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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone.
I just wanted to ask if using an HDMI switch is a good answer for a convergance attempt.

Here's what I have:
PC
Laptop
WRT610n Dual Band Gigabit
PS3
Shap Aquos lcd tv -it's a 720 :(
Old Fischer Audio Tuner / Amp
Rogers HD TV tuner

I also have a media PC in the back room connected to the gigabit router via cat 5 ethernet where I run PS3 media server, and store my digital media. Pictures, movies, tv. The PS3 is hardwired to the network as well, meaning that I don't really use the dual band wireless the way it's marketed, for media streaming. I can now successfully stream 720p over the network to the PS3 using the media server software. My PS3 has also been very good at using windows media player's streaming, but I shut that down and stuck to the PS3 media server for it's transcoding power. I never have to worry about the format of the original file.

Right now the HDTV box is connected to one of the TV's five video inputs by component. The PS3 is connected to the TV via HDMI.
Then I've used RCA connectors to send the audio from each to the Fischer tuner. Audio quality is on the back burner for now. More money later, more parts later.

I'm using the rogers remote for all devices for power on / off. The rogers remote won't switch audio input with my tuner. So, if I want to go from TV to PS3 to watch a blueray I have to push the TV button on the remote, select the correct video input, then find the tuner remote and switch the audio input. I would be happier if I could use one remote to switch inputs. Right now my wife isn't patient enough to wait for the rogers remote to turn off all three devices. I'll come back and any one of the three will be off. No matter how many times I explain it to her... well you know. I just want it to be simple enough I don't have to explain it to her and my kids will be able to use it (my son is 3 and can turn on the TV upstairs and type in 221 by himself).

What I would like to change:
-switch audio and video feed with one step.
-use one remote for everything, to make that one button press switch
-fix the audio situation - get the whole hdmi thing working for me with both audio and video out to some speakers better than the TV's.


I started to think (and here's my real question based on my subject line) I may need the remote to talk to the media PC, then feed all the video into the PC, and make the PC the switch, then back out to the TV. I think that I've been reading that this is impossible because of DRM thats part of HDMI. I wanted to run a front end software that just switched from TV watching and recording (like SageTV or something similar) to PS3 for playing / blue ray, to PC. PC is not necessary, but it would be nice to be able to go in and manage the media files in a PC way, without having to go into the back room. I'm attached to the front end software idea from building my mame cabinet which uses GameEx. (forgot to mention the mame cabinet is yet another PC on the network, though it's wireless G).

So after beginning to think that I would not be able to switch media input at the PC in some kind of front end software, I found out about HDMI switches. I thought, I could live with that.... until I read, another remote. Bleh. I began thinking about getting rid of that remote and noticed that some have an RS232 connection so the HDMI switch could be controlled by a PC. Yay, back to my idea of using the PC as the switch.

So where I'm left is: is there a software solution that can both act as a media center, talk to a bluetooth universal remote control (media PC in back room through walls), and put out an RS232 signal to switch the HDMI feed?

Any additional tips you could give me on getting the audio signal out of the HDMI and when (in upstream, downstream terms) would help.

Thanks.
 

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I think that all you need is a good remote, see the Harmony line of remotes from Logitech. The concept is this: the remote runs you through a setup wizard on your PC, which then knows what devices need to be on and with what combination of inputs.

Then your family sees one button on the remote for "Play PS3", they press it and it sets up everything. Then they press the "Watch TV" button and it sets up everything to watch the TV. Press "Off" and everything turns off.

The only thing you'll not get is your bluetooth remote for the PC. However you could switch that out to an IR remote instead if you can run a USB media-center receiver from the back room to your TV room.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I guess I'm also asking if theres a front end solution for making all of this more streamlined?

I just need some names and terms to research.
 

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You could also use something like Control4 but it would likely cost well over $1000 plus dealer programming time to set up all of your components.

You could also follow pnear's suggestion and use an HDMI switch in conjunction with a Harmony remote. A Harmony is totally the way to go - I have about 5-6 Harmony remotes in my house and I am on a second generation with many of those.
 

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I am going to also recommend the Harmony (although I don't have one myself). It is what becomes your front end.

You will get an HDMI switch that has an IR remote with discrete source selections, rather than one that cycles through it. That is, if your TV hasn't the inputs you need.

If your TV has a couple HDMI at least, you could connect the Rogers box and PS3 to those, the computer to VGA, unless you need HDCP to play protected content.
 
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