IN OUR CONCRETE block house, certain wireless features fall over. We bring problems onto ourselves through a combination of the house structure and the stuff we use: four wifi computers, one microwave oven, two wifi phones, two DECT phones, two 3G phones, two neighbours splashing over the fence when using open 802.11g, a wireless light switching system, a wireless motion-detector and a mixing desk that somehow contributes to the line noise of a 5-1 speaker system. Hearing what this mash-up sounds like through wireless headphones makes me believe that nothing beats hardwired entertainment systems.
We have hardwired points in six rooms but we need to change over to smart cabling. That will cost more than EUR 1000 unless I chase channels down plastered walls myself. We will start at the top of the house in a box closet which will become the patch panel room with a 16 port Gigabit switch. We figure that will give us the solace of no disconnects but don't have the confidence in Vista powering the media center. We're listening to people explain how Vista disconnects media services when it senses voltage variances and that's certain to happen because we're extending one of the USB connections downstairs from the patch panel to run a webcam. In my experience, USB Voltage ebbs with cables running more than five metres. Knowing that, we may change to power over ethernet but those cameras cost a lot more.
It would be fun to video this spaghetti connection some day once we're finished hooking up everything. There's a DIY series that might appeal to anyone interested in wiring up their digital lifestyle.