I've been reading the Wiki and the forums in an attempt to get started on setting up LinuxMCE for my house. I have been running a Mythbuntu back-end with three MythTV front-ends for the last few months. I am fairly comfortable with those setups and what it takes to get the MythTV up and running
Below are my plans to get moving forward with LinuxMCE. I apologize for the long post but I wanted to be as thorough as possible. I greatly appreciate any guidance and advice.
In order of importance, this is what I'm looking to initially do with LinuxMCE:
- replace current MythTV setups
- whole-house audio using Pandora.com and personal audio library
- control everything using Blackberries
- basic lighting automation/control
- replace broadband router's DHCP
What I'm hoping to do with LinuxMCE in the future:
- home security using motion detectors
- climate control
- telecom (integrated with security)
My core, switch, patch panels and audio amplifier(s) will be mounted (shelf or rack) in an unfinished portion of my basement which doubles as my exercise and utilities room. My plan is to run Cat 6 UTP solid CMR 23AWG and 12AWG CL2 rated 2-conductor speaker cable (both likely will be purchased from monoprice.com). The speaker cable will be run to in-wall speakers (to be installed) in rooms that will NOT have MDs. Assuming multiple amplifiers or multi source amplifiers in the basement with the core, will I avoid the need to install volume knobs and be able to control everything using my orbiters? I plan on having my orbiters (Blackberries) connected via WiFi instead of bluetooth.Core:
I will be purchasing a new MB, CPU, RAM, NIC, video card (if on-board not sufficient), case and PSU for the core. At least initially, my core will be used as a hybrid connected to a nearby TV in my exercise room. I suspect that it may remain as a hybrid since I will need something to provide the whole house audio (Pandora.com). Simply by going to Newegg and searching for a MB with built-in NVIDIA, I came up with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813141015
which handles LGA 775 processors has NVIDIA GeForce 9300 on-board and plenty of room for a NIC and an internal tuner card. Does this look good and are there any suggestions on a CPU to pair it with? Would 4GB RAM provide a benefit over 2GB RAM? I plan on using my existing SATA DVD, 70GB HD and 1TB HD. I would install the OS on the small HD and keep media on the larger drive. Another idea I have toyed with was getting http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813500036
, ditching the internal tuner card, add a NIC to the PCI Express and using a 16GB Half MiniPCI-E SSD (already own) for the OS. Would this be sufficient?Tuners:
My MythTV setup is currently running using a Happauge WinTV-HVR-950Q (USB) and a Kworld ASTC 115. I plan on using the existing Happauge with the core. I may skip using the Kworld since I don't want to rip apart my existing MythTV setup until the LinuxMCE setup is running, the Kworld requires firmware updateds to get up an running and if I went the Atom based route described above, I won' t have a slot for it.
Is it safe to assume that if a tuner worked with MythTV that it should also work with LinuxMCE? Also, does the tuner's quality make any difference if all it is being used for is to capture ClearQAM content? My newbie understanding is that digital tuners don't do decoding and only transfer a digital stream to the HD. If that is correct then shouldn't a cheap USB tuner like http://www.meritline.com/hybrid-usb-dongle-tv-stick-geniatech-u6012---p-35677.aspx
perform just as well as any other unit?Lighting Automation
Initially I plan on controlling a few switches and my landscape lighting. Most switches that I will replace are either simple 2-way or 3-way. In the cases where dimmers are present, they on 3-ways which I suspect I would just replace the standard switch and keep the dimmer set to the same level if it saved me money. Should I start out with Z-wave using the Aeon Labs USB Z-Wave interface with built-in inclusion remote (US) or are there more cost effective options since I have only basic needs at this time. I do foresee needing to eventually go to Z-Wave for the security and climate control, so does it make sense to just start out with Z-Wave.MDs:
For now I'm planning on using my existing machines as MDs. All my TVs will be connected using HDMI. I don't currently have a surround sound setup and I don't have any immediate plans for one. In the longer term I suspect that I'll want new MDs for which I'm thinking of a similar Atom 330 system as described in the Core section above. Would running those as diskless systems be a good choice or will I run into some problems trying to do so?Orbiters:
I have two Loop pointers (http://www.hillcrestlabs.com/loop/
) which I don't foresee having any problems getting them up and running. We hope to use Blackberries as the primary orbiters, especially for the whole-home audio, since they are generally only an arms reach away from us at any given time. My plan is to get the Blackberries up and running using JavaMO. Will we be able to control Pandora.com running on the Core from the Blackberries? Other:
WiFi will be provided through a router which is currently running as a basic WAP and is not handling anything other than authentication and encryption.
I am not a developer so I won't be much help in making progress on that level. However, I am willing to participate by helping to document as much as possible.
Thank you for making it to the end of this post!