Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - twodogs

Pages: 1 ... 13 14 [15]
Users / Re: Advice On New System
« on: December 27, 2009, 02:06:13 am »
Does anyone know of an economical way to get a component video signal out of an ASUS P5N7A-VM? I have a Denon AVR-3805 that only does component switching. I've seen adapters for almost nothing, but they look suspiciously like adapters that only work on ATI boards. Other DVI/HDMI to component converters sell for up to several hundred dollars. Yikes!

By the way, Kudos to everyone involved with the MCE810 DVD release. Much easier than building from Kubuntu.


Users / Re: Advice On New System
« on: September 23, 2009, 11:33:45 pm »
That's what I was beginning to realize. I think its time to start experimenting!

Users / Re: Advice On New System
« on: September 23, 2009, 11:01:46 pm »
I'll heed the good advice on running more wiring. I think I'll also put in an empty PVC conduit from the basement to the attic for future expansion.
I'm still not finding anything in the forums but very generic info on baluns, ie "you need to get a balun." Its hard to search for info because they are called baluns, extenders, converters, etc. When you do a search for "balun" you get about 5 posts. When you look for the other terms you get hundreds of posts that have nothing to do with video over cat5. I'm thinking I should buy some hardware and post my results.


Users / Re: Advice On New System
« on: September 23, 2009, 08:43:17 pm »
I've been looking at products to send video and control signals over cat5/6 cable per the diagram in a previous post. I have not found much info on the web about how specific models do or don't work (but the manufacturers claim they work great!) I'd love to know if anyone has any comments on the products below or similar. I have a lot of cat5e cable but I've heard that using cat6 might make the difference between a setup that works and one that doesn't. Also, it seems that all the USB extenders I found were 1.1. Maybe that would be OK for watching a movie on the external DVD, but might be a problem if I later upgrade to an external blu-ray.

In selecting components 'm primarily looking at three factors...

- LinuxMCE compatability
- Price
- Power usage (trying to minimize the use of A/C adapters)

The video baluns I'm looking at are all passive. I've come up with three options for powering the USB devices.
1. Power everything from the computer's USB port - baluns, 1:4 hub, DVD, Gyration receiver, and USB to RS232 cable to control the TV. (this might draw too much from one USB port on the computer)
2. As above, except get an external DVD that has an A/C adapter (puts the biggest power hog on its own supply that I could switch on/off when I get up to insert the DVD. I still might be overloading the computer USB port with all the other devices, though)
3. Power the baluns from the computer's USB port. Get a 1:4 USB hub with an A/C adapter. Power the Gyration receiver, external DVD, and USB to RS232 cable from the hub. (this may be my best option)  

Here are some of the products I've found...

Component Video over Cat5/6 (called variously - converters, extenders, or baluns)

MilesTek (kit incudes sender and receiver) integrated with wallplate $50

MCM (two required) $52.95 bulk price for 4 or more

Muxlab (two required) $74.95 each

USB over cat5/6 (Note: none of these work for my application, need a USB extender not a balun - 20 Feb 2010)

USB Hubs

External DVD

Users / Re: Advice On New System
« on: September 05, 2009, 02:57:52 pm »
My old P4 does use a lot of juice. It was to be the core in my original design until the budget allowed swapping it. The main thing I want to do now is to figure out how many wires to run inside the walls. I'm setting up the system in the garage first to make sure I'm happy with everything. Then I'll wire the house and install in the equipment in its permanent location.
But the point you raise makes me think. We won't need the media director for a few months (until both floors of the house are livable). I'll throw a hard drive into my Asus/E5200 media director and put it to work as my hybrid. Then when the house is finished I can either use my Intel/P4 as a media director (now that it won't have to decode H.264), or perhaps bite the bullet and get something new.

Users / Re: Advice On New System
« on: September 04, 2009, 03:49:36 pm »
Here is my latest system design that implements my understanding of Andrew's advice. The left side with the media director will be basically a mirror image of the right side. The Denon AVR 3805 will handle component switching, plus it has an RS232 control input.

Users / Re: Advice On New System
« on: September 03, 2009, 06:37:50 pm »

Wow. Great explanation. That addresses my concerns about control and expense. Maybe I can pull this off after all. Results of my product research to follow shortly...


Users / Re: Advice On New System
« on: September 03, 2009, 02:03:30 pm »

I was hoping to hear from you. I've searched for and read many of your previous posts about distributing A/V. Ripping doesn't really work for us because we own few DVDs and get our movies through our Netflix account. What do you think about an external DVD drive in the living room connected to the hybrid in the basement via USB>cat5e converter? Can you recommend any specific HDMI and USB to cat5 converters? Also, I believe I would need some kind of switching device in the basement because I would have two video sources: the video card of the hybrid, and the DirecTV box. Any hardware suggestions on this?
My thinking has gone down this path in the past. My rough cost estimate was $1500USD or about $500 a pop for the two converters and the switching device. I've never seen such a system in operation, so I was a bit concerned that I was creating an expensive Frankenstein with lots of moving parts. For instance, let's say my wife is watching DirecTV and wants to check the program guide. MCE would have to send a signal (IR?) to the video switching device to change the source from the DirecTV box to video card on the hybrid in order to display the stored guide info. Maybe it would work great, but maybe there would be a big time delay, or perhaps the IR signal didn't make it to the switching device. Then my wife would make me put down the margarita and get out of the hammock to go down to the basement and fix the problem. These doubts have prevented me from diving in. That plus the fear that, with my luck, as soon as I got this fairly expensive scheme working the HDPVR solution would become viable.
Am I over-thinking things? You apparently have this kind of system working smoothly


Users / Re: Advice On New System
« on: September 03, 2009, 01:34:04 pm »
That brings up a problem I've been wrestling with. The basement is by far the best place for the wiring closet with core and DirecTV box. The living room is 50' away - too far for a DVI cable. So with the system I've designed, I would not be able to watch HD from the satellite box, only SD. My initial idea was to buy a converter to send HD over cat5e, but these are expensive and require wall warts at both ends (9/24/09 edit - wrong!). We're setting up a solar panel array and, even though we'll be grid connected, I'm still trying to keep our power usage under what our array will produce. Philosophy aside, two wall warts won't break the energy bank, but there is another problem. If I make the core into a hybrid with AV cables running 50' to the living room, I would not need a media director in that room. But, then I'll have to run to the basement to play a DVD! There is probably a way around this, but I can't think of it.


Users / Re: Advice On New System
« on: September 03, 2009, 02:01:30 am »
I was afraid the DirecTV might be pushing it. I have an Fusion 5 Lite card for OTA HDTV so I guess that can start me off. Good call on the Gyration. It wouldn't cost much and would allow for much smoother control. We also have an eeePC that we could use. I modified my original post to say that my MD has integrated GeForce 9300.


Users / Advice On New System
« on: September 03, 2009, 12:56:47 am »
Hello All,

I'd like a confidence check on my proposed setup. I have much of the equipment and I'm getting ready to start wiring. If you want to see our home renovation you can check my blog ( details of the planned system are below, along with a few questions...
First, I hear that integrating DirecTV is troublesome, but the spouse needs tennis channel. The only thing on the market is the HD PVR and drivers are in early stages. I also hear that it puts a decoding strain on a media director so I went with a new e5200 computer. I'm using an older core because the PVR handles the encoding chores. Any comments on my selections?
Second, I think my wiring needs will be met by two cat5e cables to each major location. I can't see how I'd use coax since all my video will be HD. Should I put in some more/different wiring?

The Plan
It's a green home so I'd like to keep power usage to a minimum
Overall goals
   Stream DirecTV
   Watch DVD
   Stream music
   Control a small number of lighting scenarios
   Control sprinklers
   Control HVAC
   Stream HDTV
   Voice alarm for streetsweeping day to avoid the monthly $50 ticket!
   Home security with front and back video cameras
My wiring closet will be in the basement - lots of room and it's cool down there
   Core running LinuxMCE0810 (Intel D865PERL, GeForce 5200, 3Ghz P4)
   stereo amp with speaker wire run to the kitchen above
   Insteon modem
   DirecTV set top box
   Hauppauge HD PVR
   Elk M1
Living Room
   Media Director (ASUS P5N7A-VM, integrated GeForce 9300, E5200, net boot)
   Denon AVR3805 with RS232
   LG Plasma with RS232
   5.1 speakers in wall
   Microsoft Gyration remote
Upstairs Loft (not purchased but similar to living room setup)


Installation issues / Re: How does one set up a core from DVD?
« on: August 21, 2008, 03:09:52 am »
Thanks, I think I give that a try. Then if I don't like it I can always load MCE onto the Media Director and try booting from the hard drive. I've read that net booting takes a long time. I'll want to turn off the media director when not in use to save energy, especially since the core runs 24/7.

Installation issues / Re: How does one set up a core from DVD?
« on: August 21, 2008, 01:07:31 am »
Great! Thank you for your reply. I'll just uncheck "autostart media station." Having X running shouldn't do any harm. So I guess my first computer is set. Now I'll have to turn my second computer into a media station. I plan to install from the same DVD then uncheck "autostart core."


Installation issues / How does one set up a core from DVD?
« on: August 20, 2008, 08:26:10 pm »
I'm trying to set up a home automation system. I currently have 2 computers - one is to be a core located in the basement, the other a media station in the living room. Later I plan to add lighting, security, temperature and sprinkler control.
I've downloaded and burned the linuxmce 7.10 DVD. During install it never asks if the computer is to be used as a core, media station, or hybrid. It just asks for the hard drive to install, then a password. Then after a while it reboots into the video/audio setup and finally Sara comes up with the "if you can see and hear me" wizard. I also notice that the MCE Launch Manager has checks for both "Autostart Core" and "Autostart Media Station" which seems to indicate that I've mistakenly created a hybrid. I've searched for how to create a clean core and found this link.

Oh my aching head! Is it really this difficult to create a core? I thought I was trying to set up my system the way it was designed to work.


Pages: 1 ... 13 14 [15]