I want my MP3 music throughout my house now!

This article describes how MP3 music from a computer in the home office was distributed throughout the house on existing cat3 phone wires for a customer not willing to spend a lot of money with professional installers. It took less than half a Sunday afternoon to finish the whole project. Even though this project utilized cat3 wires, the solution is applicable to cat5, cat5e and cat6 wiring as well.


One of the most recent and promising wireless personal area network (WPAN) technologies is the IEEE 802.15.4/Zigbee standard. The harmonious combination of the IEEE 802.15.4 standard and the Zigbee wireless technology holds the promise to satisfy the market?s need for a cost-effective, standard-based and flexible wireless network technology for control and monitoring applications with low to moderate data rates.

IEEE1394 Serial bus : Firewire in the Home

The IEEE1394 serial bus is a low cost and high performance bus that interconnects consumer electronics audio video devices and PCs. The 1394 bus enables simple interconnections between devices with a single cable wire. The devices can be plugged in and out of the 1394 network while they are in powered on stage, i.e., hot pluggable. The devices get automatically detected and configured without any necessity for manual configuration. The devices can talk to each other, i.e., peer-to-peer communication, without any intervention or support of Personal Computers. The 1394a standard bus supports 100,200,400 mbps speeds and 4.5 meter cabling. Whereas the latest 1394b standard supports speeds 100,200,400,800 up to 3.2Gbs and Plastic optical cabling (POF) up to 100 meters.

Impact of Power Consumption on Consumer Electronics

Consumers are demanding ? and advances in semiconductor technology have enabled -- bigger and better color screens, more intuitive user interfaces, faster performance, more wireless interconnectivity, and smaller and more portable form factors. This means that for the same battery size and battery lifespan, all types of electronic products must take advantage of low power semiconductor devices in order to incorporate more features while consuming less power.

Improve the Picture on Rear Projection TVs Excerpted from "Home Theater Hacks"

Taking the protective reflective screen off a rear projection television increases black levels, reduces glare, and makes for a much-improved picture, especially during daylight hours.

In-Wall Speakers

The innovative R & D team at Wisdom Audio has finally succeeded in capturing the signature sound of the highly acclaimed Adrenaline Series in an in-wall speaker.

In-Wall/Ceiling Speaker Solutions for a Flat Video Home Installation

Most people do not realize that a TV is merely a 2-dimensional picture. It?s a well designed 5.1 ? 7.1 channel audio system that actually provides the needed ?3-D? effect.

Installing A Doorjamb Light Switch

These ideas will allow the installer to provide for the installation of an unlimited numbers of doorjamb controlled lighting arrangements.

Installing Pan-Tilt-Zoom Cameras - Technical White Paper

For installers who have not setup and configured PTZ cameras, it is always a good idea to set the camera up at your shop first using short wire runs. Ensuring you can setup and configure the camera properly will greatly reduce your installation time.

Installing Residential Modulators In Homes With Digital Cable Television

Most residential modulators have output ranges on the CATV band from Channels 65-135. Since the output of the modulator and the digital cable signals are on the same frequency, they cannot be combined onto the same coaxial cable without interfering with each other.

Interfacing Lightolier Compose with an HAI Controller

HAI and Lightolier is a product combination that is reliable, fast, flexible and 2-way, a tough combination to beat for an integrated whole house scene-based lighting solution.

Interlaced Video What's That All About Anyway?

With the emergence of high definition television formats, and the plasma and LCD progressive displays that take advantage of them, the need for high quality de-interlacing is self-evident.

Internet Telephony Coming To A Cable Outlet Near You

Introduction to Acoustic Treatment.

An acoustics expert explains the basics of treatment and bass traps, and reveals some surprising insights along the way.

IP Enabled Home Automation

Home automation is with us for many decades. And for all those years, when you know where to look, you could have the future running in your house. The first question that arises is "what is it?" It starts with terminology, e.g. in Europe the term 'domotics' is often used, or 'domotique' in French or 'domotica' in Dutch. Home automation is more American, and also smart or intelligent house is often used. Although you could use these terms as synonyms, there is more then a particular flavor to each. However, if you ask an ordinary citizen what is home automation and if they have it at their place; you will probably get a blank expression back. And then if you tell them it is about home toys, they will relax: "Oh, it's 'toys for the boys', go have fun, I go on with my life." The most striking definition of domotics came forward two years ago when I edited a domotics trend analysis, which, after two years, is still remarkable accurate: "domotics (or home automation) is something that doesn't work; as soon as it works we do not call it domotics anymore ?". State of the art Especially in America home automation, as a low cost easy to install system, is probably best known in relation to X10 applications. Based on the power cabling a wide variety of home management and control solutions are available (www.x10.com or www.hometoys.com) . X10 mainly directs the switching of lights and all kind of appliances (by managing the power plug). Also in Europe you have many systems, but they are more based on installation by professional, and to an increasing extend based on more open standards like EIB and Konnext. But either by wireless remote control or computer controlled management a remarkable versatile and flexible in house service and comfort situation can be achieved. At present a new group of home automation solutions are offered in relation to wireless television and camera system, directed either to flexible in house locations of viewing television (including remote use of your video or DVD recorder), or simple surveillance applications like viewing the baby room, the front door or your garden. Even more recently wireless safety and security systems are coming on the market. An intriguing example is the system of Trust, which you might know as a vendor of computer peripherals. May we expect Microsoft to be offering home automation in the near future? Based on telephony you also see directions of development. Most visible are probably the telephony based home care systems which a range of services to support elderly and less or disabled people. Primarily this is directed towards calling external help in cases of emergency, but often also functionality in included like simple burglary alarm of fire safety components. In Europe you also see new safety and security applications and services based on mobile GSM telephony, which in Europe is much wider spread then in America. Interoperability Specific, non integrated one issue solutions, however, do not add up to mature home automation systems. First there is not much of interoperability between systems. You can buy specific systems directed towards a specific task. But at that time you are in a lock-in situation. Your system won't communicate or integrate with other systems and probably even worse; you know that technology is developing very rapidly and that it is very likely that your system will already be obsolete when you are unpacking. Maybe not in the sense that it is not functioning any more, but that new systems, even from the same vendor, will perform better or are easier to operate. And you may only hope that replacement parts of your system will still be available in the (near) future. Secondly it is also hardly possible to exchange a part of a system by a component of an other brand. Of course from a technology point of view it won't be too hard. If you know enough about Mhz and you understand the specifications of your systems, you might be able to manage a multi-vendor system. But then you must know what you are doing, and that means it is not for the general public or user friendly neither to choose nor to install and operate; and that brings home automation back to the niche of 'home toys'. External communication What also is lacking about traditional home automation systems is that they are confined inside your home. For a bit of luxury and comfort that's OK. But what happens if you are away and you had a power failure, who is switching on your freezer again? Or can you have your television reprogrammed online without having a service person coming to your house? Or can you check that your heating system is functioning (and switch it on or reboot) when there is a sudden cold and you are away for a few days. With computer appliances this direction is already visible with, for example high end printers which automatically arrange maintenance if a malfunction arises. Of course there are systems that can do that, but again you must know what to look for and know what you are doing. Although many home automation systems support functionality for dial-in communication, this are specific vendor dependent solutions. More in general for communications with the outside world you have the concept of a residential gateway. However, these systems are still in their infancy. Many questions have not been addressed yet, let alone that they are fully operational in the sense that they are open systems able to interface with all kind of devices and appliances. Probably the main question is ... who will be the service provider for your residential gateway. Will it be the power company? Then it might be more of metering system?. Will it be your telephone or television company? Will it be a broadband system? But you have no cable or are more interested in satellite services? And why broadband if you are only interested in checking your heating system, switching on your freezer and such. You only need to be able to get a few bits over the line and not Mbytes. And even worse, how does your residential gateway knows how to communicate with all these devices and appliances? A general article about exchanges/gateways is Design Challenges for Home Gateway Devices by Satish Gupta. Internet connectivity A rather new direction is the development of internet into an intelligent network. Not only are the devices and components IP-enabled, but they are also aware of other components on the net and are capable to interact directly with each other without human interference or a central management computer; when the door opens, the light, heating, and ventilation 'know' that they should become active.

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