What is a Device?
For the purpose of consistency throughout this documentation, hardware equipment will be called "hardware device".
The generic term "device" is used to refer to the software object in LinuxMCE that enables DCE communication between hardware and software components in the LinuxMCE system. Each LinuxMCE system component has a corresponding "device" that it uses to communicate in DCE with the other LinuxMCE system components. To control a hardware device with LinuxMCE, a corresponding software device is created as a component of the system.
A "device" is a software component that connects the DCE bus to the software or hardware item that is part of the interaction of the LinuxMCE system.
A device enables communication between all system components by translating various hardware and software communications to DCE. With DCE, devices can communicate with each other using a set of well defined and accepted commands (On, Off, Volume Up, Volume Down, Mute, Press 0 through 9, etc.). They can also emit events (notify that something happened) and they can hold configuration (this light switch is ON, it connects to port B on the interface, etc.) which we call device DATA.
LinuxMCE devices have three capabilities: Data, Commands, and Events - hence the acronym DCE. They can:
- Set/Retrieve configuration data
- Perform a command (turn on, turn off, fast forward, etc.)
- Send/Report events (e.g. 'motion detected', 'playback started', etc.)
A device is a software object in LinuxMCE that connects a software or hardware component to the DCE bus to enable it communicate with the other LinuxMCE system components using the DCE protocol.
These wizard pages are used to add devices to your installation.
The "Interfaces" section is for devices that interface with some sort of master control, or devices that control other non-DCE devices. For example, a lighting control system, a security alarm panel, or a home automation master controller are all interfaces. These devices will connect directly to your LinuxMCE system via some interface, like RS232, and then they will control their own devices which are connected to them, such as a light switch, motion detector, etc. Interface Modules, like the Global Cache GC100, are also added in the "Interfaces" page.
After you add the interface, then you can add the other devices that will use that interface. For example, you may have some X10 light switches in your house. These are not LinuxMCE DCE Devices--LinuxMCE cannot control them directly. LinuxMCE can only control them using an X10 interface module. So, before you can add the X10 light switches, you must first go to the interface section and add an x10 lighting interface. Then you can go to 'lights' and add lights that will use that interface. Similarly if you have a normal, infrared controlled TV, that TV does not communicate directly with the LinuxMCE system. It needs an interface module like the GC100 that LinuxMCE does communicate with, and which then sends the infrared codes to control the TV. So before adding the TV in the AV Section, first add the interface.
The "AV" section is for all your audio/video devices, like TVs, DVD Players, Stereo Receivers, Satellite Boxes, etc.