Required an all in one solution to provide home entertainment and networking for a new home construction. Main entertainment area will be using a wall mounted LCD for TV and requires all media equipment to be stored approximatley 6 metres away with no line of sight to the devices, effectively ruling out traditional line of sight infra red remote controls. The system will need to deliver TV, photo slide shows, movies and multi-room music playback.
The Mac Mini Media Centre
Instead of using individual devices such as a digital TV set top box, DVD player and Sonos surround sound system. All media functionality will be provided by a Mac Mini. The Mac Mini will be setup to provide:
- The ability to watch, record and pause two TV stations at the same time. Capability to broadcast live TV to any iPad or iPhone within the wireless network of the home.
- A Media Server functionality via Plex to provide DVD playback, music and photo streaming to any TV, iMac, Macbook, iPhone or iPad within the wireless network of the home. iTunes serving music playback to multiple rooms including outdoors with Apple iTunes Airplay technology. Allowing users to play music in any room of the house from a centralised iTunes library.
- As the Mac Mini is located away from the main entertainment room, the standard infra red remote and or Bluetooth mouse and keyboard would not be suitable for controlling the system. Instead an iPad using the applications Rowmote Pro and Apple’s Remote will allow an iPad or users iPhones to control any function of the Mac Mini Media Centre using the wifi network within the home.
The Wired and Wireless Network
The home will use gigabit networking infrastructure to provide high speed data access to the Mac Mini Media Centre around the house. To enable wireless access for Macbooks, iPhones and iPads the network will use three wireless access points. Two units will be installed at each end of the house and a third installed on the 2nd level of the house. The access points will utilise both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequencies to help ensure neighbouring wireless networks, cordless phones and various other RF devices do not impede upon the performance of the WiFi network.
The installation cost came in under around $4,000 cheaper than similar Hi-Fi installations while providing greater functionality.