Last friday DHL knocked on my door to deliver a Raspberry Pi. For those that doesnt know what it is, it is a realy small computer running Linux. It didnt took long before I moved over my control software for lamps that uses a Tellstick from Telldus Technologies. Instead of normal light switches I have built in recivers from Nexa that is a remote controlled relay. This make me able to control almost all lighting in the house from anywhere.
Besides playing with my new Raspberry Pi I also built a plastic case to protect it somehow from my sons.
I will post more source code and project details soon on this. But for now have a look at my setup.
After enjoying the blessing of HDMI-CEC also known as Sony Bravia Sync (other vendors have other names). I wanted my media center pc to have the same functionality. After a lot of googling I came across this USB-CEC adapter by pulse-eight in UK. Around Christmas I ordered one and are so far very happy with it. I highly recommend it togheter with their special build of openelec that is XBMC "in a box". Installation takes 10 min and then your running.
That is the way I like it !
The downside is that I havent yet managed to get it to boot the XBMC computer from the HDMI-CEC commands from TV. So I still have to use my phone to wake it over lan. But this is supposed to work from pulse-eights latests release so probably I just have to fiddle with some USB settings on my computer. Just need to find time. - I like!
For about a year ago I decided to by new TV and new audio system. Nothing fancy as I dont spend that much time in front of the TV (there are most children shows on there) and I definatly dont hear any difference on different speakers and amplifiers.
Decided to go for Sony TV and Sony home cinema equipment to go with it (including BlueRay player).
When everything was connected by HDMI cables it just works wonderfully, with a single remote I control the TV and when I set the input to be the BlueRay player the remote automagically switches to control that device. This is they way it should be. For Sony this control mechanism is called Bravia Sync. Other vendors have their own names (Anynet for samsung for example) and there is no full standard so if you want it keep your equipment from one vendor (cant belive they thought about that :-)
The standard of HDMI version 1.4 describes that it is optionally to include CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) that describe the physical layer and also some commands that could be supported for control between devices connected by HDMI.
I just love the way it works and my next task is to get my XBMC (media center pc) to use the same standard so that I dont have to have another remote on the coffetable (one to rule them all!)

It didnt take long for the TV to have the cable tv subscription card in it so that there was no need for a special digital TV set top box. And by adding a hard drive I am now able to pause live tv and make recordings everything with a single remote. The downside is that the tv guide is working terrible on Sony TVs (at least mine). It just shows current program and the next one. No more so it is hard to record something a little bit further in the future. It is also a terrible interface for pause live tv - first you need to start record it and then navigate to the recording and start to playback it. Why not just beeing able to make a single press on pause button (that is actually not doing anything when TV is active).
Just signed up as I started to think I have some things to share. Hopefully you find something you like here. My first subjects will be on Home automation (controling lights), HDMI-CEC and Raspberry PI.