« on: April 07, 2009, 08:42:16 am »
NO! why would you want to?
I have seen numerous requests for linux MCE to control Russound ACA-E5, Russound CAV6.6, Nuvo Multi-room amplifiers
HERE IS A COMPARISON as well as a solution for homes already prewired for these systems.
MULTI-ROOM SOULTION TIP
A lot of Homes are already prewired with Multi-room Audio Matrix amplifiers in mind.
Now lets wire our homes with a Linux MCE system in mind
Lets say we have 23 rooms with 2 speakers in each in mind. All of the wiring in a typical multi-room system would have 46 Speaker wires and 23 Cat 5e wire wired into a Home theater rack of some sort with these all going into the Multi-room amplifiers such as Nuvo, Russound, Control 4, ETC.
We have to think out of the box when prewiring for a Linux MCE system as our brains for the house.
WE first off have a core capable of 1 HD video out and 1 audio out. Using our typical millionaires house with 23 rooms of sound and 1 home Theatre.... we use the core to run to the Home theatre in this example.
We throw in a 24 port GIG switch and run 23 Media directors off the core JUST to control the other 23 rooms of sound!!! Sounds expensive... YES!!!.. but this is the alternative.... Lets assume all we need is 2 channel audio... any barebones computer will do 2 channel audio. no need to go get something with video needs it is not necessary... now we need 23 2 channel amps UGH!!! lets assume 23 SONY STRDE-197 200 watt 2 channel amplifiers at $150 a piece... and a cheap barebones computer at $200 a piece.... that is $350 a room. = $8050.
Option 2... (3) 8X8 multi-room amplifiers. = $10500 and that is at a wholesalers cost point. ( I am a Automation specialist)
DIFFERENCE in Options....
LINUX MCE = numerous networked inputs distributed to all 23 Audio zones + your Home theater.
8X8 Multi-room amplifiers = 8 sources to 24 audio zones
Linux MCE is also VIDEO distribution
add your $700 Media Directors for this feature as we need Video quality too.
and if this is an area where you have audio and video keep them combined by running the Audio back to the Sony amp you have located in your centralized closet. to do this you will need 2 RCA's.... or 1 COAX with the audio now being decoded by a 5.1 AMP... if you have a CAT-5e to spare... there are baluns that convert cat 5e to RCA. (balun = Balanced / unbalanced).
The current problem
The home I am currently working on has 10 Zones of Audio and 7 Rooms in which have Televisions planned for Whole Home Audio/Video Distribution. This home was prewired by a different company which had in mind a Russound (8X8) audio Matrix with a (8X8) video Matrix and (2) 2 channel amplifiers to combine 2 of the audio zones and have in wall volume controls to control the seperate zones. They also have a Dedicated Theater room in which all of the wiring was run to a Home theater rack.
In the Home Theatre Rack we are going to have 1 core. and 1 2 channel amplifier with RS-232 control for each zone of Audio that has AUDIO ONLY. For these zone we attach a barebones CPU loaded with LINUX MCE. (barebones requirement is an Audio out. does not matter if it is a 1/8 mini plug or 2 channel RCA. If your barebones has coax out make sure your amplifier can except coax input and that you set your Amplifier to spit out only Stereo audio) in our case we have 5 Zones of audio only. we now also have 5 Zones in which have TV's and 2 channel audio. (For these 5 cases we use a $700 mini cpu which we shall hide behind the TV itself. ) In our special case because the previous company was planning on doing Distributed audio through cat 5 we have cat 5 behind the tv's. In our case the previous compnay was also going to use IR using cat 5 to the TV we again can use this in conjunction with balun's to send audio back down to our Theatre rack to power up the 2 channel amp in that zone. Our System also has a 5.1 sound system and a TV in the family room. Again we have 2 cat 5 for control and video behind the TV. This time our Mini computer MUST HAVE digital coax out in our to send it again back down to the Rack in the Theatre. Our last ZONE is the theatre itself in which there is no problem with any wiring as it is all there already.
Linux MCE system costs (equipment only what would be relevant to switching to a Multi-room system (speakers and tv's etc would eb the same regardless)
5 Barebone computers at $200/ cpu = $1000
5 mini computers at $700 / cpu =$ 3500
10 (2 channel) amplifiers @ $150 =$1500
1 5.1 Amplifier @ $800 = $800
1 7.1 Amplifier @ $1800 = $1800
5 (pairs as you need one on both sides of the cat 5) RCA baluns @ 60 = $300
1 (16 Port) Gb switch @ $215 = $ 215
5 remote controls @ $1500 = $1500
TOTAL COST = $10,615
Multi-room cost (note these are at My companies cost yet. If you are buying retail expect these prices to be marked up %40 or so
(8X8) multi-room amp with 40 watts per channel no keypads = $3600
2 (2 channel) amplifiers @ $150 = $300
(8X8) video matrix switch = $2100
zone keypad @ $420 each = $3360
media server(pictures and cd's only) = $3200
400 Disc DVD changer = $1500
RF Controller @ $1400
5 Remote controls @ $500 = $2500
Approx (40 hours for non profressionals to program this) $3000 or more for you to get a pro to do it for you
TOTAL COST $17,960 (and it still doesn't even compare to what the linux mce system can do!!!!)
RETAIL APPROX = ($25,144) + 3000 for remote programming
$18000 more for a much lesser system.