The Swede in the middle of Silicon Valley

Monday, October 27, 2008

Network and multimedia updates


So I figured it was time for some updates on my home network/multimedia setup since I moved 2 weeks back. As we're now 4 people on the network rather than 1 I've done some slight changes.

The network is controlled by 2 units, my Linux server and an Apple Time Capsule. The Linux server hosts DNS, DHCP, UPnP, NTP, Samba, AFP, NFS, OpenVPN etc. it also acts as a router/gateway/firewall.

The Time Capsule acts as an 802.11n AP and switch for my multimedia equipment that requires more bandwidth than ~150Mbit or equipment that doesn't support wifi.

An issue we stumbled upon when moving in was that nothing in the house was pre-wired. For us to be able to wire our equipment we would have to drill etc. To make this easier I started playing with the idea of using wire-less bridges, thus I picked up an Airport Extreme, giving me a 802.11n wireless bridge and an Ethernet port to connect a switch to. Since my roommates didn't want to spend the $99 we took some old Linksys's we had laying around and flashed them with dd-wrt which gave us the same functionality. The result: Wired connections in every room without any physical labor.

As you may have seen Boxee was recently released for AppleTV, this has built in support for UPnP and supports way more codecs than my PS3 and takes less power. After flashing the ATV with atvusb-creator we were up and running. This didn't really eliminate the need for any of iTunes streaming servers I have since I'm still getting legal content of the iTunes store but at least I can save some of my power-bill for not having to use my PS3 to watch downloadable content.
As far as music goes things are pretty much the same. One nice addition was the Airport Express which support AirTunes allowing me to stream music over the air from any room.