For quite some time i thought about building a Philips Ambilight Clone, but all the current projects were not flexible enough for my taste and used special microcontrollers and boards.
So i thought how can i build one with standard components as a near plug and play solution?
my main points for this project were:
building a ambilight like system using the atmolight protocol
with the possiblity to switch to another protocol without to much work
using small but fine stepped led controlers in a flexible structure (with the option to add n more)
after some research my choices went to the arduino duemillanove and the macetech shiftbars.
the arduino can do pretty much everything and in the combination with the shiftbrite shields and the shiftbars it's really just plug and play.
The AtmoLight system (some technical information)
How to build your own AtmoLight setup
(this post includes all the sources for the hardware and software)
How to setup videolan (VLC) to use Atmolight
I setup a 3 channel installation behind my computer display as a proof of concept and i must say it looks pretty nice.