Author Topic: Designing my system - help and suggestions please  (Read 1532 times)

nyamanza

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Designing my system - help and suggestions please
« on: January 06, 2010, 09:01:23 pm »
Hi All,

To start, I am in NZ and I am downloading Linux MCE 8.10 as I type and I am in the process of designing my system and how I want it to work.  I thought I would lean on your experiences to see the best way for me to configure and setup my entertainment system(s).  

I have three locations I would like to start off with...
1. Lounge
52" plasma on one wall
Computer, Sound System and digital receiver (freeview) on adjacent wall (cabling through wall and ceiling back from computer\surround sound to TV)
2. Bar
Computer with 22" monitor for photos, music and Google (to dispel rubbish during drunken debates  :P)
3. Kitchen
Computer with 22" monitor for recipies, music and photos, TV

So, as far as computers go, I have a few ready to go.  Media, I have a fair amount of music and movies I would like to store (disk space is no issue).  Have you got any suggestions as to how to acheive the above?

Another question I have is that I am thinking of placing all my media on a NAS device (or 2) one for movies and one for music.  Are there any issues with Linux MCE using NAS for media?

One last question I have is that I use an HTC Magic Cell Phone (running android) - can I use this as a Orbiter?

Thanks in advance!  ;D

I am also looking at replacing my surround sound system with a receiver of some kind, probably of Onkyo or Panasonic persuasion as I can get really good pricing :=)




« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 09:41:28 pm by nyamanza »

trentend

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Re: Designing my system - help and suggestions please
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2010, 10:57:45 pm »
I'm in a similar position to you, although perhaps a bit further down the research curve.  I've been looking into LinuxMCE since before it existed (I started considering it when it was only available as "Pluto").

It's confusing, but not that confusing.

Are you going to have a central server location available? ...or is one of the machines that you identify as a joint core and media director (a "hybrid")?

Generally a core needs to be a nice server type of machine. It doesn't require a fast graphics processor.  Any media directors (or hybrids, in the case of a core) need to have a supported nvidia graphocs card, capable of providing the resolution that you want to display.  This is very important. Think nvidia only (unless you want trouble).

Linuxmce will work with NAS.  It requires two network interface ports/cards (NIC's), and needs to be in charge of your network (this refers to your core). It's possible to get it working in ways other than this, but you really need to know what you are doing.

The Acer Aspire Revo R3600's make really nice media directors in their basic (cheapest Linux version) guise.  You can mount them behind monitors for a very tidy/portable media director - they may work nicely over wireless (which is built in) for streamed audio or photos, but you would likely need a wired connection for streamed media (particularly HD media).

So, you will need a core (or a hybrid core including nvidia graphics card).  You may be able to use your existing computers, but you may have to bite the bullet and buy new media directors, in the guise of Acer Aspire Revo R3600's - it's a pain but they are:

1. Cheap to buy.
2. Cheap to run
3. Use little power and generate little heat so can be left on for instant response from media (ie turn on the screen, and you're in LinuxMCE).

You can use a web-orbiter on any device with a supporting browser.  There is a suggestion to develop an orbiter fro android.  One way or other you should be able to get the control you need from your handset.

I don't know about Panasonic, but Onkyo is a good choice I have just bought a TX-SR706.  There are the codes floating around for programming it through the rs232 port.  so ultimately I expect to be able to select to watch a movie in a certain room, and Linuxmce will setup my television, audio, and lighting approriately (theoretical at this point, although my LG televisions are also programmable, and I have put in a KNX home automation lighting and power system to be able to integrate with LinuxMCE).

Good luck. I'll do my best to answer anything you want to know.  As I say, at this point this is based on my current thinking for how my system will work.

tkmedia

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Re: Designing my system - help and suggestions please
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2010, 11:13:59 pm »
Quote
Another question I have is that I am thinking of placing all my media on a NAS device (or 2) one for movies and one for music.  Are there any issues with Linux MCE using NAS for media?

None at all , I actually recommend it.  It makes changing or updating core transparent as far as media goes.

I use freenas on an old pc but will be moving to a LG nas most likely. (for power consumption reasons)

HTH

Tim
My Setup http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Tkmedia

For LinuxMce compatible  systems and accessories
http://lmcecompatible.com/

Kezza

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Re: Designing my system - help and suggestions please
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2010, 11:25:47 pm »
Welcome fellow NZ'er  ;D good to see others using LinuxMCE. Will you be setting up automation at some stage?

Trentend mentioned the main things to work out first around network and server config.

I'm still in early stages of using the system (rebuilding at the moment). Built a FreeNas server last week so might use that as storage instead of MCE.

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8070.0 has some info on android orbiter development.

nyamanza

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Re: Designing my system - help and suggestions please
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2010, 12:10:39 am »
Thanks for the replies so far, it looks like I'm heading in the right direction.

I'll keep a close eye on that thread on the Android Development Kezza, cheers for that.  I doubt I will go for too much automation, my main goal is centralised, easy entertainment.

As for FreeNas, I have been using it for 5 years now I think, a long time anyway.  I have been pleased with it, but a commercial box is quieter and uses less power I agree.

So far I am planning a central server in the lounge which talks across the LAN to the NAS device for the media.  All other PC's will talk to the main server across a LAN and only the phone and laptop will be wireless at this stage (my house is well wired for this stuff already anyway!  I will be using a Hauppauge T500 and a Dual Head NVidia display adapter (I have several models from my flight simulator which will work well).

Thanks again and any more feedback or hints welcome.  I'll report how I get on...(400MB left to download!)