20080204 – Ambient Reality Effects – 151-5176_IMG

20080204 – Ambient Reality Effects – 151-5176_IMG
Virginia Network
Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
My ambilight system has finally come in, after several months of waiting. This thing was not cheap — 0 for what you see in the box. I got particularly burned by the very bad dollar to euro conversion. Shipping was for this box! The horror. And then the box was defective — it only works correctly in mono. But I bought 2 strips, for separate left-right color, so I got a 2nd one for free. The first one is still a usable backup, however, so it worked out rather well there, as everything breaks eventually, and I like backups. Someday I will be enjoying my ambilight in mono instead of having nothing at all.

Once I tweaked the settings, this stuff worked out REALLY well. It keeps me from falling asleep by providing direct light into my eyeball without distracting from the picture. It eliminates the need for other lights to be on, which means that during horror movies, dark scenes actually get dark (the lights turn off to match black on the screen). I did have to start using Media Player Classic instead of VLC Player, because this stuff doesn’t work with hardware acceleration. So if I’m doing 1080i or 1080p, I can’t use these with my current CPU/GPU combo. I simply set them to color cycle in that situation. It’s also annoying to have to turn them off every night before bed, as it is essentially unscriptable. (I could probably set something up with Girder to automate it.)

This stuff works particularly well with the Milkdrop music visualizer.Since Milkdrop reacts to the music, you end up wth light that reacts to the music. In order to better the casting of the light, I slapped the wall behind my tv with plain white posterboard. The red walls just weren’t reflecting enough of the ambilight back into the room. This has definitely added to the TV viewing experience. A lot. And even pressing Alt-Tab and switching windows is more entertaining. I actually found myself watching the ceiling over my TV (instead of what was on the TV) for the first few days. The price is way too high, but I look forward to immersive lighting someday being considered an integral part of the TV viewing experience. I know I wouldn’t want to go back to a non-ambilight setup anymore. And of course this only works if you watch your video on a computer like I do.

You can buy this at www.arfx.nl/ … Their site is kind of sucky, hard-to-navigate, and definitely loses them sales. Basically, you just need the controller box, and 1 or 2 LED strips. Get the RGB LED strips; they can create the most colors.

Ambient Reality Effects ambilight.

Clint and Carolyn‘s house, Alexandria, Virginia.

February 4, 2008.

… Read my blog at ClintJCL.wordpress.com
… Read Carolyn’s blog at CarolynCASL.wordpress.com

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