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Microcontroller controlled Home Entertainment System

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This Instructable will take you on my journey to replace my old Netflix/Vudu Bluray player with a PC based entertainment station for my LCD projector. I wanted to be able to access and control Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Crackle, NBC, ABC, and the Weather Channel using only a simple remote control.

Along the way, I'll give you the full details you need to replicate this project, but at the same time I'm going to expose you to a very interesting combination of tools which will allow ANY MICROCONTROLLER the ability to take full control of a connected PC to create sophisticated, yet simple PC interfaces and "assistive technology" systems. Read this with your "idea cap" on and I'm betting there are at least a hundred different ways this material could come in handy!

The setup works likes this: (Refer to image two.) My universal remote sends IR signals to my microcontroller. The microcontroller sends commands to control the PC web browser over it's programming cable either as a mouse or by changing pages depending on what buttons I press on the remote. I've seen remotes which are compatible with PC computers as an optional mouse, but this setup is an advanced control system allowing us to send any data/controls to the PC. The system we're building will allow the remote control to act as mouse and software control with plenty of room for your own enhancements.

Here's the project in action!

Required materials and related links:

Hardware:

  • The Pocket Mini Computer w/IR Kit : An "Open Source" micro based on the Propeller: (source)
  • A Universal Remote that is Sony Compatible (source)
  • A dual-core (or better) Windows based PC
  • A USB-A to micro USB cable (source)

Software:

Useful References:

Assistive Technology Related websites:

 
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ArtyrMens5 months ago

Good http://salonbisnes.ru/

adanvasco1 year ago
Why not use LIRC? You can even use a sound card with a simple IR receiver.
Plo Koon1 year ago
Is the tv playing the movie "Next" w/ nicholas cage?
lemmin1 year ago
Your camera is freaking me out. Are you underwater or something?! Also, Can't you just get an IR USB device and skip the microcontroller?
Propellerpowered (author)  lemmin1 year ago
I've played with those IR USB devices. They simply don't have the kind of power I was looking for in regard to PC control. This give me full control over the PC and programs.
Propellerpowered (author)  lemmin1 year ago
It is youtube's "stabilize video" plugin. I've turned it off. It did make things appear a little weird.
diy_bloke1 year ago
Impressive
Propellerpowered (author)  diy_bloke1 year ago
Thank you!
rlarios1 year ago
I got started with computers 32 years ago working with machines having probably same capabilities as your pocket computer. If your computer's BASIC is as easy to use as GWBASIC, there should be no limit to what can be done regarding control applications as today's PC is overkill.
Congratulations on your instructable !
Propellerpowered (author)  rlarios1 year ago
Thanks Rafael61! The BASIC in this project is easy to use as GWBASIC, but because of the power of the Propeller it's much more powerful. Even better, because the BASIC is written in Spin, you can add new commands to it.