Sunday, 8 November 2020

STICKY: The Grand Plan

Welcome to Mediaserver8, a place where I document my adventures in home automation and media serving - mostly for my own reference and future sanity!

I'm going to keep this post on top and maintain the overview schematic at Gliffy to offer an introduction to my HA system as it evolves. (Here's a direct link to a scalable version of this diagram).


Read on for a detailed breakdown of this setup...

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Do you suffer from VVS?

The video that everyone on the internet needs to watch - because people eyes are horizontal.

Share, share, share....

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Marantz SR7010 receiver as 9 channel power amp

I've had my SR7010 for a couple of years now and it runs my 7.1.4 Atmos setup great. It's got tons of features and 9 in-built amps that are rated at 125W (two channels driven).

However, I'm starting to think about succession planning and something like an Anthem AVM60 processor would be nice or maybe the forthcoming Marantz 8805 or Emotiva RMC-1 which support more channels.

In any case, it's likely going to be a processor solution rather than an AVR. Which got me thinking about amps. There's plenty of amps in the SR7010 which, in combination with 3x higher-spec units for front l/r/c speakers, would be perfect for surrounds and heights.

The questions is - can you use the SR7010 as a power amp and access all 9 amplifiers. A quick test reveals YES, and here's how.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

It's all about teamwork

In planning development work on the in-progress Amazon Alexa skill for voice control of Squeezebox devices, I wanted to establish some kind of online portal for testers as I wanted a degree of privacy and didn't want to pollute with bug reports.

I'd previously used Basecamp for this kind of thing but on investigation, it looks like their free tier is gone. One of my objectives on the project is to keep it zero cost for as long as possible so I needed to look around for an alternative.

I came across Teamwork, which appeared to tick a lot of the boxes and has a free tier that allows unlimited users across two projects with a generous storage cap. Perfect.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

unRAID as a software dev. platform

unRaid continues to amaze.

I find myself in the middle of a spare-time software development project that quickly grew from a personal home automation idea to a quite public 'when's it ready' kind of thing. It's the development of an Alexa Skill to allow spoken commands to an Amazon Echo to control Squeezebox devices. (see for the project details).

Thursday, 8 December 2016

The TV selection challenge

It's time for a new TV. Our main TV is an 8 year old Sony Bravia 40" and while it's still perfectly serviceable, it is showing it's age in terms of picture quality and features. We now have an XBox One S and Fire TV HD attached and so have multiple 4K sources (UHD Blu-Ray, Netflix and Amazon). The time seems right to take the plunge with 4k and HDR.

I didn't think this would be so difficult.

It started easily enough - figure out a panel size and a budget. Initially I figured a 50" would be a great improvement and would be pocket-friendly as well as prices increase somewhat when going from 50" to 55". To be sure, we borrowed a 55" set for a few days to confirm that it would be too big for the room. It wasn't. It was perfect and, even though it was only a HD set (Panasonic DS500), the improvement in quality over the old Sony was astounding.