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Operation "Move equipment out of sight (and away from little fingers)"

hagur

Active Member
Hi everyone.

Thought I'd share my current project ...

I've already posted a detailed thread about my setup, which can be seen here:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/memb...ital-home-setup-living-room-home-theater.html

Since then, I've made some changes. I've built a new HTPC and, upgraded the home network to gigabit and I recently got myself a Harmony One to control everything to name a few.

Now for the main point of this thread: Moving all the equipment (AVR, set-top boxes, VCR, Blu-ray player) from the living room to the tiny storage room where the server and htpc currently reside.

Why? you might ask .... well, to reduce the clutter in the living room, and more importantly, my 5 month old son will soon be able to crawl around and I don't want him to mess with my equipment :cool:

This project is in progress ... I'm currently waiting for some cables I ordered and some more stuff I need to finish this. I've been preparing the storage room by re-organizing the equipment already there and adding some more shelf-space for all the equipment which will be moved in there.

Before pictures:

Living room:
image.jpg


Storage room:
image.jpg


After pictures:

First I got me one of those so I'll be able to control everything from my couch once it's been moved to the storage room:

image.jpg


Storage room:
image.jpg

image.jpg


As you can see, I've re-organized everything and added a lot of shelf space below the computers which is where all the equipment from the living room will go.

You might also see the 20" Dell monitor which is attached to the wall. This monitor is connected to my server, and I only use it when the remote desktop connection is not enough :) A 20" Dell might sound overkill for this purpose, but in all fairness, it is a bit broken ... the backlight makes a loud buzzing sound, but by turning down the brightness It's almost not audible anymore.

Luckily, this monitor also has S-Video/Composite inputs which means I can hook it to the AVR and be able to see what's going through my setup right from within the storage room.

Anyhow ... I will add more information and pictures once this project progresses, currently I'm waiting for some cables and stuff.

Any input welcome :clap:
 

WeegyAVLover

Distinguished Member
Haqur,

Couple of questions.

Do you have your PC connected to the TV in the livingroom?
I have my laptop connected to my TV in the livingroom via a monitor cable and use a bluetooth keyboard with built in mouse to type and move the cursor.

Saves you having to go into the cupboard (I know not much of hardship).

You say you want to move your other kist such as blu-ray how are you planning on connecting to your telly?
 

hagur

Active Member
Haqur,

Couple of questions.

Do you have your PC connected to the TV in the livingroom?
I have my laptop connected to my TV in the livingroom via a monitor cable and use a bluetooth keyboard with built in mouse to type and move the cursor.

Saves you having to go into the cupboard (I know not much of hardship).

You say you want to move your other kist such as blu-ray how are you planning on connecting to your telly?

Hi,

There is a USB cable going from the storage room to a small USB hub located behind the couch in the living room. I've got a wireless keyboard/mouse connected to the USB hub, so controlling the HTPC from my couch is no problem at all ;)

As for the TV (and projector), all the equipment will be hooked up to the Yamaha AVR (like it is today) and from the yamaha, I will run one HDMI cable to the projector and one component cable to the TV (it's old and has no HDMI inputs).
 

Bizness

Active Member
Cheers for posting this, has given me some ideas about hiding stuff from my little rugrats too.

Can I ask where you got the TV bench from?
 

hagur

Active Member
Hi,

I believe this TV bench is from a local store called Rumfatalagerinn. I don't believe it's available any more.

In fact, I'm going to replace it with a "LACK" shelf from Ikea, which can also be placed horizontally.
 

hagur

Active Member
A little update ....

Got everything I need now I believe:

- The LACK shelf from IKEA
- Wall mount for the TV
- All required cables from Firefold.com

Hoping to get started tomorrow .... will post some progress pictures.
 

hagur

Active Member
Well, finally had time to update this thread.

The project is finished now, sorry no progress pictures, but here is the final product:

Living room:

image.jpg


image.jpg


Equipment room:

image.jpg
 

chewy_27

Standard Member
Fantastic clean looking setup man, great job.

I do have one question for you though. What IR repeater did you use? I see a picture of it but I can't quite make out the name/model. I have attempted this before but had some issues with the repeater so had to move everything back where it was. Have you had any remote issues at all?

Thanks
 

avnutter

Active Member
Fantastic clean looking setup man, great job.

I do have one question for you though. What IR repeater did you use? I see a picture of it but I can't quite make out the name/model. I have attempted this before but had some issues with the repeater so had to move everything back where it was. Have you had any remote issues at all?

Thanks

looks like these.
Keene Electronics
 

hagur

Active Member
Fantastic clean looking setup man, great job.

I do have one question for you though. What IR repeater did you use? I see a picture of it but I can't quite make out the name/model. I have attempted this before but had some issues with the repeater so had to move everything back where it was. Have you had any remote issues at all?

Thanks

Thanks!

Well, actually, I've been having some remote issues :thumbsdow

avnutter is right, I'm using the Powermids from X10. It's not working as well as I was hoping. I'd say that 1 out of every 3 commands are not properly executed. I have a Harmony One remote and this problem is especially noticable when I'm starting or switching activities, then the A/V receiver will sometimes not switch to the correct input etc.

Maybe this can be attributed to how far the receiving powermid is from the transmitting unit and the fact that the transmitting unit is located in a closed room.

There's also a more serious problem though, the STB below the VCR in one of the photos will not respond AT ALL to the IR commands generated by the Powermid repeater. The Harmony One controls it beautifully if I point the remote directly at it, but when going through the Powermid extender, it's almost as if the resulting IR command has been modified in some way and the STB just sits there and does absolutely nothing. I have no idea why. Guess it's just very picky on it's IR commands :suicide:

Bottom line is, I really like the result of this project and I'm happy how it turned out, but the remote issue is really annoying. I'm currently looking for an alternative to the Powermid X10 IR-extender, and I think I'm set on the Logitech IR extender system, which is wired and extremely reliable from what I've heard.

This one here:

Logitech® Harmony® IR Extender System
 

hagur

Active Member
Thanks daywalker!

This IR repeater system looks interesting .... How many IR-emitters are you using with it? Two? The only thing I'm worried about is having to attach the mini IR-emitters directly to my devices. Ideally, I'd like to just place one blaster approximately 1 meter away from my equipment and have that one blaster control all the 5 devices I currently have.

Do you think the mini IR-emitters are powerful enough to do that?
 

chewy_27

Standard Member
Thanks for the info Hargur. That sounds exactly like the problems I was having. I think going with a wired system would be the best way to do for my setup. If I get a solution that works I will make sure I come back here and let you know.
 

soljiv

Active Member
That is just excellent the way everything is hidden away, wish i could do the same. Could clear up a lot of space in my already congested attic room. Excellent work mate, good luck with getting the IR working :smashin:
 

vincentsecret

Standard Member
nice one mate, but one thing, i know its just a storage room, but your stacks are not aligned straight haha! nice setup though!:smashin:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

daywalker21

Active Member
Thanks daywalker!

This IR repeater system looks interesting .... How many IR-emitters are you using with it? Two? The only thing I'm worried about is having to attach the mini IR-emitters directly to my devices. Ideally, I'd like to just place one blaster approximately 1 meter away from my equipment and have that one blaster control all the 5 devices I currently have.

Do you think the mini IR-emitters are powerful enough to do that?
Mine came with 4 emitters but you can buy extra ones as there are enough inputs for up to 8 devices, my control box is hidden behind the cabinet with the receiver in line of sight. You can buy a wall plate and separate receiver to attach to the control box. It works brilliantly and I have had no problems controlling my devices. Some of my emitters are attached to my kit but some are on a shelf infront of the them with no problems.
329935-albums635-picture3269.jpg
 

hagur

Active Member
Vincentsecret: Yeah, I know ... maybe I'll fix it :thumbsup:

Daywalker: OK cool, thanks for the info. Is yours the exact same model as the one you linked to? The one you linked to has two IR outputs and I think only 2 can be connected to each for a total of 4 emitters, am I right?
 

daywalker21

Active Member
Vincentsecret: Yeah, I know ... maybe I'll fix it :thumbsup:

Daywalker: OK cool, thanks for the info. Is yours the exact same model as the one you linked to? The one you linked to has two IR outputs and I think only 2 can be connected to each for a total of 4 emitters, am I right?
Dunno but each input port has a double emitter attached, check ebay for other variants but mine definitely has 4 input ports cus I attached another single emitter to control my popcorn hour :smashin:
 

daywalker21

Active Member

hagur

Active Member
Thanks Daywalker,

I've been looking at various IR extenders online today and I think I've decided which one to get: Microsmith Hot Link: | Hot Link XL™

Has gotten great reviews everywhere I've checked and seems to be the most powerful and most compatible extender available.

It's also reasonably priced.

One big plus is that this one uses CAT5 between the IR-receiving unit and the main-unit and it so happens that I've got two unused runs of CAT6 cables going from my living room to my equipment room :smashin:

I'll order one of those in the next few days. Will report back how everything goes.
 

hagur

Active Member
Well, finally received my Hot-link Pro XL and set it up.

Long story short: This thing absolutely works! Just cannot believe how well it works.

I highly recommend it :clap:

Those Powermid wireless extenders are heading straight for the recycle bin (OK, not literally, but almost).
 

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