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Thread: Wired/automated home plan & dream install

  1. #1
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    Default Wired/automated home plan & dream install

    Hi All

    I've been interested in wiring/automated home for a while but will be getting my own place soon so will actually be able to do something about it ! About as far as I got living at home was wiring a bit of cat5 to upstairs for the broadband !

    Anyway this is what I want to achieve in rough order..
    • * Setup ADSL on a 802.11a router (moving from NTL)
      * Ditto networking my PC & Sever
      * Add a wireless streaming mp3 player (SoundStream maybe)
      * Need to buy an amp and speakers too
      * Maybe add a DAB radio but it this worth it now with streaming radio stations ??
      * Get a cheap PDA as a universal remote are a controller for the SoundStream
      * PVR type functionality for the server
      * Add a webcam or two for both security and a cam pic on my website
      * Add a wireless streaming video player (anybody tried these ? is the bandwidth enough ?)

    These are my main objectives which will build me a pretty good media centre networked over the wireless network and served by a Linux box (currently using win2k but fed up of the instabilities) with probably some sort of raid setup (just got one 80gig disk at the mo). Not really interested in the lights & curtains etc. initially since its only a small 1st floor flat and everything about can be boxed and shipped to any new place if I move.

    As for a dream solution I would one day like to add..
    • * Light level sensitive scripting to automatically close the curtains & switch the lights on depending on light level.
      * Voice recognition, so real big purpose though... just want to talk to my house !
      * Fingerprint keyed entry (possible now I know but expensive !)

    Questions..
    • * I'm worries about overloading the wireless network so has anybody tried anything similar ? Luckily in a small flat the distances will be short but I'll be storing films on my server ripped from DVD using my PC and I don't want to have to wait hours for it to copy the file across the network.
      * As mentioned about I'd like radio, preferably high quality so DAB or maybe streamed off the net. The SoundStream doesn't yet support this but is there anything else equivalent that does ? It'd need to be easy to browse the mp3s too and the appeal of the SoundStream is the ability to control the playback remotely from the server from a networked PDA.
      * The PVR functionality would be great & I can ditch any video/dvd recorder but on Linux ?? Is this any good these days ? Does it mean I'll have to have my server close to the tv source ? I also vaguely remember reading about a gadget to run video down cat5 so does anyone know anything about this ? I'd rather keep the server well away from the tv and not have to water cool it to keep it quiet !
      *deep breath* - nearly there !!
      * Playing my server hosted videos (and recorded tv) is also a split decision. Use software on the server or a hardware solution which plays the streamed video over the network ? Again there's the problem of having the server close to the tv versus saving 200 or 300 quid and having something you can upgrade & update at will !
      * Oh, I've a server to rebuild with Linux at some point soon. Needs to support raid, website hosting, 802.11a, recording from tv etc. Any suggestions ? :wink:
      Does this forum do bullet points ? :? :roll:

    Ok, sorry for this 1st post being such a massive one but I've lots of ideas and no money so trying to get the best out of my buget & can't afford trial and error !!

    Let me know what you think
    Cheers
    Daz

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Wired/automated home plan & dream install

    A DVD plays at up to 10Mbs but this does not include the overheads involved with an IP network. I think a 54g network should do it in but I havn't seen it done. I don't think 802.11a will do it you'll need 802.11g. I'm new to this and thats about were my knowledge ends. Is there anyway you can get CAT5 to the TV from the server? I'm sure 100Mps will carry MPEG4 quality but I don't know what sort of reciever would be used to convert data to analoge AV.

    You can run AV down CAT5 but this will not be ethernet and the CAT5 run will need to be isolated from any data network. This maybe your better option?? Heres an example

    http://www.minicom.com/av.htm

    Ben.
    Newbie

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wired/automated home plan & dream install

    Hi,
    There are several ways of doing this, if you email me I will try to help the best I can.

    Regards
    Martin

  4. #4
    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wired/automated home plan & dream install

    I don't know what sort of reciever would be used to convert data to analoge AV.
    Have a look at these guys - http://www.exterity.co.uk/products.html - they do exactly what you're after but I guess you have to use their products at both ends.

    HTH,

    Tim

  5. #5
    Automated Home Guru vex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wired/automated home plan & dream install

    As far as I know you do have to use the exterity products at both ends of the link.

    Been trying to meet with them for a couple of months and just keep missing each other.

    Chris
    www.intouchtech.co.uk (trade)
    NOW PART OF INVISION UK, One of the leading home technology distributors to the CI Market.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Wired/automated home plan & dream install

    Hi Darren,
    Right will try answer some of your questions best I can with my newbie ish knowledge!!

    [quote="Darren"]Hi All

    Anyway this is what I want to achieve in rough order..
    • * Setup ADSL on a 802.11a router (moving from NTL)
      * Ditto networking my PC & Sever
      * Add a wireless streaming mp3 player (SoundStream maybe)
      * Need to buy an amp and speakers too
      * Maybe add a DAB radio but it this worth it now with streaming radio stations ??

      Hmmm ref DAB radio I wonder this myself, I want to find a way of streaming the BBC stations without having to use their web interface then I will be sorted and wont need DAB at all! If your main stations you like are streamed then no no need for DAB>



      * Get a cheap PDA as a universal remote are a controller for the SoundStream
      * PVR type functionality for the server
      * Add a webcam or two for both security and a cam pic on my website
      * Add a wireless streaming video player (anybody tried these ? is the bandwidth enough ?)


    First thing would be I strongly suggest CABLED NETWORK for any video transfer, if you streaming divx files then wireless may normallyt suffice, 802.11g tho not a or b, If you want to stream DVDS then go cabled.


    Questions..
    • * I'm worries about overloading the wireless network so has anybody tried anything similar ? Luckily in a small flat the distances will be short but I'll be storing films on my server ripped from DVD using my PC and I don't want to have to wait hours for it to copy the file across the network.

      I do this regularly using my xbox (chipped with Xbox media centre to stream xvids and divx wirelessly) have tried dvds but not really practical. works fine for divx tho and music and pictures.


      * As mentioned about I'd like radio, preferably high quality so DAB or maybe streamed off the net. The SoundStream doesn't yet support this but is there anything else equivalent that does ? It'd need to be easy to browse the mp3s too and the appeal of the SoundStream is the ability to control the playback remotely from the server from a networked PDA.

      dont know about this really see my final suggestion.

      * The PVR functionality would be great & I can ditch any video/dvd recorder but on Linux ?? Is this any good these days ? Does it mean I'll have to have my server close to the tv source ? I also vaguely remember reading about a gadget to run video down cat5 so does anyone know anything about this ? I'd rather keep the server well away from the tv and not have to water cool it to keep it quiet !

      Myth is what you want I believe, I think thats the best solution for Linux, some guys on cliosport use it and it looks great. have a search on google for it, if thats not the right one email me off list and i will check out exactly what they use.
      video down cat5 there are a number of solutions but all involve hardware each end and none I have seen do it particularly cheaply,.

      *deep breath* - nearly there !!
      * Playing my server hosted videos (and recorded tv) is also a split decision. Use software on the server or a hardware solution which plays the streamed video over the network ? Again there's the problem of having the server close to the tv versus saving 200 or 300 quid and having something you can upgrade & update at will !

      with cables available today having it close to the tv isnt such an issue. especially if you are in a flat and not considering great big distances.


      * Oh, I've a server to rebuild with Linux at some point soon. Needs to support raid, website hosting, 802.11a, recording from tv etc. Any suggestions ? :wink:

      First suggestion is no way would I reccomend having your webserver also running as your home media server. Thats a potential for a hell of a load! With the price of computers these days have a dedicated one for home media and then one for webserving/home automation if thats the route you choose.


      Does this forum do bullet points ? :? :roll:

    Ok, sorry for this 1st post being such a massive one but I've lots of ideas and no money so trying to get the best out of my buget & can't afford trial and error !!

    Im very similar to you in this regard. Am very technically competent, am short on funds but high in innovativeness (is that a word) and I currently have lots of time to research and plan exactly what my best moves are going to be.


    Right sorry for the long reply but in the style of Jerry springer here's my final thought for the day.

    It pains me to say this....as a recent apple convert (still got my windows desktop) Microsoft may be the way forward!!

    Windows XP Media Centre Edition looking very tasty. I have seen some very smart installations of it recently and it can fulfill a hell of a lot of roles. Especially when considering the soon to be available media centre extenders. Approx 150 I believe that will enable up to 5 simultaneous users of the media centre pc.

    It can act as a PVR with two Digital (freeview) Tv cards in there.
    Can act as a VERY VERY effective home media server. You can rip dvds to the hard drive internal or external and play them from My Movies folder.
    The extenders plug into any tv and connect to the media centre pc using a standard network cable. Nice little similar interface to the main pc running on Windows CE I think!

    All for an amazingly low cost compared to systems like Xantech, Crestron etc. Now I know these do a hell of a lot more but I see a great potential in these entirely pc based systems and I plan to attempt to be at te forefront (ish) of their use in the UK!

    Additionally, mcontrol are about to launch their home automation plugin for Media centre too which looks very sweet!!

    Have a look at www.thegreenbutton.com for more MCE info or drop me a line.

    Sorry for the length, hope it helps you or anyone else!!!
    All the best.
    Noel

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