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Calling all MacGyver/Fred Sanford (DIY) types...

548 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  Donny Bahama
I like a polished, well-designed system (e.g. Sonos) as much as the next guy, and I wish the systems integrators on this forum nothing but success in their endeavors. But then there's the rest of us, for whom budget is a big issue; I'm simply not in a position to be a Crestron, Niles or Sonos customer - DIY is more my speed (and price range.)

So, while this particular forum seems to lean heavily toward proprietary, packaged solutions, I thought it might be fun to have a thread for all us MacGyver/Fred Sanford DIY types to post our favorite cost-cutting tricks.

Here's some of mine:

I'm building a media server with J. River Media Center (supports multi-zone playback via multiple sound cards - USB sound cards are the easiest way to go) which will sit in my media closet and feed (1 per zone) stereo receivers, purchased used on ebay for ~$50 each or less. The receivers will feed the speakers in each zone using CAT5 for speaker cable (4 conductors per speaker.) System control will be via Wi-Fi, using Pocket PCs running NetRemote . The receivers will be controlled using IR signals sent via USB-UIRT feeding a Russound IR distribution block and emitters.

Of course, it's a big kludge and won't be much to look at, but it'll all be hidden away in a media closet, so who cares? Video output of the server will feed my plasma, if I choose to display it that way, but the real focal point will be the Pocket PCs, and NetRemote's screens are fully customizable.

One very nice thing about this setup is that it's bi-directional remote control, allowing for status updates on the remote, manipulation of playlists, etc. And because NetRemote is based on Pronto CCF files (plentiful on remotecentral.com) I can buy receivers for even less $ by snagging the ones that don't come with remotes.

Entire system cost is
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