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Old 11th June 2003, 09:19 AM   #1
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Default Built-in home entertainment

I am starting discussions with an architect with a view to building my own house. This is obviously a good time to consider building in a home entertainment system and computer network. The Linn Knekt system is going to be well out of my budget, and from what I have read so far, the distributed speaker cable systems tend not to sound as good as line-level distributed systems.

My initial thought is that some sort of balanced-line based distribution of signals would be most appropriate with small-ish local amplifiers in the relevant rooms. Control of the system would need to be possible wherever the outputs are and initially I woud expect only to be installing in the main rooms of the house with a view to expanding to the smaller bedrooms as time and budget allows.

I realise that I will be constrained by my overall budget (£3000-£5000), but I would like to dial in as much home automation (lighting/heating, etc.) as possible. Any controls would need to be discrete in appearance for aesthetic reasons (WAF).

My questions:
Has anybody had any experiences with these kind of installations?
Are they worth the time and effort involved?
Can anyone recommend a particular system/supplier?
How many ££££'s?

Installation will largely be DIY (of course!) and would take place during construction. Home automation is something new for me so your advice will be most gratefully received!

Cheers

Paul


P.S. This also means I must finish my Aleph 5 quite soon. The case is largely completed, the boards are populated but time is scarce at present.
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Old 16th June 2003, 09:18 AM   #2
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Default ?

What's this?

Has nobody had any experience, thoughts, or observations on this sort of set-up?

Paul
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Old 16th June 2003, 03:23 PM   #3
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suppers if ya give me a floor plan of the house I can help you out I think


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Old 16th June 2003, 04:02 PM   #4
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i don't know if i have anything useful to contribute, but being an architect i'm interested in your project. keep us apprised of the process; i want to know how it goes. and if i have any architectural suggestions i'll pipe up.

also Variac is an architect. there may be even more of us.

/andrew
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Old 17th June 2003, 01:15 AM   #5
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Can't help much with domestic automation stuff, but I would advise a good place to start would be to run dual lines of installation starquad everywhere, along with a couple of runs of Cat5, and some 75ohm coax for cable/satellite/broadband internet. You could run them back to a cellar, or a handy cupboard under the stairs, then just patch things in as you need them.

Now, if you want to fly a car around the roof of a stadium, that I can do, (or at least, I know who to employ to do it )!
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Old 17th June 2003, 01:24 AM   #6
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Just another quick thought, this signal distribution problem sounds like the kind of thing that Craig's Apox digital crossover could be easily modded to sort out...
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Old 17th June 2003, 03:48 AM   #7
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Yeah, I'm also disappointed to not see any posts on 1st hand experience.

About the only advice I have is to wire your house in a vendor-neutral manner. In other words, I wouldn't pick a product, and then only run the specified wires between panels. I would invest in subpanels for each installation area, and then run 1 or 2 multistranded cable, 1 or 2 Cat5, and 1 or 2 RG6 between the panels.

I think the automation platform itself will be the most difficult. I don't even know if you guys have X-10 in the UK?
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Old 17th June 2003, 08:45 AM   #8
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Hi everybody,

JOE DIRT®: Floor plan still in development, not keen on first draft. I'll take you up on that offer when available though!

pinkmouse: Hadn't considered the starquad but it makes good sense. Will look into the apox digi-Xover. Flying cars?!

leadbelly: X10 available, will do more research in that direction.

faustian bargin: House is to be built on a village plot, local planners quite conservative, so I'm expecting the elevations to reflect this. The interior is where we (self & wife-to-be) aim to make our 'individual statement.' Tricky bit, as ever, is how to make the most of a relatively small floor plan (1500-1700 sqft, single garage included), since we both prefer largish (for the UK) living areas. Lounge will need to take the main hifi into account, obviously.

Thanks for the input, I'll keep you posted.

Paul
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Old 18th June 2003, 10:36 AM   #9
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Oh B****R!!!

Just got gazzumped on the building plot! Time to look for another plot.

Be patient, Paul, be patient.
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Old 18th June 2003, 12:04 PM   #10
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suppers If I can offer a word of advice....I do alot of high end controls for heat, A/C,audio and vidieo...the homes I do are in the 10 000-25 000 sq ft range......nowadays we run pvc conduit with access panels in every room...this results being able to add new wiring as you need it after the basic installation....so....If you cant afford something after the initial building of the house you can install it later....as far as cost factor when you hire your sub trades it is very economical to have them run your basic wiring at this time ......X10 system works good...but can be expensive... but can always be expanded in the future...I try to design products for a customer on a certain budjet that allows them upgrades in the future for the cost factor and for the point that it takes time living in a dwelling before you really know what you want.I wont say what products I design because I`m not here to sell you anything but offer advice and am fully aware of the cost factor in your area ( I visit UK quite often)
If your planning on building a bungalow then its going to be fairly cheap to accomadate all of this.I hope this thread continues because I think that it will benefit other members here on the forum

DIRT®
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