The Whole-House Audio/Video system


The concept of whole-house video is simple. Instead of using manual switches to select a video source, modulate video source onto unused TV channels. In our home, I placed the following source onto unused TV channels:

  • The two VCRs in the main A/V area
  • The DVD player in the main A/V area
  • The screen of my home automation PC
  • The CCTV camera in my baby's bedroom
  • The CCTV camera in my toddler's bedroom
  • The front door surveillance camera
Thus to see any of these screens anywhere in the house, we just need to select its channel on the TV. In addition, due to the IR relay system, I can control the viewed VCRs as well. My wife and I really like being able to see the kids in their rooms. We can put them to bed, and still be able to keep an eye on them even while we are entertaining guests in the rec room two floors down from them.

This system was accomplished using several of Radio Shack's video distribution system and a Channelplus 3025.  The Radio Shack box has unfortunately been discontinued, but equivalent boxes are available from Channel Plus, Blonder-Tonque and others. The RS box accepted two inputs in addition to the cable/antenna feed. The channel of each input can be selected, and I cascaded several boxes to handle the multiple inputs.  The Channelplus box is digitally controlled, so no dials to adjust on it.

In addition to the above, we have your commonly available Pro-Logic Home Theater system with a Sony 32" TV. In addition to the normal five channel setup, I also have a 16" subwoofer built into the house with a 200 Watt amplifier.

On a side-note, while testing the subwoofer during installation, I played a test CD with various test tones. The low frequency rumble that ensued caused the dishes in my kitchen to rattle. We enjoy our system so much that it is easy to see why this is a big fad in new homes.

Similar to whole-house video, the audio sources can also be distributed as FM radio station channels. However, there is no pressing need for that at the moment.

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