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Old 14th January 2005, 01:08 AM   #1
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Default Hello from a newb

Hello everyone

The only relavant info about me is that I'm into computers and recently into Home Theater. I don't know anything about electronics but hope to learn alot in the near future. The more I learn about comuters, the more I can't understand why the consumer electronics industry has steered away from integrating CE and computers. I know there is probably a name for this idea already, I just don't know what it is.

Basically, I want the seamless integration of home theater and my computer network. The most important feature for me is to use standard (or hacked) AV equipment to view media on any computer in the house. I have some ideas that may or may not be crazy for the DIYer to attempt, but I am optimistic.

One idea I have is to use a large disc changer mechanism to autoload a standard computer DVD writer, effectively creating a method to backup massive amounts of data without the need to ever handle disc over and over. I am wide open to feedback on the plausiblilty of the project and hope that people in this forum can help me get it done. I would of course treat this as "open source" and share any and all info I can get and eventually want to publish instructions for anyone to do this.

I realize this may be a very difficult thing to do, and not many people would see any use for such a device, but the opportunity to learn something and do something never done before is exciting to me.

Feel free to sumbit websites and guidance that you think may help me. Remember, I am starting from scatch on electronics knowledge. Where should I begin my quest? Are there any handy resources on reverse engineering?

thanks in advance for all that I will learn here
Scott
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Old 14th January 2005, 02:25 AM   #2
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Well, how basic is your knowledge of electronics? I learned mine from old copies of The Radio Amateurs' Handbook and US Navy training texts. These days, the favored basic text is Horowitz and Hill "The Art of Electronics."
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Old 14th January 2005, 07:01 AM   #3
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My knowledge is basic enough to look into buying one of those kits for kids. One of those that have 200 projects for a hundred bucks. I am a mechanical engineering major and I have taken one class on electrical engineering at college, but didn't get much out of it. Op amps really confused me, amung other things, so I didn't do to well in the class.

I will look into those books. At this point, nothing is too simple to learn.

thanks for the reply
Scott
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Old 14th January 2005, 09:16 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum...

My take on the reason that CE & HiFi/HT haven't been integrated yet is because the world is dominated by Windoz PCs... and the Windows UI is just not very good.

dave
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Old 14th January 2005, 10:40 AM   #5
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Ahh, with an ME background, Horowitz & Hill would be a perfect intro for you. It assumes basic math and physics, both of which should be no problem for you. Best of luck with this- electronics is FUN, and the thrill the first time you hear music playing though something you built is a profound one.
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Old 14th January 2005, 12:46 PM   #6
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opamps can be confusing yes, but after dedicating a few months to the gainclone subject i feel i master the topic pretty well.

as with much else, you'l get struck by lightning and suddenly all is clear to you.

happy diy'ing
marius
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Old 14th January 2005, 06:07 PM   #7
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Thank you for the warm welcome

Quote:
Originally posted by planet10
Welcome to the forum...

My take on the reason that CE & HiFi/HT haven't been integrated yet is because the world is dominated by Windoz PCs... and the Windows UI is just not very good.



dave
I agree that Windows GUI it not even close to ideal for a HT setup. From what I've seen so far from the recent attempts at integration, builders have been using linux and a Tivo-like interface. I think that even windows could be used (ie MCE) as long as it uses a menu driven UI.

Maybe there already are ecamples of what I want out of consumer electronics. Another idea I had was that all components could be networked, each one really being a true PC inside. For example, a stand-alone CD/DVD player vs. a very simple computer with the only function being to handle CDs and DVDs. The added benefit is that the networked PC could interact directly with all computers on the network and also, you wouldn't have to be limited to what kind of data is stored on the discs.

Most hacks I have found have been to simply bypass region codes on DVDs. With a computer-based system (pardon me if I now sound like a software engineer) this would be much simpler. This same example can be used for almost all HT components and the system would be completely scalable and accessible to standard networks right out of the box.

Maybe others have some input to this idea. This is my basic motivation for starting a project like this.



Quote:
Originally posted by SY
Ahh, with an ME background, Horowitz & Hill would be a perfect intro for you. It assumes basic math and physics, both of which should be no problem for you. Best of luck with this- electronics is FUN, and the thrill the first time you hear music playing though something you built is a profound one.
Looks like I have alot of reading to do, the Horowitz book is over a thousand pages! I look forward to reading it, though.



Quote:
Originally posted by demogorgon
opamps can be confusing yes, but after dedicating a few months to the gainclone subject i feel i master the topic pretty well.

as with much else, you'l get struck by lightning and suddenly all is clear to you.

happy diy'ing
marius
I hope and think you are right about the lightning strike. I tend to just get things without really knowing why they do make sense to me. Elestrical engineering, at the time, was not an interest and I didn't put much time into it. This time around, I have a personal reason for learning, not just to gain college credit. A very successful method for me to learn is to try and help someone. That is how I study at school. Wait for someone else to have a question, then try to solve the problem.



Thanks again. Please post other DIY electronics resources (forums, vendors, tutoruals, etc). I realize that this specific forum is dedicated to audio, but its the general knowledge and DIY mentality that are relavant to my project.

Scott
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Old 14th January 2005, 06:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by biff_mckeagan
Maybe there already are ecamples of what I want out of consumer electronics. Another idea I had was that all components could be networked, each one really being a true PC inside. For example, a stand-alone CD/DVD player vs. a very simple computer with the only function being to handle CDs and DVDs. The added benefit is that the networked PC could interact directly with all computers on the network and also, you wouldn't have to be limited to what kind of data is stored on the discs.
This sort of stuff is starting to happen... i'll use an example from the mac (since i'm familar, and has a much more consistent & friendly UI). With iTunes you can suck your CDs (at full rez with lossless compression) onto your hard disk. Then audio out (digital on the newer Macs) to your hifi. You can also send this info wirelessly to an Airport Express which is designed to connect to your hifi (it could also be connected with an ethernet cable). Multiple Airport Express gives you the ability to distribute your music to different rooms (& PCs). Polk has even introduced a tri-amped in-wall speaker with built-in DACs that connects via Ethernet.

This stuff is very much in its infancy, but lots of stuff is coming on-line.

dave
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Old 16th January 2005, 07:43 PM   #9
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Does anyone have any comments on the feasibility of my project? In case you don't want to read all the way through my original post, the project is to replace the disc reading electonics from a large disc changer (i.e. a Sony DVP-CX985V or a Sony CDPCX455) with a computer DVD+/-RW drive. I appreciate any input you have including redirection to a more relavant forum.

thanks
Scott
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