The Media Center with the Nokia 770 as the Controller

Multi-Room Digital Music System
Here is a cool example of building a multi-room music system DIY. The system is includes a file server where all music are stored, fanless Mini-ITX appliances which are used as clients and remote control (Nokia770).
The client is based on VIA ML6000EA Mini-ITX motherboard, which is absolutely noiseless and includes six-channel onboard audio, onboard LAN, support for 1GB of memory and a PCI slot. Instead of HDD it features 256MB Flash drive that plugs directly in to a 40-pin IDE slot. All those parts plus 256 MB RAM are placed into Casetronic C158 case.
Additionally, Embedded Gentoo Linux was built for each client. It includes Music Player Dæmon (MPD) to play music from the file server, lightTPD (a PHP-enabled Web server) and phpMp (a PHP application that controls MPD). This gives any computer on the network with a Web browser the power to control the client. As a controller is chosen an Internet Tablet Nokia 770. Using Opera, which comes installed, it can point the browser to each of the appliances and control them over my wireless network.
As result the author got a multi-room music system with noiseless clients (about $400 each) and cool remote (Nokia770, about $350). Which is not bad isn’t?

ITU Approves HomePNA 3.1 as a Global Multimedia Home Networking Standard

HomePNA announced today that the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has standardized the HomePNA 3.1 multimedia home networking specification, making HomePNA the only internationally standardized existing-wire home networking technology. HomePNA 3.1 enables service providers to offer high-speed, triple-play Internet services over both phone wires and coaxial cables at speeds up to 320 megabits per second.

ITU standards promote technology adoption because they facilitate interconnectivity and enable telecommunication services to be provided on a worldwide scale. While the ITU standardizes technology at the global level, HomePNA members develop, promote and certify market-worthy technology.

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Whole-House Audio and Video System

Whole-House Audio

Here is A/V multiroom solution for your home – 8-Source 8-Zone Controller/Amplifier. It allows to play 8 different A/V components through 8 zones of your home. The system includes MZC-88 controller, 8 keypads, cables and other parts for installation. All do you need is to mount the controller into rack , connect your DVD, CD, satellite, VCR and/or any other source of audio or video to the controller, install keypads and wire the controller with output devices: TV or audio systems. Each keypad has built-in IR receivers to control your system using your existing remotes.

The 8-Source 8-Zone Controller/Amplifier is available on Smarthome at $4809.99.

Storage for home multimedia content

An advanced stage of development of digital TV, PVR, digital photo etc smart home owners need a place to store their multimedia content and keep it safe. There is three different Digital Media Storages for Home Libraries:

1. TellyRAID.

TellyRAID is a 2 Terabytes protected and high performance digital media storage. It has enough performance to handle multiple HD or DVD streams. The price starts from US$2200. It’s expensive but real secure, reliable and expandable solution for professionals.
2. Segate Maxtor Fusion.

Maxtor Fusion is an inexpensive solution for for families, creative professionals, bloggers, scrapbookers and anyone who enjoys creating, viewing and sharing a large amount of digital content. The price starts from US$750 for 500Gb.

3. Thecus RouStor N5200 5-Bay

Thecus RouStor N5200 is a 5-Bay Network Attached Storage Server. Here’s what you get in a nutshell: 5 x 3.5-inch hot swap bays (for up to 3.75TB of storage at current 750GB hard drive capacities), RAID 0/1/5/6/10, eSATA port for expandability, data backups to a remote server via “Nsync,” Web-based multilingual interface, compatiblity with Windows/Mac OS X/Linux, 1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet, support for attaching a USB 802.11b/g dongle for Wi-Fi capability.

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