Lightberry (ambilight-like) for gamers?

The only part that gives me pause is the driver bit. I wouldn't even know where to begin with that.

Thin_J wrote:
The only part that gives me pause is the driver bit. I wouldn't even know where to begin with that.

Yeah me either. I'm going to stick with a format that they already have configured and working. Plus an HDMI to composite converter is only $25 so it's the cheapest solution.

Wait-listed for a 65" TV LED strip from lightberry. They're estimating a week which gives me enough time to get a new TV mount.

dirty dirty enablers. Although as a plus I'll be able to do a compare and contrast between lightpack and lightberry.

I'm wait listed as well, which is crazy since my tv is still in a box awaiting my basement remodel. But I'll have a chance to play with a raspberry pi in the meantime, which has been on my list of things to do.

Hey Thin_J- How do you control power to the thing? I'm wondering what happens when you turn off the TV. I've seen where you can code remote control into the thing, but I would imagine that requires the addition of an IR receiver.

JC wrote:
Hey Thin_J- How do you control power to the thing? I'm wondering what happens when you turn off the TV. I've seen where you can code remote control into the thing, but I would imagine that requires the addition of an IR receiver.

My receiver has a constant pass-through feature for the HDMI outputs. I just turned that on. What ends up happening is the receiver is basically always feeding a signal to the splitter even when the receiver is powered off. With it set that way, as long as the device on the other end of the last selected HDMI input on the receiver is turned off the lights detect black and just shut off after a few seconds.

Before I figured out that worked I was unplugging them because they would detect no signal from the USB grabber and instead default to showing colors for the RaspBMC interface which turns them all bright blue.

Thank you sir. I'll definitely remember your solution. I know my receiver has the same feature so it's good to know there's a solution in place. Turning it on and off all the time would have driven me insane

Well that's the fastest I've ever seen overseas shipping. 7 days from Hong Kong to Charlotte. Lightpack installed and running. Gotta fiddle with the settings. More to come

First impressions... It works, but it's definitely not a plug and play type of thing and it comes with a lot of caveats depending on what you're trying to use it for.

It's packaged quite nicely and they clearly spent some time on the overall product itself.

IMAGE(http://i425.photobucket.com/albums/pp334/Jfedorczyk/IMG_1938_zpsa93449e3.jpg)

Setup is a breeze and it comes with everything you'll need. Extra points for including extra tape strips in case you need to move things around after placing them

IMAGE(http://i425.photobucket.com/albums/pp334/Jfedorczyk/IMG_1939_zps21d75b89.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i425.photobucket.com/albums/pp334/Jfedorczyk/IMG_1942_zps29a60232.jpg)

The software they use is called "Prismatik" and it definitely needs some work. They spent a lot of time on the overall package, but the software is the most important part. It's a fairly simple program. When you launch it the first time you're immediately presented with the setup routine where you identify your light placement and can configure the overall capture size area on your screen for each set of lights.

Once that is complete, you're presented with a very simple GUI that allows you to control a few things like how often it changes the light color, color settings etc.

As the website states, they're still working on getting it to work with games and windows 8 so it will be hit or miss depending on the game itself. There's a noticeable lag introduced overall to the system even if you're just on your desktop. I assume this has something to do with how they've programmed their screen capture/polling. It's annoying and if their software was the only solution this would definitely not be worth the purchase. Thankfully there's a solution that works fantastically. "Ambibox" which has been around longer I believe, and it's compatible with lightpack.

Once you kill the prismatik software and install ambibox you begin to see the really cool stuff happen. It's a much more powerful piece of software and offers you a lot more control over the lights and how they respond. For some reason I had to go through an reconfigure the capture areas of the LEDs as Ambibox apparently works differently and had scrambled the locations. Not a big deal but it does take some time.

Ambibox software has a "windows 8" setting and so far, it appears to be working without any noticeable impact to general desktop use. I notice no slowdown or lag. It just works. With Ambibox running the lights just work with whatever it is you're doing. Watch a youtube video and you'll see the leds change. Change your desktop background and the leds change. You have multiple options for setting how the lights work. Modes available: Screen capture, Static (you choose the color), Dynamic (flows through the colors) Color Music (a seizure inducing flashing based off an EQ) and then homegrown plugins. You can also set shortcut keys to jump to whatever you need such as ctrl+s for static screen if you're just typing etc.

Gaming is a mixed bag. If your game has a borderless fullscreen mode you can just leave ambibox alone and should be good to go. Divinity Original sin is one of these where once I switched it in the game I was off to the races without any further work. If you're game doesn't offer an option like that you have to take an extra-step of running ambibox along with a partner app called GameClaw. This is a screen capture/recording tool that runs in tandem and allows the ambibox to use the leds. Without this extra app your lights just shut off. I haven't had a chance to do a lot of testing but it dos seem to work just fine.

Movies... Here's where I think lightberry is going to win. I haven't messed around much with this but blu-rays are out. They're encoded to prevent screen capture so I have yet to figure out if a solution exists. If you're watching something you've ripped, or a plain DVD, the effects work just great, but you don't get the resolution, I'll post a movie later. I'll have to dig some more to see if there is a work around for blu-ray but I think it's going to be a no go.

All in all... If you like to tinker with things and don't mind some extra steps I think this is well worth the $120 and I'm definitely sold on what it brings to the party and will be picking up a lightberry for my home theatre. It's a neat effect that draws you into the program you're watching.

More to come. Let me know if there are any questions.

I wasn't aware there was an alternative to Prismatik for the Lightpack. That's good info. Might look into one of those for my PC afterall.

yes. It's leaps and bounds ahead of prismatik. If I've read some of the tech descriptions from people correctly it actually hooks into a frame buffer that windows8 creates in the background by default so there's almost no overhead.

Now I just have to figure out what to do about my wall color. It's a dark aqua blue so it really throws some of the hues off.

Ambibox

My problem will be figuring out how to live without my second monitor

And also the distance my monitor is from the wall, which is probably around 2 and a half feet. It's a small almost enclosed space though, so the effect should be sort of magnified.

Maybe I'll wait and do the Lightpack whenever I get around to upgrading to that new Asus ROG Swift monitor, whenever that comes out, and just go back to single monitor anyway. Hmmmm.....

So it doesn't work with blu ray? That's a big drawback.

My blue walls need to go away. Good thing I'm moving my office to a different room next weekend.

Not that I've found so far and from the reading I've done there isn't really a solution because blu-ray format forbids screen captures which is how this solution gets it's information to change the lights.

Edit- It's the HDCP connection that defeats the capture ability. The work around is where you see people splitting the HDMI signal and outputting it to composite. That "breaks" the HDCP and allows the capture tool to grab the colors.

FYI: the lightberry folks tell me they are updating the site within the next 24hours to have the option for larger led strands (65") available.

Ordered!!! Well, pre-ordered I guess since they're currently out of stock

ThinJ I'll most likely be hitting you up for virtual assistance once it arrives if I can't figure it out.

I may be hard to reach for a bit. Have my dad in the ER.

Oh man, Thin_J, best wishes.

No worries man. Good luck to you and your dad.

I had meant to include more than that, but I got rushed and just smashed the button and ran. It's not super serious, but it could end up being more serious depending on how the details work out. I'll spare them here and save them for a more detailed run in the loathe thread.

Regardless, JC, if you have questions I'm happy to answer them if I can, or help try fiddling through it if I can't immediately answer. The worst part for me was just learning the couple of linux commands I needed to use to properly edit the hyperion configuration file. It's not the most intuitive thing, as the windows tool I used seem not to be able to edit the file.

What tool did you use to edit the file? I don't think I'll have much trouble in the end, just the learning curve at the very beginning as the closest thing I've done with linux has been old dos commands way back when.

I ordered their preconfigured Raspberry PI so that should hopefully eliminate most of the challenge.

WinSCP was the name of the Windows software. The issue I had was that it wouldn't let me edit the config that was actually in the /etc/ folder, which is the one Hyperion uses.

So I tried editing it in Putty just using the command line, which is TERRIBLE and oh god don't even bother.

The workaround I eventually found was using WinSCP to copy the config from /etc/ on the Pi to the /home/pi/ folder, editing and saving it in that folder with WinSCP (because it's just like opening it in notepad and is super easy) and then going back into Putty and using the cp command to copy the contents of the file in /home/pi/ into the file in /etc/.

The whole command in Putty looked like this:

cp /home/pi/hyperion.config.json /etc/hyperion.config.json

And then to restart hyperion to get it to use any changes

initctl restart hyperion

I might not be remembering the directory on the folder I copied from correctly. It might be /pi/home/ or another variation. It's been a bit. It's the folder WinSCP shows you when you first login to the Pi.

The initial config is fine as long as the black bar detection works ok for you. Be sure and test with a movie filmed at a wider ratio a bit to really make sure the detection works. This one setting caused the majority of my headaches.

Barring any other weirdness with your particular hardware it should be cake.

*Worth noting, you can actually start a command line session from within WinSCP and skip Putty altogether. I just had already installed both before I discovered that.

Thanks! Forewarned is forearmed...

Woohoo! Shipped!

*sigh* delayed in customs because they didn't provide enough of a description of the package... AND they forgot to include a wire to power balance the LED lights.

Poopy.

JC wrote:
*sigh* delayed in customs because they didn't provide enough of a description of the package...

Mine got stopped in customs too. My buddy's didn't. I think it just depends on who eyeballs it where.

AND they forgot to include a wire to power balance the LED lights.

Uh, what?

Thin_J wrote:
JC wrote:
*sigh* delayed in customs because they didn't provide enough of a description of the package...

Mine got stopped in customs too. My buddy's didn't. I think it just depends on who eyeballs it where.

AND they forgot to include a wire to power balance the LED lights.

Uh, what?

yeah I have no idea. When I told them about the delay they said they can't do anything about it and have to wait for customs to contact them... I called fedex and they said- Just email us a better bill of sale it can come from you or them.. So I emailed them asking for that info. No big deal in the grand scheme of things but you would think they would have this figured out by now.

Here's the exact sentence from the email conversation I was having with them about that wire. I have no idea... It might have something do with the fact that I have a 64 LED strand. Maybe it's not needed for smaller lengths?

One more note, unfortunately the person that packed Lighberry didn't include one wire. This wire provides power to the end of the leds to make them equally bright on both ends. The wire was sent today. Sorry for the trouble.

JC wrote:
I have no idea... It might have something do with the fact that I have a 64 LED strand. Maybe it's not needed for smaller lengths?

That's possible. I definitely don't have anything connected to the other end on mine.

Ah well. I'm now waiting for fedex to tell me where to send them the email with the product description from lightberry so customs can release the thing.

Eventually I'll get it. Sometime... I have a feeling this is going to be a mess with fedex and customs.