Author Topic: Hardware recommendations  (Read 5166 times)

emachala

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Hardware recommendations
« on: January 31, 2009, 02:35:14 am »
Hello, im pretty familiar with with linuxmce now ... i have been building a few test units controlling the MD's with iphone and other wifi orbiters.... Im currently building a whole house audio and video distribution system using russound sphere system... there are 6 plasmas throughout out the house on different zones with russsound  sphere key pads. All of the equipment and wires for everything is in a media closet off the home theatre room that is the 7th media director for the 1080i projector... So all the 6-7MD's and the core will all be in a rack next to the all the other AV equipment for the house.... Most of the house A/V equipment is all source controlled right on the keypads in each zone. I Would like to have a 7 capture cards 1 in each MD connected to the output on all the cable boxes and then IR control all the cable boxs in each zone.....

So I would like to know how I can control all of the AV equipment equipment  in the media closet with a wifi orbiter everything in closet is IR except for xbox controller...which type of PCI tv capture cards are best for my application... They need to be able to communicate with each TV cable box independently and yes I want to use the cable boxes for the TV guides no direct connections without boxes...


Sorry if this is hard to follow...This is a custom set-up so ask anything you need to know..

Thanks
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tkmedia

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Re: Hardware recommendations
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2009, 03:57:54 am »
Quote
I Would like to have a 7 capture cards 1 in each MD connected to the output on all the cable boxes

Its a shame you have such a nice setup to only be able to send s-video quality signal to your nice plasma's
unless i missed something


Tim
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emachala

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Re: Hardware recommendations
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2009, 04:55:34 am »
actually I use these one on each Media director to get them all outputting in HD..... testing another model too but the other has 1080i issues 720 great...

http://www.ambery.com/pcvgtohdcovi.html .... would do hdmi I ran 2 cat6e's that can convert 2 6e into hdmi to all plasmas.... but hdmi matrix switching is a issue for industry right now and it can work for linuxmce but not for all my proprietary systems

but i think VGA to component is best and it still gets 1080i ....

But what are the TV capture cards to get.... dose it not matter since output in HD    HD-5500  or PVR's???

If i have 7 TV cards one in each MD can I watch TV in 4 rooms each on a different channel and each TV using the cable box or fios box with the TV GUIDE????

And then while doing that could 2 other capture cards record my favorite show and my wifes too?  leaving one card free to watch live or record?

Can someone help me with these issues?


Eric
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tschak909

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Re: Hardware recommendations
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2009, 06:19:23 am »
Some people really do have more money than sense...

Honestly bro, you'd do yourself a lot of service, if you tore it down and started from scratch with LinuxMCE in mind, instead of trying to treat this system like some Crestron installation.

-Thom

emachala

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Re: Hardware recommendations
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2009, 07:06:58 am »
OKay you got me ...  :) but your just the person I need to speak with.... I was had no idea about linuxmce before last month... Im stilling the framing process but not for long before we drywall.... SO Nothing is in  stone.... Can you please help me set this up.... Before i get started ...  I was just going with a russound  multi zone multi room system... because of the cost you get all those keypads and the system to do like 12 seperate video source and a bunch of audio zones for like 10,000... all the other system like linuxmce are really like 30,000k or more to do a house my size got alot of quotes so were like 150k so... i kinda wasn't doing anything inot this realm of home automation till I found linuxmce  now...  IM HOOKED... but what would you recommend please if you could build you dream setup...

I have as you must have read everything going to the media closet.... there are many audio zones throughout the house this is why i would like wall keypads... so the house is roughed ...framed and wired I can change anything now ... i have the whole house networked with 6e, was planning to use linuxmce with the voip and some Cisco 7970's and some wifi units too... There are many wall and ceiling speakers in all the rooms for the different audio zones and 6 plasma locations with lol  6e's composites, hdmi's, coaxial's, rgb's you name i got it run back to the media closet...

 Ive done most of the installation my self... I still require my house is distribute video and audio to all of my zones and have some basic wall keypads in all the zones i have already run 5e to all the zones for the keypads there are like 10 keypads....

I also plan to use 4 wire thermostats compatible with x10/insteon there are 5 hvac zones

I haven't bought any Av equipment for the new house yet... but i really want to keep everything in the media closet including the media directors...

Please tell me everything... How would you set this up using linuxmce ... I'm still a noob ... but im sold ... but im getting close to my insulation and drywall date... I really need to know what needs to be done now for wiring before we close up... and maybe you can help me with some tips with this set-up later too  :)


I appreciate any help you might be able to give

Thanks Again

Eric

 
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colinjones

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Re: Hardware recommendations
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2009, 07:32:57 am »
Really man, you need to get over this closet thing! Putting the Media Directors in there defeats the whole purpose. Think of them like thin clients. You can get really small hardware to run these on very inconspicuously, quietly/silently and at very low power. Some of the Fiire products are even vesa mount so you mount them on the back of a vesa capable TV - invisible.

By all means have a dedicated core stuffed in a closet. All you need to wire around the house is Cat 6 cabling to each location, back to the closet and put a gig switch in there. The philosophy of LMCE is to place an MD in each Entertainment Area and have it 1) serve up media to a local AV system, and 2) control that local AV system to integrate with LMCE.

Suggest in the main Entertainment Areas you get a proper surround (DD/DTS) AV receiver with optical/SPDIF audio input and ideally RS232 serial control interface ("control" don't be fooled by the ones that say the 232 is "service"). Same for the TV - best it has RS232 control. Build an MD that has an nVidia graphics card, 1GB RAM, no HDD needed. Get DVI or HDMI motherboard and ensure the sound has SPDIF out, and the sound chip is at least 5.1 capable (they are pretty much all 7.1 these days anyway)

In lesser Entertainment Areas, go for a smaller MD (or the same!) You don't need to get the full AV set up - you can easily get away with the standard stereo or surround speakers that come with sound cards. Thus you don't need to control the audio side of things. Screen here can be uncontrolled (you turn it on and off yourself, etc) or controlled by 232 at the higher end, or just get the USB UIRT IR blaster and control it through IR (some caveats).

What TV are you capturing? Cable/encrypted services? Is that why you are talking about analogue? For terrestrial/network/free-to-air TV there is zero point going for analogue. Get an HDHomeRun for digital - plug n play with LMCE, gives you 2 HD terrestrial TV channels that can be streamed anywhere. Add more as needed. For cable/encrypted services, there needs to be more thought there....

posde

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Re: Hardware recommendations
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2009, 11:36:33 am »
Eric,

where are you located?

totallymaxed

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Re: Hardware recommendations
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2009, 04:14:00 pm »
Really man, you need to get over this closet thing! Putting the Media Directors in there defeats the whole purpose. Think of them like thin clients. You can get really small hardware to run these on very inconspicuously, quietly/silently and at very low power. Some of the Fiire products are even vesa mount so you mount them on the back of a vesa capable TV - invisible.

By all means have a dedicated core stuffed in a closet. All you need to wire around the house is Cat 6 cabling to each location, back to the closet and put a gig switch in there. The philosophy of LMCE is to place an MD in each Entertainment Area and have it 1) serve up media to a local AV system, and 2) control that local AV system to integrate with LMCE.

Suggest in the main Entertainment Areas you get a proper surround (DD/DTS) AV receiver with optical/SPDIF audio input and ideally RS232 serial control interface ("control" don't be fooled by the ones that say the 232 is "service"). Same for the TV - best it has RS232 control. Build an MD that has an nVidia graphics card, 1GB RAM, no HDD needed. Get DVI or HDMI motherboard and ensure the sound has SPDIF out, and the sound chip is at least 5.1 capable (they are pretty much all 7.1 these days anyway)

In lesser Entertainment Areas, go for a smaller MD (or the same!) You don't need to get the full AV set up - you can easily get away with the standard stereo or surround speakers that come with sound cards. Thus you don't need to control the audio side of things. Screen here can be uncontrolled (you turn it on and off yourself, etc) or controlled by 232 at the higher end, or just get the USB UIRT IR blaster and control it through IR (some caveats).

What TV are you capturing? Cable/encrypted services? Is that why you are talking about analogue? For terrestrial/network/free-to-air TV there is zero point going for analogue. Get an HDHomeRun for digital - plug n play with LMCE, gives you 2 HD terrestrial TV channels that can be streamed anywhere. Add more as needed. For cable/encrypted services, there needs to be more thought there....

Well if you want a totally silent, clutter free environment without AV Amps and an MD under/next to each screen... and many people do for sure... then centrally locating all MD's & the Core/AV Amps etc is certainly one way to go. We do installations like that sometime when our customers really dont want any equipment other than the screens in each room/zone. We would then use multiple CAT5's to each screen;

- 1 x CAT5 for USB
- 2 x CAT5 for HDMI (using HDMI over CAT5 converters)

Then you would have your MD's in the rack with the Core & AV amps and use a USB to CAT5 + HDMI to CAT5 transmitter per MD and a CAT5 to USB & a CAT5 to HDMI Receiver at each screen. You then can have a small unpowered USB Hub behind each screen and attach your MCE Tranceiver for IR remote control, a wireless keyboard and a USB-RS232 interface into the screen (if it has RS232 control capability). This gives you everything you would have if you distributed the MD's behind/under the screens but does away with the clutter. Downside is a lot more cable to install (multiple CAT5's & long speaker cables) and a big rack. But if thats a trade off your happy with its works very nicely. Its a testament to how flexible and powerful LinuxMCE is that you can achieve this.

Hope this helps.

Andrew
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 04:32:42 pm by totallymaxed »
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd

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emachala

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Re: Hardware recommendations
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2009, 04:28:49 pm »

Well if you want a totally clutter free environment... and some people do for sure... then centrally locating all MD's & the Core/AV Amps etc is certainly one way to go. We do installations like that sometime when our customers really dont want any equipment other than the screens in each room/zone. We would then use multiple CAT5's to each screen;

- 1 x CAT5 for USB
- 2 x CAT5 for HDMI (using HDMI over CAT5 converters)

Then you would have your MD's in the rack with the Core and use a USB to CAT5 + HDMI to CAT5 transmitter per MD and a CAT5 to USB & a CAT% to HDMI Receiver at each screen. You then can have a small unpowered USB Hub behind each screen and attach your MCE Tranceiver for IR remote control, a wireless keyboard and a USB-RS232 interface into the screen (if it has RS232 control capability). This gives you everything you would have if you distributed the MD's behind/under the screens but does away with the clutter. Downside is a lot more cable to install and a big rack. But if thats a trade off your happy with its works very nicely. Its a testament to how flexible and powerful LinuxMCE is that you can achieve this.

Hope this helps.

Andrew


Andrew Thanks the the information i need...
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tkmedia

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Re: Hardware recommendations
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2009, 04:38:52 pm »
You may just want to compare the Quality of picture you can get with a 1080i or 1080p when directly connected to tv with your HD singal (BD PLAYER or SATBOX) to the picture that gets scaled down to s-video  and goes through that configuration and then rescaled back to HD.


just my 2 cents


Tim
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emachala

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Re: Hardware recommendations
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2009, 04:45:14 pm »
You may just want to compare the Quality of picture you can get with a 1080i or 1080p when directly connected to tv with your HD singal (BD PLAYER or SATBOX) to the picture that gets scaled down to s-video  and goes through that configuration and then rescaled back to HD.



just my 2 cents


Tim


svideo? i dont plan i using any svideo?
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tkmedia

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Re: Hardware recommendations
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2009, 05:15:11 pm »
What capture cards are you using in the MD ?

What connector does it have for input from sat box?

not sure if i missed something?



Tim
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emachala

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Re: Hardware recommendations
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2009, 06:13:55 pm »
none ive been asking for a recommendation so I can order one and test it... ive seen many some hdmi some component...  I need something that will capture the cable box feed including the cable boxes OSD ie the tv guide and I Have 7 cable boxes and i want to use them all ...either watching live TV or recording scheduled programs...

Which cards would you recommend... that work with linuxmce too
-emac

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totallymaxed

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Re: Hardware recommendations
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2009, 06:46:49 pm »
You may just want to compare the Quality of picture you can get with a 1080i or 1080p when directly connected to tv with your HD singal (BD PLAYER or SATBOX) to the picture that gets scaled down to s-video  and goes through that configuration and then rescaled back to HD.


just my 2 cents


Tim


If you use HDMI -> CAT5 -> HDMI there is not quality loss or scaling involved at all.

Andrew
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Get RaspSqueeze-CEC or Raspbmc-CEC Wifi enabled for Dianemo/LinuxMCE: http://wp.me/P4KgIc-5P

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totallymaxed

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Re: Hardware recommendations
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2009, 07:01:25 pm »
none ive been asking for a recommendation so I can order one and test it... ive seen many some hdmi some component...  I need something that will capture the cable box feed including the cable boxes OSD ie the tv guide and I Have 7 cable boxes and i want to use them all ...either watching live TV or recording scheduled programs...

Which cards would you recommend... that work with linuxmce too

Well if the cable boxes are also PVR's (like the SKY+ & SkyHD boxes are in my earlier example) then you can avoid capturing (and therefore downgrading their video ouput quality) by just using the individual cable boxes for recording and just control them from LinuxMCE... the video gets distributed over HDMI to each screen. Do you need 7 cable boxes? Seems unlikely to me...

Cable Box1 -> HDMI -> 1-8 (or 1-16) HDMI switch with one HDMI out to each MD's 4-1 (or 6-1) HDMI switch (RS232 controlled) -> HDMI to CAT5 to HDMI ->screen
Cable Box2 -> HDMI -> 1-8 (or 1-16) HDMI switch with one HDMI out to each MD's 4-1 (or 6-1) HDMI switch (RS232 controlled) -> HDMI to CAT5 to HDMI ->screen
Cable Box3 -> HDMI -> 1-8 (or 1-16) HDMI switch with one HDMI out to each MD's 4-1 (or 6-1) HDMI switch (RS232 controlled) -> HDMI to CAT5 to HDMI ->screen
Cable Box4 -> HDMI -> 1-8 (or 1-16) HDMI switch with one HDMI out to each MD's 4-1 (or 6-1) HDMI switch (RS232 controlled) -> HDMI to CAT5 to HDMI ->screen

The two downsides to this config are that the recordings are distributed on each Cable boxes internal hard drive and you end up with a substantial amount of additional hardware and cables in the rack - but it gives you full control of each Cable box and full HD video quality at each screen.

Andrew
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd

My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Get RaspSqueeze-CEC or Raspbmc-CEC Wifi enabled for Dianemo/LinuxMCE: http://wp.me/P4KgIc-5P

For Smart Home consulting advice;
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Get a Dianemo License: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.msg100221#msg100221
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dianemo-Home-Automation/226019387454465

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