Tuesday, November 30, 2010

AmbX, moving to open hardware and software..

Things are coming together now..
We have an opensource replacement for the now apparently-now-unsupported (as predicted) commercial ambilight hardware/software.

And a robust and open hardware platform, here's one example out of many.

Some of you who own Philips Ambilight systems like myself may have experienced 'led death' in the main washer.. this results in flashing/flickering, whole color going out, etc. My solution was to unplug all three defective LED arrays, they really aren't worth fixing. Then I insulated the pcb to prevent shorts, and it only serves as a controller for the side lights. The ambx system was an really an entry level product that may have been a bit before it's time. It suffered in sales due to lack of market, extremely poor quality components, overcomplicated PCB design, driver issues, unnecessary tacked on gimmicks (fans + rumble), lack of support, and lack of developer interest among other things.

But RGB lighting is now here to stay, that's for sure. Hopefully Philips will try again, or another manufacturer will set a higher standard. Until then, a handful of hardware hackers, students and coders will continue making their own systems and taking innovative lighting in a new direction.

See Also:
http://saikoled.com (note, sign out of google to download design docs)
http://qdot.github.com/libambx/ and http://www.nonpolynomial.com/

Now [royboy] has done a full implementation with Wiring/Processing on an arduino platform.

Now I wish my DealExtreme order with the RGB strips would finally ship.. it's only been a month!

Edit II
Yet another (I'm not complaining, quite the opposite!):
Christian Pigeon's system, based on Amblone.