How to best wire an entire house mac...(I want a touch screen in my bathroom)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by lifeboy001, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. lifeboy001 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    #1
    So here's the basic idea- I have a two floor apartment and I want to have total access to all media at all times. Here are my thoughts on what I want to do and how I'm guess it could be done, but I need advice...

    Watching movies/Divx/etc

    MacMini plugged into HDTV. Mini would serve as the primary machine in the apartment. I would like to stream videos from an external HD bay connected to an Airport Extreme. Control of the machine would be wireless as the computer itself would likely be concealed by tinted glass.

    iTunes

    Direct connection from MacMini to surround receiver for the first floor. iTunes would stream to Airport express base stations upstairs and on the terrace, including bathrooms.

    Control of the system is the problem

    I would prefer to keep everything on the primary machine downstairs, but I am interested in two things. If I wanted to change the music playing, I don't want to have to go downstairs, nor do I want to have a separate machine to control upstairs. I am investigating touch screens, or for now using my MacBook when upstairs or on the terrace. Is there a way to gain control of the MacMini over my network using different machines in the house? This program:
    http://www2.smarttech.com/st/en-US/Products/SynchronEyes+Classroom+Management+Software/
    works very well for windows, and does more or less what I would like. Any suggestions?

    Also, if I wanted touch screen control in the bathroom, I would build it into the wall. Anybody have experience doing this? Can the touch screen just act as an mirrored monitor?
     
  2. crazycat macrumors 65816

    crazycat

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    #2
    Thats very interesting, everything you want to do is possible but i am not sure how the touch screen would work or how to control your music/video from the top floor. You could please an apple tv on the top floor and sync it with your macmini, i am not aware of any other hardware or software that will allow you to do so.
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    You know, I wonder, not to be too tangential, but if you really put a touchscreen in the bathroom, does it need to be ruggedized to deal with the steam from the shower?

    I seem to remember that there was a really detailed thread discussing software options and so on for a project like this about a year ago.... I'll see if I can dig it back up.
     
  4. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    i would recommend visiting a local stereo/home theatre shop. The reason for this suggestion is b/c i saw an amazing touch screen pad which controlled everything - temperatures, movies, music, lights. i don't remember the name at all and i imagine it might be pricey, but there wasn't anything it couldn't do. it could even monitor the house over the internet from another location. so, back to the home theatre - i'm sure they'd be well versed in these gadgets.

    this lady was literally walking around with this pad, touching it and watching stuff change on the different TV screens (mounted nicely on the wall I might add). She was testing it for a local home theatre shop.

    Cheers,
    Keebler
     
  5. lifeboy001 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    #5
    Yeah, but I own the condo so I plan on doing extensive work on the enclosure if I do go down this route. Some people have suggested just putting a mic in the bathroom so I can just use voice commands in itunes.

    That said, the only reason why I don't want to purchase a professional system for all of this is that I really want to keep control of my macs. By building my own (and with some quick scripting), I can have touch screen controls that run over osx, also allowing me to use the touch screen controls as a monitor and mouse.
     
  6. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Back in the motherland
    #6
    I am surprised nobody has said that yet but an :apple:tv would actually do exactly what you need. You'd just need a small tv, which all in all might be a little more expensive but you would do away with all the problems involved by trying to control downstairs' computer.
     
  7. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #7
    if you have a pda phone, you could get a program called sailing clicker. It lets you control itunes on your phone (had a treo 650, worked great).

    Only downside is that it is bluetooth, so the range may not go everywhere.
     
  8. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #8
    if you have the cash then go to a home theater place and get a full custom system.

    if you are saving cash and want a simple apple-centric home theater system then go with the mac mini as a base and airport express for other systems. the problem with this is you have to play the same music at all locations. if you go with the apple TV option (hooked to a small lcd display) then you can play different music at different locations.

    a cool way to control it if you go with the mac mini and airport express is some software called salling clicker. http://www.salling.com/Clicker/mac/ you can load it on a cell phone or a palm pilot (with wireless connectivity) or various other devices and control the main computer. i use it with my palm pilot and it is pretty cool.

    keyspan also has some interesting options, i have never used this but it looks cool http://www.keyspan.com/products/tvu200c/ they also make this http://www.keyspan.com/products/urm17a/homepage.spml which plugs into the airport express to allow control of iTunes, but you dont get to see any information on what is playing.
     
  9. Roy Hobbs macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
  10. Superman07 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    #10

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