Since it took me so long to chase down how to do what I'm doing, I thought I'd post in case anyone else is looking the same direction. I wanted a customizable LCD touchscreen remote control for my stereo/HT set up. Had an old pronto, and was looking at the iPronto, but thought I could go one better. Based on noise issues, I didn't want an HTPC near my stereo, but I did have an ethernet port available, so...
I bought a ViewSonic AirPanel 110. Its a 10" LCD touchscreen that is classed as a "smart display" recognized under WinXP Professional, with Service Pack 1. (The Pro/Svc Pack upgrades are bundled with the AirPanel new). The AirPanel "talks" to my PC using 802.11b via an access point near my stereo. The trick was getting my PC tp talk to my IR inputs on my stereo...
I ended up hooked up a hub to the ethernet port to allow multiple ethernet devices, including the 802.11b access point, an Audiotron (mp3 player appliance), and a "serial server port" made by MOXA (www.moxa.com--about $150). The PC runs MOXA's software, which makes the serial port server look like COM4: on the PC. The MOXA is then hooked to a SlinkE, which is recognized on COM4: by the slinkeserv software. The SlinkE is then hooked up to a one zone distribution block to give me enough IR outputs. Works fast and reliably, although I've only at this stage done the learning/programming for the DVD (Sony DVPS900).
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