I recently bought a new house and finally I had some extra space in basement to locate my servers in a fancy rack.
When renovating the house, I decided that I'm not going to put any coaxial cable for TV antennas to any room excluding the server room. Anyhow, all rooms has now cat6 wiring, totally 48 plugs all over the house.
So now when everything is "ready", all my TV's are using Ethernet to get "the signal". The solution is pretty standard one, I have one HP Proliant acting as a HTPC which has several DVB-T USB dongles connected to the TV-antenna. Each TV has XBOX-360 connected to them and that's working as a media extender for the HTPC Media Center, so now I can use the XBOX to see movies, pictures, gaming and watching live TV.
Last Christmas I subscribed Elisa Viihde for 24 for months. Elisa Viihde is an IPTV service offered by the largest Telco in Finland called as Elisa. The box has one issue, the "basic" channels are received via the terrestrial TV network.
So now when I did not have any of such wiring in my house, I had a small issue since I could not connect the Elisa Viihde box directly in to my TV. Or I could, but I could then watch only the "pay-TV" and I would need to switch back to XBOX when I want to see the "regular channels".
I did mount one HDMI cable to the wall when fixing the walls. The cable goes directly to the basement from my living room wall, the same applies to all speaker wires...
The final solution was to locate the Elisa Viihde box to the basement and connect that via HDMI cable to the TV. Ok, all works excluding the remote controller. To solve that issue, I bough and device called as USB-UIRT from http://www.usbuirt.com/ it took a week to arrive my local post office and after that, I just needed to figure out that how to use it.
I installed IIS server with PHP and the USB-UIRT to my HTPC. Then one extra application called as UUTX which I found from here http://www.etcwiki.org/wiki/Uutx.exe_command_line_for_usb-uirt. And later I just recorded the commands from Elisa Viihde remote controller and stored them in one file.
I tested the commands with the uutx.exe and all were working fine. So next step was to write extremely simple PHP script which converts the commands to buttons and displays them on a web-page.
Now I can connect to that web-page by using iPad and manage the Elisa Viihde from my living room...
Btw. the Elisa Viihde is connected also to the amplifier I have on my server room, so now there is not too many visible devices in the living room excluding the flat-screen LG and the speakers.
The next step is to implement this code to use jQuery UI and Ajaxize the it, but since it's doing it's job and there is +28 celcius outside, I think to jump in to my convertible and ride to the beach...