[See post #12 for update]
I have a new house under construction and need to design an audio/video distribution system for it. I need to have video going to 6 zones (4 bedrooms, an exercise room and a living room). I need to have audio going to 8 zones (the above, plus kitchen and dining room).
Our electrician has run structured cable to all the video zones (all home runs). This cable contains 2 coax, 2 cat 5e and 2 fiberoptic wires. Additionally, he ran speaker wire to ceiling locations in all the audio zones. The electrician doesn't do video distribution, so the rest is up to me. All of the wiring runs to the (unfinished) basement to a natural closet space under the stairs. I could easily enclose this should we wish to finish the basement in the future.
I have talked to three of the local CIs and I don't have a very good comfort level with any of them. They are all nice guys, but they are talking about really big bucks, and aren't able to clearly articulate the strengths and weaknesses of the systems they are recommending/discussing.
That leaves me with the idea of putting this thing together myself. I am an accomplished DIYer, but haven't tackled AV yet, so this is all pretty new to me. I've been reading up on it, and it doesn't seem impossibly hard given the tremendous amount of info on the net.
For inputs, I will have cable TV, music (source undetermined as of yet), Netflix Roku, Sirius radio, and DVD.
All our TVs are fairly recent HD models (two LCDs, two plasmas). I have some questions about how to handle some aspects of the sytems. For example, I see the elegance of central DVD distribution, but wouldn't it be a PITA to have to go to the basement to pop-in a DVD. We have two players (one for the kids' room and one for the living room. Do we put one player in the basement and the other in the LR or kids' room?
Will I be able to (affordably) get HD signal to all our TVs?
How do you incorporate DVRs into the mix? We can't really watch live TV anymore, if you know what I mean.
Is there a time lag in controlling the TVs from a central location? IOW, can you still channel surf?
Any suggestions or advice you have would greatly appreciated! TIA