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Control over PC running Windows Media Centre

Hi all,

We have a project on hand and several of the rooms will run WMC.

I have had a bit of a sniff around Inconcert for any references to WMC, but can not find any listing at all.

Learning the remote is clearly an option, however, I am investigating a higher level of control than simply squirting IR at it.

If anyone has had any experience with controlling this with IP or serial, I would sincerely appreciate any feedback. Cracks about this M$ app happily accepted too!!

Of particular interest is clearly the music control - ie genre sorting, play lists etc etc.

I know I can fall back on the i!pclinkmediaplayer standard Netlinx module for the music side of the box, but hoped to get a bit more involved than that with the rest of it.

Many thanks (in advance!)

Comments

  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    WMC is nothing more than a special front-end on Windows XP. The media applications are just an extension of the WIndows UI. Besides IR, Computer Control is about the only way I can think of to directly control it, which boils down to VNC. The one and only time I needed to control a WMC box, I installed a wireless keyboard and captured the IR from it. But if you want to capture the media lists to send to a panel, you are going to need a Windows app running on the machine to capture and re-direct that data.
  • Stephen BoltonStephen Bolton Junior Member Posts: 345
    Control over PC running Windows Media Centre

    Hi David,

    Many thanks for your prompt reply.

    I had a sneaking suspicion this might be the case...I didn't even note VNC in my post as it is going to be literally unusable due to both the speed and display size on an MVP.

    Using the WMC o/p to screen and squirting IR at it might well be the most elegant.

    I will suggest to the client that 'administrators' manipulate any in depth data (ie music sorting) via wireless KB and the end users surf the WMC GUI via the MVP.

    Sincrely appreciate your feedback.

    Steve

    'Long time listener, first time caller'!
  • alexanboalexanbo Junior Member Posts: 282
    There's a couple companies out there that are making software for WMC's so that you can talk to it easily over TCP and get feedback etc.

    The ones I've found are:

    http://www.autonomichome.com
    http://www.inteset.com

    which both look promising.

    If anyone has come across any others or has worked with those and could give their experience with them that would be interesting to hear.
  • TrikinCurtTrikinCurt Junior Member Posts: 158
    Wow, autonomic looks very interesting! I signed up for the beta, I will post anything I learn. Currently we use http://kindel.com/Default.aspx?tabid=25. It is just a one way control, no list of albums or anything, but gives you IP control over transport and such, plus it is open source and free.

    Curt
    Trikin
  • Stephen BoltonStephen Bolton Junior Member Posts: 345
    Control over PC running Windows Media Centre

    Hi all,

    Many thanks for your input.

    I will look into each of the links and if we progress down this TCP path, I, too, will post my results/findings.

    I appreciate the support of the forum on this one.

    Regards

    Steve
  • TrikinCurtTrikinCurt Junior Member Posts: 158
    I have the code and will be playing with it tomorrow...

    Curt
    Trikin
  • Stephen BoltonStephen Bolton Junior Member Posts: 345
    I'm up to my eyes in a system right now - you will probably beat me to it..

    Look forward to your findings Curt

    Regards
  • yuriyuri Junior Member Posts: 861
    that other company has a standard module for controlling windows media centre. Gives you all the options, like listing tracks with genre etc. I *heard* AMX is going to do something like that soon, but I'm not sure if thats correct.
    Otherwise using an external application would be your best shot :)
  • TrikinCurtTrikinCurt Junior Member Posts: 158
    http://www.autonomichome.com

    They have a ******** example, but nothing for AMX. I played with it for a bit, got a track listing, clicked a button and could play it... So it does what it says! Not sure how much work it will be to get the full module going yet but it seems like this thing works as advertised. I am off to training Sunday (Programmer I, time to learn how I am supposed to be programming)... Will play more when I get back (or get bored in class!).

    Curt
    Trikin
  • joelwjoelw Junior Member Posts: 175
    If there's enough interest I'll write a MCE side NT Service that talks native ICSP and offers the complete MCE interface.

    No I don't think I will be able to patent it, but perhaps my room combining algorithm...
  • jwellsjwells Junior Member Posts: 25
    Hi,
    We have been thinking about using the WMC in our systems but I've always been concerned about the reliability of them. How did your installations go ?

    If two way control can be achieved via IP and the unit is reliable it sound like a great little solution.
  • Stephen BoltonStephen Bolton Junior Member Posts: 345
    Mmmm never got around to it actually!

    The project might re-surface early next year..

    Did anyone explore the examples?
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    I as a rule do not like WMC. Every time a rep/sales person/guru shows me their WMC and tries to convince me that my job will be replaced/made easier/made more profitable by the device, it seems to crash/lock up/not respond promptly/have mediocre quality in most normal applications/... I just can't see recommending a device that is so prone to virus problems to a client that just wants their system to work when they get home from a long day at the office.

    That being said, Integra has a piece (the NVS7.7) which is a WMC product. There is a serial port and a module is available from AMX to control the device. I am in the process of working with the device for a sort of side project. I can say that the module seemed to communicate without any problems. I will be working on the device more in the next couple weeks so I can go into more depth about the overall control capabilities (or lack thereof).

    Hope this helps,
    Jeff
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,368
    http://www.autonomichome.com


    They have a ******** example, but nothing for AMX. I played with it for a bit, got a track listing, clicked a button and could play it... So it does what it says! Not sure how much work it will be to get the full module going yet but it seems like this thing works as advertised. I am off to training Sunday (Programmer I, time to learn how I am supposed to be programming)... Will play more when I get back (or get bored in class!).

    They actually made an AMX module a few month ago and if you do a search for AutonomicHome on the forum you should be able to find the thread.

    They do have product that I beleive works with any PC running WMCE via a their server app you install on that PC. Then their Netlinx module communicates between Netlinx and the Server app. There was a free beta release of the module on their site as well as a trial period version of the server app. I think eventually you would have to pay a few hundred for lincensed version of the server app.
  • AndrewMartinAndrewMartin Junior Member Posts: 5
    MCE control
    joelw wrote:
    If there's enough interest I'll write a MCE side NT Service that talks native ICSP and offers the complete MCE interface.

    No I don't think I will be able to patent it, but perhaps my room combining algorithm...

    Wow! Any news on this, I would be very interested in contolling Windows Media Centre over TPC/IP rather that IR

    Andrew
  • TrikinCurtTrikinCurt Junior Member Posts: 158
    Check out Autonomic Controls (http://www.autonomiccontrols.com/)

    Curt
  • AndrewMartinAndrewMartin Junior Member Posts: 5
    MCE control
    TrikinCurt wrote:
    Check out Autonomic Controls (http://www.autonomiccontrols.com/)

    Curt

    Thanks for that link. I am downloading it now. This is for my own home project, so I was put off by the price tag. Trying to get the Kindle system to work as well.

    If it works, I'll keep you all posted....

    Cheers,

    Andrew
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