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espressodaily
2005-12-05, 09:39
I have had my Squeezebox for well over a year and absolutely love it. (I sold my Audiotron on ebay).
I am now planning out a whole house audio system and I want multiple squeezeboxes as selectable sources for each room/zone

1. Has anyone any experience using a Squeezebox with whole house audio systems?
2. All of the mfgr's I have seen use keypads for each room to navigate/select music, change volume. Has Slim or any other mfg a solution that works together with the Squeezebox?
3. I use Homeseer in my home automation setup (not for the squeezebox yet, but I do have HomeSeer sending/receiving IR). One thought I had was to use web tablets or PDA's in each room to browse to HomeSeer (web server in my house) and serve up a custom page that allows me to select a room and a music source(Squeezebox1, Squeezebox2,etc.). I could then use the selected Squeezebox's web interface to play music. Probably not as monkeyproof as a keypad setup.

Solution #3 would require more work on my end and I want to make sure I don't re-invent the wheel.

Thanks,

Fred

Jeff Coffler
2005-12-05, 09:59
Hi Fred,

> I am now planning out a whole house audio system and I want multiple
> squeezeboxes as selectable sources for each room/zone
>
> 1. Has anyone any experience using a Squeezebox with whole house audio
> systems?
> 2. All of the mfgr's I have seen use keypads for each room to
> navigate/select music, change volume. Has Slim or any other mfg a
> solution that works together with the Squeezebox?

One of the things that AMX does is whole house audio. The SlimServer module
that I wrote (up on SourceForge) would drive this just fine with minimal
additions.

Here's the link:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/netlinx-modules

and here are some screenshots:

http://sourceforge.net/project/screenshots.php?group_id=62827
http://sourceforge.net/project/screenshots.php?group_id=62827&ssid=10667

This is obviously a much richer interface than keypads (album art and all),
full two-way feedback, etc. You can use a variety of solutions at a variety
of price points.

-- Jeff

dougwise
2005-12-05, 21:23
I have six rooms in our house wired with a Niles Audio system that uses the Squeezebox as its
source. I have intentionally kept it very simple so the children and my wife can use the system.
The the wall mounted controls send commands to the Squeezebox with an IR flasher. Let me know if
you want more details.

Doug Wise
dougwise (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

bouton
2005-12-06, 02:49
I have a russound whole audio (not the cav but the cheaper older version with 2 slimp3s built into the wall, one on ground floor, one in 2nd floor bedroom, attached as two of the four sources. The rca cable and the cat5e is run from the second floor down to the ground floor network/stereo cabinet. The russound in wall keypads change the source. So I can play a cd, music from one slimp3, music from another slimp3 and the DAB radio in each and every room of the house depending on the source I select from the keypad. I don't have it set up such that I can control the slimp3 via the russound keypad yet, but its on the list.
Have Comfort home automation system but they two systems are not connected though can be via X10 I think. In case I want music to play and turn lights on when a PIR picks me up going into the kitchen :)
v happy with the set up.and it dodn't break the bank. Started with a complete remodel though so easy to pull wires.

WeedMonkey
2005-12-06, 07:58
I have an AudioAccess whole house system. It falls into the category you mentioned of using keypads for sending signals back to the base unit, which uses IR flashers to control the individual components. I've got the system programmed so my SB2 turns on and off when the system turns on and off (gotta love those discrete on/off commands!) and to skip to the next song when the "MP3" button is pressed. Now if I could only find an IR command for "Skip to next playlist" I'd be a happy camper!

I've thought of buying extra Squeezeboxes, placing them around the house, and synching them with the main SB. That way, if I understand the concept of "synching" correctly, I could theoretically use the extra SBs as wireless "controllers". I'm sure they would be a lot less than an AMX touchscreen.

netim3
2005-12-06, 10:37
Am about to do whole house audio with SB3 in every room, along with local amp & speakers. SlimServer running on a MacMini with library stored on a Terrastation. Planning to control with a couple of pocket PCs runnning Telcanto. Check back in March and I'll tell you how well it works.

espressodaily
2005-12-09, 07:25
Thanks for everyone's feedback.

As far as systems are concerned, I would love to find an ip based solution. I have looked into zonaudio by Oxmoor, but I there doesn't seem to be a lot of users with experience with them.

For keypads, I am thinking a combination of keypad and web pad might be the way to go. I know NOT having the ability to navigate my music collection will be annoying to me and my wife (now that she has finally gotten comfortable with the squeezebox web UI).
I have a few 3Com Audreys (hacked, and yes, they are very cool, :)) and I think they would be great in each listening zone.

Jeff
2005-12-09, 08:21
As far as systems are concerned, I would love to find an ip based solution. I have looked into zonaudio by Oxmoor, but I there doesn't seem to be a lot of users with experience with them.

IP based solutions are the only way to fly. Without it, you can't do browsing of music (without looking at the front panel, anyway), or album art, or show where you are in the play list, or anything along those lines.

That's one of the primary reasons I wrote the SlimServer module for AMX's NetLinx system.

Kyle
2005-12-09, 08:27
Jeff, I checked your link, and your product looks very interesting, but I couldn't really figure out what type of hardware it requires or what kind of costs are involved. Does this work through CAT-5 wiring? I have a Russound system and have been trying to figure out how to incorporate better control of SB3. I don't want to rewire my house. Can 1 CAT-5 be split to two different devices?

Jeff
2005-12-09, 08:37
Jeff, I checked your link, and your product looks very interesting, but I couldn't really figure out what type of hardware it requires or what kind of costs are involved. Does this work through CAT-5 wiring? I have a Russound system and have been trying to figure out how to incorporate better control of SB3. I don't want to rewire my house. Can 1 CAT-5 be split to two different devices?

NetLinx, in terms of the Squeezebox, uses TCP/IP from the NetLinx controller to the SlimServer software running on your computer. So you need nothing further than TCP/IP (Ethernet), a NetLinx controller, and some flavor of touchpanel. See www.amx.com for further information on hardware choices. As I said, there's a variety of hardware at a variety of price points.

NetLinx systems are automation systems. If you start doing rich control of other items in your home (i.e. Audio/Video systems, HVAC, lighting, etc), then other wiring may be needed, depending on what those devices need (I/R, RS-232, etc).

-- Jeff

rectorydp
2005-12-09, 08:37
"3. I use Homeseer in my home automation setup (not for the squeezebox yet, but I do have HomeSeer sending/receiving IR). One thought I had was to use web tablets or PDA's in each room to browse to HomeSeer (web server in my house) and serve up a custom page that allows me to select a room and a music source(Squeezebox1, Squeezebox2,etc.). I could then use the selected Squeezebox's web interface to play music. Probably not as monkeyproof as a keypad setup."

This is exactly what I do. I have a number of web tablets and an in-wall touchscreen pc that control my squeezeboxes and other streamers (7 in total). Everything is interfaced with Homeseer. It is all done through a combination of scripts/asp and I placed slimserver playlist stuff inside a frame. It is customised to what I want but you are welcome to have the scripts. The whole thing is built into my house control screens based on HACT (if you have seen that on the HS forums).

You could also do something using xAP (http://www.xapautomation.org) or xPL. There is a xAP plugin for Homeseer.

David

Kyle
2005-12-09, 09:38
NetLinx, in terms of the Squeezebox, uses TCP/IP from the NetLinx controller to the SlimServer software running on your computer. So you need nothing further than TCP/IP (Ethernet), a NetLinx controller, and some flavor of touchpanel. See www.amx.com for further information on hardware choices. As I said, there's a variety of hardware at a variety of price points.

NetLinx systems are automation systems. If you start doing rich control of other items in your home (i.e. Audio/Video systems, HVAC, lighting, etc), then other wiring may be needed, depending on what those devices need (I/R, RS-232, etc).

-- Jeff

Is this a user-installed project, or do you need to go through a dealer? As a for-instance, approximately what would the controller and two 6" touchpanels run me? Also, a link to the computer running Slimserver is all I need?

Jeff
2005-12-09, 10:16
Is this a user-installed project, or do you need to go through a dealer? As a for-instance, approximately what would the controller and two 6" touchpanels run me? Also, a link to the computer running Slimserver is all I need?

If all you're doing is controlling Squeezeboxes, then all you need is Ethernet connectivity. You may or may not need a wire for the touchpanel; it depends on specific model, configuration, etc. I do not need wires, as my panel is 802.11b.

AMX intends this to be a dealer-installed item. However, that said, I installed mine myself. You just need the know-how in how to do it. As a professional software engineer, figuring it all out wasn't a big deal for me. You would minimally need a dealer to buy the hardware from. And it will take you some time to learn the programming environment.

Pricing varies dramatically, and is based on: Which 6" touchpanel would you want, with what feature set (exactly which model you wanted, 1 way or 2 way, "cheap" LCD or really nice LCD, etc). Not to mention dealer discounts (if you plan on doing this yourself, you should be able to look around and hopefully get close to dealer cost since you don't need/want their support).

My system started small (controlling A/V in a single room), and grew to control the A/V throughout the house (even in bedrooms that only have a TV - this was useful because you can watch the DVD player or DSS receiver from anywhere in the house, so the source device isn't necessarily local to the room). Eventually, it grew to do lighting, HVAC, Audiotron control, etc. Squeezebox control was added much later, when I bought some Squeezeboxes to replace my old Audiotrons.

If you just want something to control the Squeezebox (and nothing else), you'd be better off getting relatively inexpensive WWW tablets, and using SlimServer's touchscreen skin. If, on the other hand, you eventually wanted a full automation system to control everything (A/V, whole house audio, whatever), there's really two "serious" contenders in town: AMX and Crestron. Niles is really just a specialty item (primarily) solely for distributed audio; AMX & Crestron can do that and a whole bunch more.

-- Jeff

Kyle
2005-12-09, 11:19
[QUOTE=If you just want something to control the Squeezebox (and nothing else), you'd be better off getting relatively inexpensive WWW tablets, and using SlimServer's touchscreen skin.

-- Jeff[/QUOTE]

Controlling the SlimServer (actually making it easy for my wife) is my primary interest. Are these tablets wired or wireless? Do you know a source, and what I should be looking for? Thanks for your help. Your interface is great looking, BTW.

Jeff
2005-12-09, 14:13
Controlling the SlimServer (actually making it easy for my wife) is my primary interest. Are these tablets wired or wireless? Do you know a source, and what I should be looking for? Thanks for your help. Your interface is great looking, BTW.

I have wireless touchpanels. I use two types: a VPN-CP (these are old, and much less expensive - you can sometimes find them on Ebay), and an MVP-8400 (expensive but way cool - these are the guys that display album art).

My primary motivation was also to make my system easy for my wife to use. She was the one that convinced me to do the automation system to begin with, back in 1999 (when I started with this stuff).

For a source: I have a few sources, all local (Seattle). I don't know where you are, I don't know what kind of skills you have (and if you'd need an installer to help you or not), etc. You probably should go to amx.com to find a local dealer and have a chat with him (that won't cost you anything). Once you have your ducks in a row, you can decide if you can do it yourself or not and, if you are sure you can do it yourself, source the equipment from just about anywhere.