[mythtv-users] New house - any advise?

Steven Adeff adeffs.mythtv at gmail.com
Tue Jan 16 16:25:59 UTC 2007

On 1/15/07, robin <robin at robinandmariette.com> wrote:
> I'm currently in the middle of building a new house. I'm now at the wiring
> stage. I plan to have a backend in my utility room with multiple front ends
> in different parts of the house.

My parents are remodeling, so I just spent some time with my dad
running cable. We ran 1xCAT5e(phone, etc), 1xCAT6 (Gigabit ethernet)
and 1xRG6 to all the bedrooms and some random other rooms, and in some
places more than one of those cables. This will allow them to setup
Myth and still be able to use regular old cable boxes.

> I would like to have s/pdif or other digital audio out to an amp that has
> multiple zones so that I can use mythmusic to keep me entertained throughout
> the house.
> I was originally thinking of using a single multi-source/multi-zone amp for
> the audio off the backend, but that proved to be too expensive to buy and
> wire for the number of zones I wanted, and I couldn't figure out how to tie
> it all together with myth. I figured multiple front-ends, each with its own
> smaller amp would be a cheaper and easier approach. Any comments on this?

Multi-zone amps and switching can be expensive. Since these rooms will
already have a frontend setup, it would make more sense to make these
rooms use that setup. My dad setup up two zones outside of their "home
theater" room for audio that won't have a mythfrontend, so for these
areas he'll be using a switching setup.

One way to cut down on costs for these zones is to run CAT5 instead of
speaker cable. You can save a lot of money this way if you can find
cheap CAT5 locally via ebay/craigslist. My dad found a guy that ended
up costing about $100 for 250ft of CAT5 turned speaker wire (two runs
for pos two runs for neg). An advantage of CAT5 over speaker wire is
that the insulation is better, and since the strands are individually
insulated you don't have to worry as much about moisture causing cable
rot, which can be a big concern for in wall speaker wiring. Plus the
copper is really high quality so the sound quality is very good.

> I want the main front ends to be diskless and silent (if possible). I was
> wondering what is the currently recommended silent system. I've read about
> people using eipa boards, is this still the best solution? Has anyone tried
> running a front end from a large thumb drive? Or is network boot to a ram
> drive still the best way to go?

thumb drives are usually quite slow. Theres a few wiki entries,

> I guess I'm forging ahead with what I know, and am just looking for a sanity
> check to make sure I don't plan for something I'll regret later. It's a
> whole lot easier to wire the house when it's still a bunch of plain studs.

You say you'll have a utility room which should be helpful. My dad put
in a wall box for all the phone, network and cable wiring. Everything
(communications, not the speakers) runs there and will be distributed
from that box, including the wireless router that will be in hidden in
the main part of the house. I'd recommend similar for your utility
room. This allows you to run wiring to all the rooms while you have
the opportunity, but only connect what you need now, and do it easily.
I'd also recommend running a quad shield RG6 to your roof for an
antenna that can be used for radio, HDTV, etc.

Cross communication and speaker wires at 90deg angles to power wires
or leave at least 1ft of space if you have to run along side. If you
have to run under a bathroom or any area with plumbing, I recommend
running the cable through a PVC pipe in that area to prevent possible
moisture buildup. Make sure the pipe has more than enough room for the
amount of wire you will run. Or go to the library and look at Article
352 Table 4 "Type A, Rigid PVC Conduit" to calculate how big you need.

Don't forget to put nail protection on the studs that you run wire through!

some good sites for parts are partsexpress.com, smarthome.com,
monoprice.com and of course, ebay.

> On another note, my current setup uses avahi on kubuntu edgy. I've been
> entering the avahi host name for the ip address on the myth configuration
> (i.e mythtv-master.local), and it's worked until I installed a remote
> frontend. The remote front end won't connect unless I actually put the ip
> address in. Is this by design or should it be able to use avahi to get the
> ip address translation?

by design. I believe there is a patch in trac to allow you to use
hostnames, but that will have to wait for 0.21

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