I am a Helicopter Instructor Pilot with a wish to automate our home, linuxMCE seems to be perfect for what I want to do in our house. I'm fairly new to Linux, but learn quickly, I have some experience with programming from my college years, and always tweaking stuff to make it work better/easier. Our house is a 1 floor setup with an existing Nutone intercom and an old Alarm system we do not use at the moment, I will integrate these systems into my setup as time goes by. We have 4 Bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, Kitchen, Livingroom, Playroom, Office, Pool area that I would like to provide this system with. Initially the Livingroom, Playroom, Kitchen and Office will be added and than I will expand as time goes by and I found the right "pnp" hardware. Master Bedroom and Bath are next, than we'll go to the patio for outside entertainment.
As I had a lot of hardware "laying around" from my computer upgrading spurts I have every other year or so, I decided to gives this setup a try.
- Motherboard: Asus A7N8X Deluxe
- Socket A with a AMD Athlon XP 2600+ installed
- Memory at 1Gb PC3200 (will upgrade to 2Gb, still have a slot open)
- 2 Internal NICs, 3COM, and nforce (forcedeth) both 100Mb max, disabled the nforce, added intel pci Nic for Gb.
Added a Soundblaster Card for audio, cannot get internal card to work.
- Videocard: Axle Geforce 7600GS
- 512Mb of memory
- Storage: OCZ core2 SATA II 60Gb SSD
- 500Gb Hard drive for storage
- Drive: Generic DVD-drive
- Power supply: ANTEC True430P
- Case: old generic full tower case, kinda bulky but good enough for now.
- Mvixbox with 2 drives for a total of 1.5Tb
- Simpleshare with 250Gb for daily use on our home computers and backup of Core image
This Asus motherboard has 2 Sata connectors and hooked up the SSD to the Primary and made sure the jumper was set to enable SATA, installation was no problem.
Video, Sound and drive are all up and running.
I disabled the nforce network card and added a gigabit network card for the internal network. The nvidia 'forcedeth' seemed to be getting a new nic name each reboot, disabling this one was the easiest for me.
LinuxMCE 0810 beta2 snapshot June 1 2010
Installed it from the DVD with no problems
I'm using UI2 (no alpha blending, but think it will work just fine)
CM11A X10 controller
I had a box full of X10 devices in my garage from a previous attempt to automate the house, I have integrated some table lights in the system.
Make sure to add the CM11A manually and after add your devices as childs, works fine. I added a repeater/coupler because of the 2 bus system here in the USA, still tweaking this as i type this.
Worked out of the box installed in my Core/hybrid, getting local channels available on the cable
Got two Zotac ION ITX C-U boards, connected one to my LCD TV and set it up for PXE boot, this works out of the box, i got the black screen when the AVwizard should come up, pressed the number "3" and there it was. I choose hdmi2, 1080p, 60hz and it works fine.
Sound over Hdmi works great in the latest snapshot, only one cable needed to connect your MD
The only thing I always see, is that you have to restart your MD completely after the whole installation is done. You'll get a black screen otherwise. After restart everything is fine.
Also looking at other possibilities, especially cheap but performing for e.g. the bedroom TV's that don't require 1080p, I can't see the difference anyway between 720p and 1080p. But if it's possible it will be fine and future proof.
ORBITERS and REMOTES
Have 2 Gyration remotes, work ootb Have 2 Webdt 366's and they both work great and ootb after installation of the image.
Bought a windows vista MCE remote, this was plug and play with mceusb2 selected, mceusb will not work with these vista remotes.
I have 2 WebDT 366's which work great with Tschak's image, even after re-installs it's easy to add them back in. Awesome orbiter. I will probably use these as fixed orbiters on the wall somewhere since battery life isn't the greatest.
I am also very interested in the 2440 all in one boards, which would be perfect to put in place of the current intercom system for fixed orbiters around the house.
LIVING ROOM AV GEAR
TV: 65" Hitachi DLP with a max resolution of 1080i 65SWX20B
STB: Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HDC
RECEIVER: Onkyo SR606
DVD: Sony 5 disc multi DVD player DVP-NC665P
SPEAKERS: All Bose with the 701's up front 301's in the back and the VCS10 in the middle, still have to get a good powered SUB or amplify our current passive one.
PLAYROOM/HOME THEATER AV GEAR
TV: 47" Philips LCD TV (max 1080p) 47PFL5432D/37
STB: Scientific Atlanta Explorer 3250HD
RECEIVER/DVD: Sony 5.1 all in one Home Theater System DAV-HDX265
Trying to get the IR control to work correctly, just playing with some settings when i have time.
All in all it's not very difficult to setup, but it does require some reading and searching the forums/wiki/web for answers, especially when you are a linux noob like me.