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    where/how do you use touch screens?

    I am trying to decide on the best locations for touchscreens in my home. I know I'm going to put one in the kitchen, guest room, and rec. room. Beyond that, I'm trying to think of other locations, but because of my floor plan I really can't think of any.

    The theater room will have a wireless KB/Mouse interfacing w/ the PC connected to the projection screen. The boys have a PC in their room that doesn't reall need a touch screen, and my wife and I have laptops that are with us where ever we want.

    The upstairs living room has a 42" plasma connected to a PC with wireless KB/mouse as in the theater room. It is also adjacent to the kitchen, so with the open floor plan i don't think we need one there.

    other rooms consist of office (laptop there when needed), family room (at opposite end of kitchen in open "great room area," aprox. 20'-30' from kichen), and craft room (she'd kill me if i put tech in that room).

    FYI the 3 locations i've decided on (kitchen, guest room, and rec. room) will all be connected to in-wall PCs/laptops that have mapped drives from my HSPC. The 15" touchscreens will display tv/mp3/movies, as well as having HSTouch.

    I have 1 small 8" liliput touchscreen I was thinking about installing outside for when we do bbq's and that kind of thing. I have no idea how an outdoor installation would work, however. any suggestions there would be great!

    I also have another 15" one I could put somewhere else, if anyone can convince me as to where/why :-). I was thinking the next obvious place would be somewhere in the family room, but it seems overkill putting it so close to the kitchen one, esp. when the guest room is right off the fam. room.

    Otherwise, i'll probably keep the extra 15" as a spare incase one of the other three go bad.

    Thanks in advance for the opinions,


    Ian
    Plugins:
    BLLogMonitor, BLGarbage, BLBackup, BLOutGoingCalls, BLUps, BLRfid, JvEss, DooMotion, Applied Digital Ocelot, AC RF Processor, UltraMon, PJC AVR 430, UPB, Rain8net, DSC Panel, JRiver Media center, Windows Media Player, SageMediaCenter, SnevlCID, MCSTemperature.

    #2
    I have 5 of them right now. Front hallway, rear entrance, kitchen, master bedroom and one in reserve for the theater room. The kitchen, rear entrance and master bedroom are the most used, the kitchen by far gets the most use. The rear entrance is used almost exclusively for HSTouch, the others are more often than not displaying my PVR for music control instead. My dream system will one day combine it all but until then this is the best I can do.
    Marty
    ------
    XPpro SP3 /w HS Standard 2.5.0.80, HSTouch Server - 1.0.0.70, HSTouch Client 1.0.0.73 HSTouch Android - 1.0.0.2, HSTouch iPhone - 1.0.0.2
    Playing with HS3 a bit but it's just play at this point.

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      #3
      ---------------------------------------------------http://weather.penicuik.org

      Comment


        #4
        Here are my questions/answers:

        Originally posted by Bestgear View Post
        Hi Ian

        I am interested in your hardware and setup surrounding your touchscreens, as that in itself poses some options and challenges.

        Are you going to use local PCs for each screen, or do you intend using long VGA cables, vga over cat5 or even IP back to a rack where all "host" PC's sit? You mention in-wall PS/laptops... that is interesting...

        I'm going to do local PCs ("in wall") mainly for the media serving purposes - I can map the media directories from the HS Server then use Media Center to access recorded tv/movies.

        I have been playing around with these options and each has its merits.

        What would be really nice is to have the HS server running something like a Matrox 4 port VGA card and each touchscreen is on its own port.

        I thought about doing something like that, but the problem becomes assigning sound to each location, because I'm using them for more than just HSTouch...they're using WMC also (on Win7)

        Obviously with this, and 4 touch inputs, only one could be used at the same time as they are effectively all on the same "host" PC. It would be a sacrifice I would live with to only have one PC running 24/7 to support them.

        This is why I was thinking of doing inwall laptops - you can get the performance you need for not much $$ but can easily be set to sleep when not in use, wake on touch, and not much extra electricity is used. Al Gore will be proud :-)

        The other option I was looking at are VGA to IP (or VGA to USB with a network sharer for the USB) and that way, the "host" for the touchscreen could be a virtual guest on a host... at least with that, each screen is owned by one XP/W7 OS.

        I've done vga over cat5 and it works great. I'm not familiar with "virtual guest" - would i be able to make each touch screen be a virtual guest, and have it's own default sound card?
        Plugins:
        BLLogMonitor, BLGarbage, BLBackup, BLOutGoingCalls, BLUps, BLRfid, JvEss, DooMotion, Applied Digital Ocelot, AC RF Processor, UltraMon, PJC AVR 430, UPB, Rain8net, DSC Panel, JRiver Media center, Windows Media Player, SageMediaCenter, SnevlCID, MCSTemperature.

        Comment


          #5
          Hi

          Thanks for the replies.

          I guess the atom based pc per screen would be great and as you say, not much power when you use power management properly...

          Re "guests" - Yes, you can have multiple USB sound cards and assign each to a virtual guest. I have done this with a few things.

          I guess it depends if its just "muzak" you want or if you will be buying top end components for something approaching real hifi.... that choice will limit the flexibility I would guess.

          You could have several W7 guests with the screens plumbed though...

          At least one thing... there are always plenty options.

          David
          ---------------------------------------------------http://weather.penicuik.org

          Comment


            #6
            Can you give me a quick idea of how the virtual guest thing works...i'm completely unfamiliar with it. So you're saying that with different video cards and sound cards i can setup different "virutal" PC's that would be capable of running seperate instancs of hstouch and wmc?

            Ian
            Plugins:
            BLLogMonitor, BLGarbage, BLBackup, BLOutGoingCalls, BLUps, BLRfid, JvEss, DooMotion, Applied Digital Ocelot, AC RF Processor, UltraMon, PJC AVR 430, UPB, Rain8net, DSC Panel, JRiver Media center, Windows Media Player, SageMediaCenter, SnevlCID, MCSTemperature.

            Comment


              #7
              Hi

              Hmmm.. virtualisation....! from the top...

              There are several products on the market, but the biggest difference between them is that some rely on a host operating system to load first, then, you run the virtualisation layer above that. Examples of this are VMWare server and MS Virtual PC (both free)

              You then have the "corporate" approach... and that is a bare metal hypervisor that runs on the bare tin, then you load your guest operating systems above that. Products like VMware VI, ESX, ESXi (free) or MS Hyper-V (free) are bare metal hypervisors. Obviously bare metal hypervisors are better as they dont inherit the host operating systems limitations.

              So - guests... the idea is to run a guest virtual machine (VM) and through the use of either a USB VGA adapter and somemeans of sharing USB over a network (anywhereUSB, Belkin, Sitecom etc etc), or, one of the various VGA network adaptors (checkout DisplayLink) "connect" them back to the guest VM. Audio can be provided over USB too. Some USB network sharers have limitations with regards to which usb devices they support (check isochronous usb for reasons why).

              Guest VMs are totally independant from the host OS - from the guest OS perspective, the virtualisation layer (looking "down" as it were) just looks like a different "breed" of hardware...

              There are some considerations surrounding the hardware you can use for the host, but they are a story for another day...

              Anyway... VM is the future... one way or another... I have been running HS in a Windows Server 2003 guest on VMserver, VPC, ESX and also currently on Hyper-V and not had any issues related to the virtualisation layer. One thing it has "made" me do is ensure that all devices are presented to HS via IP... which is great for postability.

              With regards to you rmedia center PCs, I am not sure I would go the Vm route quite yet, but forthe support of "simple" PCs running a touchscreen or similar kinda thing, virtualisation would be on the list.

              Anyway - stepping off my soap box now...

              David
              Last edited by Bestgear; January 25, 2010, 03:21 PM.
              ---------------------------------------------------http://weather.penicuik.org

              Comment


                #8
                Right now I have one located on the first floor right next to the kitchen. I have plans to add one to the bedroom in the headboard and one in the vanity.

                Current usage is for getting voicemail, weather (day and hourly forecast), music control, device control, news feeds.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I kind of see two options...

                  Extend only USB 2.0 and use a Mimo or Extend VGA and USB 1.0 buying a touchscreen as well

                  Option one:

                  $200 iMO Touch Mimo 8"
                  $150 USB 2.0 Extender (they are reall expensive, and I have no experience with them)
                  ------------------------------<wbr>----
                  $350


                  Option two:

                  NEW Remote KVM Extender up to 150 FT CAT5 $80 (same one I use on the couch...works GREAT!)
                  I/OGear $60 (USB video card for the server...)
                  http://www.everythingusb.com/<wbr>iogear_usb_2.0_external_video_<wbr>card_12787.html
                  Cheap Touchscreens 15": $250
                  ------------------------------<wbr>----------------
                  $390

                  I could also put a low power PC for each touchscreen (which would make
                  them like the Audrey, but snappier)...if I do this, I would replace the $60 video card
                  with the $175 PC thing...

                  I found a few links to replace that $60 USB video card with a $45 video card...
                  which lowers the price to:
                  $375

                  It could go lower if I chose a smaller screen...

                  Of course, putting a video card in the server that has multiple ports (quad output) might be one way to get more "space"...?
                  Tasker, to a person who does Homeautomation...is like walking up to a Crack Treatment facility with a truck full of 3lb bags of crack. Then for each person that walks in and out smack them in the face with an open bag.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Boots,

                    Can you explain how you'd do the headboard? I thought about putting one there, but I couldn't figure out how to make the access easy.

                    Ian
                    Plugins:
                    BLLogMonitor, BLGarbage, BLBackup, BLOutGoingCalls, BLUps, BLRfid, JvEss, DooMotion, Applied Digital Ocelot, AC RF Processor, UltraMon, PJC AVR 430, UPB, Rain8net, DSC Panel, JRiver Media center, Windows Media Player, SageMediaCenter, SnevlCID, MCSTemperature.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I am going to use the EEETop and kind of set it in the corner of the shelf.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I switched my small 9" TS in the garage from a 1.2 Celeron to a dual core Atom based PC in a small case. I like the speed of the graphics. I have tried both HS Touch and Maestro on it and they work well.

                        I have three LCD's in the kitchen & vicinity but none are Touch screens. I've tried - but not happening due to WAF.
                        - Pete

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Pete View Post
                          I switched my small 9" TS in the garage from a 1.2 Celeron to a dual core Atom based PC in a small case. I like the speed of the graphics. I have tried both HS Touch and Maestro on it and they work well.

                          I have three LCD's in the kitchen & vicinity but none are Touch screens. I've tried - but not happening due to WAF.
                          Pete,
                          I run an eeePC in the kitchen, connected to my wife's LCD/monitor/TV. I use an add-on touchscrenn from http://www.magictouch.com/. It is my wife's favorite HA device.
                          Barry

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