Originally Posted by fireberd350
[*]I know there's tons of options to get the pandora feed: HTPC, Built-Into Receiver, or 3.5mm attached cellphone. In a perfect world I'd like to be able to control the pandora feed remotely. Is this possible?
Sonos. Or any receiver with multi-zone support, Pandora, and a control app should be able to do that.
The 5 zones will each have 2 ceiling mounted speakers. My plan was to run speak wire from the receiver to a volumn control knob in each zone and from that knob to the speaker pair in that zone. Is using speaker wire the right solution?
Yes. If you're running wire, pull a Cat5e in parallel to the control location in each zone, so you can upgrade to a keypad/display at some point in the future.
After some reading I'm thinking I will need an amplifier to power these speakers. If so there will be a single stereo output from my receiver into the amplifier which will then spread that signal to the zones, correct?
That is the simplest/cheapest solution. You will need impedance-matching volume controls - certainly for more than 2 pairs. Be aware that if you're using a receiver, you will have to feed all sources via analog (in addition to any digital/HDMI feed) to get that signal routed to the Zone2 output. Limitations of the designs these days - still...
In this scenario all the source control will be done via the Receiver. I can't wrap my head around having a second input source. My current Harmon Kardon receiver has a multi-room function so I can use the receiver to manage the 5:1 surround playing source A and Source B being transmitted via the multi-room output to the other zones. IS this a good plan?
Yep. It's just like there was a "second" source selector - one for Zone 1, another for Zone 2. They can each listen to whichever source they want...
Lastly, what are my options if I wanted an isolated zone with ceiling mounted speakers and the only input is a wall mounted 3.5mm or RCA jack w/ a wall mounted audio control?
Meaning "independent" system in a room that using ceiling-mounted speakers? There are some products for this, but you'll have to decide what source(s) you want to feed to it. A Sonos Connect:Amp would be a good choice (IIRC, it has an analog input as well?).