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Thread: need some ideas for a multi-room home cinema/audio setup

  1. #1
    daft ideas inc. scottyman's Avatar
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    need some ideas for a multi-room home cinema/audio setup

    as per title,
    a friend of mine is renovating his house, and I'm taking care of all of the connectivity, server, and security solutions - but where he lives in Galway is a little thin in the whole home cinema/audio solutions (and I'm in London which doesn't really help)
    Ideally have an MCE box to record and playback an NTL feed and an additional channel for freeview (to record and playback sports and movies) but ideally from same box play back ripped dvds to main screen (in lounge) and to lcd screens in kids playroom, his office, and master bedroom.
    Then have audio feeds to kichen, bathroom, both offices, master bedroom and ensuite bathroom.
    Was thinking probably hardwiring a squeezebox into each of those rooms, however would like a wall control (waterproofed) with lcd display to choose and run playlists.
    Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?
    Server will be located with secondary NTL box under stairs (ideally have both ntl boxes under stairs - but requires some way of getting signal from master remote 10m + through two walls)

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    Agent of the System ikonia's Avatar
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    syou could always do a cheaper version of what I'm doing (mines over kill in a big way)

    I've bought blue tooth dongles and the bottom spec ipaqs (I bought my test one from a user on hexus) I've put a really small custom linux build on them, although I'm sure this can be done with windows also, and created a static bond with blue tooth, so pad01 only works with machine01. Pad02 only works with machine02

    then using some remote control software and a little hacking I'm using it as a touch pad to control the machines in the room - which basilly take feeds of the PVR/HTPC in another room or plays music or video from a network mount point on the same machine.

    I've gone over the top and way too much trouble, it can be done simpler but I was testing.
    It is Inevitable.....


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    Spodes Henchman unrealrocks's Avatar
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    LINN do a total solution for what your looking for, its not cheap mind. Alot of the shops that sell the X10 stuff also sell similar equipment but setting it up can be abit of a nightmare.

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    When I last (drooled) over it in Musical Images in Beckenham it as abot 2000 pounds

    Sounded absolutely astonishing though both in 5.1 and stereo

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    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    Yamaha release a multi-room system in the last year or so. It might be right up your street but I'm uncertain of the overall data capacity.
    1 : i5 4670K | 8Gb | ASUS Maximus VI Genie | HD6890 | MX100 512GB | TX650W | CM Black Widow | Dell U2713H | 8.1 Pro
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    3 : i7 3570K | 16Gb | ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe | GTX 660 TI | 2x 1TB 840EVO | Sugo SG05BB-450 | Dell U2713H + 17" | 8.1 Pro
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    W2 : Dell Precision T3610 | E5-1650 V2 | 16GB | Quadro K2000 | 256GB SSD | 1TB HDD | 8.1 Pro


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    daft ideas inc. scottyman's Avatar
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    mmm nifty - I'm going down to have to fiddle and see what I can set up.

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    You may also want to take a look at the Octopus system from Opus Technologies. I don't know how waterproof it is, but it is fairly cheap.

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    daft ideas inc. scottyman's Avatar
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    i remember Opus! good call - completely forgot about them!

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    Re: need some ideas for a multi-room home cinema/audio setup

    Sorry to resurrect such an old thread, but what was the outcome of this?

    I'm doing a new build and want to integrate some sort of multi-room audio system with built-in speakers.

    Budget is of course a problem though...!

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    • bigblue's system
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    Re: need some ideas for a multi-room home cinema/audio setup

    Really depends just how tight your budget is, and just how complex you want to make it

    I've been in a similar situation myself, and now find myself as an (unpaid) advisor every time a friend buys a house I'm stockpiling gear for our new house too.

    There's a multitude of decisions you need to make first...

    -Budget!
    -Is it purely audio you want, or do you see yourself wanting video too?
    -If just audio, what quality of audio? Lossless streaming to hi-fi speakers, or just some MP3's to some cheap PC type speakers?
    -Wireless or wired?
    -What other equipment is going into the build? For example, if you have a PS3 or 360 going into one of the rooms, they're a ready made streaming device.
    -How are you going to store your media? On your PC/Home server/Nas/etc
    -How do you wish to control the system? Touchpads/remotes/laptop/hand held pc/etc
    -etc, etc, etc

    I know of a few folk who have set up either Apple AirPort Express, or Squeezebox based systems, for very little money. Just a receiver, amp, and speakers in each room.

    I've a couple of the Airports myself, and they're very fine bits of kit

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    Re: need some ideas for a multi-room home cinema/audio setup

    Budget is as little as possible.



    I've considered video, but the main consideration is for audio (including internet radio). Now I don't want lossless, but at the same time, I rip my music at a high bit rate.

    I've considered using a Koolu mini-PC (small, very low-power and noise) with a monitor and some speakers in the kitchen, but it seems like overkill and won't provide a nice interface.
    OR does anyone know of any Linux software for this purpose? Some kind of media center-type interface which can be set to start when the PC is booted?
    In which case, a touch-screen would be a must - anyone recommend any reasonably priced ones?

    The house will be ethernet wired, but I have a wireless router, so that's an option too.

    Media will be stored on either a Vista Ultimate or Ubuntu PC.

    For control, I was thinking bluetooth PDAs.

    I was tempted by the Squeezebox, but ideally, I want something hidden, with speakers in the ceiling/walls.

    So, what can I do cheaply or (as I'm suspecting), is the Squeezebox the way to go?

    It seems I want the impossible...!

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    Re: need some ideas for a multi-room home cinema/audio setup

    I'm in the same boat now myself. I just bought my first house and have been dreaming of a home entertainment system for years. I have been thinking of using linutop's in each room, they're tiny, noiseless and have a flavour of ubuntu on them. My ideal set-up would be;

    - Touch screen's in each room, mounted to the wall in some rooms but for the maser bedroom and living room these can be on a coffee table / bedside locker. The touch screen would be rigged to the linutop

    - Wired or wireless, I haven't decided yet (probably whatever is he cheapest option - and as long as wireless could stream video ok)

    - I'll have the server under the stairs which will be used to store all the mp3's and divx videos

    - Ideally I'd have a front end app on each touch screen (my brother is a flash developer and we're thinking of going down that route). The app will ask for video or audio, if you pick video you can then select the file and then select to play it to the TV (or projector in the living room)

    - I'd like to be able to control the audio in each room from any of the linutop's

    Still reading around and dreaming at the moment but I can't wait to get stuck in!

    - Steve

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