Category Archives: Hdmi Light

One problem with my HDMI Ambilight project is that it can’t handle encrypted content, or more accurately, it can only handle encrypted content if I spend a lot of money and get an HDCP license, which would then allow me to buy the version of the ADV7611 chip that has built-in HDCP keys. While this doesn’t cause me much of a problem as I tend to watch almost everything via MythTV, with the TV on the HDMI port and the HDMI Light on the DVI port, it would be nice to be able to use an HDMI splitter between my AV receiver and TV instead, and have it still work on the odd occasion when I watch a BluRay directly.

Luckily, my post announcing HDMI Light version 2 was featured on Hackaday, where a couple of people pointed out that it’s actually quite easy to disable the encryption in some HDMI splitters, effectively turning them into HDCP strippers. Even more helpfully, RoyTheReaper described exactly how to disable the encryption in an HDMI splitter I had lying around in my junk box.

While his method works perfectly as far as disabling the decryption is concerned, it has the side effect of also disabling all of the nice little extras that come with HDMI like automatic input switching and controlling the AV receiver volume from the TV remote. What I needed to do was find a way to let the microcontroller in the splitter continue to do all the other things it does while stopping it from enabling encryption.
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It’s been over a year since I created the first version of my Ambilight clone, but I finally found the time to return to it and add some new features. I was originally planning on adding colour correction (to correct for the purple wall behind my TV) and output delay (to get perfect synchronisation with the TV), but I got a bit carried away and have added a whole raft of new stuff.
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I’ve seen lots of clones of the Philips Ambilight system that extend a TV picture out onto the surrounding walls by shining coloured LEDs out from the back of the TV. I wanted to do the same with my TV but all the clones out there seemed to be software based, requiring a PC to be producing the TV picture which they then grab frames from, analyse to get the light colours and drive the lights. My TV picture comes from MythTV, so I already have the PC running permanently, but I was worried that the extra load might cause problems when watching blu ray rips. I also wanted to have a lot of LEDs and I didn’t want the lag that is often seen between the TV picture and the LED output.

So I thought I’d try making a completely hardware based Ambilight clone that directly takes in a 1080p HDMI signal.

Click here to jump to the demo videos.
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