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rip74's setup
#1
I already have most of my home theater in place, but don't really have a good "control" system. I've been looking at CQC for a year or so now, but work schedule and lack of a good server/rs232 solution kept me from making progress. I'm finally getting past some of those hurdles, so very excited and would like to document some of my work.

From all of my early research, my home theater setup seems a bit different than a lot of others. I get the impression that a lot of home theaters are dedicated rooms for the purpose. My setup is different in that the room is not dedicated; far from it. I'm going to go into more detail of the physical room layout, because that's been the driving force of the device setup.

My house is a nice, but modest suburban home. I thought of converting an upstairs room to a dedicated theater. But one of the biggest uses of my "theater" is for hosting guests, for sporting events, dinner/movie parties, etc. My house layout is such that the kitchen is open, overlooking the living room. The traditional spot for the television is directly opposite the kitchen. So people tend to congregate around the kitchen island and into the living room to watch events. (note that the living room area is your perfect square home theater area, just without a back wall)

My wife and I briefly worked with some interior designers, and they and my wife all had this vision of a living room without a visible television. They wanted to break up my perfect square and put the television off to the right back corner and displaying at some evil angle. I told my wife I had a better idea...

I said a projector with a retractable screen would let me have my square home theater and let her have her television-free sitting room in the afternoon. Thankfully, she loved the idea. I also convinced her that having the audio equipment in a built-in cabinet with a projector would put all of the wiring out of view in the walls. Again, she loved the idea.

It's taken 4 years to get all of the pieces in place (all the major pieces were in place within months for football, but we've been slowly building on that). I have the following:

in the home theater room:
Da-Lite tensioned, retractable screen
BenQ PE7700 projector (I went through the early bulb problems, but have a bulb that has since lasted 3 years with heavy usage, must be 3000+ hours)
Lutron RadioRa lighting through half of the house
Lutron Sivoia black-out shades (to watch during the day)

A/V equipment:
DirecTv HR20
Denon 2807
PS3, Wii (replacing old X-Box)
Hauppauge HD-PVR
3 Slimdevices through the house
Phase Technology speakers
Digi Portserver for serial connections
home-built HTPC that I don't use too much yet
Harmony 880 remote

Server equipment (in my office):
Readynas NV+ for storage
Fit-PC for slimserver/CQC server
2 Nokia 770s for control

Technology-wise, somewhat modest compared to others. I'm really looking for a more reliable remote setup with the ability to expand to other areas (thermostat, irrigation, whole-house media). Since I have the projector, screen and A/V equipment in different locations, waving the IR remote is getting tiring. an IR repeater helped some, but not completely. also, the Harmony remote would often get confused, which was a pain (especially when you want to limit turning the projector on/off and it could be heavy-handed when trying to "fix" it's own confusion).

My short term plans are to get things hooked up and get basic home theater control working. Pressing a single button to raise/lower the shades and screen, turn devices on/off and set the lights. I also want to use CQC for managing my slimservers (I've been reading up on the thread for that) and start ripping movies into the setup. I think the Nokias will cover most of that, but I'm not sure about the transition from physical controls for "tivo-ing" to a touch-screen device, I may still use both.

Over time, I'll look more at media distribution, irrigation and thermostat control, and maybe security. I'm intrigued by some of the low power Ion devices coming out (similar to the fitpc) as potentially being good for low-power media players.

it's late tonight, but I'll post some initial pictures tomorrow of the current setup.
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#2
if it makes you feel any better, my "home theater room" is also our family room is also the only way to get into the back yard. My whole house is not only 1650 sqft, but one of the worst 1650 sqft designs. It's got tons of small rooms, clearly meant for either DINKS or couples with just one kid.
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Devices I can't stand and wish I could replace: SmartThings, Hue, Concerto, VRUSB
My vlogs: https://www.youtube.com/c/IVBsHomeAutomation
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#3
It looks to me like you're well on your way to a killer rig. The only correction I'd make is that the words "perfect", "square" and "home theater" don't ever belong in the same sentence. Since you're space opens into a kitchen/dining area, you don't really have a square space. I just mention it for other people's benefit and for your future plans. I, like both you and IVB, also have my primary theater rig (I think of it as a media area) in my family room. I'm in the process of the world's slowest (over three years now) basement finish.
Recovering (quasi) ex-professional integrator...wait...scratch that. I'm back in the field and should probably have my head examined...
HAI, UPB, Parasound, Global Cache GC100 and IR learner, DatalogDB, Barix Barionet (I need to buy another one of these!), Weather, RFID, Logic Server
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