Digital Nerd

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Alternative to Extenders

So there has been a lot of talk about extenders both for Media Center and the Xbox. Well when I recently (in the last 12 months) built my new house I wanted to ensure I could extend both Media Center and the Xbox to the whole house not just specific rooms. I wanted the flexibility of being able to use these devices in any room without the contraints of having a "box" per room. The Xbox was a little challenging given the constraints of needing controllers in the near vicinity (more on that later).

So my solution was a Clipsal Starserve Pro, the reason for this was that I also wanted whole house audio and a complete Cat5 wired house. Note I also run 802.11g but for large data transfers 10Gb upwards, you really need physical wires. Anyway... part of my Starserve system is both a Video Hub that connects all the coaxial TV points in the house together and a 4 Channel Modulator that sends the signal from all may devices through the Video Hub to all the TV points in the house. This allows me the freedom to watch slide shows downstairs, while somebody watches a DVD on another screen and somebody else listens to music and/or can play Xbox on another screen. This can all be achieved in different rooms without disturbing each other. Controlling Media Center is With the use of an iPaq and Rudeo Control to remotely control Media Center from anywhere in the house the ultimate flexibility has been achieved.

Xbox play is a chellenge at the moment given the controllers need to be in the near vicinity of the console, but as soon as I find true wireless Xbox controllers at a decent price then I should be able to play xbox in any room of the house.

This is not for everyone as the infrastructure needs to be installed when you build or renovate. But for those who don't mind cables hanging around or can conceil the cables after the fact it really is a solution that allows future proofing and ultimate control of your gadgets.


Blogger Tophat said...

Hi Wes I have been considering adding the starserve to my already smarthome. I have c-bus infrastructure and have rewired my entire lighting system. 8Also got the homeminder for handling i/o to irrigation, pool solar, and other controllable items around the house. The bonus for me is that it was cost effective int hat I purchased most all of the items required at or below retail. I have also got friends who assisted in the rewiring and setup. Total cost was less than $5000 including all hardware.
It would be benficial if you were to let people know how much your starserve setup cost. I am figuring that it was in the vivinity of $6000. In my opinion it is extortionarily priced for the lack of REAL smarts that it incorporates.
How much did it cost?
Had you considered the Hills product?

2:44 AM  

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