With my wife and I buying a new house, she has been excited about furniture, busily determining where everything will go, and managing packing and the move amazingly well. I on the other hand have been more concerned with figuring out how to wire my house for every conceivable scenario. This has led to some interesting research on home networking and automation.
Since we have cut the cord for the most part with our cable, relying on Netflix and Plex, I have struggled with to ensure solid WiFi signal to all areas where we have a TV with a Roku or Apple TV. We solved this in the current house by hijacking an existing ethernet port, and moving to a Linksys wrt1900ac router, but as we prepare to move, I am looking at several cable runs to provide a better long term, stable network with a future IP based security camera system. After listening to a few home automation podcasts, and doing some research, it looks like smurf tube makes future cable runs much simpler. I have settled on CAT 6 in an attempt to future proof the network as long as I can.
For reliable switching, I would love to use 10GbE, but unfortunately all of my home media gear won’t support it, so I found a pretty decent 8 port Gigabit switch at Bestbuy online from TP Link, http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/details/cat-41_TL-SG108E.html. For the price it will do what I need, and provide a simple interface for managing the network. I originally chose it for VLAN support, but then it occurred to me that unless I want to stand up a separate DHCP server from my wireless router, so that idea died quickly.
I have done a little research on audio networks, and I am very interested to research Sonos and others, but for now, after several hours of work to make my raspberry pi an AirPlay receiver, it occurs to me that I can use an old Airport Express with speakers plugged into it as a temporary solution. Not great but it gets me by while I design the larger project. I am still reading up on various solutions, so I am interested in feedback if anyone has opinions on any products in this area.
So that is where I am for now, lots more to do, but I hope to share my adventures with IP cameras, home automation, and general home networking. I am not at all sure how this will all end up but it should be fascinating, and expand my home media experience.