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295 posts

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Topic # 13844 31-May-2007 16:58
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HI everyone

We are getting to within a few months of a new house project being ready for wiring, and wanting to get the collective thoughts from others on what my best approach is for whole Audio / Video etc

WISHLIST
* Will be using MediaPortal TV Engine to provide HTPC functionality. TV Engine will sit near the Dist "area" for audio/Video. TV CLient will be in the Lounge for driving Screen and Audio.
* Each room in the house will have 2 x RG6 and 2x Cat5e pulled thorugh walls back to AV Dist point.
* Im looking at having my own office hub in the garage where my servers, ADSL Router, Switches, Patchpanel, Phone line Termination point etc will be. I'll pull all Cat5e from Bedrooms to this office point.
* UNder the stairway will be the AV distribution point with a Switch for all remaining Cat5e (eg from Lounge, Study, Living room and master bedroom)... then a link from that switch back to the other end of the house where office is)
* Will have a Fee-To-Air satellite and normal aerial (for Prime) feeding via RG6 to the MediaPortal server (this will have a 2xSkyStar2 cards as well as a PVR150 to allow watching and recoding of channels at the same time)


What Im not sure about is what to do in regard to the Audio/Video side, especially in terms of getting other signals from and to other areas of the house.

* Dont need anything fancy, but maybe
- whatever is being watched in the lounge can be watched in the bedrooms. If we assume no HTPC client (since that will always be possible with the Cat5e), just a straight lead form the MP TV Engine ... I presume that lead gets split. But where is the best place to have the splitter?
- Since we have the RG6 leads for bringing a signal to the Dist Panel, be cool to have say Channel 70 be a security camera looking outside, Channel 71 another Camera erc. Realise that a Modulator is needed to get that into a certain channel, but beyond that Im still searching :). BUt does Channel Modulation then pretty much destroy the quality of the signal?
* If we have the Video Signal from a room (say a VCR) is it best to use whole house Audio to get the Stereo Audio signal back to the viewing area via a Receiver/Amp? Ive seen some systems that send the signal via FM ?
* Whats the best approach to allow for scalability in the future. I presume by having the RG6 leads all being pulled back we are pretty safe?
* Is two Rg6 from the Antennas OK (eg at the moment it would be Normal aerial and Sat Dish). Ive heard of people running as much as 4?
* Has anyone seen much of running Audio/Video over Cat5 (http://www.hometoys.com/htinews/jun01/articles/prasanna/prasanna.htm)

That will do for now ... fire away with your ideas. Can even provide a floor plan if it helps :)

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  Reply # 73071 31-May-2007 17:46
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Looks like fun project, reducing digital sourced AV (ie DVB/DVD mpeg sources) via RF modulators slams you straight back into mid last century with PAL modulation and all its limitations along with cheap modulator distortions to boot.

What would be real cool is media thin clients to spool stuff off your central server/sat decoder. Pace have developed a system that works a bit like this, pitty you cannot tie an independant media server with HD-DVD/Blueray/DVD into the joke. I understand SkyUK are looking at deploying this very soon, note its a HD capable setup, looks way cool. With this thing you have one central 4tuner HD satellite PVR Hub, and upto 3 thin clients fed via cat5e, way cool.

Pace MultiRoom

I have clients come to me all the time asking how to do just what you ask, expecting that RF distribution is the solution. Clipsal Starserve, PDL, Hills homehub all offer modulator based distribution, however in the end you get the same crap results like a hotel distribution system.

I am still on the look out myself for a flexible multimedia thin client, that is where things are heading, and that kinda what Pace are exploring in the above multiroom device.

Cheers
Cyril





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  Reply # 73072 31-May-2007 17:53
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cyril7: Looks like fun project, reducing digital sourced AV (ie DVB/DVD mpeg sources) via RF modulators slams you straight back into mid last century with PAL modulation and all its limitations along with cheap modulator distortions to boot.

What would be real cool is media thin clients to spool stuff off your central server/sat decoder. Pace have developed a system that works a bit like this, pitty you cannot tie an independant media server with HD-DVD/Blueray/DVD into the joke. I understand SkyUK are looking at deploying this very soon, note its a HD capable setup, looks way cool. With this thing you have one central 4tuner HD satellite PVR Hub, and upto 3 thin clients fed via cat5e, way cool.



Cool .. thanks for the reply.  Seems I wasnt so "off the wall" then ... cause everything about what I read re: RF Modulators, splitters, Amps etc ... seemed to be really complicated and all about overcoming signal loss etc.

Maybe I will go with the HTPC clients line and just use the Cat5 cables.

So given that, maybe all I really need is one run of RG6 to pull back from each room?  Would you erboth running RG6 at all ... maybe just more Cat5?

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  Reply # 73073 31-May-2007 18:06
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Hey just a quick google and I found this type of thing.

http://www.cappuccinopc.com/pearl-c715.asp

This is the type of thin client I think is what is needed, the concept just needs polishing.

I would recommend that for now you run a minimum of 3 RG6's to each significant AV site (ie HT, familyroom, lounge) and one to each bedroom. But cat5e everywhere as well, 3 to each significant AV site, and 2 to each bedroom (one beside bed, one to TV site with RG6). While the jib is off the frame its never easier nor cheaper to allow for all eventualliies.

Whilst you can run video down cat5/5e/6 you cannot run RF in the sense of UHF or satellite LBand IF. It will go but not too far. Concidering that cat5e can be purchased for around 35c/meter and RG6 for 80c/meter (trade + discounts) then you are silly to only run cat5e/6. Cat5 and even cat6 and cat7 still have significant losses above 300MHz, therefore struggle to compete with RG6 at that level. Personally I dont like the idea of even analog video on cat5e/6. Streaming ethernet/TCP mpeg yes, analog video not such a good idea as its too prone to reflections that ethernet interconnects can error free see past, but analog video will suffer.

Cyril

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  Reply # 73074 31-May-2007 18:11
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cyril7: I am still on the look out myself for a flexible multimedia thin client, that is where things are heading, and that kinda what Pace are exploring in the above multiroom device.

I have recently been looking at this device:

http://homepages.xnet.co.nz/~jenlogix/NDSP-500%20Digital%20Signage%20Player.pdf

It is intended for use as a Digital Signage Player, but the Thin Client hardware is all there and I wonder if it could be adapted for what you are wanting to do?  It certainly covers all bases regarding output formats:  Component Video, DVI, HDMI, 1080p etc, etc.

Price is around $1100 + GST for a sample, including the iDS Designer software CD.

Maybe the price is too high for what you are wanting to do, but I would be interested to hear peoples' comments about it.

Cheers,
Grant.

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  Reply # 73076 31-May-2007 18:30
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Grant the device looks good, the price about 2.5-3x out of wack, but hey unless DSE etal are peddling them that wont get better.

Cyril

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  Reply # 73083 31-May-2007 21:09
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I am pretty happy with my Pinnacle ShowCenter 100. It's a pretty thin client (not a PC) and can play MPEG2 and MPEG4 off the network. Won't do HD though - that is only available in the Showcenter 200. Best of all, it cost me US$50 off ebay!

There is a small server application that runs on the box where your content is stored and the Pinnacle can retrieve the content and play it. While the Pinnacle has a wireless G card slot and I do have the card, I just use a Wireless G bridge which is fast enough to ship MPEG2 and MPEG4 without frame loss. Also plays MP3 and displays jpeg.

Output for me is over component to a projector and audio is analogue stereo to my receiver and Dolby Digital over S/PDIF to the receiver.  Means I can watch content in the living room from the stuff on my central server.

For my RP TV I just use my PVR which is connected over DVI to the TV and connected to the server over Wireless A. Since it's a PC it just needs to access the file shares on the server and I use gbpvr as the local client.

Not entirely whole house but if I want to put another local viewing device in, I would just purchase another Showcenter.

Larry




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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https://plus.google.com/+laurencechiu

 

 


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  Reply # 73084 31-May-2007 21:31
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Larry thanks for that, exactly what I am interested in, and a good price, will investigate that one more.

Cheers
Cyril



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  Reply # 73094 1-Jun-2007 05:21
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From what I can see, thats pretty much what the MediaPOrtal TVEngine / Client setup achieves but all in one setup.
At the moment Ive got TV Engine in a seperate area, and a client HTPC in the lounge.  This HTPC pulls everything from the TV Engine: Music , Videos, Radio, Pictures and TV.  Not sure if this is the same as what you are achieving with gbpvr and your Pinnacle box?

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  Reply # 73098 1-Jun-2007 07:43
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Well I guess what we are saying is that you have multiple clients, one at each site of a display. Thus you are distributing via ethernet/TCP mpeg streams to local lite decoders to maintain all features and video performance, rather than distributing video and audio over cat5e or via modulators over RG6, both methods that will reduce video quality.

Guess I missed the exact features of the equipment you have.

Cyril



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  Reply # 73099 1-Jun-2007 07:50
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cyril7: Well I guess what we are saying is that you have multiple clients, one at each site of a display. Thus you are distributing via ethernet/TCP mpeg streams to local lite decoders to maintain all features and video performance, rather than distributing video and audio over cat5e or via modulators over RG6, both methods that will reduce video quality.

Guess I missed the exact features of the equipment you have.

Cyril

Yup thats what Ive got planned, but was considering the RG6 approach as well... (was ... not now since you point out the quality will be rubbish).  THe only downside at the moment is the need for a Client at each room.  Still exploring what small form PC's are available and which can have decent CPU, 1Gb RAM, DVD Player and a decent video card (dont need the storage since all that is looked after by the TV Server).

Maybe, if I stay with the HTPC client approach, all I have to worry about is distributing the Audio to inwall/ceiling speakers



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  Reply # 73100 1-Jun-2007 07:51
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PS
Found that MediaPOrtal also has a WebCam plugin, so possibly be able to stream WebCams to the TV Engine as well.  Seem to be pretty much getting rid of the need for RG6 everywhere :)

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  Reply # 73101 1-Jun-2007 07:56
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I suggest you do lay a minimum (RG6's that is :) as you do have to concider resale. It may seem very odd to some to have a home well equipt with cat5e and nowhere to plug their sky or freeview box in.

Cyril

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  Reply # 73108 1-Jun-2007 08:59
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cyril7: Well I guess what we are saying is that you have multiple clients, one at each site of a display. Thus you are distributing via ethernet/TCP mpeg streams to local lite decoders to maintain all features and video performance, rather than distributing video and audio over cat5e or via modulators over RG6, both methods that will reduce video quality.

Guess I missed the exact features of the equipment you have.

Cyril


That is the point really.  My system was not designed from the ground up - it just happened that way. Firstly just watched digital content on my PC. Then decided I wanted a pvr and built one using gbpvr and a Shuttle case (quiet and not too large). At the same time picked up a digital TV to use as the display for the pvr.

Noticing how functional gbpvr is in playing content, and needing Internet connectivity for gbpvr to be able to download the epg, just mapped the drive on my main PC as the place where content is available. So I can watch content on the big TV stored remotely.

Then while in the US on a trip noticed my friend was using a Pinnacle Showcenter 100 as a digital media player. I liked what he was doing so picked up on off ebay (there was a sale on).  That is connected to my main HT system so I can watch the digital content I have on my projector. Again this is over wireless.

That is the beauty of using media players. They can play most of the content you have with no loss of quality because of transmission issues (802.11g seems good enough for me and 802.11a I find even better since it is not impacted by cordless phones etc.) and you don't have to replicate your content eveywhere.  Of course PC's do the same but media players are much cheaper and less noisy!




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


My Google+ page 

 

 

 

https://plus.google.com/+laurencechiu

 

 


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  Reply # 73116 1-Jun-2007 10:12
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SageTV media extenders pop up alot in google searches, not a bad price although it only supports composite/s-video.

Cyril



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  Reply # 73123 1-Jun-2007 10:55
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For a while I was looking at the Mediagate series since they have both internal HD's and also network connections.

For example

http://www.xpcomputers.co.nz/views.asp?hw_id=1809

Doesn't support wireless it seems but a wireless bridge could take care of that. Of course if you have all home wiring done, then that isn't an issue

Price reasonable too

Larry




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


My Google+ page 

 

 

 

https://plus.google.com/+laurencechiu

 

 


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