Recommendations for House System, Crestron? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-06-2012, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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We have completely gutted our house and the family is living in a hotel. We are wanting to put in a 7.1 system in the basement for home theater near our new bar, install on the 1st floor hearth room area a 5.1 system around the fireplace adjacent to a Pioneer Elite 60 Plasma, install a different music zone outside driving two Klipsch speakers, install 2 to 4 other zones in the house for music, and a sound system in our 2nd floor laundry room and master bedroom bath where an iPod can be docked for music or listen to a TV.

My equipment is a NAD 765 (5.1) for the hearth room and paradigm speakers LCR for use now in our basement 7.1. Probably add another 7.1 NAD for basement with HDMI. I like great music but one of the low voltage guys is suggesting a Crestron system with 8 zones. The iPod docking stations cost $1100 and they suggest 3 (NAD are $159), the Crestron wall pads cost $1200 and they suggest one on each floor (3) in addition to programming costs $5K, Crestron AM/FM/Sirius is another $1400? It seems Crestron is behind on Apple applications and our family has numerous Apple products. I have pulled specs and the NAD's blow away the Creston amps. The installer said the days of having a separate amp for each zone or room are gone. We want to be able to listen football in the hearth room or a movie but have music on the patio. The installer suggested Triax boxed speakers for our surround 5.1 mounted in the ceiling, I think better quality LCR are installed on the front wall and then can be used for 2 channel stereo vs. ceiling speakers? We also want to eliminate remotes for each piece of equip and Creston seems to do that at a high price.

Any suggestions? Although individual NAD receivers 7.1 have two zones, one cannot separate out music or TV for each zone. I want great sounding 2 channel music in both theater areas when we are not watching TV. In the basement I will add Paradigm speakers to fill out the 7.1 system probably the dipoles on the sides and small speakers for the rear.

Also, in the house, use ceiling Speakercraft in the living room or areas where we just want whole house sound but less quality? I also like Klipsch.

Thanks, we have been overwhelmed by the cost of the low voltage aspect of a house remodel, clearly it was not budged.
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-06-2012, 06:07 PM
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The least expensive thing you could do would be to wire now for a system to be installed at a later date.

You don't need to decide on the system to be able to wire for one - now that may mean you put in some wiring that won't use but that wire is cheap compared to the rest of a system.

Doing the wiring while the walls are open is the very best and least expensive time to do it.

If you want to decide on the system now I would suggest that you take a look at the Elan g! system. It is a mid priced system but it still very versatile and quite user friendly.

There is no doubt that Crestron is a fine system but it can be expensive.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-06-2012, 06:26 PM
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You can save a little bit of money by using iPads instead of the dedicated Crestron touchscreens, but not much.

Make sure the installer is 'top notch', and not just some random LV guy. The quality of the install is only as good as the installer, and not the equipment. If you're not thrilled with them, then overwire now, and talk with someone else about the hardware.

You may want to speak with some other Installers now, to make sure all the future cables that you'll need will be installed now.

With the amount of money being spent, make certain the installation company is very good. Check references closely.

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post #4 of 12 Old 05-08-2012, 12:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to the responses this helps very much! I have looked also at Sonos, but the one thing I am surprised about with Crestron, is it seems they are slow to respond to the wave of Apple. Why would one spend $1400 for a AM/FM/Sirius application when you can get these apps almost free on an iPhone and a docking station.

Also, it seems everything is so expensive, and much requires programming when the move towards Apple apps is simple.

It seems we should overtire, run at least 4 Cat 5/6E to each potential TV and wire for speakers.

Again, thanks and much appreciated!
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-08-2012, 03:00 AM
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One has to realize what Crestron (or others) have to do to get the metadata from the Apple devices in order to display them on various controllers throughout the home (remotes and touchpanels). They also have to displayed for each different display resolution. It's not as simple as docking your iPhone and have at it.

Crestron is as up to date as any company when it comes to Apple and iOS (including the brand new iOS5) related products but they also have to control, tvs, cd players, vcrs, dvd players, blu-ray players, Apple tvs, projectors, screens, thermostats, drapes, lights, alarm systems, pools and spas and anything else that comes to mind when it comes to control.

Crestron has mobile apps to control of the system from your Apple device, eControl for your mac, iServer for docking of your ipod which syncs to your iTunes and other Apple related software and hardware.
http://www.crestron.com/products/app..._ipad_control/

With the dizzing array of options of harware, imagine what the options for programming can be. It takes a good programmer to make very complicated things seamlessly talk to one another and in such a way that is easy to use, and understand to the homeowner and also guests.

This is why most integrators will only use the products they spec because having a reliable system is just as important. A lot of time, sweat and frustration have lead several of them to use systems they design and spec because they don't want to be married to you and your system constantly fixing things that should never have been an issue in the first place. You also don't want to be calling them all the time because that means your system is down and not working correctly.

Having a system that doesn't have to do anything else is easy, just see Sonos, but these devices don't play with anything else.
Talk to the integrator whom you have been in communication with and ask if they have anything less expensive for you. It may not do what Crestron is capable of, or be as easy to use, but that is what you will have to compromise.
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-08-2012, 04:41 AM
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iPad + quality dock = $900

Using a dedicated touchscreen is much better, IMO, that an iPad with multiple apps. I would pay the difference for that.

You should consider a music server, e.g. MMS-5, instead of an FM/Sirius tuner. There are so many more online music options available, e.g. Pandora, Spotify, XM/Sirius online, Rhapsody, Internet radio (most FM stations stream online).

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post #7 of 12 Old 05-08-2012, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

iPad + quality dock = $900

Using a dedicated touchscreen is much better, IMO, that an iPad with multiple apps. I would pay the difference for that.

You should consider a music server, e.g. MMS-5, instead of an FM/Sirius tuner. There are so many more online music options available, e.g. Pandora, Spotify, XM/Sirius online, Rhapsody, Internet radio (most FM stations stream online).

Yeah, I was going to mention the MMS-5 in my post but I forgot. Thanks for mentioning.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-08-2012, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow, this really helps my thought process. I was also very surprised at the cost of the docking stages for an IPOD, they were about $900 vs. a NAD docking station at $159 from Crutchfield. I think the issue is sticker shock for a fully integrated system.

So, if you want awesome stereo sound say in a master bedroom, wouldn't I be better off maybe have a separate little system using an NAD amp and two speakers and not having the cost of integrating it into the Crestron system? It seems some integrating the whole house is somewhat overkill when in a particular zone you only want stereo? And the ability to simply place my iPhone in a a docking station w/o paying several thousand $ to integrate to Cretsron?
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-08-2012, 05:44 AM
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I have had a Crestron system and now RTI: they are very expensive systems

and if channel mapping changes, say DirecTV changes a channel number, you might have to pay the programmer to update your system (although now it can be done remotely)

One intermediate solution, similar to what you mention, is a multizone receiver with an iPad/ iPhone app. Some of the new receivers will now have HDMI zone outputs which could be used to send HD audio/video to zones using CAT 5 based solutions such as HDbaseT
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-08-2012, 05:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markrubin View Post

and if channel mapping changes, say DirecTV changes a channel number, you might have to pay the programmer to update your system (although now it can be done remotely)

Only if you have preset channel markers or logos that input those direct channel numbers.
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-08-2012, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donzi9 View Post

Wow, this really helps my thought process. I was also very surprised at the cost of the docking stages for an IPOD, they were about $900 vs. a NAD docking station at $159 from Crutchfield. I think the issue is sticker shock for a fully integrated system.

So, if you want awesome stereo sound say in a master bedroom, wouldn't I be better off maybe have a separate little system using an NAD amp and two speakers and not having the cost of integrating it into the Crestron system? It seems some integrating the whole house is somewhat overkill when in a particular zone you only want stereo? And the ability to simply place my iPhone in a a docking station w/o paying several thousand $ to integrate to Cretsron?

I think you would be very surprised at the quality of audio from the Crestron amplifiers.
Watch the vid to get an idea of what the Sonnex unit can do.
http://www.crestron.com/resources/pr...del=SWAMP-24X8
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post #12 of 12 Old 05-08-2012, 11:24 AM
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I've installed a distributed audio system in my home (11 zones currently), and I'm using a dedicated AVR in the family room, for 5.1. The speakers can be shared between the 2 systems.

Keeping the 2 systems separate can simplify control, and reduce costs.

Some distributed audio systems are more expensive than others. Your installer can fill you in on what they offer.

I have no real need for an iPod docking station, as my LAN-connected music server plays/pulls digital music files from all my networked PCs, in addition to providing Sirius/XM, Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, and internet radio.

My audio system is a Nuvo Grand Concerto, and the Nuvo music server (MPS4) is a re-branded Autonomic Controls Mirage Media Server. The iPad app is awesome, and, like the Autonomic MMS-5, a control system could be put in front of the Nuvo - RTI, Crestron, URC, C4 - so that it could be controlled from a home theater touchscreen or remote.

Crestron Sonnex + MMS-5 would be an awesome combination, but there are cheaper solutions. Room audio correction is inherent to Sonnex - you'll lose that. Sonnex is 140 Watts/Ch, hard to match. There are also more expensive solutions, FWIW.

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