Well since I am working on my new skin I figured I might as well start a new showcase. The hardware for my setup has drastically changed this past few months. I am now running an Ocelot with a SECU-16IR for all my infrared needs as well as both the SECU-16 and SECU-16I for my digital input and output functions. I also have an Elk M1EZ8 which will be used for security as well as low level automation functions. All my lighting has been moved over to the Elk which has a PSC05 X10 interface. The Elk is interfaced with a new Girder 5 ELK plugin. I have increased my audio zones to six. I also sold off my Fujitsu 3400 tablets and purchased a 15" ELO Touchscreen and two Nokia 770 tablets. The ELO runs 1024X768 so my first skin will be enlarged to fit the native resolution of the monitor. I will then create a skin to match the 800X480 resolution of the Nokia 770.
So here are three of the screens I have re-skinned. I chose to finally migrate over to use GAC+ for my album browser which will also include genre, playlists, jump to letter and searching.
I have added this history behind my project from Cocoontech forum:
3.0 Ghz P4 W/ 1.5 GB Ram automation/music Server running XP, JRMC 11, Girder 5, Netremote Media Bridge and Elk M1EZ8
750GB total storage for 800 CD's Ripped with APE lossless audio format.
Two Nokia 770 touch pads: Running RDP into a server
Dell Axim X5 running Netremote Pro
Hardware User Interfaces:
GUI Interface "Now Playing" for Netremote on the Touchscreens
Elk M1EZ8 with Elk-M1XRF2G wireless receiver and PSC05 X10 interface
Ocelot 16 idependant IR zones
Various X10 Modules and Switches
WinXP Pro running SageTV for timeshifting running a 3800+ X2 w/7600GS for HD playback at 1080p
Buffalo WHR-G54S flashed with DD-WRT
16 Port 10/100 Hub
Sony DA80ES A/V Home Theater Receiver
5x Technics SA-EX140 200Watt RMS Stereo receivers
Audio Distributed amp via Xantech.
M-Audio Delta 410 10 Channel Sound Card
Xitel PRO HIFI USB Sound Device used for TOS Output and Zone Synchronization
Xitel HIFI Link USB Sound Device for sixth zone added
Samsung 56" DLP HDTV
Polk Monitor 50 Speakers
Various speakers for the auxilary zones like the BIC in-wall speakers
Girder 5 w/Elk plugin
Netremote 2.0 Pro
Jriver media center V11
6 independent zone touch screen controlled whole house audio system sourced by 800+ CD's and independent tuners
Announce all caller id and reminders over independent audio distribution system.
Announce end of washer and dryer cycles
Popup for caller id with monitor wakeup to all Fujitsu 3400's showing a scrolling caller log
Light control popup panels for touch screens
Weather details page for touch screens
Elk Security Panel control
ZoneMinder with 4 IR cameras for remote monitoring and motion capture
Well here a short history as to how my whole house audio has evolved in its design. I originally started with the idea of
having a single amp and use LPADS in each room. What I came up with was as cheap and offered much more features
and felt it was the best solution for the money long term.
The problem with using a single receiver to drive multiple speakers are numerous. First you will have to have
a way of impedance matching the speakers to your receiver. I seriously looked at devices like the HACS AB8SS
but those cost quite a bit more money and you still will have to have some way of adjusting the volume in each
room that you have your speakers in. For that you could use a manual or IR controlled LPAD mounted in the wall.
Remember that this LPAD has to dissapate the wattage your driving so plan on it getting HOT. In researching LPADS
I have read of many horror stories of people having them melt down in the walls. I also would be faced with all
the work of mounting them and running the wires. A decent LPAD can run you $50-$100 each for manual control and
double that for IR control.
I had no doubt that the 220 watt RMS receiver I currently had would drive all the speakers so power was not on
issue. My original setup would share a single 400 disc CD changer over multiple zones so again using a single
receiver would work quite well. Again what had a big impact on my decision was the cost of the LPADS that I would
need to purchase.
After weighing all those ideas (and trust me I was planning on going that route at first) I decided to take a
different approach. First I live in a home that has wet plaster walls and its a real pain to mount anything in
the walls so I was not looking forward to LPADS in each room anyways. I also wanted IR control so that I could
use a touch screen and Homeseer to control it down the road. That meant spending big bucks on the speaker
switcher/impedience matcher and all the IR controlled LPADS.
What I came up with ended up costing much less and really being much less work. I decided to purchase a
Technics 200 watt stereo receivers for each additional room that I wanted to put a 'zone' in. So keeping
my home theater system as the main 'zone' I purchased 4 extra receivers. Each receiver is IR controllable
from Girder 5 and can be powered off separately. Each zone then has its own volume, power, mute, bass & treble
controls. Since the wiring came down to running speaker wires from the 4 aux zones to each of the rooms it was
much easier as I had no LPADS to buy or install. Each room has its own 200 watts RMS so there is no chance of
a melt down. Once I chose the Technics SA-EX140 200Watt RMS Stereo receivers I looked on Ebay and bought 4 at
an average cost of $50 each. Thats less than the 4 manual LPADS I would have had to buy. All four receivers are
close to my HS server and are totally out of site. No need to have them visible when you can control them remotely
with IR control.
Now with 5 seperate receivers it opened up a few options. Each zone had its own tuner so that was a bonus. When
I first did this I shared a 400 Disc CD changer for all 5 zones. I have since went to a hard drive solution that
enabled me to really endulge by having 5 distinct zones. Using the M-Audio 410 PCI Sound Cards that has 10 channels
I am able to have a 5 zone setup with audiophile specifications. I use the built in sound card for my TTS voices
and everything works well together. All the receivers are controlled via my 'Now Playing' GUI interface done
using Netremote/JRMC/Girder 5/Slink-e. Some people have asked about the Slink-e and why I used it. First I
already had it to control my CD changer and second it has 8 independant IR zones. The IR zones need to be
indepenant due to the fact that I am using the same receiver for 4 of the 'zones'. One way around this would
be to use different model receivers for each zone or use an Ocelot with the IR module to get the indendant
Every day I sit down at my PC in the den and use my Now Playing GUI front end I have access to over 750+ CD's,
internet radio stations, and 10 preset FM local stations. My wife can play what she likes in the living room,
bedroom or kitchen and I play what I like. With 1300 Watts RMS available I have no worries about heat or clipping
the amplifiers and destroying the speakers. I also have to say it all sounds quite nice.
I now have dropped Homeseer and went with Girder 5 as the home automation solution. I find it more stable and integrated better with Netremote. I also have added an Elk to my setup and use the Elk plugin for Girder 5. I also migrated to an Ocelot for IR control. Last I added a sixth zone.
With this design I implemented a hardware based syncing option that lets you play the same CD in more than one zone but still
allows you to play a different one in another zone.
Check this thread detailing how to play Winamp streams through JRMC