Hiding a projector screen in your home theater

Projector screens can become the dominant feature of a room if they are not concealed. While some people like this look in dedicated home theater rooms, the idea of a giant screen overpowering the room did not go over well with my wife. She pictured the multi purpose room loosing its cozy, inviting feel and, instead, feeling more like an office or a classroom. So, hiding the giant white screen became a priority for both of us. Continue reading

Amazon Video On Demand Plex Plugin

I have begun work on a plugin for Plex Media Center. This will ultimately allow me to use a remote control (like the Apple Remote or the Harmony One) to control Plex. This ultimately will complete my HTPC needs…. At least for now.

Proposed features:

  • List your purchased videos
  • Preview un-purchased videos
  • Search streamable videos by name
  • Purchase/rent a video

The hardest part is going to be getting the Amazon login process to work properly I think.

As an aside, I’ll have to say that the lack of documentation for the Plex python API has me sad-facing all over the place but there are quite a few plugins for plex that can be used as an example. Oh and a big FAIL for Amazon not having an API for searching.

If anyone out there is interested in helping, please comment.

Amazon Video on Demand Keyboard Shortcuts

I’m in the process of getting my Home theater PC in order.

One of the many online video services that I use is Amazon Video on Demand. I am in the process of figuring out all of the ways in which I can use a remote control to navigate services and software that I am using in my setup.

Hulu desktop was a breeze, I can simply use the apple remote to navigate and I can use the excellent Understudy plugin for front row (make sure to get 0.7!). However, there is no desktop client for Amazon VOD for OS X.

So I figure I’m going to write a thin skin to their service and hopefully integrate it into Frontrow similar to Understudy’s integration of Netflix and Hulu.

First things first, I really needed to figure out what keyboard shortcuts are available for their flash-based video player to see which key presses I would need to make work with the apple remote. So without further ado, here they are:

Video Player

  • SHIFT-F – full screen
  • ESC – exit full screen
  • SHIFT-R – rent movie/episode
  • SHIFT-B – buy movie/episode/series
  • SHIFT-L – go back to your library listing
  • UP – volume up
  • DOWN – volume down
  • RIGHT – skip ahead 10 seconds
  • LEFT – skip back 10 seconds

Your Video Library Listing Panels

  • UP – move up
  • DOWN – move down
  • RIGHT – move right
  • LEFT – move left
  • PGUP – up one page
  • PGDOWN – down one page
  • ENTER – show video details (if movie or tv series) / drill into show tv episodes
  • ESC – close video details / move back up to series (if in episodes list)