I propose merging the following site proposals:
Home Automation
Home Theater & Audio
Broadcast and Media Technologies
Live Production

I propose that the new site be defined as the following. In doing so, I believe we greatly increase our chances of creating a successful site:

Multimedia Distribution & Automation (see other naming possibilities below)
This site is intended for engineers, technicians, integrators, technologists, DIYers, and enthusiasts interested in learning about and advancing the field of Multimedia Distribution (i.e., Audio, Video, & Broadcasting) and Automation (i.e., Automation & Control Systems).

This Site is For You If:
-You own, work for, or interested in working for a business that installs home theaters, multi-zone audio/video, security systems, surveillance systems, IP networking solutions, broadcast systems, HVAC control, energy management control, lighting control, shade control, and other residential and/or commercial systems and you wish to share expertise with others in the field
-You are a DIYer or enthusiast who wishes to learn how these systems work and/or how to install and build these types of systems yourself

Topics to Be Discussed:
Automation Control Systems
Audio and Video (HiFi, Distributed, Live)
IP Networking (as it pertains to these other topics; not by itself)

Experts Who Would Contribute:
Electronic Systems Technicians
A/V Installers
Custom Integrators
Broadcast Engineers
Audio Engineers
Electronics Engineers
Professional Designers
Network Technicians
Low-Voltage Technicians

Laypeople Who Would Contribute:

Related Associations, Alliances, & Societies:
CEDIA - Custom Electronics Design & Installation Association
CEA - Consumer Electronics Association
ESPA - Electronic Systems Professional Alliance
NAB - National Association of Broadcasters
BEA - Broadcast Education Association
SBE - Society of Broadcast Engineers

Related Trade Shows:

Related Forums & Blogs:

What do you guys think? Thoughts?

So its been pointed out to me that the proposed site name is not very intuitive. Here are some other possibilities I came up with:
"A/V and Automation - Design & Installation"
"SmartHome Design & Installation"
"A/V Distribution & Automation"

But how can we imply that the site encompasses residential "Home Theater" & "SmartHome" topics while not singling out the commercial counterparts?

  • 1
    I would name it Smarthome.
    – smartmeta
    Sep 13, 2013 at 5:55
  • @smartmeta That was one of the names I was thinking about too. But do you feel that this would inadvertently suggest that commercial installations are out of scope? P.S. - I've created a more specific discussion on this topic over here, in case you're interested. Sep 13, 2013 at 6:04
  • 1
    I would fear the opposit, that it suggest that it is only about commercial installations. (One of the big players in the [german] market is RWE with its Smarthome solution: www.rwe-smarthome.de)
    – smartmeta
    Sep 13, 2013 at 6:12
  • @smartmeta Let me clarify. I meant to suggest that the title Smarthome would imply only residential installations, possibly leaving out commercial installations (i.e. offices, restaurants, hospitality, places of worship, etc.). I didn't mean to make a distinction between commercially available products and homebrew solutions (i.e. HTPCs) Sep 13, 2013 at 6:26
  • 2
    -1 from me. Too broad. I really want the Home theater/AV site to come through though. I am surprised it hasnt even passed the definition stage.
    – bobbyalex
    Feb 27, 2014 at 8:04

1 Answer 1


We rarely do physical merges of this type. It's often better to simply support the proposal(s) you like and let survival of the fittest work itself out. There are rare occasions where two or more communities are actually working towards the same goals, and they just happen to call them different names. But, regardless… many of these proposals have already been closed.

That being said, if I were looking for a site to hook up my home theater system, I wouldn't even think to look at a site called "Multimedia Distribution & Automation." It's an odd phrasing because most of these subjects don't go together all that well. The folks who claim an expertise in Telephony or Broadcast & Media Technologies are not the same as the audiophiles interested in Home Theaters… or the Home Automation experts and enthusiasts. They're simply different audiences.

Thanks for the well-thought-out presentation, though.

  • 2
    Ok so the name needs some work. But I strongly disagree that the subjects don't fit together. I work in the custom integration industry and there are thousands of businesses that offer all the services I mention in the proposal. A majority of these businesses are not large (usually 10-20 people), so most of these expert installers are familiar with a wide array of the topics. Similarly, an enthusiast who wants to setup his own home theater or automation system could very well also be interested in a VOIP telephone system or an understanding how a professional a/v distribution system works. Sep 12, 2013 at 21:50
  • Ok I've edited the question to bring up the site name issue. My main concern is how can we imply that the site encompasses residential "Home Theater" & "SmartHome" topics while not singling out the commercial counterparts? Sep 12, 2013 at 22:33
  • @BigMacAttack perhaps someone who wants to set up his own home theater would want his own PBX, but that's really silly to lump them together. Telephony and Home Theater do not belong together. A lot of sites on the SE network have an overlap of demographic, and that's okay. For example: a graphic designer is probably also well versed in UX, but keeping the sites compartmentalized is much better than making on huge unfocused super-site
    – JohnB
    Sep 13, 2013 at 1:03
  • @JohnB The Area51 site proposal guidelines suggest tailoring a site towards professionals, not laypeople. An expert in the custom integration industry, such as a CEDIA EST III professional, will often encounter a job that requires handling telephony and home theater. I still hold by my argument that a site tailored towards the custom integration industry will include both of these topics. Sep 13, 2013 at 1:19
  • @BigMacAttack perhaps, and you're more than welcome to give it a shot. Keep in mind though, that a proposal that is too broad will likely not succeed. India was shut down for that very reason: discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/q/11217/78536
    – JohnB
    Sep 13, 2013 at 1:44
  • @JohnB Thanks John for the advice. It looks like India was likely closed because of FAQ 'site subsuming' checklist item #3 "You're not creating such a big group that you don't have enough experts to answer all possible questions". I've created my site proposal with seed questions over here. My belief is that the proposal is limited enough in scope to not be considered too broad, but wide enough in scope to actually be successful. I welcome any constructive criticism. Sep 13, 2013 at 1:57
  • @BigMacAttack The proposals you listed aren't/didn't go anywhere and most of them have been closed. I was just expressing my understanding of these subjects, but I have little to go on beyond my own opinion. If you feel you've stumbled across a better formula, the best way to test your premise is to create a new proposal outlining your vision. That's is what Area 51 is about. Sep 13, 2013 at 13:52
  • Thanks Robert. I have created a new proposal, and its already been marked as a 'possible duplicate' of Home Theater & Audio. Naturally I disagree (since my proposal encompasses more related topics) and instead I would advocate for a similar merger to the one I proposed. I think it fits all 4 of the 'site subsuming` checklist items in the FAQ. Sep 13, 2013 at 16:23

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