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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am new to this forum, but I am glad I found it, as it seems that I am at the right place. I know somewhat about computers and how to build them, but not the same when it comes to video distribution. Please bear the amount of info below, but I would like to give as much info as possible.


I am building a new house and... (now where have I seen these words before... :) Anyways, I am taking the design step by step and now I am at the point of setting up the electrical plan, conduits etc. I will make a list of things that I want to do and then a possible solution.


End result:

- Automated and programmable electrical system

- Home network throughout the house

- Multimedia streaming throughout the house

- Integrated alarm system


Possible solution:

For the electrical system I have identified a local South African product which uses a bus system and cat5 although it is not IP. (Imagine pinging a light swith if all devices had IP addresses!) Anyways, I can program each device (light switch or bus device) through a computer interface to complete a certain electrical circuit if activated.


For the alarm system I have identified another product that interfaces with the electrical system, also programmable through computer. So it would be possible for instance if the IR eye of the alarm pics up movement in a room to activate the light in that room in addition to activating the alarm for example.


There wil therefore be lots of cat5 going through the house fo the first part.


I wil put in another network throughout the house for gigabit ethernet but using separate cables from the electrical network. The computer network I can setup myself and will have a central server in a safe (room) which connects to the internet through a gateway and also serves IPs to the PCs/notebooks in the rest of the house for a home network and capture the satellite/over the air signals. On this network will also be about 5 IP cameras, which I would be able to access through their built in web servers. In each room there will be a network point from which the person can access the internet, print on the house printer, play games or send files. I will use something like VNC to remote access the server for any operating system / software configuration matters (e.g. reconnect internet connection, program the alarm / elctrical etc.) from anywhere else in the house. To access the home network from the internet I will use a different remote access solution with the necessary security setups.


In each room I will have a small plasma screen on which the person can watch television (satelite and over the air) or movies from the server hard drive. Also, the person should be able to record television. There will be about 7 of these points in the house. I do not have the need for 5.1 to go to any of these points as any 5.1 setups will have local devices (A/V amps, DVD player). The pictures however should be very clear and I do not want to lose video quality over cables. Any 5.1 installation should have the ability to get a feed from the central house television feed. Our satellite is currently mono/stereo and I do not think it will ever have 5.1 but never say never. I have made provision in the building plans to later build a dedicated home theatre room with projector and local devices which should be able to get a television feed to watch sport on the big screen.


I should also say that the electrical/comfort systems has the ability to build into the wall an IR receiver and learn IR codes of a remote and then transmit the signal elsewhere e.g. a sticker with transmitter over the satellite box IR receiver.


I was thinking of using a Windows Media Centre 2005 PC as the server and Linksys extenders at the various TV points. The extender and PC for the room can be plugged into a small gigabit switch in each room.


Will this setup work? Is there any other idea that I should rather consider? Will this also work if I want the ability to have a 5.1 audio feed as well, or perhaps drop the local DVD players and rather play video on demand from the server hard drive?


Regards


Jaco
 

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Sounds like you have your bases covered. I would use a central server for the movies and lose the local DVD players. I know DVD players are now under $100.00, but you gotta love browsing hundreds of movies on the server to select from.


I'm thinking you are talking about X-10 when you mention your security system interfaces with your electrical system? I would avoid X-10 and go with newer technology. If your looking to save money you can go with the new UPB switches for lighting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Joe. The system I am looking at is not X-10. I am looking at the Clickon system which is locally available in South Africa. I'll use a Comfort system for the alarm. If you look at any system in general it has inputs, processing and outputs. If you can identify the outputs based on certain inputs, you can link the two systems by using the comfort system output as a trigger for the electrical system and if a certain input is received a certain circuit is switched on. The interface/bridge can then be whatever, e.g. RF, infrared etc. and the normal parameters can be programmed for that activity e.g. switch the light on to 80% of power.


My next questions regarding the Microsoft Media Centre 2005 are

- if you can put 7 extenders on one MCPC

- does it cater for 5.1 or higher should I wish to use it

- how much video quality is lost

- will the gigabit network be able to handle all the video streams


Regards


Jaco
 
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