Originally Posted by gh0001
- I have basement, floor 1, floor 2 & floor 3
How many (potential) displays? That will determine the cost of the solution, along with the number of sources to share among them...
- I plan to wire the entire house with Cat6 or Cat5e Ethernet (using multiple switches to reduce wiring cost)
Uh, no - don't start in that direction with your Cat5/6 runs - you'll want extra runs to each room, above your planned immediate needs for Ethernet and video distribution. Category cable is the cheapest, most flexible cabling for a whole myriad of potential uses. You should run lots of it.
- I plan to put majority of the video inputs (Apple TV, HDTV cable box, Blu-ray, Satellite TV) in basement which functions as a dedicated home theater
You're talking about a "matrix switch" setup here, likely an HDMI-over-Cat5 based unit to reach those locations.
- share the multiple video sources to different rooms
HDMI matrix switch will do this. Depends on your definition of affordable. Expect $1-2k, more if you'll have a lot of displays. Depending on your goals, you may be better off replicating sources. (Example -- spending big money to share a $99 AppleTV, probably not the right answer)
Nice to have
- master bedroom (floor 2) would probably have its own 5.1 speakers. if this is the case, any way to leverage the receiver at basement?
You can locate the receiver in the basement, but will need to run the speaker wires to the room. It can complicate your matrix setup depending on your selections.
- to be able to play MP3's via Apple TV (basement) in dining room, or some other room
Now you're talking about a "whole house audio" setup - best to keep those as separate topics from video distribution, but both systems can share audio sources. And if you're interested in doing that at some point, absolutely get the wiring in place to make it easy to do (now or later).