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Display off with an audio only source?

Joe HebertJoe Hebert Junior MemberPosts: 2,159
Regarding A/V distribution in the resi market:
When an audio only source is selected in a zone and the current source for that zone is an audio/video source, do you...

A) Force the display off.
B) Leave the display as is, if it?s on leave it on.
C) Something else.

I have clients that have chosen B so they can for example watch TV while listening to the radio. And I have clients who say A makes more sense to them. I naturally like to reuse as much logic from job to job and I?m beginning to think I?ll be better off in the long run by just coding for both and making it configurable.

Wondering how others feel on that matter.

TIA

Comments

  • flcusatflcusat Junior Member Posts: 309
    I usually turn off the display by default. If the customer wants to watch something else on the TV while listening to other audio source then you are going to need to create a work around to turn on the TV without selecting the TV as an audio source.
  • NMarkRobertsNMarkRoberts Junior Member Posts: 455
    You definitely need to make it possible to watch one thing while listening to another. For instance, many Commonwealth folk listen to the radio commentary while watching the cricket on the TV - or even, would you believe, while watching it at the ground.

    (If anyone needs cricket explaining to them, I am very willing to not do so, as it is far too hard 8^)

    The problem is that this breaks lots of assumptions in your coding!
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    As a default rule, I turn the display off. I do however, leave a way to keep it on in case the customer wants that; I've had cases where the customer wanted, for example, to listen to his music collection on a MAX while CNN was running silent on the TV. Nowadays, it's also common for an "audio" device to have a video UI, like the fireball, ARQ, etc., to say nothing of on-screen setup for receivers.
  • yuriyuri Junior Member Posts: 861
    make a "setup" page in which you let the customer decide to enable or disable the functionality :p
    Saves you a trip to the customer and the customer always gets what he wants :)
  • TonyAngeloTonyAngelo Code Monkey Posts: 315
    I believe it is essential to provide this functionality. Whenever I watch a sporting event I have music in the background because I can't stand the announcers most of the time.

    As far as what happens when the switch is made; I leave the display on.

    I've put some thought into this and came to the conclusion that it's better to leave it on, with a choice of turning it off then to turn it off with a choice of leaving it on.

    Example: Client makes the switch, display turns off, client wanted it on, now has to turn it on and wait for it to reinitiate, if it's a projo this could take some time.

    Other way: Client makes switch, display stays on, client wanted it off, turns it off. This seems like much less hassle.

    I'd be interested to hear some counter arguments.
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,901
    It just depends on the client. I've run into some cases where the client wanted to be prompted to turn off the TV or not. And other where if he's switching to the radio from TV to leave the TV on always (but provide a power off display button) so they can watch the game but listen to the radio coverage. (A lot of our clients like doing that.) But unless specified that they want to watch the game and listen to the radio coverage, I by default will turn off the display. Listening to the music channels on the cable box I provide display on and off buttons.

    This is where the "custom" comes in to our work.
  • alexanboalexanbo Junior Member Posts: 282
    What I've been doing if the Audio Source has a Video UI is if the Display is already on and that source is selected the UI will come up on the display. If the Display is off when the source selected, the display is not turned on but the client can turn on the display if they wish.

    For Audio sources that have no Video UI i have been turning the display off for lack of a better solution to break Audio away from Video.
  • Joe HebertJoe Hebert Junior Member Posts: 2,159
    Lots of good thoughts. Thanks for the feedback everyone.
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    I have my systems setup so the client may decide if they want audio only or both.
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    Most of the systems I deal with handle it as such:

    If the source only has audio, then I only turn on audio. If the video is off, it remains off. If the video is on, it remains on and displaying the last video source. But, it does vary slightly from client to client as to which sources are audio only and which have both. Occasionally, I'll configure a cable box as 2 devices. The first called Cable TV which is treated as A&V, the second called Cable Music which only has music presets and is treated only as Audio.

    Jeff
  • TonyAngeloTonyAngelo Code Monkey Posts: 315
    I have my systems setup so the client may decide if they want audio only or both.

    How are you handling this in the UI, I haven't figured out a way to do this that I am happy with.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    TonyAngelo wrote:
    How are you handling this in the UI, I haven't figured out a way to do this that I am happy with.

    This is what I have settled on:

    On the panel's "idle" page are a "watch" and a "listen" button. Each one calls up the appropriate sources, and sources (like a Escient) that could apply to both appear on both, the only difference being whether the monitor is on. Also, to prevent the customer from needing to do the menu game, those sources also have an "on-screen" button to toggle the monitor.
  • TonyAngeloTonyAngelo Code Monkey Posts: 315
    DHawthorne wrote:
    This is what I have settled on:

    On the panel's "idle" page are a "watch" and a "listen" button. Each one calls up the appropriate sources, and sources (like a Escient) that could apply to both appear on both, the only difference being whether the monitor is on. Also, to prevent the customer from needing to do the menu game, those sources also have an "on-screen" button to toggle the monitor.

    I've done something similar and here's the problem I run into; I'm watching DirecTV and under the Listen column I press iTunes. Now I'm watching DTV and listening to iTunes which is what I want. Now the problem comes when I want to change channels or browse the guide, when I press DTV under the Watch column I'm listening to DTV again. This is what I'm having trouble finding an elegant solution to, because sometimes I want to actually listen to DTV when I press it and sometimes I just want to channel surf and listen to what I'm already listening to.

    The best I could come up with is having Watch and Listen columns and then by pressing the Watch or Listen text it toggles what you're controlling. I'm not completely satisfied with this but it does what I want.
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    That is a common problem Tony. I'm not sure what type of switcher that you are using but you might be able to do a 'video' only breakout and if the client see's a program that he wants to listen to as well as watch then he has to do a double tap on the video button within a few seconds that will than bring the audio to match the video online.
  • NMarkRobertsNMarkRoberts Junior Member Posts: 455
    TonyAngelo wrote:
    The best I could come up with is having Watch and Listen columns and then by pressing the Watch or Listen text it toggles what you're controlling. I'm not completely satisfied with this but it does what I want.

    Most systems are halfway there with a Listen button already available - otherwise known as Mute.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    TonyAngelo wrote:
    I've done something similar and here's the problem I run into; I'm watching DirecTV and under the Listen column I press iTunes. Now I'm watching DTV and listening to iTunes which is what I want. Now the problem comes when I want to change channels or browse the guide, when I press DTV under the Watch column I'm listening to DTV again. This is what I'm having trouble finding an elegant solution to, because sometimes I want to actually listen to DTV when I press it and sometimes I just want to channel surf and listen to what I'm already listening to.

    The best I could come up with is having Watch and Listen columns and then by pressing the Watch or Listen text it toggles what you're controlling. I'm not completely satisfied with this but it does what I want.

    I track what is being watched and listened to, and won't perform any actual switching if that source is already active. Pressing the button only switches control of the panel to the source at that point.
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,901
    DHawthorne wrote:
    I track what is being watched and listened to, and won't perform any actual switching if that source is already active. Pressing the button only switches control of the panel to the source at that point.
    Interesting. Can you elaborate on when you actually do the switching? Perhaps I'm not following when you say the source is already "active" and when pressing the button, that it only switches control of the source and not the audio or video. Hmmm.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    I use a function switch sources, and DEV variables to store the active video and audio and/or controlled sources. The function takes the requested source as a parameter, and whether it was requested as the audio source or video, or both, and the output zone, if applicable. I then test the parameter against what is stored, something like this (and of course, it varies widely per job, depending on the equipment used):
    DEFINE_VARIABLES
    
    VOLATILE DEV dvControlledSource
    VOLATILE DEV dvActiveSource
    VOLATILE CHAR nMode     // 0 = off, 1 = audio, 2 = video
    
    DEFINE_FUNCTION CHAR (DEV dvRequestedSource, CHAR nRequestedMode)
    {
         SELECT   // mode selection
         {
             ACTIVE(nRequestedMode == 0) : 
             {  
                // shutdown procedure, no conditions
             }
             ACTIVE(nRequestedMode == nMode) : {} // do nothing
             ACTIVE(nRequestedMode == 1) :
             {
                    // turn on receiver here, etc
             }
             ACTIVE(nRequestedMode == 2} :
            {
                   // turn on monitor, using function that tracks warmup time
            }
            nMode = nRequestedMode ;
         }
         SELECT    // source selection
         {
               ACTIVE(dvRequestedSource == dvActiveSource) : {} // do nothing
               ACTIVE(dvRequestedSource == dvCATV) : // make ACTIVE block for each source
               {
                     // Switch receiver input or matrix join
                    IF(nMode == 2)
                    {
                         WAIT_UNTIL(nWarmUpState = TRUE)
                         // do video switching
                     }
               }
         }
         dvActiveSource = dvRequestedSource ;
         dvControlledSource = dvRequestedSource ;
         
         RETURN nMode ;
    }
    
    The controlled source is not always needed (like in the case of devices that have dedicated panel ports); but that gives a rough idea. The button event that selects a source calls the function.
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,901
    Okay, I think I misread or just didn't quite understand at first. I thought you were saying that you would select "Radio" switching from "Satellite", but wouldn't turn the TV off or anything like that and not even be listening to the radio, but could control it. I was really confused.

    We can just add that up to a blonde moment, yeah?
  • SpannertechSpannertech Junior Member Posts: 53
    On audio only source select buttons:

    Short push - turns the display off it was on
    Long push - leaves it on.

    I put this on my home system...and it was really just to get to a way of viewing my audio request, which I only rarely want to do.

    Different receivers/switchers have different capabilities....there's no point in leaving the display on, if all you ever get with an audio source is a blue screen. But if as others have said you can be still viewing a different video source, then that's definitely useful and people do ask for it.

    OP
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