, if the truth be known, I was too lazy to change something that worked:D )
    This is another item noted at 'TODO' in the source. I haven't been able to work out how to do this. I suspect it's the 0x50 and 0x51 control codes, but I'm not sure. We'll have to wait for Soundgraph for the API on this one - or maybe there are some other sleuths out there who would like to experiment.
     
  7. Johan

    Johan Portal Pro

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    Well thanks alot for your excellent work so far! I really hope you will continue to work on this. And if you need any help (non programming) let me know!

    Does anyone have a good solution to autostart imon manager after MP has finished initisializing everything?
    It's a bit annoying to do this manually each time you do a reboot (not very often but still...).
     
  8. sbeuerle

    sbeuerle Portal Member

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    You guys are fantastic! This is exactly what I needed to make MP perfect to play music without turning the TV on each time!!

    I am having the same question Johan has though. Any input would be highly apreciated.
     
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  9. hirscho

    hirscho Portal Pro

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    Johan, just set "never start front view" in the general tab of the front view menu in the iMON software and you can start it whenever you want. The only remaining issue is that the display will not go off when entering standby.

    Ralphy, many thanks again for your great work.

    hirscho
     
  10. Johan

    Johan Portal Pro

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    I did a quick test and its seems like hirscho is correct. :) Very good!
     
  11. Johan

    Johan Portal Pro

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    I really would love to get the display to completely turn off when going to standby.
    Is there something I can do to help to test how to do this?

    åäö is also on my wish list of course! :)

    Unfortunately I am not a programmer so I am not sure how I can assist!
     
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