John Sample

Bits and Bytes
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Holes In The Walls

It started out as a small project.

I've been wanting to network all the TVs and stereos in my house for a while. My goal was to have tivo-like functionality everywhere in the house with a central media server dishing everything out. I wanted to have on demand movies, music, and everywhere there was a television or stereo.
I finally put the finishing touches on it this weekend... or so I thought.

For about a year I've been using BeyondTV for the tivo part. Although I've owned several different encoder cards, by far the best I've used is the Hauppauge wintv-pvr-usb2. This combo has been working great.

The problem was that I was having to sit in front of my computer or burn a DVD to watch... until now.

This weekend I picked up two MediaMVPs so I could pull up the video on TV instead of the computer monitor.
Aside from a few quirks (sometimes the audio/video gets out of sync), it works great. You have full and independent control, pause/ffwd/rew, at each station.
Along with the lyra system I've been using for music, this pretty much took care of rounding out the media network.

Then I started to look at the network I was running it on.  I've got Cat5 going to our bedroom, the living room, and the office.
“Thats just not going cut it” I said to myself. “What about the the dining room, and the guest rooms? And how could I leave out the kitchen and  the laundry room? And if I wire those, why not the garage and bathrooms? And if I run the network everywhere, why not replace all the coax and phone lines at the same time? **sound of sinister laughter** ”

And so it has begun.

In just a few days I've been able to snake a couple hundred feet of Cat5e and coax cablethrough the walls. I've got bags of snap in lan drops, voice ports, and video connectors. So far I've only finished one room: the dining room.
Do you think its overkill to have 2 gigabit ethernet, 2 voice, and a coax drop in there?
Me neither.
Next stop: the guest rooms.

posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2005 9:41 PM


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