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Brad Fitzpatrick

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A shout-out to good products [Nov. 27th, 2008|02:14 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick

I bitch about stuff a lot (in a loving way?), so I think it's important for balance's sake to take a second occasionally to recognize companies and products that kick ass.

Today I'm giving a shout-out to my A/V Receiver, the Denon AVR-4806. Yes, it's a little old by now, but not really, and the one feature it's missing (1080p HDMI upscaling and routing) is available as a firmware upgrade.

What else do I love about it? Its documentation! Holy shit, would you look at that? IR codes, its serial/ethernet wire protocol for controlling it, and its HDMI specs.

Wait, Ethernet? How have I not taken advantage of this before today? Must remedy.

After doing the three button incantation on the receiver to enable "Network Settings" in the menu (must hide it by default to not confuse people!?), I selected DHCP and it got on the network. I then read the aforelinked protocol docs and whipped up a stupid little interactive AVR-4806 controller in Perl. I love how the protocol is two way: you can tell it to do stuff, but it also notifies you of all changes to its state. I go twist the physical volume knob and I get immediate status packets back from it.

I'm thinking of giving my neighbors a webserver interface to the volume knob, so they can turn down the music if (when) my Wednesday night parties get too loud.

[User Picture]From: crasch
2008-11-27 10:36 pm (UTC)

I'm thinking of giving my neighbors a webserver interface to the volume knob, so they can turn down the music if (when) my Wednesday night parties get too loud.

That would be a fascinating sociological experiment. I wonder how much and how often they would turn it down?
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[User Picture]From: brad
2008-11-27 10:39 pm (UTC)
I thought about that too.

I could just tell them (truthfully or otherwise) that I was giving the URL to several other neighbors as well, so I'd never know who turned it down.
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[User Picture]From: burr86
2008-11-27 10:41 pm (UTC)
Or so you'd never know who turned it up at 3am!
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[User Picture]From: crasch
2008-11-27 10:50 pm (UTC)
Of course, you could give each of them different usernames. Then you'd know who it was that turned it down.
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[User Picture]From: deemon
2008-11-28 12:31 am (UTC)
use volume knob to control garage door
kinda useless, but still ...
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[User Picture]From: 7leaguebootdisk
2008-11-28 04:56 am (UTC)

then my neighbors car?

Which they use as a home stereo. Gah, loud enough to be annoying with the tv on.
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[User Picture]From: pne
2008-11-28 08:29 am (UTC)
Amazing to find that there are still companies like that!
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[User Picture]From: jeremyleff
2008-11-28 02:38 pm (UTC)
That's badass. I too immediately began thinking of ways you could incorporate this with the garage door.

By HDMI upscaling do you mean that it will take video from all sources and formats and convert it to HDMI, so that you never have to change sources on the TV?
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[User Picture]From: brad
2008-11-28 04:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah. The "TV" is a projector on the other side (back side) of the room, so everything plugs into the receiver which converts it all to HDMI.
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[User Picture]From: dormando
2008-11-29 04:21 am (UTC)
Crap, I want a receiver with ethernet now!

I've been turning my music on via ssh before I get off the train. Want it to auto on/off by proximity of my phone.

My existing one is a cheapo onkyo, but it looks like ethernet/wifi is only available in the $2.5k receivers from onkyo or denon. Stupid to jump the price $2k for $30 of parts.

Doesn't look like anything other than the denon even documents networked control codes too. Or I haven't found it for onkyo yet. Thanks for the tip! :)
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[User Picture]From: ijon
2008-12-02 01:02 am (UTC)

Hey, that's hardware as it should be!
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