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best setup for whole house audio/visual

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#1 ilove2ride



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Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:36 PM

I am moving into a new house with my family and have been asked to setup something where we can watch tv/movies, listen to music and access data all off the one server computer or something else? There will be, 3 computers, 4 tv's, and 4 stereos/AV receievers. One room will consist of a tv, laptop, and stereo One room will consist of a tv, pc, and stereo One room will consist of a tv, pc and stereo One room will consist of a tv and stereo Money is not an issue, Wiring cables thru walls, etc will not be a problem as i am an electrician I want the picture and audio quality to be hi-def and also no lag etc I also want it setup so multiple pc/tvs can access the data at the same time with no lag What I was possibly thinking of was, a server computer setup in the garage with some sort of data rack (for ethernet) and running separate ethernet cables to each pc, and separate ethernet cables to a media centre or similar device? which will then plug into each tv via hdmi Any ideas would be greatly appriciated I also forgot to mention i have a ps3 and a xbox 360 if that helps

Edited by ilove2ride, 01 May 2012 - 10:11 PM.

#2 aliali



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Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:12 PM

Wiring cables thru walls, etc will not be a problem as i am an electrician

Nope Sparkies can't install network cable unless you have the relevant comms certificate and from the questions you are asking it sounds like you don't, Either that or your training was absolutely ratshit.
Now that is out of the way.
To do it properly you will probably want individual Ethernet runs for each network capable device, plus one for a wireless AP. A spare or two is also a good idea. The spares do not have to be terminated but could be left behind the wall plates.
As it is new work I would be running Cat6 cable not Cat5e (make sure you use cat 6 rated keystones). You will want antenna outlets too so you should be able to find wall plates in the Clipsal or HPM catalogue that have both ethernet and coax outlets.
If the garage is joining the house then yes this would be a good place to put a file server/media streaming PC. Doesn't need to have a lot of grunt, but plenty of storage (HDDs) is a must.
For a low powered unit, something based on the Intel Atom or AMD E350/E450 CPUs (TDP around 18 watts) would work fine with 4Gb ram and Windows Home Server V2 installed.
For more 'grunt" but at the expense of higher power consumption a dual core AMD FM1 or Intel socket 1155 G series Dual Core (65w TDP) would work ok too.
Another alternative is the socket 1155 Intel i3-2120T LOW POWER Core i3 35 watt TDP.
For hard drives stick with the 7200RPM jobbies as they have better IO speeds than the 5400RPM green drives.
Hook this up to a gigabit ethernet switch (probably want to go for a 16 or 24 port)
All the ethernet from the house should come back and terminate on a patch panel (cheaper than a load of wall plates and keystones) then short patch leads can be used to hook between patch panel and switch.
Ideally you will want to have the patch panel, switch and server in some sort of ventilated comms cabinet to keep prying fingers, animals and dust off the gear.
Depending on layout you could even have the ADSL/Cable modem/FTTH NTU out there too.

Haven't done this sot of thing myself, this is all picked up from other forums and reading.
They key seems to be plan, plan, plan, over-engineer, plan.
Often see posts by people who wish they had added just one or two more ethernet ports in the multimedia room.

Edited by aliali, 01 May 2012 - 11:14 PM.

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#3 twents



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Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:07 PM

Lol i just read the title "best setup for whore house" Sorry cant help you for your actual house.

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#4 fajw


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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:40 PM

I would get an HP ProCurve 1410-16G or 1410-24G switch.

#5 ilove2ride



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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:59 PM

Thanks for your response aliali, i have a austel license as part of my cert 3, so i can legally do all the work and yes my training for my data module was ratshit as i had four different teachers within 3 months, my understanding is ok, i just don't have a lot of experience with patch panels and servers etc. I Forgot to mention the house is existing btw. Your answer about the patch panel and switch all makes sense. Plus your server recommendations are very helpful, thank you. My biggest question is how to connect the TV's to the server??

#6 aliali



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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:45 AM

My biggest question is how to connect the TV's to the server??

I take it they don't have their own inbuilt network connectivity?
If not then you have several options.
I initially had my TV connected to the LAN via a Tvix PVR unit. With this you set up their special netshare software on the media server and use it to share selected folders on the server (up to 4 locations from memory).
Then set up the network side on the TVix and away you go. I have since moved to a full HTPC as the Tvix was having issues with the way some files where encoded, no audio on some files or "unsupported format" on the video component.
The HTPC hooks to the TV via HDMI and the LAN via ethernet and you can use it like a normal PC or set up something like Windows Media Centre to look to the shared folders on the server.
The HTPC route is the most comprehensive but also the most expensive and the most complex to set up.
Not ideal for family use. From what I have read quite a few people are happy with units like Popcorn hour and the Western Digital WD TV Live

There are also units like the Seagate GoFlex TV HD and the aforementioned TVix and probably a whole host of others.
It's a matter of wading though them to find one that suits your useage. Like I said the TviX was giving me some issues with certain codecs but it was a slightly older model, otherwise it worked fairly well.
Codec issues is the biggest problem with manufactured media players as you are totally reliant on the manufacturer updating the player firmware to keep up with codec development. Or you have to get more critical with the type of files you have.

Or perhaps the Raspberry Pi would make a good basis?
http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs No HDMI though.

Of course you are my bright little star,

I've miles and miles of files pretty files of your forefather's fruit,

and now to suit our great computer. You're magnetic ink.

#7 bastion308



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Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:53 AM

Hi recently did this my self and it looks like you know what youre doing I got all my cables and terminals from these guys
http://www.4cabling.com.au/ even brought a line tester to check my cable runs witch came in handy

My setup is router to a 8 port switch gave me enough ports to run tvs and blurays plus my pcs its a http://www.4cabling....unt-Switch.html

as for media player http://www.streamast...products_id=575 it was a bit pricey but does every thing i wanted

good luck with the build

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