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    Invelos Forums->General: General Home Theater Discussion Page: 1  Previous   Next
Use of Xoom (Android Tablet) for Home Theater
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DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
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Registered: March 18, 2007
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Hello All,

I just got my Motorola Xoom, and I'm thrilled. So far, it is great! I'm having fun with Youtube and general web browsing. I opted for the Wi-fi only, non-Verizon version, since I don't have a phone eligible for upgrade right now, and Amazon's price was competitive. For internet, I just use home Wi-fi or if on the road, my free Verizon hotspots. Also, I can tether to my Droid-X over Bluetooth anywhere I get a cell signal.

Now for Home Theater, obviously I want to be able to use DVD Profiler, access files from my servers (both DLNA and SMB) and to be able to use my Home Automation software.

Here is a summary of what I want to do, and my progress on solutions at this early stage. I hope to learn and benefit from your comments, opinions and experiences as well:

(Disclaimer: except for my own plugins, I have no interest in any of the apps that might be mentioned in this thread. As you know, there are typically dozens of alternatives for any given app, but I can only talk about the ones I’m using.)

(1) Access files from my servers. This can be accomplished both with DLNA (uPNP) or with SMB (shared folders). I’m finding it difficult to get complete access with DLNA so far. Somehow my settings are not complete. But there are some cool advantages, such as being able to pipe content from a server to my a/v receiver. I have already had success, out of the box, with playing my ripped CDs fom my server directly to my Onkyo receiver. Both the servers files and the Onkyo show up as source and target in the 2Player DLNA player (I am testing with the free version). The biggest issue here, aside from getting my setting fixed, is getting the appropriate player associated with the file being accessed. Pictures and mp3 are the no-brainer defaults. The correct format .mp4 will also play. Anything else is a crap shoot.

(2) For SMB access, I am testing ES File Explorer. It has gotten good reviews, and indeed it does seem to work well. Similarly with DLNA, the biggest issue will be getting a player associated with the type of media being accessed. Pictures, mp3’s, and some mp4’s play out of the box. Other files will play only after being transferred from the server to the Xoom, which happens automatically. What I am eagerly awaiting is the release of VLC Player for Android, which I hope will then allow native playback of .mkv, .ts, .mpg, .ISO, .avi , etc. Other than that, I find ES File Explorer to be quite satisfactory. The picture browser does not yet allow for gesture zoom in/out, but that may be added someday.

(3) For DVD Profiler and Home Automation, I have found a solution that is satisfactory to me that I didn’t expect: using Remote Desktop access (windows RDP). After reading reviews, I decided to take a stab and purchase Xtralogic Remote Desktop Client for Android. And I am finding this product to be well worth the price. I have been able to connect and run both my Win 7 X64 HTPC, as well my WHS (Server 2003) systems. By adjusting the client size to 1280 by 750 (why?), the desktop screens of both those systems appear perfectly framed on the Xoom. The biggest plus I get from this setup is that (1) I can run DVDP natively. No messing around with an “Android version.” Furthermore, I can run my a/vEngine for WHS natively. And it works a treat. I can control Home Theater with my own software from a touch screen tablet. I point to the exact image of the physical remote controls and the IR codes are sent from the WHS. No need to point the the Xoom in any given direction, so long as it is connected over Wi-fi / IP network. At this point, I have scrapped any immediate plans to make native android versions of my automation software – maybe later, but I don’t need it now!

Here is a picture of my Xoom With DVD Profiler running on my HTPC:



Here is a picture of my Xoom with a/v Engine running on my WHS V1:



Ok friends, I would love for you to share your own thoughts and experiences with apps and solutions to Home Theater issues using the amazing new Xoom (or other equivalent Android) platform. Please refrain from quoting this whole post - no need for that clutter.
Thanks for your support.
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 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantRobAGD
Registered: June 3, 2007
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Sweet !

You know what I have been looking for, and I am waiting on the Vizio unit with a built in IR blaster.

Now if we just had a native Android DVDP we would be set.

How are you outputting from the PC to the Receiver ? 

I am not real keen on adding another device (pc) to the mix, but if there is a more compelling way to do this I maybe swayed into doing it.

I have some ideas on doing the remote controls as far as layout and UI

-Robert
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
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Quoting RobAGD:
Quote:
Now if we just had a native Android DVDP we would be set.

I have no need for that. See my picture? No sync, no fuss. Just use the PC version on the Xoom. This should also work on the Droid-X. I'll try that someday.
Quote:

How are you outputting from the PC to the Receiver ? 

As I said: DLNA. The 2Player app shows sources (my PCs) and target (Onkyo) that show up automatically. That is the value of DLNA. No fuss. I suspect that if my Xbox360 were on, it would also show up. You can also configure Windows Media Player as a DLNA receiver (Homegroup panel).

By the way. by virtue of DLNA, the receiver also sees the servers all by itself. There is no real need to relay via the Xoom. I was just messing around and learning stuff.
Quote:

I have some ideas on doing the remote controls as far as layout and UI

Ok, just pick up a/v Dashboard and get started! 
Thanks for your support.
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 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributoriPatsa
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Registered: March 13, 2007
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I'm planning to get a Xoom (or something like it, maybe Samsung or Asus) but it's not available here in Sweden yet. I also have the Android development kit so I'm eager to try my hands at some programming.

I don't know but running DVDP over remote seems kind of messy. It's not designed for touch screens anyway so I would still like a native Android version. Or else you could just get a Windows 7 tablet and run it on that directly, why bother with Android at all if you're not going to use it? But for a temporary solution I guess it's ok.
Patrik
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
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Quoting KinoNiki:
Quote:
I'm planning to get a Xoom (or something like it, maybe Samsung or Asus) but it's not available here in Sweden yet. I also have the Android development kit so I'm eager to try my hands at some programming.

I don't know but running DVDP over remote seems kind of messy. It's not designed for touch screens anyway so I would still like a native Android version. Or else you could just get a Windows 7 tablet and run it on that directly, why bother with Android at all if you're not going to use it? But for a temporary solution I guess it's ok.

Good points. But just FYI, after setup, the remote session is 1-Click. Really. And the touch screen is mapped into the remote mouse - makes the remote PC work almost like a tablet (albeit a bit sluggish). Maybe after the novelty wears off, the negatives will be more important, but at this point the scale is definitely well into the plus side.

Oh, you know maybe why it doesn't matter to me so much ... I do all my maintenance on my laptop. The HTPC copy of DVDP is used only for show - pick a movie on movie nite. And DVDP even plays some of them.
Thanks for your support.
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 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile RegistrantDr. Killpatient
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Registered: May 19, 2007
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You may be interested in Splashtop Remote:
http://www.splashtop.com/remote/availability?from=product

It's like Remote Desktop except that the remote screen isn't locked.  I've been using it for about a month now on my iPad and like it better than RD.

I just started testing it with my HTPC.  Splashtop can control one monitor out of multiple so in theory, DVDP could be on one monitor viewed with Splashtop and configured to play media on the other (HDTV).
 Last edited: by Dr. Killpatient
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
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Oh Dr., sounds cool. Will check it out. But I'm not sure what you mean by "locked."

Yeah, looks very nice. Seems more responsive, but it does require the Streamer component installled. I will keep it on the back burner in case I get fed up with the one I already bought (darn it).
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 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile RegistrantDr. Killpatient
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On your Windows box, press and hold the Windows Key and then hit "L".  That's locked.  When you remote desktop into another computer, it becomes locked.
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
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Quoting Dr. Killpatient:
Quote:
On your Windows box, press and hold the Windows Key and then hit "L".  That's locked.  When you remote desktop into another computer, it becomes locked.

Ok, it was a terminology block on my part. The upshot is that with the program I bought, a user can only be signed on directly, or via RDP. Logging in one way, causes the other screen to go to Windows lock mode. Ok, I get it.

So, it seems that if I used the program you bought, I could instead be viewing the HTPC screen plus the Xoom remote version of that screen concurrently, allowing me to select a movie on the Xoom while the HTPC is connected to a projector and the movie shows on both at the same time, right?

If so, that's exactly what I need ...
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 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
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Ok, I went ahead and got it. Was only $4.99, so why not.

Actually, I like both programs for different reasons.

The Xtralogic actually is smoother and has better, more crisp screen mapping. You can set it for each target independently. With Splashtop, PC display performance is slower and I got messages about screen resolution and color settings, and I can't get one setting that fills the screen perfectly on both. When I gesture zoom the Xoom, the display quality suffers. BUT, and its a major factor, you can view both screens at the same time. Great for movie night.

So, now I can run both, Xtralogic targeted to my WHS showing a perfect crisp view of my remote controls, and  Splashtop targeted to my HTPC where I can use DVDP and/or select digital meda and be watching it all on the projector at the same time.

Best of both worlds ...  (Edit: original edit indicated a problem, since fixed.)
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 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile RegistrantDr. Killpatient
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My HTPC is x64 too, works fine.
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
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Quoting Dr. Killpatient:
Quote:
My HTPC is x64 too, works fine.

Yeah, I resolved it a few minutes ago. After breakfast and a cup of coffee, my brain works better. Now playing with the display options. Working, but I've confirmed that Xtralogic is easier to use and configure.

Thanks so much for the tip, I now have the perfect mix (until some better info / advice comes along  )
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 Last edited: by mediadogg
    Invelos Forums->General: General Home Theater Discussion Page: 1  Previous   Next