My Home Theater Construction

Home Automation with CQC


Airpanel

This is my new remote control. A Viewsonic Airpanel v110p purchased off of ebay. This touchpanel is basically a wireless monitor for the HTPC, accessing it via remote desktop. Battery life is good for about 2-3 hours.

Using CQC home automation software on the HTPC, I can control all of the house's systems via this screen. For example, Once a movie is selected, CQC will:

  • Power on all the equipment and lower the screen
  • Dim the theater lights
  • Select the proper projector and reciever outputs
  • Select the movie in the DVD changer and start playing it
  • Switch to the DVD control screen
  • Home Screen

    This is a shot of the main/home screen in CQC. I currently have it displaying the projector status, stats for the HTPC, security system status, callerid info and todays weather. At the top there is a tool bar to move between screens. This allows for source selection of the projector and reciever and also allows me to pull up more detailed security status, the movie repository in the DVD changer, etc. At the top right is a display box showing the current screen name, a brief weather summary, and the time.

    The bottom bar controls the main power, volume/mute, and 3 icons to bring up reciever equilizer settings, projector settings, and insteon lighting popup menus. One little trick I did with the main power button is to layer in a flashing animated circle that mimics the warmup/cooldown power light on the projector. This helps give the user some feedback while waiting for the 20 second projector powerup sequence.

    Movies

    This screen allows me to select from all the DVD's in the Sony 777 DVD Changer. They are grouped by categories, and managed through CQC's built in media repository. Selecting a movie here brings up a more detailed popup description of the movie...

    Movie Details

    This popup shows a brief description, cast, MPAA rating, and playtime info about the selected movie. Clicking the Play Movie button switches to the DVD screen, loads the movie in the DVD changer and switches the projector and reciever to the DVD changer.

    DVD Changer Control

    This screen allows more discrete control of the DVD changer. CQC controls the changer through it's serial port. For the more advanced commands that aren't available through serial, CQC uses IR control through the USB-UIRT.

    The top left panel give the user feedback as to what movie is currently loaded (clicking here brings up the movie details again). If a movie is in the process of loading an animated disc and message are displayed here instead.

    Tivo Control

    This screen allows me to control Tivo. This is done through IR via the USB-UIRT. I have a button here that brings up a channel list and in the lower left a button to turn on 30 second skip via the IR sequence in case the Tivo was rebooted.

    Movies

    Clicking on the upper right weather summary brings up this more detailed weather screen. This displays a one week weather forcast from CQC's Weather.com driver.

    Local radar is also displayed using Weather.com's new interactive radar map. Touching anywhere on this screen brings up a larger radar popup that can be paned and zoomed in and out.

    Lighting

    Clicking on the lightbulb in the lower right at any time brings up this lighting popup which allows direct control of the switches installed in the home theater. Some lights are also turned up/down automatically when a movie is loaded or paused.

    Projector Control

    This screen allows more discrete control over the projector. Source, color filter, and aspect ratio are all controllable. CQC controls the projector via it's ethernet port using a CQC driver I wrote.