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The "Automated home while keeping up the WAF" Thread - Page 2

post #31 of 59
I think you'll have problems distributing the bluray over component.
post #32 of 59
Thread Starter 
What kind of problems?
post #33 of 59
post #34 of 59
Thread Starter 
I am quite aware, being in the installation industry, of the lack of component output on certain devices, and also of the sun downing of component altogether very soon. I do, however, happen to have quite a number of component compatible devices that I will be using. All my GDP players support it, all my tv tuners (contemp. Research) have it, and all my LCDs have it. I will also be pulling cat6 to each LCD location for future upgrade to Crestron DM. Just keeping it on the less expensive side for now...
post #35 of 59
Excellent, though I fear some Bluray titles may not play, but that's just a guess.
post #36 of 59
Thread Starter 
BDP is really in the rack as a "maybe" device. Most all our content is ripped and stored on a 12tb NAS server (FreeNAS, highly Recommended!) and played via Boxee. I have not decided if I will keep with Boxee or chane to the WD Live boxes as there is already a module in Simpl for WD Live. Looked at Popcorn Hour but they seem to be more work than I want. Boxee i just point to the media shares, it scans them, loads up the cover art and descriptions, and away we go...

Oh, Pics are coming! Beware, the before picture is atrocious...
post #37 of 59
Thread Starter 
OK - as an update, I am considering using all Behringer 1U 4 channel amps for the ceiling speakers. This is not critical listening, and I need high density and modest power. The EPQ304 puts enough wattage out and is enough density that I wont lose the whole house if one amp dies (Otherwise I would consider the Crestron amp)

Here's a list of what's in each rack:

APC Surge
Blank panel for expansion
Crestron Pro2 Processor
Crestron Power supply and Cresnet Hub
Crestron PAD8A 8 source 8 zone audio distribution
Blank panel for zone expansion (another PAD8A)
Crestron C2N-TXM XM Tuner / ST-TUNE AM FM TV WX tuner
1U blank for module expansion
Denon HB800 CD changer
Crestron RGBHV 8x8 matrix
Extron MAV switcher for Security cam feeds to the touch panels (may not use this)
1u shelf for Airport express (Airplay source)
2 Contemporary Research ATSC TV tuners
Pioneer Elite BDP player
Temp. Crown XTi1000 amp
Temp. Crown CTS1000 amp

APC Surge
1U Shelf for cable modem (50/25 Comcast service)
Cisco 3725 router (to be upgraded to a 2811 router)
Cisco 3550 EMI switch L3
Avaya 24 port POE Midspan injector
24 port patch panel
48 port patch panel
Freenas Server
PBX In a Flash (Asterisk) IP Phone server
PC that records the IP cameras on our property (4 total) and runs the Insteon software

Upgrades I need to do
Many things in that data rack are just TOO LOUD!
Switch the Asterisk IP Phone server to a 1U unit to reduce power consumption
Change the switch/Poe injector combo out for a POE switch (Cisco 3560 48 port)
Change the router out to the newer 2811

Here are some photos showing the various states of work going on in my 1920 basement.

Old 2 post rack that is being replaced:

Here is the new location for the two new racks:

The wall was patched and painted (dont even know what was on the wall...)

Rack with audio and control:

Rear of that rack (still wiring it up - waiting on a few parts to come in like the BNC crimper and BNC-RCA adapters)

Here's the second rack all ganged together and ready to go (also still dressing cable...bigger job than I'd like)

So far WAF factor is still acceptance. She agrees that the "spaceship" needs to be quieter, but also said she worries every time something Crestron comes to the door because she doesnt know what is going to happen next...when I was programming the doorbell triggers, I thought she was going to divorce me because all you heard when I was testing the program was "ding dong ding dong" coming from every keypad and touchpanel...lol
post #38 of 59
Thread Starter 
just won a bid for 500' of Sheerwire (mfg. by Gepco) 3c RGB wire for 140 bucks! Score!!

//going to bed now...
post #39 of 59
Wow, that's a lot of work accomplished!

Do you think heat will be an issue? Seems pretty dense, and no fans or sides I can see.

All on the same circuit? Some power calcs may be in order, if you don't want to melt a power cable jacket (is that what happens when you try to draw too much current? Dunno).

You may want to get everything in working order, and running smoothly for a while, before spending too much time on the cable dressing. Components may change.
post #40 of 59
Thread Starter 
Two circuits feed the racks currently although most is pretty low draw. Don't forget most all this was already in service down there so there is no more heat now than before.
post #41 of 59
Mind. Blown. Subscribed.

Just purchased my first home, and will be tearing out the walls to add insulation. While I am at it, I will be wiring up for my (much smaller) home automation/networking/home audio setup.

I was looking at a simple 3 zone system, would prefer control via an android tablet with option for some well place input lines. Basic lighting, door lock, cameras etc.

I love the touch pads you have, as well as the ability to control all speakers(mentioned in your doorbell testing).

How much programming is involved in this? What type is it? I am a Mechanical Engineer, familiar with manufacturing style automation(ladder logic). I have zero talent in writing in languages such as C, Java etc.

Any ideas at system power usage, and an estimate of current cost?
post #42 of 59
Looks nice!

With respect to the component video issue: I was going to use component too, but ended up getting a deal on this HDBaseT balun from Worthington Distribution: http://www.keydigital.com/items.asp?ItemCode=KDCATHD500

HDBaseT is great! I have my HTPC set for 1080p/60 and everything looks great as if my HTPC was still using a normal HDMI cable. I think Key Digital is worth looking at if you're trying to chose between component or HDMI. I can't believe I'm able to use the existing UTP cat 5e cable going into a wall plate and then into a 25 foot cat5 cable, and still get 1080p/60, IR, RS232 and ethernet! KeyDigital recommends shielded cat6, but has this pdf wrt cable type and transmission lengths: http://www.keydigital.com/Downloads/KD_HDMI_Balun_Comparison.pdf

I think my lazy install works so great since I'm still under 120 feet. If I needed a 250 feet, things might get sketchy without shielded cable... maybe not key digital says the balun works up to 300 feet over UTP cat6?!? I also use a newer Logitech wireless keyboard/mouse combo. So far, it works great even though the HTPC is a few rooms away. I plan to pair a couple more KDCATHD500 baluns with a cheap matrix HDMI switch and use multiple logitech keyboard/mouse combos throughout the house.
post #43 of 59
Looks like a nice setup and I'm certainly interested in how things are playing out for you. I'm running things pretty similar with two slim-5-43 racks running 20+ zones of audio through 3 BIPAD-8 units and a 8x8 Extron RGBHV switch. The RGBHV switch is nice because they are readily available and the H or V channels can be used to switch digital audio across them without problem. Good find on the mini-HR cable. They do have Extron and some other brands show up on eBay every now and then for a reasonable price. I think I bought my last 500' roll for about 100 bucks from them.

I've still got a long way to go as I'm remote locating a lot of my gear and wiring for the long term with 4+ pulls of cat cabling to all my display locations and have only a bit of free time with my family schedule but at some point I will start a thread so you can see what is up with my setup if you want.

I do have a thread up here for what I was up to so far, but haven't updated it in a bit as I was building a lift for my projector and putting up my screen, then hit some down time where I wasn't working on anything...


I am currently in the process of relocating my family room sub-rack to a built-in location by a closet. That's going to require over a dozen new cables to be pulled (fun!) and I'm working on getting some wiring in place for my projector, lift, and screen, so that it will be working until I get the basement finished.

It's fun stuff, but definitely take your time and research some of the components to ensure they are home theater friendly.

As good as Crown amps are, for example, their use of fans and active cooling on most units ruled them out. As well, they often have a pretty high noise floor compared to better residential amps. So, I went with Rotel RMB-1048 amps (5 of them) to provide amplification for up to 20 stereo speaker pairs. The noise floor for them is almost non-existent which means that are providing instant-on access to the audio with great quality sound.

At some point I think I'm going to go through some shootouts of different media players, but for now I'm using a couple of Dune units connected to a bit over 20TB of RAID storage. I am going to play with MakeMKV at some point and free up some space (hopefully).

Blu-ray player, IMO, is a must for those nights you just want to hit Redbox and rent a movie. The media server is great for all the other times, but when you have a kid's movie or just want to grab and watch, the BD player is great. Finding one with component output can be difficult, but you really do have to plan for HDMI to be an inevitability at some point. In my case, my family room is a surround sound area being fed HDMI. So, I have a dedicated BD unit for the family room which is just using HDMI with analog audio to feed my other zones. In the rack I have a Panasonic BD/VCR which is a long way from a great unit, but does have component video output.

Still hard to stomach $5,000+ that I likely will need to spend when I finally go HDMI everywhere properly. I won't tolerate blanking HDMI displays so figure I will have to wait 3-5 years for Crestron DM pricing to drop.

I have Insteon setup as well. Just a few switches replaced so far, but the goal is to replace every switch in my home completely so I can really get some serious lighting automation going.

Good stuff!
post #44 of 59
Thread Starter 
That's awesome - yes, I am planning for DM for the future - once I can get at least 8x8 for a decent price point either from a dealer or the 'bay, I will pull the trigger. Component/SPDIF was just a holdover like you have until DM comes down in price. I absolutely LOVE the usefulness of the PAD8A/Bipad switchers for audio - I am looking at a second one to accomodate two more zones. I'm on the fence with Insteon. I know I can fire commands to it to do stuff but I also know what the Crestron native dimming is capable of, whether it be the 1DIM4/Dim8 modules, the iLux Grafik eye clone, or the in wall infinet switches. Touch to set preset on the touchpad interfaces natively, stuff like that is important if or when my wife wants to change scene settings, etc. For now I am wiring for the possibility of Insteon/Crestron dimmers in the walls but will probably start off with $1.00 switches until I can make a final decision. Insteon has been flaky for me, I can no longer link my PLM to some of the older switches, but at the same time, the Insteon stuff is ~45 per dimmer, and Crestron is over 100....

Please do start a thread so we can all follow along!

Now, onto my latest progress. We refinished our front porch, and this included an audio zone (yes, on a 14x6 front porch in the city!), speaker in a new beadboard ceiling, IP camera at the front door, and LED recessed lighting. Next up will be some minor renovation in the 1st floor (wallpaper stripping/wall refinishing, and painting, then the hardwood refinishing comes next!) Probably mid to late fall I will begin work on the master bedroom, which will be the first complete zone with audio and video. It will have 4 Cat5 pulls to wall plates for phone, computer, whatever, and 2 Cat6, 1 RG6, 1 Mini RGB, and 1 utility cat5 (IR/Serial) to the display location. I'd LOVE to do a DIY LCD lift at the foot of the bed, but cant justify ripping up the floors to install it with the necessary wiring. This will also have 2 ceiling speakers and a 6" touchpanel for control in the wall, as well as a handheld remote, hopefully a MLX3. To begin with, I will most likely not have the time to program all the video automation, and so will probably route the OTA HD Antenna feed to the LCD to start.

More later - thanks for reading what would undoubtedly be boooooring for most folks!!!

post #45 of 59
Thank you for posting your setup. I am thinking/wishing to do some of the same when I can by a house. Right now I'm breaking the wife into using a media center for everything.
post #46 of 59

Great thread going. I love the long step by step threads that show all the details. I, like so many here, wish I had the Crestron training or the ability to take some form of it. There is so much nice and gently used Crestron gear out there, but if you can't program and tweak yourself, you're stuck calling someone. Best of luck with it and keep up the good work!
post #47 of 59
Thread Starter 
Anyone out there have experience with the DUNE HD players? I will have all my media on a NAS drive and boxee DOES NOT integrate into a rack well. Having a DUNE HD would let me distribute that media to the bedrooms, kitchen, and garage...since they have component out. Gotta get this component stuff while I can!
post #48 of 59
Those are exactly what I'm using. I use one of the Smart units and a their Base 2.0 unit. I have not had the chance to play with their 3D units, but since it is component video that I'm generally using, I may not end up going that route at all anyway.

Both units perform reasonably well over component video. They do glitch from time to time, but I am using 20TB of storage with them and natively ripped BDs as ISOs. This means I get the extras, interactive stuff, trailers, warnings, etc. I may start redoing stuff as 1:1 MKV files, but I want HD audio and 100% quality to be assured, which still seems to be somewhat of a question mark with MKV, and I would want to go HDMI at some point.

Anyway, they do work well, and there are some decent forums out there specific to media players. Right here the forums are pretty good on the media players as well. Different people have different opinions. I use Yadis for my screen wall which works reasonably well.

At the end of the day I'm reasonably happy. That's about the most I can say. It is far from a perfect product and I wish it would automatically scan the drives which I put videos into and look for new content and download cover art automatically at 3 AM or something like that. Give me the some native video wall integration.

But, even just browsing to a folder and playing stuff back is extremely easy through my ML-600 remotes, panels, etc. Discrete IR control is nice, and it does offer a small level of IP control which is mediocre (at best). So, stick with IR control.

At some point, beyond the thread I linked above, I've got to get into the details of some of the systems I've set up. I just had a friend who knows how to solder come over last night, so now I've got to get my PowerRise shades integrated into the system, my front door lock, and my home-made projector lift. Fireplace control is something I want to add, as well as about a hundred other things. Good garage door control (at least down) would be nice. Need to put some speakers in the garage and for the driveway as well. *sigh* It really never ends!

I would do some comparison between the Popcorn Hour and the Dune HD, but I'm happy enough with my Dune units not to be looking at anything new right now.
post #49 of 59
Thread Starter 
I love the boxee boxes (the odd shaped ones) because they have an awesome UI and automatically scan, and also play just about anything you can throw at them. I don't want a system that I need to manage the UI though, that sounds like a royal PITA. Popcorn Hour sounds nice but I keep hearing about UI bugginess, crashing. Thanks for the input!!
Edited by bravonoj - 9/2/13 at 10:43am
post #50 of 59
Is a Boxee at each TV an option?
post #51 of 59
Thread Starter 
could be, but I really want to limit the clutter and just have a LCD hanging on the wall...I was eyeing up one of the new Pioneer media players that just came out but dont want a stack of those either. 2 media players is what I really need, that have component out. Apparently Boxee supports component video out of the HDMI port but I have not tested this yet. The DUNE players have that. I like the boxee hardware because it has netflix, spotify, etc... and we use all of that constantly. However, there is a Crestron module out there to control a WD Live box over IP as well, so I may pick one or two of those up to test with since they do support Component, and also have a nice interface.
post #52 of 59
Thread Starter 
SOOO...at least I haven't gotten to the video portion of my project yet, because I just snagged a great deal on a new in the box Crestron RGBHVHB video router - this is the current selling model that has higher bandwidth available, and a more sophisticated audio DSP in it. Probably won't use the audio function unless absolutely needed but it's there... Hopefully more to come - we're close to being ready to begin installation of speakers in rooms.

The past few months I've been playing with different touch panels. One is the CT-1000 which I love the form factor of (over 12 button keypads) and the fact that I can display text, etc... on it. The other is a TPS-3100L panel, which is an awesome size. If only I could afford all brand new panels!!!!!!!

//more to come.
post #53 of 59
Thread Starter 
SOOO....long time no post. Lots of minor updates though.

We recently began renovating our living room. When we embarked on this project, we intended to just remove the wallpaper and paint. Little did we know what shape the walls would be in underneath the wallpaper. By that, I mean they were in **** shape. I have gone through almost 2 buckets of joint compound in order to smooth out the plaster. The shared wall to the dining room was damaged beyond just taking the wallpaper off, so the lath and plaster had to come down altogether. I forgot what a pain in the ass this was. That came down and we were left with this:

Fortunately, we managed to find a relatively easy cable path between the basement, first floor, and up to the second floor where there is a little space behind the bathroom (with a nice big access panel). I then got the bright idea to run as much cable as I could fit through the opening (which was an old coal heat duct that had been closed off).

Here's what got run in the wall up to the 2nd floor:
(1) Cat6A cable to be used for a gigE uplink to a Cisco switch (Model 2960PD)
(1) RG6 for Antenna distribution (or cable, should we ever go that route)
(4) CresNet Crestron cables (Teal - actually a Belden product) for touchpanels, keypads, etc... One for each bedroom (3) and one for the hallway outside the bathroom. The bathroom will get a CNZ 12 button keypad for basic functions and temp. monitoring.
(8) West Penn 14g speaker cables (2 per room)

And here's what that looks like:

And cleaned up a bit:

More in a bit.
post #54 of 59
Looks good. I'd think about leaving some orange Carlon conduit in there for the future, bring it from the basement to a closet or accessible attic space. Conduit is the ultimate "trunk line".
post #55 of 59
Thread Starter 
I did think about running some smurf tube up there - however there was no good space to route it up - i'll have to use another route if I need to add in the future.
post #56 of 59
Thread Starter 
Got the first of five touch panels/ keypads installed in the upstairs hallway yesterday - it's an oldie but goodie. TPS-3100l. Here it is installed (it has been leveled out since this photo!)


I got lucky cutting the hole for this one - I bought a rigid multi tool to plunge cut the hole too. Really easy considering the wall is lath and plaster.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
post #57 of 59
-2 coax RG6 to each room just for the hell of it since i'll be pulling the cable anyways...maybe just 1 to the smaller bedrooms and the bathroom (behind the mirror of course...always nice to have that option, right???


Why run RG6?  Is it not easier to drop CAT6 to the Bathroom etc.  You can always use that for anything.  HDMI Baluns, Audio, LED lighting etc.

post #58 of 59
Thread Starter 
Coax is coax. I can't run coax over cat5 (with the excpetion of ZBand) so yes, I am running coax. Satellite XM, and RF Antenna will be over rg6.

On another note, I need to replace my alarm but for some very long story reasons, I am locked to Ademco. SO, i will be replacing my Vista 40 panel with a Vista 128BPT. Anyone on here have any experience with this particular panel and Crestron integration? It was apparently designed with integration in mind.
post #59 of 59
Originally Posted by bravonoj View Post

Coax is coax. I can't run coax over cat5 (with the excpetion of ZBand) so yes, I am running coax. Satellite XM, and RF Antenna will be over rg6.

On another note, I need to replace my alarm but for some very long story reasons, I am locked to Ademco. SO, i will be replacing my Vista 40 panel with a Vista 128BPT. Anyone on here have any experience with this particular panel and Crestron integration? It was apparently designed with integration in mind.


-2 coax RG6 to each room just for the hell of it since i'll be pulling the cable anyways...maybe just 1 to the smaller bedrooms and the bathroom (behind the mirror of course...always nice to have that option, right???


As you said before.  I agree that running RG6 to anywhere you want to run TV/CATV/Sat/FM/XM radio type signals to makes sense but I could not understand why you would want to run this to the bathroom mirror.


1. to install a screen there, then why not run the images to that screen from a matrix when you would be sending composite / HDMI or

2. for a camera in which case why not run a h.264 camera with POE on a Cat6 cable?

Just don't really get a coax to a mirror

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