[mythtv-users] OT: HTPC Cases - Touch screens et al.

Jarod Wilson jarod at wilsonet.com
Fri Jun 10 01:38:57 UTC 2011

On Jun 9, 2011, at 9:10 AM, Andrew Stadt wrote:

> For the past couple of years my Zotac ION has been happily hiding inside 
> of picture frame on my wall beside my TV.  In a little while I'm planing 
> on redoing my livingroom, and am probably going to have to move it into 
> a more traditional case (also thinking of replacing the ION with 
> something with a little more guts while I'm at it).
> I was looking at several 'HTPC' cases - and while I'm probably going to 
> go for a simpler case and add either the iMon VFD 
> (http://www.soundgraph.com/vfd-feature-en/) or iMon Ultrabay 
> (http://www.soundgraph.com/ultrabay-feature-en/) as either of these 
> products adds most of the functionality I want, I was wondering if 
> anyone had any experience with some of these cases with the built-in 
> touch screens?  e.g.:
> Thermaltake DH102: 
> http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?C=1319&ID=1425 
> <http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?C=1319&ID=1425>
> Moneual 932LB: 
> http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811280027
> The eye-candy factor is nice, but do we have any real functionality 
> added by these?

Not really, no. Those are actual vga displays, which require your video card
to feed them a signal. In the screenshots, what you see is soundgraph's sw
running on the display. The screen *is* supported as a touchscreen input
device though, so you could mock up something, and perhaps there's an lcdproc
client that would work on it, I dunno.

> I don't really see the use of a touch screen when I 
> have a remote except for (maybe) when I'm just playing music and don't 
> bother turning the main TV on.
> I've seen online articles about how to get these working under linux, 
> but so far I haven't seen any screenshots on what they've actually 
> managed to display.

See above. :)

> Any thoughts on these screens before I invest my money?

I'd pass on the touchscreen, unless you're also going to get one for a dev to
do some actual integration work on. (No, I'm not volunteering, though I would
like to have one of these just to better understand exactly how the imon
driver behaves on them...)

Oh yeah, and there's a newer variant of the hardware that isn't supported.

Anyway, to me, nowhere near worth the money, especially considering that nobody
has done any sort of mythtv enablement for them that I'm aware of. Really, the
vfd and lcd aren't exactly worth the money either though -- I have both, and
they're impossible to see from any reasonable distance. The buttons are useful
every once in a while, but not very often, and the IR receiver in them is
relatively crappy (hardware decoder, limits you to only one or maybe two IR
codesets if you're lucky, range and directionality suck compared to other
receivers out there).

And SoundGraph are dicks when it comes to Linux. Zero help. Won't even answer
a simple email if it has anything to do with Linux, even if its "hey, despite
you guys, I'm maintaining a Linux driver for your hardware, and would just
like to have one little question about the hardware answered. Even though you
guys don't seem to give a damn about Linux, there are a lot of Linux users who
end up with your hardware, and I'm trying to enable proper hardware type
auto-detection for them, so they don't have to pass in arcane module parameters
when they finally figure out what their hardware actually is. Can you throw me
just a small bone here?". Silence. So I like neither the company nor their
hardware. The hardware does work though, best as it can in its crippled design
and with the driver 100% written via reverse-engineering...

Jarod Wilson
jarod at wilsonet.com

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