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Help needed getting started
#1
I want to setup a system using CQC and I am not sure exactly how to do it any advice would be helpful.

What I have:
First let me tell you what I have already. I have a Middle Atlantic rack in my family room on the main floor.
In the rack there is:
- a Denon AVR-3806 receiver,
- a Denon DRA-395 stereo receiver which is currently used as to power ceiling speakers in the master bedroom, master bathroom, and study; each of those rooms has a slider style volume control. There is also a blank plate in each room behind which there is a CAT5 cable and I believe a speaker wire run to the rack. These were put in for future upgrades, which I am looking to do now, so they are not currently being used. With this setup each zone has to listen to the same source.
- a Denon DVD-1920 dvd player
- a Sony BDP-S350 Blu Ray player.

I have recently started watching movies from my PC which is connected to the AVR-3806 via an HDMI cable on the TV in the family room. Currently the system is controlled using two Universal Remotes, an MX-950 and an MX-3000 and a Universal Remote RF receiver/infrared blaster.

I am considering buying the following if needed:
- CQC
- a Global Cache GC100
- Whatever handheld device I need to be able to control CQC
- anything else I may need to accomplish what I am trying to acheive.

What I would like to be able to do:
I want to be able to watch those same movies on the bedroom TV and the study without putting a PC in each room and I want to shift control of the entire system from just the Universal Remotes to CQC with the Universal Remotes. I guess right now my main questions are:
1. What is the best way to get the video stream from the PC downstairs to the TVs upstairs?
2. I want to control everything via CQC so I can see images of all the movies available and have the ability to choose one like the screenshots on the CQC website. What is the best way to achieve this?
3. What are my options for handheld devices to control the system?

I also eventually want to add the ability to control lighting, HVAC, and irrigation. On that front I have a question regarding irrigation, I just had a new irrigation system installed this past summer and they installed a Hunter timer. Does Rain8net have an interface to talk to the Hunter Timer or does the Timer have to be swapped out for one made by Rain8Net? I apologize in advance if some of my questions seem trivial but I am new to a lot of this and would appreciate any help.
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#2
welcome. Nothing personal, but it's seriously hard to read that post as it's one gigantic paragraph.

Can you press the "edit" button, then seperate into the following sections, with a blank line between them?
"What I have"
"What I want to buy"
"What I want to do"
"My Questions"

i've tried reading it a few times, and keep getting lost.

Thanks!
------------------------------------
Some of my devices: Sonos, Aeotec zWave, Nest, Rain8Net, Various H/T
What's next: CQC-Voice, Brultech GEM
My vlogs: https://www.youtube.com/c/IVBsHomeAutomation
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#3
Well, to start out small, I think your AVR-3806 has three zones (two powered and 1 unpowered). It should allow you to listen to different sources in each of the three zones if set up correctly. Use the DRA-395 to power the 3rd zone speakers and use the AVR-3806 to power zone 1 and 2 speakers.

It sounds like right now the AVR-3806 is running the Family Room only and the DRA-395 is running everything else. If you use the AVR-3806 to run zone 1 (Family room), Zone 2 (Study) and Zone 3 (MBR), then you could listen to different sources in those three zones at the same time. You might have to still have the MBR and the Master Bath running off the DRA-395 so they might have to listen to the same source. But since those rooms are so close it might not matter anyway.

Of course you could buy another receiver or whole house a/v distribution system and be able to listen to different sources everywhere. But I believe you can do much better with the existing equipment if you change things around a little.

Let me think about the rest of the questions....
Brian - a long time user that rarely messes with the system now
Other systems used:
SageTV w/ cablecard tuner & multiple extenders for viewing
BlueIris and IP cameras for CCTV
Incredible PBX for home phone
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#4
Thanks Brian. I am going to try to use the other zone in the AVR-3806 as you suggested.

But how do you send video to other TVs through CQC? I want to be able to rip my DVD's onto my pc and then watch them on any of the other TV's in the house?

I would also like to be able to stream online video feeds from that same PC in the family to other TV's in the house.
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#5
rajeevc Wrote:But how do you send video to other TVs through CQC? I want to be able to rip my DVD's onto my pc and then watch them on any of the other TV's in the house?

I would also like to be able to stream online video feeds from that same PC in the family to other TV's in the house.

There are two basic approaches:

1. Distributed Audio/Video... using something an Autopatch, which is a matrix switch. Basically, all of your sources (DVD players, computers, cable boxes, etc), get cabled into the matrix switch as inputs, and all of your tvs, etc, get connected back to it as "outputs". The switch configures each output to watch a particular input (and inputs can go to more than one place).

2. A PC or Extender at each TV... using either a computer or an extender (XBox 360, Sage, or whatever) that is connected to the cable and/or to the ethernet network and/or to a wifi connection to "stream" video and audio to the devices.

Both types of setups can be controlled by CQC. CQC doesn't do any of the video routing or streaming, but it can control various hardware devices that do.
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#6
BPH, Thanks for your reply I think I am going to try the Sage TV HD Theater extender to watch movies off of the PC downstairs. Do you know where I ca

I also wanted to ask what are the options for handheld devices to control CQC?

Thanks for all your help.
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#7
Your message is cut off, but I assume you were going to ask where you can buy the Sage HD Extender. Currently you have to buy it directly from Sage. It cost $199.99 for the unit alone. This version does work as a stand alone media extender. This means you don't have to buy any SageTV software to use with the extender. You can simply plug it into the network and access media files from anywhere on the network.

That being said, CQC will not be able to have 2 way communication with the extender when it is used in the stand alone mode. Instead you would have to use IR signals to control it just like using the OEM remote. This works fine, but won't give you that two way communication that is so helpful when controlling things. For example, you'll be able to tell it to play, or stop, etc, but you won't know the current status of the player. So you won't know if it is currently playing, or stopped already, etc.

For an additional $50 (when purchased as a package with the HD Theater extender) you can buy the SageTV media center software. You load this software on a computer and the extender will connect to the software. CQC uses the software to communicate with the extenders. So with this sotware connection comes the ability for CQC to have two way communication with the extender. So you can actually know what show is currently playing, the status of the player, etc. and because it uses the network connection, the reliability is basically 100%. If you use IR, there is always the potential from problems (the IR signal isn't read completely, the IR emitter falls off the unit, etc).

The SageTV software is also an excellent DVR program. So if you have any desire to record TV (OTA antenna, cable and satellite are all supported with the right type of tuners) then you should also consider spending the extra $50 and getting the SageTV software. Of course if you want to record TV, this will require additional purchases to buy the correct type of tuners to actual capture the broadcast streams.
Brian - a long time user that rarely messes with the system now
Other systems used:
SageTV w/ cablecard tuner & multiple extenders for viewing
BlueIris and IP cameras for CCTV
Incredible PBX for home phone
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#8
rajeevc Wrote:I also wanted to ask what are the options for handheld devices to control CQC?

Thanks for all your help.

Well there are some current options, but Dean has also spilled the beans that there will be some advances in this area in late January or early Febuary 09.

Currently: You can use what is called the .Net Interface Viewer (found on the main CQC website under the Try/Buy / Try It tab. Look for the download DNV link). It supports some Windows CE devices like the Pocket PC and some smart phones. However the DNV (Dot Net Viewer) is not as robust as the regular Interface Viewer - some functions are not available on the DNV.

You can also use pretty much any device that will connect to a windows computer via a Windows Remote Desktop (RDP) connection. For example, there are several of us that use little Nokia Wireless Internet Tablets (the N770 or N800 models) and connect to our CQC servers that way. This gives us full control over the regular IV (not a limited version like the DNV), but you have to deal with the RDP connection which tends to get dropped over time. So the user may have to reconnect the RDP connection before they can use the device. This doesn't go over well in a professional installation, but works fine for us DIYers who are more apt to not be bothered by stuff like that.

You could also use a UMPC device which is really a fun blown Windows computer, just in a small size. They are still generally expensive right now, but also give you the most flexability and reliability IMHO. The Samsung Q1 is an example of a devices that falls into this category.

Future: No one knows exactly what Dean has up his sleeves, but basically it sounds like it is a pretty robust universal backend that would then allow people to write simple front ends to be model specific. I might not be explaining that well, but basically there is going to a universal portion of the software + a device specific portion of the software. The device specific portion sounds like it will be easier to implement and the universal portion will be more robust than the DNV currently is. Both of which are welcome news. This may allow us to stop using the RDP connections and connect directly to the CQC server with a lot more types of devices than we can now.
Brian - a long time user that rarely messes with the system now
Other systems used:
SageTV w/ cablecard tuner & multiple extenders for viewing
BlueIris and IP cameras for CCTV
Incredible PBX for home phone
Reply
#9
Other than the Q1 is there any other device that does not have the RDP issues. Since my family is going to be using the system as well I need a control device with maximum reliability. What are the most common control devices used in professional installations?

Also, I wanted to ask what types wall panels are available for use with CQC?

I have blank wallplates in every room with speaker wire and cat5 behind them running down to the AV rack which was installed when the house was built. When the house was built I was thinking I would install a whole home A/V distribution system like an AMX, Crestron etc. so I had this wiring installed.

But now that I am considering CQC I was wondering if there is a wallplate I can put in that could use the wiring already installed and communicate with CQC?

Thanks again,
Rajeev
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#10
My 3400 worked pretty well,no issues there as it's a PC & touchscreen in one. I had one with wifi, and one that I wallmounted.

The issue with your current wiring is that there's no power lines, even low voltage. I'm not sure, but I don't think you can use speaker wire for low-voltage power.
------------------------------------
Some of my devices: Sonos, Aeotec zWave, Nest, Rain8Net, Various H/T
What's next: CQC-Voice, Brultech GEM
My vlogs: https://www.youtube.com/c/IVBsHomeAutomation
Reply


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