As part of the 4-day weekend that work gave us for New Year’s weekend, I spent some time cleaning and rationalizing the A/V system in our bedroom. Since we bought the projector a couple months ago, we’ve had 30-foot long audio and video cables snaking between the ceiling-mounted projector and the receiver and TiVo that were sitting on the floor right below the projector image. There had been a cabinet there that held them, but it got in the way of the projected image, and we couldn’t move them very far without running into the limits of our satellite cable.

The receiver wiring itself was a total rat’s nest, with TiVo, satellite receiver, and DVD player cables all tied together in a knot with a bunch of unused speaker wire. Since we cancelled the satellite and extracted all of the video from the TiVo, they could both be removed from the pile. Similarly, there was an old RCA DVD player–since we’re using MythTV for DVDs, we could remove it, too. Once we were done removing hardware, we were left with nothing but the receiver and the PC that runs MythTV. Since we weren’t tied to the cable jack in the wall any more, I moved the receiver closer to the projector, shortened the audio and video cables, and then re-ran longer speaker wires. Finally, I wired up rear speakers–the first time since 1997 that I’ve had rear speakers connected to any receiver I own. I also took the time to cable-tie the projector wires and discreetly stick them to the wall. That keep the projector from swiveling slightly ever time something bumps the cables, which makes for a more stable image.

Finally, I dragged the Xbox upstairs and wired it into the projector. Amazingly enough, in the whole time we’ve owned the projector, we hadn’t used it with the Xbox once. It works okay, but the interlacing is kind of nasty and the Xbox’s output looks fuzzy when it’s that big; I’m probably going to buy the Xbox component video kit, a component video to VGA cable for the projector, and a cheap 2-port KVM switch for switching the video input on the projector. That should give me a better image, plus the ability to use 720p on the handful of Xbox games that support it.

My one remaining job is to find a cheap IR transmitter for the PC and then program it to turn the projector off and on. Does lirc support any cheap USB IR transmitters? I notice that they have the IR codes for InFocus projectors on their web site. Given the codes and a transmitter, it should only take a couple minutes to get the PC to control the projector’s power.