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Interested in making one of these and have a few Qs please

Discussion in 'Hyperion General' started by Com, 19 January 2019.

  1. Com

    Com New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Hi there, really interesting looking project and I'm thinking of making one and have a few Qs I'd appreciate some help on:

    How much does this cost to make (UK £) roughly?
    Can you control the brightness of the LEDs/make them dimmer for a night mode?
    Does it add any input lag to gaming etc?
    Does it make a difference if you use a Pi Zero or 3? If so what?
    Are all LEDs equal?
    How do you ensure you've ordered the right capture card?
    How is it turned on/off? Can that functionality be controlled automatically via HDMI CEC or similar for seamless integration?

    Ideally what I'd like to make is the version where its configured via a HDMI splitter so that it can be used on multiple inputs with at least two modes of brightness for the LEDs between day time and night time watching that can be switched with ease and without the use of a computer to control the Pi. My night time viewing settings are in Eco mode so that the screen backlight is very dim and I'd prefer the Ambilight to follow the same so that it matches the screen in terms of intensity of luminosity.

    I found out about this project from here:

    https://www.instructables.com/id/Ambilight-System-for-Every-Input-Connected-to-Your/

    And from what I've read the capture card can be the most problematic part of the whole project as the rest seems pretty much plug and play if you get the right parts.

    Thanks
     
  2. Lethargik

    Lethargik New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Hardware:
    RPi1/Zero, RPi2, +Arduino, +PhilipsHue
    Hi Com!

    Thought I would try to help answer some of your questions to get you started. There is a lot more involved, but hopefully this will help get you pointed in the right direction. Also, I suffer from a complete inability to write short responses, so bear with me as this will be long... :)

    Cost:
    This varies greatly; size of your TV, type of LEDs you want, what equipment you already own, etc. For me, my initial build cost me probably $300 - $350 Canadian, which is about 175 - 200 GBP. that said, I had to buy things like wire, solder & soldering iron, a multimeter, and so forth. If you own some of this stuff already, you cost will obviously be less.

    Brightness:
    I'll be honest in that I don't remember 100% as I've recently moved and my setup is in pieces, but I'm pretty sure you can adjust brightness in the Hyperion software - apologies if I'm mistaken.

    Input Lag:
    Nope! I'm a huge gamer myself and there is no input lag. the signal is either dual output from HDMI on a supporting AVR or split off from a single HDMI source but in either case, the processing occurs separately, not in between the source and display so you should not experience any gaming related input lag. I've had no issues with this myself at all.

    Raspberry Pi:
    The type of Pi you use can matter, but between a Pi3 and a Pi Zero, either one works. I'm using a Pi Zero W myself. The OS you choose to run on it may create some difference in how you need to configure things, but that's at your discretion, not a function of the hardware. Many people use Openelec, I personally used Raspian Lite but both are fine (and there are others).

    What is a hardware consideration are the connections you'll need to make. I used a Pi Zero W as I mentioned, which came without the pin header soldered on - I found it much easier to connect my wiring to the Pi this way. I also own a Pi 2 and I Pi 3, which both came with the pin header already soldered to the board (I'm pretty sure you can get them with or without the header pre-soldered, you just have to look). This isn't a problem per se, but you may wish to give that some thought in terms of what you're most comfortable with when making that purchase.

    LEDs:
    Not equal. There are many to choose from, and I would suggest there's a degree of subjectivity here but the top two options in my opinion are the APA102 and the WS2812B. I think the APA102 are considered the better overall product, and I would agree with that having used both, but that's primarily form an ease-of-use perspective and again, that's for you to decide based on the following and any additional research for you personal scenario:

    - APA102 cost more, sometimes twice as much depending on your options for purchase.
    - APA102 use SPI protocol so they can be driven directly from the Pi (though you may need a level shifter - worry about this later)
    - WS2812B are not SPI, so you'll typically need to add an Arduino to drive the LEDs (I've seen some threads, even in this forum, that there might be workarounds fo this, but I'm not familiar with them - happy to be corrected if I'm wrong)

    Basically, APA102 cost more but can be much easier to work with depending on your comfort/skill level. WS2812B are often much cheaper, but usually more involved in setting them up - If you know what you're doing, this is potentially a non-issue though. I was a complete "newb" and went with the APA102 which gave me no trouble.

    lastly, you'll also need to consider how many LEDs per meter you want, irrespective of which LED type you decided to use.

    Grabber:
    The USB grabber that you want uses the UTV007 (often called Fushicai) chipset. The only way they are "problematic" (in my experience anyway) is that sometimes when you buy from amazon third party sellers or eBay/aliexpress however, what the listing says for the chipset, and what you get aren't always a perfect match, thankfully they're pretty inexpensive.

    Off/On:
    Turning off the LEDs can be done in the software anytime, but there are some other solutions as well. The solutions I've seen are a bit beyond my present skill level, so I won't advise on them, but there is some great info available on this forum and generally online. Personally, I would turn my LEDs off in Hyperion and then also unplug the power anytime I wasn't using them or wasn't home for added peace of mind.

    I'll stop here for now but hopefully this is helpful - Good luck!
     
    • Thank you Thank you x 1
  3. Com

    Com New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Supremely helpful, thank you very much.

    This looks like it could be an amazing mod and its obvious a lot of effort and knowledge has gone into creating it but at the moment I wished to weigh up how the "ready made" version compares to a DIY approach in terms of cost/effort as the insanelight 51 works out around £240 with the discount and uses what is classed as better LEDs plus just works out of the tin.

    Really helpful, once again thank you for taking the time to reply. How do you find the mod overall? Worth it? Does it add to the immersion or just a gimmick?

    Also does it matter if the TV is not right up against a wall as mine is about a 30cm away. After looking at various videos it looks like a really cool effect to make the TV seem bigger than it is but its mainly the gaming aspect that gets my attention too as I think it would add absolutely loads there due to the nature of play and what you focus on.
     
  4. Lethargik

    Lethargik New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Hardware:
    RPi1/Zero, RPi2, +Arduino, +PhilipsHue
    Happy to help!

    If you're less interested in the DIY aspect, then the insanelight product looks pretty decent. I'm basing this just off what I see on the website (using google translate) having no experience with it, but it seems pretty good. The only other "plug n play" system I knew of was dream screen and while it works well to my knowledge, it uses very few LEDs which was the turn off for me personally. The insanelight appears to use 30/m APA102 which is really good (it says 32/m but I've only seen APA102 in 30, 60 or 144/m). If you decide to build your own however, I highly recommend using 60/m of whatever LED you choose.

    Personally I love the mod. I'm actually soon to rebuild it having recently moved, but I find it very immersive. As I mentioned, I'm a huge gamer so the effect of having light shooting off screen is great. It makes explosions and things like that have more of an impact as they occupy more visual space by "splashing" off screen - again this is all personal opinion, but yes, I think it's worth it.

    In terms of spacing, it will still work and 30 cm isn't too far, it's actually a very good distance I would say. Mine was about 6 - 10cm off the wall and looked great, but the light didn't spread out as far as I would have liked (pic below). Basically the farther away, the softer the light and the more the colours will blend but also the wider it will reach (to a point of course). I think the best course of action is to look up a bunch of YouTube videos and see what people's setups look like. There are many out there built on desktop PCs that are easily 30cm or more away from walls so you should be able to get a good idea of how it might look.

    [​IMG]
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Com

    Com New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Fantastic, do you have any more pics of yours please? Also whats the main difference in between the 60/m and 30/m in the real world?

    Also its the "splashes" thing that really interests me as well because my TV has a thin bezel and I think that would really add to it, especially for racers and anything from first person POV.

    Thanks
     
  6. Lethargik

    Lethargik New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Hardware:
    RPi1/Zero, RPi2, +Arduino, +PhilipsHue
    The main difference between 30 and 60 LED per meter is really a matter of "detail", when you have more LEDs you get a more accurate representation of what's on screen. Either looks good, but 60/m typically looks better. The way Hyperion works (in a very basic sense just for this example) is that each LED is tied to a sample area of the screen and then displays the "average" of the colour in that area. The fewer LEDs you have, the larger the sample area so you get more of a blending of colours. All that to say, if you do have a TV far from the wall, the light, and therefore colours, are going to blend anyway so your mileage will vary based on your personal setup.

    Here are a few more photos for you. The first one is a test build I did on my PC using WS2812B and Arduino Nano and Prismatik software, it is at least 30cm from the wall (probably much more though) so you can get a sense of the effect at a larger distance. The rest are from my main TV build (APA102, 60/m, rPi 0 W, Hyperion).

    Cheers!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Com

    Com New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Thank you, you've also inadvertently answered another question I had which was if the Pi Zero has enough grunt to run Hyperion properly or whether its worth going for the Pi 3B instead? Another thing I was wondering is if there is any way of feeding Hyperion the capture image digitally via HDMI splitting instead of that analog capture card as that should make the end result much sharper/accurate.

    Your config looks absolutely amazing though and has really motivated me to look further into the DIY aspect because whilst I'm all for simplicity you really seem to get the best out of this with a custom job that is tweaked accordingly to your situation.

    Another thing I'm wondering is how does this all handle movies that are in different aspect ratios than the screen? How does the effect translate then with the black borders in real life? Does it still pick up on the action easily?