Controlling A/V hardware

Last year we replaced our ‘old’ Loewe CRT TV by a new LCD HD model from Samsung. Bigger LCD screen, lots of pixels, (HDMI) inputs, Ethernet connection, etc.

I’ve also been using a Pinnacle Showcenter 1000 (yeah, it’s really old 🙂 as media player for years, but the new Samsung TV didn’t support the video output very well, so the Showcenter couldn’t be used anymore and I had to live with the DLNA capabilites of the Samsung. After living a year without a real media player in the living room, it was time to do something about that. And while at it, why not take a closer look at the rest of the A/V equipment? Cause I’ve never been really 100% satisfied with the current Home Theatre system – the DVD player only accepted DVDs after switching the thing completely off and sometimes 1 or 2 speakers just stopped working. You know what…it’s time to replace all the A/V hardware! (except for the TV)

Since I’m always looking for a way to control stuff from my Domotica system, I had an important extra requirement: being able to control (and monitor) my A/V equipment by means of Ethernet, RS232 or anything else I can handle.

The first thing I selected was the HDI Dune HD Max media player. The good reviews and form factor were the decisive issues on which this choice is based. And guess what… the (beta 1 GBps) Ethernet connection can not only be used to stream media to the player or download new firmware, but also to control the player – cool!

On the HDI website I found a document describing how the Dune can be controlled with HTTP calls. With these HTTP calls all of the remote buttons can be ‘simulated’ and there are some more HTTP calls specifically to stop/start and pause media. This is fun!

I started up my Delphi IDE, created a new Device class to see if I could make my Dune respond to my commands. I decided to test the Eject button, like this:


I let the HTTP call fire, walked to the living room and – yes, the drive tray was open! Well, when all the remote buttons can be emulated, it’s just a matter of time before I can control the Dune with my Pronto, Touchscreen … well, anything I guess.

But there’s more…

The HTTP response contains some interesting information regarding the player state; things like command status, player state, playback speed, duration & position (depending on the state the Dune is in) are returned:

I wish all things were as easy as with this HDI Dune! 🙂
Next item on the list: a new A/V Receiver.

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  1. Pingback: Controlling the AV Receiver

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