Video/ audio distribution and home automation

Hi,
I am in the process of remodelling my house and adding an extension in the process. Whilst at it, I thought I would network the place up to do the following 1. Centrally store my DVDs and CDs and enable me to play them from a number of rooms 2. Access the internet and email from a number of rooms 3. Remove the usual boxes from under the TV (e.g. Video, Set top box, Sky etc) to another location and enable these to be "broadcast" to the other rooms 4. Some home automation e.g. adjust the heating, set the alarm etc 5. A security and fire alarm.
To be honest, this is all a bit of a wish list (not sure the wife will go for all this!!) but thought if I could do the wiring ready then I could venture into these things one by one.
Has anyone come across any good websites (or experience) which go through what the options are (e.g. MS Windows based or proprietary) and how to go about designing it? I have a PC background so have always thought that the flexibility you would get with that would be more future proof and will need at least 2 PCs in the house anyway so why not use them. However if media centre is anything to go by, maybe this isn't a great solution???
Any help you can give wil be greatly appreciated.
thanks
Lee.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

MS Windows *is* proprietary.

Myth does about anything Windows Media Centre does, and more.
You could use something like a chipped XBox as the set-top box, it will decode streaming audio/video from the network, or you could use a less powerful terminal (eg a Chip PC contained in a network port and powered over ethernet) as a remote display using NX / freeNX
Forget implementing security and fire alarm as a home designed system - you won't be able to demonstrate compliance with any standards.
Owain
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On Mon, 23 Apr 2007 14:53:59 +0100, Owain wrote:

Seconded. My mythtv setup has been my only video recorder (and photo gallery, music player, arcade machine, etc, etc) for a couple of years now. Not exactly plug and play, but this is uk.d-i-y.
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On Mon, 23 Apr 2007 14:53:59 +0100, Owain

Much better to implement decent standalone security but with links to your home automation to provide information on its status. Some systems will do a reasonable job of home automation too, but only if fitted by someone who knows what they're doing!
I currently have one of these; <http://www.phaedrusltd.com/pages/html/netiom.html on the list of things to fit.
--
Regards,
Stuart.
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That's not at all bad in terms of what it does for the price - looks simple to use as well
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It's cheaper from CPC, and they also have it further reduced on special offer from time to time.
--
Andrew Gabriel
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On Mon, 23 Apr 2007 14:53:59 +0100, Owain wrote:

I wouldn't worry too much about compliance for home security. I have deliberately not informed my insurance company about my alarm, as doing so would save me the grand total of fifteen pounds a year, but put me at risk of a vastly reduced payout should I be burgled while the alarm has accidentaly been left off or if "official" maintenance is not up to date.
SteveW
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On Wed, 25 Apr 2007 11:55:19 +0100, Steve Walker

I'd check the small print. If you have an alarm and don't declare it the insurance co can refuse to payout if it failed to perform in some way or if you didn't set it as you would have not taken care to ensure that all reasonable measures were taken to secure the property.
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Stuart.
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May not be much help with the wiring but I can recommend www.letsautomate.com for the kit you'll need to get everything working together.
I can also go along with the recommendation of a chipped Xbox. Can't remember the last time I played a game on mine but it's great for streaming media to the TV.
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On 23 Apr, 06:09, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

Here's a few websites with some good info about home automation and media distribution:
http://www.cepro.com/index.html
http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-3118_7-5555100-1.html
I am looking into buying this one:
http://reviews.cnet.com/D_Link_MediaLounge_DSM_520/4505-6739_7-31524144.html?tag=also
Regarding the alarms, my home has the smoke and CO detectors interconnected (if one goes off all of them sound the alarm) and they can be wired into a central alarm system. Here's the manufacturer's website:
http://www.kidde.com/utcfs/Templates/Pages/Template-50/0,8061,pageId%3D1166%26siteId%3D384,00.html
I read several reviews listing this manufacturer as very reliable.
Now that I saw that little board posted above I'm having other thoughts about how to wire my house. :-)
On the home automation, there are vendors here in the US that offer a full set of accessories. Here's one of them that I am considering right now:
http://www.homeauto.com/Products/products_main.asp
Anyways... possibilities are only limited by the size of one's pocket. ;-)
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On 23 Apr, 06:09, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

Here's some info about products that let you do all this:
http://www.homeauto.com/Products/products_main.asp
Also, on the security part, I installed interconnected sensors in my house that can be connected to a central alarm/security system. Here's the link to the manufacturer:
http://www.kidde.com/utcfs/Templates/Pages/Template-50/0,8061,pageId%3D1166%26siteId%3D384,00.html
On the overall home networking and "bell and whistles" here's a nice website:
http://www.cepro.com/index.html
Possibilities are only limited by the pocket size... ;-)
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My sister is doing a self-build at the moment and was quoted 20k-Euro for a similar service. I saw the company at a trade show a couple of months later and their 'solution' consisted of CT-100 satellite cable and Cat-5/6 twisted pair run throughout the house connecting a couple of pieces of kit which consisted of
Multi-Media - Living-Control - www.livingcontrol.co.uk TV - TV Link - www.tvlink.co.uk Computer Net - patch-panels and hubs you can get in pc-world/radionics/ maplin
Seems they what they were doing was little more than a big lego-kit
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On 24 Apr 2007 07:34:09 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com mused:

That's just some company reselling low end products. There are companies that will do a proper job.
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Stuart.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

These docs will cover that bit in detail:
http://www.wrightsaerials.tv/articles.html

The "Infinite" system that TLC sell also does lots of home automation and monitoring stuff if you add the required modules to it:
http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Main_Index/Security_Menu_Index/Wireless_index/ESP_Infinite_Main/index.html
(and that can for the basis of an approved and fully monitored system if required)

For streaming stuff between PCs you can also look at VideoLAN
http://www.videolan.org /
--
Cheers,

John.

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     snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk writes:

I've fitted out a couple of houses using Cytech Comfort alarm system, which is designed to also provide home automation, which I use for heating, lighting, ventilation, etc. http://www.comfort.org.uk / This was based on a recommendation in this newsgroup about 7 years ago. It is very powerful, and I have made it even more so by linking to a PC which provides additional features. I've posted about it a number of times, so search on google: http://groups.google.com/groups?as_q=comfort+alarm+heating&as_uauthors=andrew+gabriel
One reservation I would now have is price -- Comfort has got significantly more expensive than it was when I bought it.
--
Andrew Gabriel
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