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Thread: What would YOU do ?

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default What would YOU do ?


    I've just started a new build (timber frame) and have been looking at this whole area of HA and media distribution. I'm confused.

    I'd like to incorporate the following and think I have solutions in mind for most areas:

    Computer network - easy, cat5e everywhere (plus I work at this 9 to 5)
    Multi-room video - only want this going to the main bedroom - Kat5
    Multi-room audio - I am very tempted by Sonos
    Lighting Control - no idea. Would like preset scene selection not sure if I need computer control
    Heating Control - no idea.
    Alarm System - no idea

    If you all were building from scratch, what would be the minimum you would install? ANy products I should be checking out and alternatively, any that I should avoid?

    I'm becoming paranoid that I'm missing out on so much great technology as I don't know where or what I should be looking at.

    Thanks for indulging my rambles

  2. #2


    Welcome Ciaran

    Computer network - as you say, CAT5 everywhere x Lots

    Multi-room video - is good choice. Remember CT100 of even better the new foam filled coax too.

    Multi-room audio - If the budget stretches then definately Sonos! It's superb.

    Lighting Control - X10 DIN Rail is the budget answer. is what I would fit today though if we were building again.

    Heating Control - You can fit a basic commerial heating controller then upgrade later to a computer based system. Check out for some ideas.

    Alarm System - Comfort had been the HA panel of choice for lots of us here -



  3. #3
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Near Alicante Spain


    For computer and audio / video distribution, have a look at Abitana
    Plus the system makes a good backbone for many of the other home technology goodies.
    Sonos definitely has my vote.
    We are currently doing a whole house here in Spain.
    They will have the Abitana structured wiring system, with the tv distribution module and home channel module, so that the SKY box and CCTV will become extra TV channels. We will also be installing a Sonos system for them. This will use the Abitana network, as the first node needs to have a network cable attached to it and the music server. So we are putting RJ45 sockets in each wardrobe for the Sonos, as they haven't decided where the server is going yet, and as the villa is being built now its easy to add the conduit now rather than later.
    Alarm system from experience most alarm systems either provide very good security functions and limited HA functions, or not so good on the security front and better on the HA front. But I have to agree the comfort system looks pretty good. Also the Visonic Powermax Plus or new Powermax Pro might be another one. The Pro is fairly new and is not on their website yet, and the only webshops I have seen it in are Spanish ones.
    As for HA systems. I like X10, it can be made to be very reliable, but this can take time, to get right and require some expensive test equipment. But the modules are quite cheap. But if you flood wire your house with Cat5 or similar making sure you have a cable or 2 at each light switch, and run a neutral wire to each switch, then the choice for the HA system becomes quite large, and whats popular now may not be in a few years time. EIB / KNX is also quite a popular system
    Welcome to the jungle of HA.

  4. #4
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    Or you could try a more integrated approach for the control side of things using the IDRATEK system (see



  5. #5
    Automated Home Sr Member wywywywy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005



    Just want to throw some products/ideas/technologies/names at you so that you have a starting point to look at what is on offer (and to Google).

    Computer network - Wifi, Homeplug, Cat5/5e/6, Router/Firewall/Gateway (with VoIP?), Switch/Hub, Wireless Access Point, HTPC, File Server, Automation Server

    Multi-room video - Audio Authority, Gefen splitters (HDMI?), Madnat baluns, Clone or Matrix?, SD or HD?, Digital or Analogue?, Stereo or 5.1?

    Multi-room audio - Opus Octopus, Opus 500, Russound, any A-BUS systems, SpeakerCraft multi-room, QED Modular Systemline, Need Wallplate Control?, How many sources?, How many zones?, Need Ceiling/Wall Speakers?, Need music server?, Clone or Matrix?

    Lighting Control - Lutron, Rako, C-Bus, EIB, X10, Z-Wave, Dupline, Wireless or Wired?, Powerline or Cat5e?, How many zones?, Halogen or Energy Saving or LED?, Whats the budget?

    Heating Control - Honeywell Smartfit, Digimax Thermostat

    Alarm System - Marmitek SC9000, Visionics, Comfort

    Oh and think about your AV system as well

    Hope it helps.


  6. #6
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    Quote Originally Posted by wywywywy View Post

    Computer network - Wifi, Homeplug, Cat5/5e/6, Router/Firewall/Gateway (with VoIP?), Switch/Hub, Wireless Access Point, HTPC, File Server, Automation Server
    I wouldn't bother with homeplug for a newbuild, while it is good for retro fit, it is expensive and definitely not as flexible as actual wires as it only carries IP traffic, it cannot be used as carrier for other protocols eg with the Kat5 sender, or for phones with baluns, etc etc.


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