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surly
2008-08-29, 11:58
I would like to know if a product like this would be of any interest to you as Squeezebox users:

I have a Mediacenter running in my main System.
For now i tried Softsqueeze and SqueezeCenter on it and Softsqueeze on a second Computer in an other Room.
I am planning to buy the Boom for my Bedroom and the Kitchen.

But I don't want to buy a Squeezebox for my main System because the Mediacenter is running most of the Time anyway and my mediafiles are stored on that machine too.
But for just listening to music it would be cool to have a display in the mediacenter case that displays the Gui of Softsqueeze/Squeezebox Classic (so that i could turn the TV of).
This Display should also display the information of Vista or XP MCE when in Mediacenter Mode.
To make the Unit perfect it should have a ir receiver and the possibility to turn the SqueezeCenter/Mediacenter Unit on by IR even when the PC is powered down (as the IrTrans Units).
The connection could be with usb to onboard headers.
If the Unit would come in a optical drive sized housing with the option to mount it without the housing the possibilities would be various.

You could use it in a Mediacenter or Squeezecenter environment either in the Living room or the hobby/server room.

I don't want to use a Controller because i live in an appartment and try to avoid WLAN because of security issues.

greetz surly

autopilot
2008-08-29, 14:43
I saw a review in a british magazine once (Custom PC) for a programmable VFD display that fitted into a spare PC drive bay. They had it working with winamp. Would be perfect for this.

peterw
2008-08-29, 14:56
I would like to know if a product like this would be of any interest to you as Squeezebox users:

I have a Mediacenter running in my main System.
For now i tried Softsqueeze and SqueezeCenter on it and Softsqueeze on a second Computer in an other Room.
I am planning to buy the Boom for my Bedroom and the Kitchen.

But I don't want to buy a Squeezebox for my main System because the Mediacenter is running most of the Time anyway and my mediafiles are stored on that machine too.
But for just listening to music it would be cool to have a display in the mediacenter case that displays the Gui of Softsqueeze/Squeezebox Classic (so that i could turn the TV of).
This Display should also display the information of Vista or XP MCE when in Mediacenter Mode.
To make the Unit perfect it should have a ir receiver and the possibility to turn the SqueezeCenter/Mediacenter Unit on by IR even when the PC is powered down (as the IrTrans Units).
The connection could be with usb to onboard headers.
If the Unit would come in a optical drive sized housing with the option to mount it without the housing the possibilities would be various.

You could use it in a Mediacenter or Squeezecenter environment either in the Living room or the hobby/server room.

I don't want to use a Controller because i live in an appartment and try to avoid WLAN because of security issues.

greetz surly

Just buy a Squeezebox Classic.

Seriously. You'll get better sound, it will sync perfectly with other Squeezeboxes (unlike SoftSqueeze), it can access all the SqueezeNetwork music services, it can turn on your PC via WOL, it looks much nicer than the vast majority of media center computers... all you need is to write a screensaver for displaying whatever info MCE info it is that you care about.

surly
2008-08-29, 14:58
I have This IrTrans VFD Unit from OrigenAE (http://www.origenae.com/en/accessory_vf110.htm).

It has nearly all I need exept for the right size (you can't read it from more than 2m away) and the fact that it's a charackter VFD and no Graphic VFD.

The same functionality combined with a Graphic VFD and a Interface to Squeezeplay and Softsqueeze would be a dream come true.

Greetz surly

Edit: My Setup actually sounds very nice (external DAC feeding a Audionet/Plinius/Dynaudio setup) and the mediacenter syncs quite nice with the other Computer in a different room (after i got rid of the powerline connection). So all i need is a Display for my Mediacenter to control Softsqueeze/Squeezeplay sans TV.
I just don't want to have another Box sitting in my setup that is not giving me more than a Display.
If I would be able to programm, i would have a Custom Display running in my Mediacenter already.

st2000
2008-08-29, 16:27
surly wrote:
> I would like to know if a product like this would be of any interest to
> you as Squeezebox users:
>
> I have a Mediacenter running in my main System.
> For now i tried Softsqueeze and SqueezeCenter on it and Softsqueeze on
> a second Computer in an other Room.
> I am planning to buy the Boom for my Bedroom and the Kitchen.
>
> But I don't want to buy a Squeezebox for my main System because the
> Mediacenter is running most of the Time anyway and my mediafiles are
> stored on that machine too.
> But for just listening to music it would be cool to have a display in
> the mediacenter case that displays the Gui of Softsqueeze/Squeezebox
> Classic (so that i could turn the TV of).
> This Display should also display the information of Vista or XP MCE
> when in Mediacenter Mode.
> To make the Unit perfect it should have a ir receiver and the
> possibility to turn the SqueezeCenter/Mediacenter Unit on by IR even
> when the PC is powered down (as the IrTrans Units).
> The connection could be with usb to onboard headers.
> If the Unit would come in a optical drive sized housing with the option
> to mount it without the housing the possibilities would be various.
>
> You could use it in a Mediacenter or Squeezecenter environment either
> in the Living room or the hobby/server room.
>
> I don't want to use a Controller because i live in an appartment and
> try to avoid WLAN because of security issues.
>
> greetz surly
>
>

You are describing the head unit (if you can call it that) of that Bose
entertainment system. It's about the size of a paper back book sitting
on it's spine (the main Bose box is hidden).

Anyways, Squeezecenter is a server, not a client. You need to run a
client on your media box if you want to listen to your music. And that
is what would control a display if any existed. At this point I have to
ask why you are not using this (assume micro$oft) Mediacenter software
to play the music? The answer might be obvious, you want to stay in the
SlimDevices music client paradigm.

So you want to put a local VFD display on your media computer, Matrix
Orbital makes VFDs which you can usually buy 1 at a time. (I think they
are expensive.) And if you get the one with support for a small key pad
and a USB port I think it will cost over $100. That way you can do the
"Bose thing" and put it in it's own small box w/a USB cable out the back.

If you go for the drive bay style of VFDs you will probably only be able
to fit a 16 character VFD inside your computer. That doesn't sound bad
but since the original SlimDevices paradigm was to control everything
from the server you run into a crunch problem. That is, if you look,
you will notice that the basic SlimDevice box has a 2x40 character VFD.
So, now what are you going to do? Write your own device driver? It's
not impossible here is an example of a squeezecenter client using only a
16 character VFD:
http://www.mvpmc.org/images/mvp_vfd_2.avi
....lot's of scrolling! B.T.W. That driver took 100s of lines of C code
and runs on a powerPC. You could probably do much better and w/a less
powerful processor.

I don't think there is a turn key solution for your media center needs.
But if I really wanted a solution I would switch to mythtv and buy a
smaller bay sized matrix orbital VFD to mount in my media computer. I
believe mythtv already has drivers for this type of VFD. Then, 'cause I
don't think there is one, write a squeezecenter client mythtv plugin.
While doing that you could add code to handle the scrolling and
(hopefully) send the text off to the VFD driver. Now you would have
what you want and feel great because you would have had contributed to
the open source movement!

IR receivers are another thing all together. I don't know what you can
do on the windows side but if you swing over to linux the possibilities
will make your head spin (really). If you do this you probably want to
start with a project called lirc.org. And if you want to get into
tweaking the remotes you can google the jp1 project (think poor man's
harmony remotes).

....have fun.

surly
2008-08-30, 05:46
Mainly i think of a Unit that might be worth to be sold by Slim Devices/Logitech. The Idea is, that you could use the server that runs SqueezeCenter as a Player too, without the need of a Monitor.
Therefore i See two Scenarios
1.) Your Squeezecenter is running on your Mediacenter in the living room and You want to use it as a player without switching the TV on (This is something nearly every Mediacenter owner wants)
or
2.) Your Squeezecenter is running on a server that is sitting in your Hobby Room/Garage/Office and you yust want to listen to music there again without a Monitor.
What i just want to know is if anybody else would be interested in something like this or not?
I myself could live with switching my TV on when listening to Softsqueeze if that dammn thing wouldn't use so much energy.

The unit could have the size of a optical drive bay to make it easier to mount it in a standard computer case. It still would be possible to take it out of that housing and mount it directly in a custom or aftermarket HTPC/Server Case.


As a IR starting Point this IrTrans IR Unit from OrigenAE (http://www.origenae.com/en/accessory_ir210.htm) would Do the Trick.
The unit comes with a very flexible driver architecture for Windows and Linux.
The Unit handles the MCE stuff pretty well. The Sqzeezeplayer stuff might work with girder.

I am Curious if the new Sqeezeboxes still have Character VFDs or if they have graphic VFDs and which size they are?

Greetz surly

st2000
2008-08-30, 08:46
surly wrote:
> Mainly i think of a Unit that might be worth to be sold by Slim
> Devices/Logitech. The Idea is, that you could use the server that runs
> SqueezeCenter as a Player too, without the need of a Monitor.
> Therefore i See two Scenarios
> 1.) Your Squeezecenter is running on your Mediacenter in the living
> room and You want to use it without switching the TV on
> or
> 2.) Your Squeezecenter is running on a server that is sitting in your
> Hobby Room/Garage/Office and you yust want to listen to musik there
> again without a Monitor.
> What i just want to know is if anybody else woulf be interested in
> something like this or not?
> I myself could live with switching my TV on when listening to
> Sofsqueeze if that dammn thing wouldn't use so much energy.
>
> The unit could have the size of a optical drive bay to make it easier
> to mount it in a standard computer case. It still would be possible to
> take it out of that housing and mount it directly in a custom or
> aftermarket HTPC/Server Case.

I couldn't agree more about not having to turn on the TV. Hence the
effort in that little video demo in my last post.

But, Surly, you are missing the point. The Squeezecenter "server" does
not contain any software to play back music. That's the job of the
clients. When you start up something like SoftSqueeze on your media
center you are starting a completely different program which is a client
of the SqueezeCenter server.

Squeezecenter and SoftSqueeze could be running on different computers
for all they care.

> As a IR starting Point this 'IrTrans IR Unit from OrigenAE'
> (http://www.origenae.com/en/accessory_ir210.htm) would Do the Trick.
> The unit comes with a very flexible driver architecture for Windows and
> Linux.
> The Unit handles the MCE stuff pretty well. The Sqzeezeplayer stuff
> might work with girder.

I doubt this will turn out to be a plug-n-play effort unless someone has
already done it. And I don't recall anything about anyone using a
remote control with SoftSqueeze. However, SoftSqueeze is an open source
effort and you could get the software and have a go at contributing some
code:
http://svn.slimdevices.com/7.3/trunk/softsqueeze/README?view=markup

> I am Curious if the new Sqeezeboxes still have Character VFDs or if
> they have graphic VFDs and which size they are?
>
> Greetz surly

The older SlimDevices used character VFDs (2x40) and the new ones use
graphic. If I were going to write new code for SqueezeCenter I would
stick to characters. They are cheaper, used more extensively and are
simpler to control.

----------

I don't think this is the best solution, but it occurs to me that this
SqueezeCenter client:
http://ex-parrot.com/~pdw/slimp3slave/index.html

...is about as simple as it gets. Get it, re-write the code to send the
display characters out the USB (to some sort of USB enabled display
(Matrix Orbital probably makes one)) instead of using CURSES to display
them on the computer screen.

As for the remote, this client uses the keyboard. If you get a wireless
keyboard there will be no need to bother with drivers and what not. The
only tricky part would be to make sure this client had focus (i.e. takes
over the screen (which you are leaving off)) of the media center when
you invoke it.

....have fun.

surly
2008-08-30, 10:28
But, Surly, you are missing the point. The Squeezecenter "server" does
not contain any software to play back music. That's the job of the
clients. When you start up something like SoftSqueeze on your media
center you are starting a completely different program which is a client
of the SqueezeCenter server.

Squeezecenter and SoftSqueeze could be running on different computers
for all they care.

I'm totally aware of that! I just wanted to simplifi here.

It would be necessary to have softsqueeze running on that PC/Server/Mediacenter. I heard that the new Softsqueeze (Squeezeplay) will eventually have an option to be integrated in the MCE Frontend. This sounds good because then Squeezeplay would be remote controllable with my mediacenter remote.

But It would still be necessary to power up the TV because until now MCE is not controllable without a Monitor/TV running (or via Webpad).

I like the Interface of the Squeezebox for music listening purposes, and I like a Mediacenter for all Video/TV related things so why not combine the two.


I doubt this will turn out to be a plug-n-play effort unless someone has
already done it. And I don't recall anything about anyone using a
remote control with SoftSqueeze. However, SoftSqueeze is an open source
effort and you could get the software and have a go at contributing some
code:
http://svn.slimdevices.com/7.3/trunk/softsqueeze/README?view=markup

It's already possible to remote Control Softsqueeze via Win Slim or Moose if you map the keyboard commands to your remote. But without a display that shows me the output of Softsqueeze/Squeezeplay im trapped in the dark.

Also many Mediacenter Cases have a Display of some sort already but none has the funktionality of a Squeezebox. So if Softsqueeze/Squeezeplay control and MCE control would be merged into one Produkt that would be a winner for many.


The older SlimDevices used character VFDs (2x40) and the new ones use
graphic. If I were going to write new code for SqueezeCenter I would
stick to characters. They are cheaper, used more extensively and are
simpler to control.

Yeah but with the dual purpose in mind i would prefer graphics, in the mediacenter use it would be possible to display channel logos for example.


I don't think this is the best solution, but it occurs to me that this
SqueezeCenter client:
http://ex-parrot.com/~pdw/slimp3slave/index.html

...is about as simple as it gets. Get it, re-write the code to send the
display characters out the USB (to some sort of USB enabled display
(Matrix Orbital probably makes one)) instead of using CURSES to display
them on the computer screen.

I would love to contribute to the community by writing a programm that brings Softsqueeze/Squeezeplay output to a Display, but honestly i don't have the programming ability nor time to do something like that.


As for the remote, this client uses the keyboard. If you get a wireless
keyboard there will be no need to bother with drivers and what not. The
only tricky part would be to make sure this client had focus (i.e. takes
over the screen (which you are leaving off)) of the media center when
you invoke it.

As written above remote controlling is not the most important part because this is partially already possible it's the display part that's more difficult.

I started this thread mostly because i wanted to know if there is any demand in the community for a product like this, not to start a DIY projekt myself.

Greetz surly


ps. so does anybody know the exact measurements of the SBClassic VFD Unit?

st2000
2008-08-30, 14:00
surly wrote:
> st2000;334321 Wrote:
>> But, Surly, you are missing the point. The Squeezecenter "server" does
>> not contain any software to play back music. That's the job of the
>> clients. When you start up something like SoftSqueeze on your media
>> center you are starting a completely different program which is a
>> client
>> of the SqueezeCenter server.
>>
>> Squeezecenter and SoftSqueeze could be running on different computers
>> for all they care.
>
> I'm totally aware of that! I just wanted to simplifi here.

Hi Surly, I don't mean to sound argumentative. I like the idea of a
display. I'm just exploring the possibilities here. And it sounds like
you've done quite a bit of homework on the subject. Just to be clear,
you are looking for a product from SlimDevices similar in style and
function to the bose controller box in the center of the following
picture, right?:

http://www.bose.com/images/home_entertainment/products/p_lsv30_l_b.jpg

> It would be necessary to have softsqueeze running on that
> PC/Server/Mediacenter. I heard that the new Softsqueeze (Squeezeplay)
> will eventually have an option to be integrated in the MCE Frontend.
> This sounds good because then Squeezeplay would be remote controllable
> with my mediacenter remote.
>
> But It would still be necessary to power up the TV because until now
> MCE is not controllable without a Monitor/TV running (or via Webpad).
>
> I like the Interface of the Squeezebox for music listening purposes,
> and I like a Mediacenter for all Video/TV related things so why not
> combine the two.

Yes, but trying to get two money inspired companies to combine products
will be tough. If it does happen, you might start asking in the
slimdevices developers list who is doing it and how they are going about
it. Express your interest in some sort of local display (LCD or VFD) to
augment the computer monitor or (as you are suggesting) to replace it.

FYI, I did find a SqueezeCenter plugin for MythTV. It's still "green"
but the screen shot looks promising:

http://sourceforge.net/dbimage.php?id=167473

> st2000;334321 Wrote:
>> I doubt this will turn out to be a plug-n-play effort unless someone has
>>
>> already done it. And I don't recall anything about anyone using a
>> remote control with SoftSqueeze. However, SoftSqueeze is an open
>> source
>> effort and you could get the software and have a go at contributing
>> some
>> code:
>> http://svn.slimdevices.com/7.3/trunk/softsqueeze/README?view=markup
>
> It's already possible to remote Control Softsqueeze via Win Slim or
> Moose if you map the keyboard commands to your remote. But without a
> display that shows me the output of Softsqueeze/Squeezeplay im trapped
> in the dark.
>
> Also many Mediacenter Cases have a Display of some sort already but
> none has the funktionality of a Squeezebox. So if
> Softsqueeze/Squeezeplay control and MCE control would be merged into
> one Produkt that would be a winner for many.

You still want that fancy graphics display rather then an ordinary
character display? No doubt the A/D converters in an SB cost something.
But I was always under the opinion the VFD was the costliest line item
on the BOM of any box that SlimDevices ever produced. That said, I'd
have to say the retail price of, say, an independent USB cabled display
using the same VFD as a recent vintage SB (so it would be directly
compatible) would cost at least $200. That's a little expensive for me.

> st2000;334321 Wrote:
>> The older SlimDevices used character VFDs (2x40) and the new ones use
>> graphic. If I were going to write new code for SqueezeCenter I would
>> stick to characters. They are cheaper, used more extensively and are
>> simpler to control.
>
> Yeah but with the dual purpose in mind i would prefer graphics, in the
> mediacenter use it would be possible to display channel logos for
> example.

Have you considered a duel head system and a small LCD monitor that you
just leave on all the time? True, it's more complex. But the economies
of scale can bring down the price well below what I think the graphics
VFD version would cost (I think you can find a monitor for <$99 and a
2nd graphics card for <$40).

> st2000;334321 Wrote:
>> I don't think this is the best solution, but it occurs to me that this
>> SqueezeCenter client:
>> http://ex-parrot.com/~pdw/slimp3slave/index.html
>>
>> ...is about as simple as it gets. Get it, re-write the code to send
>> the
>> display characters out the USB (to some sort of USB enabled display
>> (Matrix Orbital probably makes one)) instead of using CURSES to display
>>
>> them on the computer screen.
>
> I would love to contribute to the community by writing a programm that
> brings Softsqueeze/Squeezeplay output to a Display, but honestly i
> don't have the programming ability nor time to do something like that.

I hear you.

> st2000;334321 Wrote:
>> As for the remote, this client uses the keyboard. If you get a wireless
>>
>> keyboard there will be no need to bother with drivers and what not.
>> The
>> only tricky part would be to make sure this client had focus (i.e.
>> takes
>> over the screen (which you are leaving off)) of the media center when
>> you invoke it.
>
> As written above remote controlling is not the most important part
> because this is partially already possible it's the display part that's
> more difficult.
>
> I started this thread mostly because i wanted to know if there is any
> demand in the community for a product like this, not to start a DIY
> projekt myself.
>
> Greetz surly
>
>
> ps. so does anybody know the exact measurements of the SBClassic VFD
> Unit?

The links to the specifications are integrated into the SqueezeCenter
web server. At least they were an one time (Help->Technical->Data
Sheet...):

http://downloads.slimdevices.com/datasheets/CU40025SCPB-U1J.pdf

I thought the display was a bit small. I have an old IEE VFD which is a
little larger, has the same number of characters (2x40) and can be read
from further away that I use:

http://www.mvpmc.org/images/mvp_vfd_large_2.avi

Both are to wide to fit into any PC case opening that I have seen.
Certainly not a disk drive bay.

....later

surly
2008-08-30, 15:36
Hi Surly, I don't mean to sound argumentative. I like the idea of a
display. I'm just exploring the possibilities here. And it sounds like
you've done quite a bit of homework on the subject. Just to be clear,
you are looking for a product from SlimDevices similar in style and
function to the bose controller box in the center of the following
picture, right?:

http://www.bose.com/images/home_entertainment/products/p_lsv30_l_b.jpg
[color=blue]

I myself wouldn't care how the casing looks because i would implant it into a Custom or of the shelf mediacenter case anyway. The optical drive format was just for convenience in the PC sourrounding. As long as it runs via USB i'm fine. If it was a seperate Unit like the Bose, i could use a SB Classic, so that would make less sense.



Yes, but trying to get two money inspired companies to combine products
will be tough.

I know this is a problem.
In the Mediacenter World is a remote in development (like the SBController) this Bidirectional Remote would have a Sideshow Display for showing Album infos and artwork. This would make the running TV issue obsolete.
But Slim Devices has the much more interesting music streaming concept.
AVstreaming will be stronger with windows with all the new MCEextenders showing up.
I don't know if the Mediacenter compatibility would have a great impact on the Price (is licensing necessary?).


You still want that fancy graphics display rather than an ordinary character display? No doubt the A/D converters in an SB cost something.
But I was always under the opinion the VFD was the costliest line item
on the BOM of any box that SlimDevices ever produced. That said, I'd
have to say the retail price of, say, an independent USB cabled display
using the same VFD as a recent vintage SB (so it would be directly
compatible) would cost at least $200. That's a little expensive for me.

If the price could be kept in the 100 to 150 range i wold buy several of these display units.
The Display should be the same Matrix as the other SB Displays because of compatibility and the flexibility for the Mediacenter use. It would make no sense to use a Display that has a different matrix or Charackters because that would make adaption more costly.


Have you considered a duel head system and a small LCD monitor that you
just leave on all the time? True, it's more complex. But the economies
of scale can bring down the price well below what I think the graphics
VFD version would cost (I think you can find a monitor for <$99 and a
2nd graphics card for <$40).

I considered Dualhead since the first Touchscreen equipped Mediacenter cases showed up. But actually those Touchscreens never kept their promises. They are not fully HD capable and Windows doesen't like two displays with different resolutions showing the same Picture (clone mode).
The other thing is the look of the Machine, a VFD gives that HIFI look i'm looking for. Monitors always look like a computer is involved.



The links to the specifications are integrated into the SqueezeCenter
web server. At least they were an one time (Help->Technical->Data
Sheet...):

http://downloads.slimdevices.com/datasheets/CU40025SCPB-U1J.pdf


The Display Area of the Noritake Display is 138,8mm X 11,6mm that would be a little to big for a Drive bay (150mm) width, because of the frame and contacts around the viewable area. But if this viewing area could be produces with a very narrow framing around...

I think the Produkt itself will be quite simple and cheap to produce (exept for the VFD part and the MCE kompatibility I know!) But in the end the only thing that counts is the market. I'm not shure if Logitech would be willing to produce something like that with such a niche appeal. Also the looks wouldn't be so clean as with the other units. Products like this usually come from case manufacturers who combine them with crappy interfaces and nothing worthy to display except fan speeds and sensor readings.

So i might be dreaming forever.

Greetz surly

Mark Lanctot
2008-09-11, 12:12
The links to the specifications are integrated into the SqueezeCenter
web server. At least they were an one time (Help->Technical->Data
Sheet...):

http://downloads.slimdevices.com/datasheets/CU40025SCPB-U1J.pdf

I thought the display was a bit small. I have an old IEE VFD which is a
little larger, has the same number of characters (2x40) and can be read
from further away that I use:

http://www.mvpmc.org/images/mvp_vfd_large_2.avi

I believe this is the old character display used in the SliMP3 and the SB1 (not the later SB1G).

The SB2, SB3/SB Classic and Transporter seem to use the following graphical Noritake display: GU320x32D-3900 http://www.noritake-elec.com/3000_series.htm . 143.85mm x 14.25mm display area, 189mm x 33mm PCB size. So even bigger.

seanadams
2008-09-11, 14:14
The only display you might be able to find on the open market is the 40x2 character display used in SLIMP3 and early SB1 models. Everything else is custom.

Unfortunately the graphic modules from Noritake won't work, and even those are hard to buy individually. We use only the glass component of those modules, and they are difficult to replace even if you could find one.

surly
2008-09-12, 13:47
Hello Mr. Adams,

actually I would love a Special Kit from SD/Logi for the DIY builder who wants to run softsqueeze with Display output on a Server machine. As I said in an other Tread it would be cool to have Status messages of the Server on this Display as well.

Is there any chance for such a Produkt by SD Logi?

Greetz surly

radish
2008-09-12, 13:55
Engadget mentioned this unit today: http://www.engadget.com/2008/09/12/usb-enabled-picolcd-sideshow-display-may-soon-be-a-collectors-i/

It's only a 20x4 character LCD, but it's mighty cheap for a standalone USB unit with backlight and buttons ($50!). I had been toying with the idea of adding a display to my server for a while, this is about half the price of what I'd been looking at previously so I bought it right away. Obviously it's not going to emulate an SB display, but I do intend to write an LCDproc client to provide SC7 data for it. Anyway, thought it might be interesting to some.

chrisla
2008-09-12, 14:00
In talking to a hardware engineer at the BBQ yesterday, he mentioned
that the current crop of products with VFDs will likely be the last
they sell. New stuff will be LCD based. I expressed that was too bad,
since the VFDs are quite functional and easy to read from across the
room even if they are not all fancy and modern like.

That would seem to make such a VFD product pretty unlikely.

-Chris


On Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 1:47 PM, surly
<surly.3fn6xb1221252601 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> Hello Mr. Adams,
>
> actually I would love a Special Kit from SD/Logi for the DIY builder
> who wants to run softsqueeze with Display output on a Server machine.
> As I said in an other Tread it would be cool to have Status messages of
> the Server on this Display as well.
>
> Is there any chance for such a Produkt by SD Logi?
>
> Greetz surly
>
>
> --
> surly
>
> Emotions are in the music not in the gear...
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> surly's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=10473
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=51686
>
>

pfarrell
2008-09-12, 14:10
Chris Laplante wrote:
> In talking to a hardware engineer at the BBQ yesterday, he mentioned
> that the current crop of products with VFDs will likely be the last
> they sell. New stuff will be LCD based. I expressed that was too bad,
> since the VFDs are quite functional and easy to read from across the
> room even if they are not all fancy and modern like.

They are nice and easy to read. But long ago, Sean said that the VFD was
the single most expensive part of a SqueezeBox, by far. In the years
since, LCDs have gotten much cheaper, they are everywhere. VFDs have not.

I could imagine a Transporter 2 with VFDs, but I don't expect one of
them for five years. I bet a Controller 2 with WiFi=N or WiMax will be
here before a Transporter 2. But, what do I know, I'm a customer.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

surly
2008-09-12, 14:44
Maybe we get OLEDs instead of LCDs?!
OLEDs are looking better than LCDs and need no backlight. They should be readable as the VFDs.

Greetz Audiodude

adamslim
2008-09-12, 17:40
I thought of this - I fancied a second screen, to show a bit more information, like the Transporter. But when you think about it, you're speccing almost an SB3 - you'll probably want wifi, as the existing SB3 won't be able to drive it; the VFD is expensive; heck it's an SB3 without the DAC and output stage, which together probably cost under a fiver.

I am kinda tempted to have a few SB3s floating around the listening room, all synced and set up to show different information. It has a pleasing silliness to me, combined with exemplary utility :)

st2000
2008-09-21, 10:53
Pat Farrell wrote:
> Chris Laplante wrote:
>> In talking to a hardware engineer at the BBQ yesterday, he mentioned
>> that the current crop of products with VFDs will likely be the last
>> they sell. New stuff will be LCD based. I expressed that was too bad,
>> since the VFDs are quite functional and easy to read from across the
>> room even if they are not all fancy and modern like.
>
> They are nice and easy to read. But long ago, Sean said that the VFD was
> the single most expensive part of a SqueezeBox, by far. In the years
> since, LCDs have gotten much cheaper, they are everywhere. VFDs have not.
>
> I could imagine a Transporter 2 with VFDs, but I don't expect one of
> them for five years. I bet a Controller 2 with WiFi=N or WiMax will be
> here before a Transporter 2. But, what do I know, I'm a customer.
>

Personally I think VFDs look much better in a stereo rack than any LCD
display. LCDs, even though are better then past LCDs still have
contrast and angle of view problems. LCDs seam best suited for personal
mobile devices where 1 person can hold / adjust the screen for best viewing.

What I would like to see is "eink". This passive form of black and
white display is hight contrast and has no angle of view problems. It
is, to the causal observer, just like looking at printed paper. Well, I
think it is.

If you haven't seen "eink" you can pick up this month's Esquire
magazine. For a much better example check out amazon's Kindle or Sony's
equivalent.

If there is a down side, I don't know how well "eink" will handle
animation. I've noticed the Sony books erase the entire screen before
putting up new graphics.

As far as being green, well, the Esquire magazines are suppose to have a
operating life of 90 days 24/7 at room temperature off of 6 quarter
sized batteries hidden in the cover.

Paul Webster
2008-09-21, 11:53
Re OLED - here is an example of a 128*64 OLED being used on an internet radio.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescridland/2785979096/

Mark Lanctot
2008-09-23, 08:25
In talking to a hardware engineer at the BBQ yesterday, he mentioned
that the current crop of products with VFDs will likely be the last
they sell. New stuff will be LCD based. I expressed that was too bad,
since the VFDs are quite functional and easy to read from across the
room even if they are not all fancy and modern like.

That would seem to make such a VFD product pretty unlikely.

-Chris

Ugh. I suppose this was bound to happen, general-purpose dot matrix VFD displays just aren't that popular anymore in consumer devices (as opposed to customized displays for AV receivers, DVD players etc.)

I love the VFD contrast ratio, readability at a distance and brightness.

It's the cost, power inefficiency and heat output that are the issues. Too bad.

elziko
2008-10-13, 04:48
For anybody still following this thread then have a look at my SideShow Gadget. It's early days yet but you may find it interesting:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=53722

It could be of use with devices such as these:

http://www.sideshowdevices.com/picolcd-2x20-character-lcd-features-sideshow-support

http://www.sideshowdevices.com/inexpensive-usb-display-with-sideshow-support-displays-stocks-weather-and-much-more