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April 20, 2007, 4:04 pm
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I have been looking for ways to improve the wheel and think I have come
something that might work. I believe I can get a low end
server to act as an
interface to the main automation items in the home
in conjunction with a HA
Panel like Comfort II but the big winner would
be running 4 or even 6 Touch
Screens off of the one server via cat 5 and
With the Comfort Panel in the background, you have the stability that a
can’t provide but you still have the low cost touch screen
enormous potential as opposed to the standard “touch
screen” solutions that are
purpose designed and won’t go much further
unless you sell your soul to Crestron
I am interested in any thoughts on this concept and if you think it is
To do it I would need to buy;
Average Server of any quality as long as it is a P4. (approx $500)
Either 2 x 8” and 2 x 12” Touch Screens, a 1 into 4 VGA Splitter and a
USB Hub. I have the specs and it is quite easy to make the
work off of one computer over cat 5 cabling.
I will then purchase a Neothings 8 Source x 8 zone component A/V matrix
distributor that can be controlled via rs232 or I/R.
I will get a Comfort II and the requisite expansion cards for i/r and
alarms, sprinklers, curtains and if necessary cbus.
I would then use the server as the glue to tie all of these together
importantly to turn 4 touch screens that will set me back at
most for the lot
into very smart Wall mounted interfaces.
The screens would be powered via cbus and incorporated into the
detectors so they are not one when there is not point as long
as they turn on
when powered up.
I would use something like Acer Grid Vista to set each screen up as an
individual screen that functions independently of the others.
The screens can then be used as interfaces, picture slideshow on
security vision on doorbell and if I want to really push
the limit, I could
interface it to the phones and VOIP.
There is also a professional sound card with up to 8 addressable
could be used for a separate audio distribution system and
run a separate drive
for music libraries.
The software I think would best bring it together is Charmed Quark
me to effectively stretch a desktop over the 4 screens and
set the appropriate
keys to relate to the given areas or view the main
menu in each quadrant as
The money shot might just be in using some older PDA's with
remotes for each zone.
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