Controlling outdoor audio simply - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 02-06-2012, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
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We're getting a deck built which is about 600 sq ft. I'm in the process of planning the audio system. I will tie into the zone 2 function of my onkyo 707 in my main theater. My main theater is 7.1 so I have to use the line level pre-amp outs and use zone 2 as analog. I'm going to mainly use apple TV for the source using a DAC (optical in / RCA out). I will use a cheap 2 ch amp to drive my polk outdoor speakers.

My concerns are automation for turning on/off and volume control. I'd ideally like to just take my iphone out of my pocket on the deck, and use airplay to stream iTunes or Pandora. To do this, I believe my receiver will need to be on constantly which is not a good idea even though my onkyo has room to breathe. My amp should auto-on.

Is there a way to accomplish this without my onkyo being on constantly? The 707 is not networkable unfortunately. I'd like to not drop a lot of money on something like an iRule system. Any cheap workarounds??

Also, what's the best way to control volume with such a setup? I live in a sometimes windy area and I could foresee there being days where I'm adjusting the volume frequently to overcome background wind noise. It would be a major PITA to run down to my basement every time to change volume.

I've never setup an outdoor system before so I'd love to get some insights as to how some of you overcame these obstacles. I'm sure it can be done...I just don't know how.

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post #2 of 15 Old 02-06-2012, 06:41 AM
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Could you get a cheap receiver and get an rf remote for it or get an rf remote for your current receiver?
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post #3 of 15 Old 02-06-2012, 07:36 AM
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An RF remote will do the trick. Look at solutions from Logitech. They are well respected.

Logitec Harmony in particular....
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post #4 of 15 Old 02-06-2012, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I considered the RF remote. I have a Harmony One in my main theater. I have the Logitech 890 in my upstairs TV area. It was expensive and doesn't work perfectly at all times. I'm not sure that's the best route but I'll check ebay and see if I can get a cheap one to try it out. That would still be another remote I'd have to go fetch in order to use the system though. Would be nice to get a cheap solution with just iPhone. Does anybody know if there is some sort of add-on to make a receiver auto-on?

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post #5 of 15 Old 02-06-2012, 09:07 AM
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Why even bring the onkyo into the equation? why not go apple straight to the amp and use the iphone for control?
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-06-2012, 09:58 AM
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irule is the least expensive solution to do that.... otherwise change your receiver for one that integrates Iphone control....
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post #7 of 15 Old 02-06-2012, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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That's a great point about eliminating the Onkyo altogether. I guess my initial thought process was that I'd still like to be able to play a CD or set up Sirius/XM if I wanted at some point as switchable sources via the Onkyo. Looking ahead, I could probably play anything I needed to quite adequately using just the apple TV for iTunes. I can also easily just AirPlay my Pandora stations right from the phone. Thank you for this suggestion. I think my situation just got simplified. I guess the only issue would be volume control.

Any thoughts on how to control volume easily?

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post #8 of 15 Old 02-06-2012, 01:30 PM
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get an airport express instead of the apple tv and control volume through the phone while airplaying.
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post #9 of 15 Old 02-06-2012, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Techphil View Post

get an airport express instead of the apple tv and control volume through the phone while airplaying.

second! will give you independent, analog direct to the amp, and volume control!
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post #10 of 15 Old 02-06-2012, 06:43 PM
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second! will give you independent, analog direct to the amp, and volume control!

Third! I installed an airport express with powered speakers by the hot tub this past weekend. Works like a champ!

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post #11 of 15 Old 02-06-2012, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Interesting....I have no experience with the airport express. So, if I understand correctly, the volume CAN be controlled while streaming to airport express but CANNOT be controlled while streaming to apple TV?

So, do you basically just set the amp volume somewhere near the middle of the range and then not have to mess with it again? Then just use the iPhone volume control to tweak during listening?

Since the airport express has analog out, I could also skip worrying about getting a DAC. This project is getting simpler! Thank you!

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post #12 of 15 Old 02-07-2012, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phacoman View Post

So, do you basically just set the amp volume somewhere near the middle of the range and then not have to mess with it again? Then just use the iPhone volume control to tweak during listening?

Yes, it is that simple. The Airport Express is a wireless N router, but I only use it for the audio streaming function as I have an existing wireless network. I guess I'm saying that you aren't replacing your existing network, but adding to it.

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post #13 of 15 Old 02-08-2012, 08:45 AM
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It sounds like you're probably sorted now if you go this route. For your application the AirPort Express sounds like the simplest option. The only place it seems to lack is if you have multiple zones you would then need multiple AirPort boxes. Please someone correct me if I have this wrong.
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post #14 of 15 Old 02-08-2012, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ljo000 View Post

It sounds like you're probably sorted now if you go this route. For your application the AirPort Express sounds like the simplest option. The only place it seems to lack is if you have multiple zones you would then need multiple AirPort boxes. Please someone correct me if I have this wrong.

You are correct. You need an Airport Express for each zone. I kept my cost per zone (outdoors) to $185. Each AE is $100, and added a pair of powered outdoor speakers from Monoprice at $85/pr. I don't know of a less expensive solution.

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post #15 of 15 Old 02-08-2012, 09:34 AM
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I started another thread (see here) a while back about multi zone setups using Logitech Squeezebox/Softsqueeze (software only).

The difference is that you need a PC to host the software and amps to power the speakers but you are not really limited in your number of zones. It would be more expensive for 2-3 zones but cheaper for 4 or more. Also, the PC could do other things like stream video.

I'm currently implementing whole house audio (wiring and in-ceiling speakers are done) and I thought I would go with my original plan but the AirpPort method may be better. I'll have two audio-only zones + a 5.1 streaming video zone for which I'll still need an HTPC regardless.
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