Newbie help please!!

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by cfoster, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. cfoster

    cfoster
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    Hi all, been a member for a short while, mainly browsing the different forums, the galleries etc but thought it was time to use some of the experts knowledge. Sorry if it's a long boring thread but thought it best if I put everything down to begin with so not as many questions will need asking (although I'm sure I've missed loads!!).

    I have lived in my first house for about 4 months now and am gradually getting through the decorating, sorting out etc. I have always wanted a cinema / TV room and have been allowed by my better half to have free reign over the lounge to do as I please!! But before I start ripping things down etc etc I want to make sure my cabling throughout the house is in place, this is where I need someone to check / help me so that I am pointing in the right direction!

    In short what I would like to end up with is every TV in the house having access to Windows Media Center which will be setup on my PC (in the office). I am presuming that I will need to CAT5 cable the rooms that are having televisions in.

    The PC is in the office, along with my broadband connection (20Mb), a Linksys wireless router and a Netgear 8 port gigabyte hub. Attached to this hub is my home PC (currently on Vista Business but will be installing Ultimate), a couple of printers and a 1Tb Lacie Ethernet HDD (all my movies stored here).

    1st question - I presume that I would need to run CAT5 cables from my 1Gb hub to all of the various televisions in the house? If so then what goes on the other end of my CAT5 to enable it to plug into the TV? Component cable? I have heard people mentioning that I may need a card in the PC so that I can directly connect a component lead in? If so does this mean I won't plug things directly into my Gigabyte hub

    TV wise there will be 4, maybe 5 in the house, conservatory, lounge, dining room, main bedroom and maybe kitchen. All TV's are new (currently have 2 new ones, 1080p Sony 40” in the conservatory and 19” white Samsung in the bedroom) and I will make sure all have the necessary outputs that I require.

    If someone can point me in the right direction cable wise it would be great!!

    Cheers
    Chris
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  2. benmbe

    benmbe
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    Hi Chris,

    I can relate to your situation to some small degree, only you have more rooms to fit out than myself.

    I moved into my first home about 10 months ago, and shall be eventually be doing similar cabling and routing to interlink the Lounge, and bedroom.

    Have purchased a number of quality cables for things like front projection ect....ect....

    With all sincerity I look forward to hearing of your progress.

    Sincere Regards

    Mark :hiya::)
     
  3. cfoster

    cfoster
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    Hi Mark, good to see there are more of us in the same situation!! Having looked through the galleries its somewhat inspired me to do go the whole hog!! Just dont want to jump in at the deep end, would rather start with the backend type stuff first so i'm not stuck at a later date!!

    Chris :)
     
  4. inzaman

    inzaman
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    Hi Chris

    I will try this in the networking section for you :)
     
  5. cfoster

    cfoster
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    Thanks mate, there are sooo many differnet forums I wasnt sure where it should be!!!!

    Cheers
    Chris :)
     
  6. Pengbo

    Pengbo
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    I have one of these Hauppauge Media MVP hooked up to my TV.

    It comes with some software that sits on your PC and streams video, music, pictures and Internet radio to the MVP box over a network. In theory according to the blurb it will do so to more than one MVP box, but I can't verify that as I only have one connected.

    It's quite limited in what it wants to stream in the way of video formats. MPEG-2 being the preferred option but new software releases have made it possible to stream DiVX and XVid as well (sort of) You can get lip sync problems and it can be frustrating getting it to work properly by trying different versions of the server software.

    The bit that made life easy for me is it works over an 85mbps Devolo homeplug pair. No nasty cabling to accommodate. However I wouldn't even attempt it in your situation as you need 5 or more and Homeplugs are effectively hubs so you will get less bandwidth the more you try to force onto it.

    The other interesting thing about the MVP is it's basically a very simple "flashable" device and you can within reason replace the software on it with your own or other concoctions rather easily. If you look here you will see an example of another way of using it MediaMVP Media Center.

    Even if this is not the device for you then it may give you some more ideas on what to search for and lead to the system you have in mind.

    Please do post back how you get on and what you go with as I am always interested in a better devices or ways of doing this. What I have works now but it's by no means the best way to do it I think but it was the only way I could find 3 years ago.
     
  7. mickevh

    mickevh
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    Just for the avoidance of doubt - "component video" is an analogue signalling format which cannot be sent through a data network (routers, switches, wifi, etc) without first being digitised in some way. It's not simply a matter of "splicing together cables with the right connectors on each end."

    You need your MCPC to "stream" the content out over the data network to a "client" device akin to an STB which converts that data stream into something your TV will accept as the previous post suggests.

    One other thought - having streamed the media in digital format from the source to the TV, it seems a bit pointless to then convert it to analogue to get it the last 30cm into a TV whose first process will be to re-digitise it: If your TV's have HDMI inputs (digital) I'd look for a a box that will convert the "computer" data stream into HDMI and cut out the analogue altgether. (If such a box exists.)
     
  8. cfoster

    cfoster
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    Thanks for the replies chaps, i really am a newbie when it comes to all this. Having spent some more time looking over my various options by just browsing on here, i think the easiest way for me to achieve what i want is to have a PC in the lounge (out of sight / loft), one in the bedroom(again out of sight), and one in my office, all networked via Cat5e). All 3 machines running Media Center, one in the lounge connecting to the TV in the lounge (via VGA or DVI--HDMI) and the PC for the bedroom connecting the same way. On the network will be my 1tb storage with movies which will be shared out across the network. Does this make sense or am I barking up the wrong tree? I presume I can configure multiple MCE to connect to one library?

    Chris :)
     
  9. mickevh

    mickevh
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    VGA is an analogue format (same point about "analogue for the last 30cm" as I made before if such things interest you.)

    I use a DVI-HDMI cable to connect a PC to my TV for watching HD satellite programming, thus keeping the it "digital all the way" without any problem.

    A couple of "gotcha's" to consider...

    Most PC DVI doesn't carry any sound, (nor does VGA incidently,) only pictures, so you need to find another way to get the sound from the "client" PC's to the TV's. My PC happens to have SPDIF & Fibre outputs for sound, so I run a fibre from PC to AV-Amp. If your PC's don't have digital sound outputs, you may need to use "analogue" sound card outputs. The point being, you should check that your TV's have the socketry and can be configured to get pictures from one source and sound from another.

    Just to confuse things, DVI can carry both analogue and/or digital video depending on variant. If you want to keep it digital all the way, you need to ensure the PC video card and the interconnects will output the digital variant. Wiki DVI for chapter and verse.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  10. cfoster

    cfoster
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    Blimey that just confused me even more!!!!!!!

    Digital or not im not overly fussed about to be honest, so long as the picture is good enough to watch without the missus complaining then i'll be happy!!!! I may as well stick to VGA I suppose. With my soundcard I think I have to to get some 3.5mm --> phono lead converters to get them into the back of my amp (Yamaha dsp). I'm hoping that this will give me what i want!!

    Chris :)
     

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