Where do I start
To implement a home networking system you need to be prepared to run some cables. This makes implementing a home network ideal if you are building a new property or rennovating an existing one. As long as you can run cables you can implement a sophisticated home network.
The basic infrastruce any respectable home network should have should support Telephone/Computer, TV and Music distribution. Of course you do not have to do all of the above but in my experience, it is a missed opportunity if you do not cover all these areas as you will never have this opportunity again. The value this will add to your property will easily justify the cost.
So what are these things? A Telephone/Computer point is a single gang outlet which has two plugs in it. Typically you will use one of the plugs for a telephone and the other for a computer. However, in a properly implemented system it will be flexible enough for you to easily configure the system so that both plugs can be used for two seperate telephone points or two seperate computer points or one telephone and one computer. A TV point is where you plug in a TV set. It will relay the TV signal to the TV set allowing you to view any of the incoming TV signals (i.e. BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky, Cable TV, Freeview, etc). Basically, what ever is fed into the system can be viewed at each TV point concurrently. Music distribution is exactly what it sounds like, it is the ability to hear the music from your Hi Fi in different rooms, each with independant volume control.
Now that we understand these services you have to do is decide what services you want delivered to which rooms in the property. For telephone/computer and TV distribution, this is really easy. You simply put one of each in every room of the house. The cost is relatively insignificant and you will be glad you did. In some rooms you may want to be more generous. For example, in a large lounge you want to put two telephone/computer and TV points as you may have a couple of room layouts in mind so by over provisioning the outlets you have the flexibility to reorganise the furniture without finding the TV is no longer next to the TV point. Also, in a study or home office you may need two or three telephone/computer points if you want to cater for more than one person.
For music distribution you need to put a bit more thought into the matter as the cost can go up quite quickly as you increase the number of rooms. One of the reasons for this is that you need some kind of volume control in each room and a pair of speakers in each room. With speakers the old saying "What you pay for is what you get" is so true. On this website we have offered a range of high quality custom audio speakers which provide a fantastic sound with a very impressive frequency response. They are extremely good value for money but at the end of the day it costs something. Also it is worth noting most Hi Fi systems only drive down to 8 Ohms impedance. This will allow delivery of music 4 rooms. If you want to go beyond 4 rooms you need to make sure you have a Hi Fi system that will drive down to 4 Ohms or more specialised equipment is needed. Therefore, for the average project think about whether 4 rooms of music is enough. People typically like music in the Lounge, Diner, Kitchen and Master Bedroom. Of course you can go beyond that but the cost will go up.
Once you have worked out how many outlets you want in your home network system you can take a look at some of the example systems and see if one matches your needs. For example, the 8 telephone/computer, 8 TV and 4 Music system is very popular for most 3 or 4 bedroom houses.