I am finally reaching completion of my new basement area and that means that it is time to look at researching what is needed in equipment to be able to run the home theater as well as the other locations in the house. Let me start off by saying that it is the first time I am delving into whole home A/V distribution so this is new territory for me so all the help is needed and appreciated. I do have a friend who recently did a similar thing in his newly built house but he has many more zones and he broke the bank for the whole thing to be installed. I have a more modest budget to work with and my home is quite older. I only thought about doing whole home AV distribution when we were doing the basement home theater/family room.
My current situation and setup is the following. I have a split level home with 4 (half) floors. The viewing and audio locations are the 1st floor living room, the ground floor den and the basement home theater. Speaker locations were created in all these areas when we were doing basement renos since it was easy to pass speaker wire from the walls without making openings and fishing. The basement is where the AV closet will be located so all wiring will originate from there to the different TV's and speakers. I actually have ran 1 1/4" PVC conduits to the 3 TV locations so that I can easily fish wires there through the walls. The following is the planned setup for each location:
- Basement Home Theater
1080p projector (most likely Epson 5010, not yet bought) on 130" screen, currently have run a 35' HDMI and CAT6 cable to this location. 7 in-ceiling speakers with 1 powered 10" sub (possibility for 2nd sub in the future, wiring already ran inside wall).
- Ground Floor Den
50" 1080p plasma monitor (Pioneer Elite Pro 101-FD), currently have run a 50' HDMI and 2 CAT6 cables to this location. 2 in-wall speakers installed at this area (still using Sony 3.1 sound bar for the moment).
- 1st Floor Family Room
32" 1080p LCD TV (Sharp 32D62U), currently have run a 35' HDMI and CAT6 cable to this location. 2 in-wall speakers installed at this area. There was no TV in this area prior to the recent construction.
What I want to be able to do is send various sources to the 3 locations and hide everything in the media closet in the basement. I was each location to have independent control of each source and some zones may actually have other local equipment that they can only access (using the other HDMI inputs of the TV's). I do not have an AV receiver at this moment but I figure I will need one for the basement since I have a 7.1 setup ready but for the other zones I only have 2 speakers so a stereo amp would suffice I guess.
This is the way I picture the setup with some ideas of equipment that I may use. Please feel free to give your comments and corrections if I am doing something wrong or missing things along the way.Global Sources
HTPC (not yet bought, built or configured)
Apple TV (1080p version already bought)
PS3 (already bought)
Videotron PVR (cable company DVR, already bought)Local Sources
Blu-Ray player (Oppo or something else that is a good player, to serve a second location not wanting to watch what is playing on the PS3, not yet bought)
Videotron PVR (to serve a second location that wants to watch something different than the global DVR, not yet bought)Equipment needed
AV receiver for basement zone (Sony STRDH820, for its 7.2 capabilities, or equivalent)
4x4 HDMI matrix (Monoprice PID 5704 or equivalent)
Audio distribution system (?? but need to be able to handle the audio from all sources and send to the different zones)
RF remote control system (prefer URC system, possibly MRF-350 base station with MX-450 remotes?)
IR adapter for PS3 (Audio Authority Blubeam or PS3IR-1000)
You can all obviously let me know if I am missing something in all this system setup because I probably have not thought about everything. The goal is to be able to, for example, watch a show on the DVR at the den while watching a movie on the PS3 in the basement and then if the person in the den chooses to switch and watch the movie from the basement in the den, he can do so. I also want to be able to have the same example but this time the person in the den listening to music (via the Apple TV Airplay) but watching the same movie playing in the basement (obviously without the audio, just getting video).
I do not have a hard set budget in mind at this time so I will wait and see what people offer as suggestions and determine whether this is too pricey or not. I would really appreciate everyone's opinions on this project since the goal is to set all this up in the next few months. I want to be able to enjoy the system by the fall so it's time to look into putting it all together one step at a time.