Hey there fellow Louisville, KY native. What part of the county is your home being built in? I live over off of Taylorsville and Bardstown rd near bowman field airport
I'm pretty familiar with most of the current home automation tech and wouldn't mind giving you some input. PM me and we'll work out some kind of communication. It's always easier to have someone see the home/plans and then give you ideas
In case you are wondering,
I should be getting the majority of the automation stuff in my home working in the next few months. Insteon lighting, touch screen controls, 1-wire temperature sensors in each room, HVAC, security and a few ip cameras. I'm already a longtime mythtv user. I keep a profile here: http://mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/User:Blackoper
The biggest hassle with home automation for me is wiring everything up in a pre-existing house (and plaster walls to make it even harder). It's definitely a good idea to prewire your house up if you know this is something you want to do.
As to the cable/satellite question. If you want multiple tv's with linuxmce or really any computer pvr, cable is the way to go for now. Unlimited tuners can be added with cable whereas with satellite you are limited to your number of available tuner boxes. With insight cable, however, there is the hidden cost of the freaking hd box if you want to record your non-free content. Last time I checked they are charging $17 a month for these puppies. I plan on giving insight a call in the next week or two to see about getting on some kind of promotion for some of the tv content I have. I currently only use the motorolla 6200 box for getting channels above 100.
HTPC - depending on how many clients you have, a quad core system could be for you. I've been thinking about the low power version of the Q6600 from intel, but for right now the e2140 dual core is working fine for me. 2GB of some cheap hp ram I got on a deal for $7 per gig after rebate. I also have massive amounts of storage for high def video mostly. Current storage space is around the 5.5TB range on my fedora 8 server. For me, the majority of my htpc money went to buying hard drives.
I'd definitely recommend using a hdhomerun for your OTA or qam HD capture device to bypass the hassle of keeping firmware up-to-date and also to free up pci slots in the server.
cost of a good htpc:
Good mobo - $70 to 100
ram - dirt cheap for 2 gb lets say $20 after rebate
Intel processor or amd - Dual core - Intel 2180 (very low power and highly overclockable to 3.5ghz), AMD low power dual core 2350 or something like it - around $85 to 100 - Quad core - Intel Q6600 gstepping for low power or amd phenom. Both around $200 to $250 - I'm not sure a quad core will really make a big difference as opposed to overclocking a cheap intel e2180.
power supply - good active switching power supply $50 to 100 - greater than 500watts
Case - LARGE server case for throwing in a lot of storage $100 to 150
Capture cards - hdhomerun - $160, analog - hauppauge pvr-150s - $30 to 60 each depending on used or new
Remote - Fiire $150
Hard drives - 750GB sata drives $140 to 150, 1tb drives - $200+ - for the myth recording I'm having good results with 2x 750GB drives in raid 0. For Everything else I prefer raid 5 arrays of whatever. Currently have 300gbx5 and 500GBx5 raid arrays. Overall storage for backend/server ~5tb