Home Network Details

This page shows some more detailed photographs of the various components of our Home Network. You can move your cursor over any part of the pictures on this page to see what that component does. Most of the equipment that creates our home network is located at a central point in our basement. This is typically called the "Node 0". Click on any part of this picture to jump to the point on this page that explains that component.

FutureSmart Networks Patch Panel Satellite Feed from Dish and In-Line Amplifiers Satellite Signal Splitter Power Source - One is UPS Protected, the other is Line AC IR Network Power Supply Speaker Connection to Audio Hub in Patch Panel IR Network CATV/Cable Modem Service Input from Street Uninterruptable Power Supply Home Network Documentation Local Telephone Line with Caller ID Temperature and Humidty Display Motorola Surfboard Cable Modem LinkSys VPN Router/Firewall Netgear RO318 Firewall/Router (Not currently used) Digital Clock Speaker Wiring to Rooms Off-Air Antenna Amplifier Power Unit Off-Air Antenna Controller (Connected into IR System)

Node 0 - The Nerve Center of Our Home Network

The heart of the system is the FutureSmart Networks patch panel. This provides a flexible interconnection point for all wiring in the home as well as Telephone, Video, Data and Audio hub services.

Telephone Connections to Rooms 100 Mbps Ethernet Connections to Rooms Wired IR Connections to Rooms Video Connections to/from Rooms Dedicated Satellite Connections to Rooms Video Hub Telephone Hub Outside Service Inputs Hub (ex. Cable, Satellite, Telephone) 100Mbps Ethernet Switches IR Network Hub Broadband Services Cross-Connect Hub Whole House Audio Hub Uninteruptable Power Supply (Backup Power for Data and Telephone) Local Telephone with Caller ID Home Network Documentation Temperature and Humidity Display Diplexor (Combines Satellite & CATV Service on single Coax) For Future Expansion

Home Network Patch Panel and UPS

This panel provides connections to one or two multimedia wall jacks in each room of the house. Rooms such as the office, family room and master bedroom that have heavy data or other multimedia requirements have additional jacks which provide more high-speed data, satellite network or telephone connections.

Telephone Line #1 Telephone Line #2 Telephone Line #3 Blank for Future Expansion Stereo Audio Left Speaker Stereo Audio Right Speaker Video/Satellite Output to TV or Sat. Receiver Video Input to Home Video Network 100 Mbps Ethernet to Home LAN and the Internet Connection to IR Controlled Equipment in Room Screw Screw Screw Screw

Typical Multimedia Jack

Our Home Network provides wired and wireless LAN services as well as secure access throughout our home to the internet. A LinkSys VPN Router/Firewall is the heart of our home LAN. This device uses Network Address Translation (NAT) to allow the single cable modem connection to the internet to be shared by all computers in the house be they wired or wireless.  It also provides a stateful firewall which  keeps our network secure.

LinkSys VPN Router/Firewall Cable Modem (1.5 Mbps Access to Internet) Netgear RO318 Firewall/Router (Not Currently Used) Patch Panel

Cable Modem and Router/Firewall

Wireless Access Points are connected to our home LAN to provide 802.11a and 802.11g (50 Mbps) wireless network extensions our wired LAN. This is very useful for taking a laptop computer outside or for quick use with hooking up. It is also allows our PocketPCs to access the internet or as wireless remote controls to control our AudioTron networked music players.

Agere Access Point (Creates 802.11b Wireless LAN) 802.11b Antenna Wired LAN (Ethernet) Cabling Netgear Access Point (Creates 802.11a Wireless LAN) AC Power Distribution 10/100 Base-T Ethernet Hub

Access Points for Wireless LAN

Another important component of our network is our Home Server. It consists of an Intel Pentium-based PC running Windows XP Professional. This machine has 4 Terabytes of disk storage which is used to hold over 12,000 audio files, 11,000 graphics files and central file storage for our home network. This server can be accessed by an PC in the house, by the TiVo's and AudioTrons for display of graphics files and playback of our music collection. This machine is also acts as a web server for  www.anita-fred.net (your are using our home server to view this page). Finally, it provides centralized backup for all of our PCs as well as basic network services such as DHCP and DNS services. If you are setting up your own home server, you might consider some of the applications that we are using on ours:


SimpleDNS Plus - Provides DHCP and DNS services


DirectUpdate - Works with www.dyndns.org to create our domain with our DHCP-based cable modem service


HostMonitor - A useful network monitoring tool


Syslogd - A Syslog Service for Windows (used for network devices that log information via SNMP or Syslog traps

If you are interested in any of these tools and have questions about how they can be used to build a home network, please feel free to contact us via e-mail.

Networked Printer (Five total in house, all networked) Flash Reader TV Connected to Home Video Network IR Target Channel Guide for Home Video Network CATV Tuner PC Audio Speaker PC Audio Speaker Server File Storage (1 Terabyte Total) Server File Storage (1 Terabyte Total) Network Printer Interface Compaq iPAQ Cradle Kenwood Keg Cradle (For writting MP3s into Car Audio Player) Server PC Keyboard Mouse Zip Drive

Our Home Server

The next major component of our home network provides an in-house generated video network. This network has three different sources of video signals. The first is an HDTV capable satellite system.

Three Satellite Oval Dish (For HDTV) Three-LNBs each aimed at a different Satellite (Acutal 2 dual and 1 single-LNB connected via a combiner to 4 coax cables) Four Coax Cables Carry Satellite Signals to  LNBs (A combiner allows 2 dual and 1 single-LNB to connect to 4 cables)

DirecTV  Multi-Satellite Dish

Satellite TV services is distributed the rooms in our house via a satellite 8-way multi-switch and our patch panel.

Spllitter Support 3 LNBs and 3 Satellites - Provides 8 HDTV Ready Outputs which also carry CATV Outputs to Satellite Receivers in Rooms via Patch Panel Inputs from LNBs on Satellite Dish Cable Input - Allows CATV and Satellite Signals to be Carried to Rooms AC Power Cable

Satellite Multi-Switch Provides HDTV Capable Signals to All Rooms

The other source of video signals in our house is an off-air UHF antenna system that is housed in the loft above our garage. This antenna is used primary for the reception of off-air HDTV signals. The antenna has a mast-mounted signal amplifier and a rotator system. The rotator system is controlled via a small unit at the Node 0 in our basement. This unit is interfaced to the IR network in our house so that any of the Pronto Remote Controls can change the direction the antenna is pointing. All of this is transparent to the user as the antenna direction is automatically changed whenever an off-air HDTV channel is selected.

High-gain UHF Off-Air Antenna from Channel Master Antenna Rotator (Postioning controlled remotely via IR Network) RF Amplifier (powered from Node 0)

Off-Air UHF Antenna with Amplified and Rotator for HDTV Reception

Channel Selection Indicator/General Display IR Mouse - Connection to Wired IR Network Manual Rotator Controls Speaker Cabling (Not Part of Off-Air Antenna Control)

Antenna Rotator Control at Node 0


The signals from the Satellites drive TiVo enabled Satellite Receivers. Each of these receivers provides access to 2 different satellite channels simultaneously and each provides Personal Video Recording features via the TiVo Service. What TiVo does is to learn each of our viewing preferences and then automatically record programs that TiVo believes we would be interested in on its hard disk storage devices. We can then watch these programs at any time during or after they are recorded. TiVo also provides the ability to skip commercials and record recurring episodes of a series.

IR Emitter Connected to IR Network - Allows Control from Other Rooms TiVo Menu Navigation Controls (These are Duplicated on Remotes) Power Button

TiVo Personal Video Recorders (3 in house) Provide Dual-Channel Satellite Reception and Personal Video Recording/Storage (PVR)

Our house is also connected to our local cable system which provides 75 channels of additional programming as well as local channels and content. A third TiVo Personal Video Recorder is connected to the CATV network to provide video recording and storage for CATV content. This PVR is also available on all TVs within the house. This TiVo unit  is also networked via the home LAN. It can play music or display graphics from the home server on our TVs. It can also be programmed to record shows while we are way via any standard Web Browser and the Internet from anywhere in the world.

TiVo Home Media Options - Photos and Remote Scheduling

Another major component of our video network is a number of shared video devices on in-house created TV channels. This allows a source of high-quality video to be viewed on any TV in the house. We currently have a DVD changer (holds 200 DVDs and CDs), all of our TiVo personal video recorders and one of our AudioTron Music Players connected to our video network in this fashion. This allows us, for example, to select one of our DVDs or CDs from any room in the house and play it. It is also possible to watch any program stored in our TiVo units from any room in the house. This is possible via the use of Stereo Digital TV modulators which create the TV channels for these devices along with a whole-house wired IR network which allows an IR remote control in one room to control a specific video device (such as the DVD changer or TiVo unit) in another room. The outputs of the modulators are routed via a second coax cable (which is available in every room in the house) to the Patch Panel at our Node 0. The modulator channels are combined there with the CATV service and then distributed to every room in the house.

Indicates Channel Modulator is Generating Used to Set Modulator Channel Modulator Status Indicators

Video Modulators Create TV Channels from DVD Changer, TiVo Satellite and Cable Receivers and AudioTron

Local Connection Point and IR Target for Testing IR Router Facilitiates Control of Identical A-V Devices in Different Rooms 110 Punch-Down Block Implements Video Bus and Connections to Rooms via the Patch Panel Interconnections to IR Router and Test Point Category 5 Cabling to Rooms via Patch Panel Interconnections to IR Router Interconnections to IR Router

IR Network Provides Control of Video Peripherals from any Room

The combined channel lineup for our "in-home" CATV system looks like this. The in-home channels generated via the modulators are channels 114-134. The channel lineup also list the Off-Air and Satellite HDTV channels that we get. We also receive a total of 275 standard definition digital Satellite TV and audio channels which are not shown below.

CATV Channels (From local Cable Service) HTDV Channels (Both Satellite & Off-Air) In Home Generated Channels (Via Modulator)

Our Home Channel Lineup

To complete the video portion of our network, we have installed a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound system in our family room along with our big screen TV. This equipment provides Dolby Digital Surround sound from DVDs and our Satellite Receiver/TiVo unit.

Big Screen TV (Displaying "Now Playing" Menu for DirecTV/TiVo Satellite Reciever/PVR) WebTV - Allows Web Browsing via the TV and an IR Keyboard DirecTV/TiVo Satellite Receiver and PVR DVD/CD Changer S-VHS High-Quality VCR Denon Dolby 5.1 A-V Receiver and Cooling Fans Anita's PC - Digital/Internet Audio Source Left Front Speaker Right Front Speaker Powered Sub-Woofer IR Target Cabinet Houses Wireless LAN Turtle Beach AudioTron - Server-based Audio Player Cabinet Houses Anita's PC and IR Distribution Blocks Cabinet Contains Networked TiVo Series 2 PVR, Networked Sony PlayStation2 & Four Stereo Modulators Center Channel Speaker Compaq iPAQ for Wireless Web Access & Home Control Wireless Controller for Sony PlayStation 2 XM Satellite Radio Antenna SkyFi XM Satellite Radio Tuner PhotoShow Zip Based Graphics File Projector

A-V Equipment and Big Screen TV in Family Room

The entire video system is controlled via individual Phillips Pronto Remote controls that are custom programmed for the room that they are used in. These units are programmed to integrate the overall control of our home network and present a simple graphical interface. As an example, selecting an HDTV off air channel via the broadcaster's logo might configure the IR router to control the HDTV satellite receiver, turn the receiver on, switch the TV to the direct digital input connected to the HDTV receiver and command the Off-Air Antenna Rotator to point the antenna at the correct city.

Custom Programmed Pronto Pro Remote Controls Provide Control of Entire Audio-Video Network

Our home network also provide distribution of three telephone lines and high-quality stereo speaker cables throughout our home. The house is wired for a fourth telephone line to allow for possible connection to broadband services such as DSL or Fiber to the Home that may be provided by the telephone company. The speaker cabling is not currently used but may be in the near future!

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