Author Topic: Rack Mount Multi-room Solution  (Read 2970 times)

Purplexus

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Rack Mount Multi-room Solution
« on: April 21, 2009, 10:23:27 am »
Alright I am at a loss.

I have done many sleep deprived nights trying to find a lot of questions out. Perhaps maybe I can ask.

I am wondering first of all about control on a Linux MCE multi-room.  The setup I attempting is this.

I would like to use 1 core for a 7.1 Theatre, 5 TV/Audio Media directors where all of these units will be placed at the TV/ projector locations.   
Now the Questions I am wondering about is this... 

Question 1   If I have 8 other media directors all located in a RACKMOUNT media closet... Can I control each media director from the ones located at the TV's?

Question 2.  Is there a replacement remote anyone knows of for the FIIRE cheif that is capable of using the follow me function?

Question 3   Will it be possible to use RS-232 for a Lutron Radio-RA lighting system with LINUX MCE

Question 4   has anyone looked into the Samsung Omnia for being a Orbiter (IPHONE KILLER) (possible remote)

Question 5   ARE YOU SICK OF MY QUESTIONS YET?

Question 6   HOW ABOUT NOW?

Thanks in advance;

Trevor

tschak909

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Re: Rack Mount Multi-room Solution
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2009, 10:28:52 am »
Multi-zone audio can be done in a variety of ways in LinuxMCE. I will let others answer that.

As for a replacement for the Fiire Chief. There currently isn't one. However, supported mobile orbiters do follow me just fine, and Follow Me can be triggered via _any_ orbiter, just watch my screencasts.

As for Lutron RA. We do not have a device for this anymore. It was present in Pluto 1, but is not in Pluto 2. A device template and corresponding driver would need to be made, not that big of a deal if you have specifications.

The Omnia should be able to run the Windows Smartphone mobile orbiter. It will need to be recompiled for Windows Mobile 6.

-Thom


Purplexus

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Re: Rack Mount Multi-room Solution
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2009, 11:27:10 am »
Thank You for the quick response!

I do realize that Multi-room can be done in many ways and perhaps my question on it was not properly spoken.
I guess the real question I am trying to ask is thus:

Can I force one Media director to command another media director what to do through its already implemented GUI?

IE tell the Media director which is set up to only run my deck speaker play such and such a song.

Another thought.... Can it tell multiple directors to all play the same song at the same time.

totallymaxed

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Re: Rack Mount Multi-room Solution
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2009, 12:38:31 pm »
Thank You for the quick response!

I do realize that Multi-room can be done in many ways and perhaps my question on it was not properly spoken.
I guess the real question I am trying to ask is thus:

Can I force one Media director to command another media director what to do through its already implemented GUI?
</quote>
Re above... yes thats no problem at all.
<quote>

IE tell the Media director which is set up to only run my deck speaker play such and such a song.
</quote>
re The above...yes you can do that. But do you plan to have an MD out on your Deck or in your Rack just to control audio? A better solution on your Deck (if you have no plans to a TV there) might be to use a Squeeze box to deliver audio there via an amplifier in your rack. The Squeezebox can be controlled from any LinuxMCE Orbiter so you could use an Nokia N810 Touch screen for example if you wanted control out there with you.
<quote>

Another thought.... Can it tell multiple directors to all play the same song at the same time.

Re the Above. Yes you can. You can use the Media Floor plan to select a number (or all MD's) and have the same play list be played on all of them. The one slight limitation currently is that all of those MD's will not be in perfect sync. So another approach we use for customers where in sync multiroom audio is 'must have' is to use say a Squeezebox and route its audio to several multi-zone amplifiers. With say a Denon 2309, or similar, you can control multiple stereo zones for volume level, using rs232 control.

Hope the above is of help.

All the best

Andrew
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Purplexus

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Re: Rack Mount Multi-room Solution
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2009, 05:12:40 pm »
Andrew you and I are in the same business.  Do you ever install large 12-14 zones of Audio within your clients homes?

Having more speakers in ones house actually allows you to listen to music at a quieter level throughout the home.  Yes in most cases all the speakers are on the same audio source at the same time and on one floor.  Perhaps I will have to combine all of these zones into one

Our multi-room solution does usually begin with a Russound multi-room amplifier (They really are starting to suck lately)  But the promise of doing it cheaper this way is why I was drawn into Linux MCE.
:(     *I was really hoping for this system to do more*

Is there any plans to perfect this in the immediate future?

« Last Edit: April 21, 2009, 05:20:02 pm by Purplexus »

totallymaxed

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Re: Rack Mount Multi-room Solution
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2009, 07:03:51 pm »
Andrew you and I are in the same business.  Do you ever install large 12-14 zones of Audio within your clients homes?

Having more speakers in ones house actually allows you to listen to music at a quieter level throughout the home.  Yes in most cases all the speakers are on the same audio source at the same time and on one floor.  Perhaps I will have to combine all of these zones into one :(     *I was really hoping for this system to do more*



We are just designing an installation with 10 zones of audio and 8 zones of video/audio/tv and these zones do overlap in a fluid way around the property. So yes we do see that kind of installation.

As to wanting LinuxMCE to do 'more' well we certainly find that we have far more flexibility and capability in this system than any other solution out there.

Andrew

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colinjones

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Re: Rack Mount Multi-room Solution
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2009, 01:45:53 am »
To answer another of your questions - can one MD control another MD to play some media?

Yes, but you should understand the infrastructure a little better first that makes this possible.

An MD (Media Director) is simply the station that media can be piped through to an Entertainment Area

An Orbiter is a control interface that is used to control media playback, HA, telecom, security, etc on any MD.

Every MD happens to have an "On Screen" Orbiter, however there are other types, Mobile Orbiter, Windows Orbiter, Java Orbiter, etc. All have in common that they can control any MD.

So it really isn't a case of one MD controlling another, it is just that you are using the On Screen Orbiter of one MD to control another MD, just as you could use any other Orbiter (say on a mobile phone, your Windows machine, Cisco IP phone, etc) to do the same thing.

hth

Purplexus

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Re: Rack Mount Multi-room Solution
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2009, 05:09:43 am »
I am going to move this topic over to the development section as I am now going to try and see what I can do to give back.  I have some possible solutions that I would like some opions on  Please see this same topic in the development to carry on with this topic.

rodercot

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Re: Rack Mount Multi-room Solution
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2009, 12:27:51 pm »
I have always though that the solution to this was always a multi-zone sound card.  One company I used had a product that was awesome but expensive and released before it's time. Basically it was two card cages 4u rack mount, The first box was the controller which housed video switching cards which were all 75ohm composite inputs,

 so - 1 card was 8 inputs 2 cards were 16 inputs or 8 svideo inputs 3 cards were 24 inputs or 8 rgb inputs etc, the same amout of cards for output then the controller in the same box was a 7" T/S with windows CE at the time, and a software running where everything you setup in the matrix.

 The audio portion of the solution was another 4u chassis and in that box you could install 11 if I recall per chassis full blown 7.1 sound cards (each a separate card) the beauty of this was you could configure each of those cards as a 7.1 theater solution or 4 rooms of audio there were 4 pr of rca outs on each card and ofcourse 12v triggers per room. When setup as rooms each room on the card had it's own set of rs232 code by just change one number in the code for the rooms ID. it was very simple and worked and sounded amazing when fully setup.

 My dealers installed a few of these systems over the couple years they were available. but to have one chassis with 11 7.1 zones or a complete mix of stereo and 7.1 zones, and controlled via whatever and rs232. I think the cards then were 1100 Each and I could have bought a few of them on Ebay last year for 50$ a piece. Wow! times change.

 This is similar to your idea of multi md's per rack, but I think having a card cage chassis with multiple cards all controlled via the core would be an awesome solution. most decoders in a DVD, RCVR etc today are simple plug in type add in cards and many off shore suppliers have readily available test boards and they all have 7.1 outputs in most cases. It is to develop the code to switch them between a 7.1 decoder and a 4 rooms of stereo audio that would be the problem, but the code is supplied with the test boards in most cases and simply controlling the right op-amps at the right output stage may just be enough four room on and off.

 I may be overthinking this but one chassis versus 8 could save a fortune in electrical costs.. not too mentions fans and pc parts upkeep.

 rgds,

 Dave

NikAmi

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Re: Rack Mount Multi-room Solution
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2009, 06:56:10 am »
I was wondering if anyone had implemented LinuxMCE with an Elan multizone system yet. My house is already wired with an Elan system, but currently we can't choose what to listen to and can only switch CDs blindly. I would like to use a Squeezebox or an MD in the theater room to pipe audio to the Elan system and control the Elan controller. If someone had already coded a module or this that would be great otherwise I'd have to learn to code it and its been a while since I have done any computer coding. Also, going back to the first post, I ws wondering if anyone knew of any plans/progress for Lutron lighting control. According to the wiki, there hasn't been any work started, but I was hoping that someone, possibly not affiliated with the project, may have started work on it. As it stands, we have Lutron controllers controlling 4 zones in the house which I believe can all be controlled from the master bedroom. I don't know if we have the hardware necessary to interface with an MD, but if the control was possible I'd invest in adding it. Thanks for the responses in advance!

Edit: I was horrified to see that I used "their" instead of "there".
« Last Edit: June 24, 2009, 09:51:21 am by NikAmi »

colinjones

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Re: Rack Mount Multi-room Solution
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2009, 07:06:36 am »
Don't know anything about Elan, and haven't seen it mentioned anywhere, but all additions are welcome, of course!

What interface does it have to control it? Serial/Ethernet/IR? It should be easy enough to set it up and probably without "coding". Often you can just use the Generic Serial Device to control these things. If interface just accepts simple text strings, then you just add a GSD, tell it which LMCE commands you want it to implement, then paste in the appropriate text into each command field, and it will do the rest. The same fields are actually Ruby code snippets, so if you need something more sophisticated, you can code something in Ruby for each command, then again, paste the scripts into the command fields, and it will execute each when LMCE wants to execute a command.

NikAmi

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Re: Rack Mount Multi-room Solution
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2009, 09:58:54 am »
I'm far away from home right now so I am not 100% sure but I would assume it uses serial (RS-232) control although I know I have seen phone jacks on the back (forget the exact RJ number), but that may just be for the integration of the phones to the whole house PA system. Now that I have been sifting through some of the older posts I am seeing some more references to the Lutron control systems (Radio RA in particular), but still no specifics as to how far development has come.

I was looking at the Ruby coding examples and they looked dauntingly complicated. As I don't have a Core here at school I can't try the GSD wizard, but I hope it makes it all easier. If someone has the Elan or Lutron Serial interface SDK/manual/whatever-its-called, can you post it? Otherwise, if anyone else here thinks it could be useful, I believe I have a friend of a friend whose an engineer at Lutron and may be able to help me get my hands on at least the Lutron manual.