Author Topic: Serial control of LCD and Plasma screens  (Read 7577 times)

Offline Atelier

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Serial control of LCD and Plasma screens
« on: April 15, 2010, 06:00:28 AM »
Hi,

I wonder if someone would be interested in some programs that I wrote (C#/C++).

The programs are made for serial controlling LCD/Plasma screens of NEC and Samsung.
The programs help to dramatically increase the lifetime of your monitors.
The programs are already used by some customers driving 4000+ monitors.
The programs run from "command line/CMD".
The programs run from Scala using "launch file".

Functionality, e.g:
- power-on/off
- input request (which video/audio-input is running)
- input switch (switch to right video/audio input - if the input has changed accidently by IR remote control)
- reset
- Volume Control
- Request Failure
- Model Name Request
- Serial Number Request
- Running Sense (most relevant information about the screen)
- ... and more (each LCD or plasma model has its own function list)

The "... request" functions will give you a log file for all requests, that you either can retrieve with ContentManager or automatically analyse (through a vbscript that stores the information) in IC.log. In addition you could setup the scala script to e.g. switch the video input automatically back to Scala Playback if the log file shows a different input...

In addition the "Request Failure" will produce its own failure.log with the most relevant possible failure information of built in screen sensors: Screen okay? Fan okay? Temperature okay? Actual internal temperature (depends on model). With these informations you will always have a good chance to view the current state of your system - and will be able to react before the customer knows about a screen problem.

Available for (each model has its own program):
- NEC PlasmaSync PX/XM series
- NEC PlasmaSync XP series
- NEC/Mitsubishi LCD3000/4000
- NEC Multisync 32xx/42xx/57xx/82xx
- NEC Multeos series
- Samsung DX/UX
- Samsung DXn/UXn (built-in PC is not controlled by RS-232(serial) but with Samsung API)
- ... more on request



In real scenarios you will often find single Scala players running up to 25 monitors in a 5x5 matrix. The monitors are then connected to only one COM port and daisy chain connected from the first to the next. Each monitor will have its own ID and can be controlled individually from only 1 license! Each license can control up to 255 serial COM ports of one machine. Theoretically you can control 255*25 = 6375 monitors with 1 license. Well ... theoretically, but it works :-)


The price for the programs is very moderate and flexible. You may choose between:
- "per player license"   (each player needs its own license)
- "site license"           (unlimited number of players in one site of one customer, each site needs its own license)
- "enterprise license"   (totally unlimited number of players of one customer)


If someone is interested in these kind of programs just give me a privat message (some information about the project always helps).


Have a nice Scala time :-)

Cheers,
Thomas



 

 
« Last Edit: April 15, 2010, 06:21:00 AM by Atelier »

Offline bunny

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Re: Serial control of LCD and Plasma screens
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2010, 01:30:39 AM »
Must be nice to be able to sell your program. But then, you have 10* more monitors ...

All I have is a goat that operates any screen attached to it (sharp/sony/victor/samsung/...) and returns the status in a uniform manner.

Hitachi "we refuse to supply documentation without an NDA." 
Us "Oh look, everyone else gives us the documentation. We bought SHARP instead. You lose, Sorry!"
Victor "We see no need to be able to report the serial number of the monitor."

Kudos to NEC though, when I demonstrated bugs in their protocol, they fixed them all for me!


Offline stefan.kima

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Re: Serial control of LCD and Plasma screens
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2010, 01:26:54 AM »
Sounds nice.

I hope you are open for questions and critique :-)
-> Why buy tons of licenses when Scala can handle RS-232 itself for free?

Offline Atelier

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Re: Serial control of LCD and Plasma screens
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2010, 03:16:26 AM »
All I have is a goat that operates any screen attached to it (sharp/sony/victor/samsung/...) and returns the status in a uniform manner.

Bunny, nice to control any device from one program.
The idea with our program was to use the smallest possible program <100K that is only dedicated to the monitors being used in the project, because it is not typical to have a heterogen combination of a bunch of different manufacturers in 1 rollout.

Cheers,
Thomas   
« Last Edit: April 19, 2010, 03:31:52 AM by Atelier »

Offline Atelier

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Re: Serial control of LCD and Plasma screens
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2010, 03:30:50 AM »
I hope you are open for questions and critique :-)
-> Why buy tons of licenses when Scala can handle RS-232 itself for free?

You are right, Stefan - you CAN do everything with the built-in RS232 interface.

But if you ever have TRIED e.g. to send commands, receive and analyse the answers and generate proper log files, that can trigger your system to whatever else - all with built-in functions... you will love our program. In addition, you can use these command line progs within a maintenance job, controlling the devices instantly.

BTW: With "site" or "enterprise license" you only need 1 license to unlock the enhanced functionality, if you need it. The free of use basic progs do already "power-off" and "power-on". If this is enough for you, you won't need a license. But if you have to handle a 1000+ network, you will love the additional functions.   

Cheers,
Thomas

Offline bunny

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Re: Serial control of LCD and Plasma screens
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2010, 03:16:24 AM »
You forgot to mention that SONY monitors speak binary with checksums, as do NEC (awesome protocol there) and to an extent, Victor,
SHARP (industrial) speak plain text, Aquos speak a subset. etc.
I can't remember what Samsung do, binary I think.

Now, just try speaking sony with scala's RS232 without tearing your hair out.  ;D

The generic program is 104k, it could be neater and smaller if I removed the verbiage. I just don't have time to re-write it from scratch.

I'd give it away, but no one would want the Goat (Goat operates any Television) because its so horrible.

Offline Kelly

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Re: Serial control of LCD and Plasma screens
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2010, 09:19:39 AM »
I'll take 2 goats :) ;D