Girder is one of the more important pieces of software installed on my HTPC. Girder along with Netremote allows me to control my entire home theater via a touch screen computer. Girder is also what drives my cases VFD which displays things like the current song playing, the DVD chapter and time, etc. Essentially what Girder is an automation software. Girder is made by Promixis the same people who make Netremote.
Girder is an insanely powerful program where often the only limitation of what can be achieved with it is the person sitting at the computer. I am very much an amateur user, I can usually figure out what I need to do with enough time and lots of help from the great community over on the Promixis forums but I realize that I haven’t even scratched the surface of what is possible with this program. Luckily there is already a vast amount of stuff out there that is already pre programmed for you that you can just plug and play into your system.
To give you an idea of what is possible with Girder take a look at this list.
- Control media and home theater apps such as Winamp, Windows Media Player, PowerDVD, WinDVD and ZoomPlayer
- Control various home theater hardware such as lighting, receivers and projectors via serial or IR control
- Setup custom controls for your home theater devices, tuners and cable/satellite TV set top boxes
- Automate your home lighting
- Monitor you security system
- Display Caller ID information
- Program outdoor lighting to turn on at sunset
- Retrieve and display weather information
Girder works with a variety of popular remotes such as:
- SnapStream Firefly
- ATI Remote Wonder I,II and Plus
- IR Trans
- Niveus Remote
In my system I am using Girder for to handle the IR codes for Netremote. Basically it works like this; on my touch screen computer I run Netremote, this acts as a remote control for my entire home theater. When I press one of the buttons, lets say to turn the volume up, netremote talks to girder on the HTPC, girder then sends the infared code to the USB-UIRT which in turns transmits the IR code which is received by my Hot Link Pro which sends the signal to my receiver and the volume goes up. This may sound rather confusing but in practice it really isn’t.
I am not going to lie, Girder can be a rather daunting program to learn, the learning curve is quite steep. Once you can wrap your head around it though it isn’t too bad to accomplish things and as I mentioned earlier the community over at Promixis forums is outstanding and always happy to help.
Girder is an essential part of my HTPC, without it I wouldn’t be able to have the automation that I do and I would have to rely on a keyboard and mouse to use my home theater.