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post #1 of 4 Old 01-08-2020, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Open source hardware and components for complex AV / automation system

We are moving into a new very large home that is prewired for just about everything (old Crestron sytem, but the rack components were stripped by the prior owner).

I am considering a DIY system to replace the Crestron (I am also considering sticking with a proprietary system like Crestron, but I have another post on that elsewhere...). I prefer open source software, and open standards hardware, so I can easily upgrade and upgrade. I am open to hiring someone for the initial install, but I don't want to be locked in to any one manufacturer and I want to be able to modify programming on my own.

My base network will be gigabit ethernet with PoE (using Ubiquity equipment).

I did not see these questions directly answered on the forum, but it is possible I missed something or didn't use the right search, so if already asked/answered please let me know the post and I will look there...

I need advice/options for the following:

1. Controller. I plan to use a rack mount server with linux. What are the best linux based home automation projects I should look at? (best in terms of stability, wide spread of hardware support, support for wireless controllers like Zigbee or Insteon, and support for very large 200+ device home automation)? I have looked a little at Calaos and I know someone who used them and mostly is happy. Domoticz? MisterHouse? OpenHAB? Others?

2. NVR. I need a rack mount NVR system to manage about 25 IP cameras. Security is highest priority here, and I am willing to go with a closed source solution as long as I can integrate it with an open source controller. I would also want the NVR to support recording to an NAS (I have a QNAP NAS). I know QNAP has an NVR app, but not sure it can handle that many streams, and I don't know how well it will play with a separate controller. I know I don't want to pay for proprietary hard drive storage so hoping that there is some NVR out there that plays with standard NAS systems.

3. Security system. There is already wiring for door/window/fire/co2/water systems and sirens. I did not see any "branding" on the security panel so it is likely Honeywell... I should be able to use a takeover box to control the hard wired sensors ... what is the best takeover option that will integrate will with an open source home automation system?

4. Lighting. This may be most difficult. It looks like the Crestron wiring has some kind of proprietary connector. Most lighting appears to have been controlled by the old crestron system. Is there a way to use the existing wiring with an open hardware solution?

5. Control panels. What are my options for control panels in each room to replace the Crestron units, that would still work with an open source controller?

6. AV Distribution. I will have two main AV rooms (7.2 audio, screens/projectors) and another 10 or so rooms with screens and speakers wired in to the walls. I will need a network AV receiver and distribution system that can support that many locations. Probably 2-3 main AV rack mounted receivers, each with the ability to control multiple zones, all tied together with the home automation / AV control system. Are there any options for hardware here other than the proprietary crestron / control4 / savant systems?

7. Amazon video streaming. We are pretty heavily invested in Amazon content .. what is the best way to integrate amazon fire tv services into an open whole home Av system? We would need to be able to control channels from each room; so just plugging fire TV boxes into the AV receiver HDMI inputs won't work unless there is some solution to extend the control to each room? Or is there a better way like a rack mount AV receiver that integrates Amazon's Fire TV?

8. Remote touchsreens for AV rooms. Universal? Phone based apps? Others?
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-09-2020, 11:19 AM
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OpenHAB has a strong following if you are comfortable with editing config files and linux.

I use Indigo, which, while requiring a mac as a server and while not open-source, it has a thriving community and it controls pretty much anything. The two developers tend to personally answer questions very quickly: indigodomo.com


My setup:
In lieu of my former DVR, I use a PC for BlueIris, which integrated beautifully with Indigo
Host mac
Several ESP8266’s controlling addressable LED’s
Foscam cameras (12)
Lutron hub and switches
Insteon controller on host mac
Zwave controller on host mac
LAN scanning via Unifi
Homekit integration for occupancy detection
Broadlink IP2IR control
Ip controlled Tivo
Sonos and Airplay control
IP to dc electric relay controls
Bluetooth scanning on raspi’s
Customized announcements
Repurposed Fire7 tablets running home brewed interfaces
Alexa integration
I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff. All controlled via Indigo and third party python plugins. One of their very active and helpful forum 3rd party dev’s is on avs, he might drop by. Lemme know if you have specific questions, I love their software.
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post #3 of 4 Old 01-10-2020, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MinHeadroom View Post
OpenHAB has a strong following if you are comfortable with editing config files and linux.

I use Indigo, which, while requiring a mac as a server and while not open-source, it has a thriving community and it controls pretty much anything. The two developers tend to personally answer questions very quickly: indigodomo.com

.... I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff. All controlled via Indigo and third party python plugins. One of their very active and helpful forum 3rd party dev’s is on avs, he might drop by. Lemme know if you have specific questions, I love their software.
That is really helpful. I could live with a Mac server if I got the rackmount version that is coming out (kind of $$$ though). Indigo looks really great for what I want.

How well does the Alexa integration work? Can you effectively control everything via voice if you have an Echo in the room?
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-10-2020, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Norman View Post
That is really helpful. I could live with a Mac server if I got the rackmount version that is coming out (kind of $$$ though). Indigo looks really great for what I want.



How well does the Alexa integration work? Can you effectively control everything via voice if you have an Echo in the room?

You CAN, with tinkering. Alexa integration involves oauth verification, which is something I know the developers are planning to integrate at some point.

Presently, Indigo has an unsupported but functional 3rd party plugin that works, provided you can find an older gen Alexa to send the request out (hard to explain).

However, it IS possible with tinkering to control everything with Alexa in Indigo, I do it, just not out of the box. Heck, one of the 3rd party developers implemented a way to have dynamically generated speech come out of any or all Alexas.

Def check their forum out, or feel free to ask a fan boy like me.
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