Basic A/V Distribution questions - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-20-2012, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I've always thought having a centralized equipment room in the basement was a great idea. Keeps everything neat and organized, rooms clutter free and allows sharing of resources right?

Here's my situation and possible solution -- I'm looking for opinions and suggestions.

Just bought a new home and plan on wiring it to support 10 zones. 4 of the zones need video + audio, the other 6 are strictly audio.

Sources: HD Cable Box, Boxee Box, Music Server (JRiver based)

I'd like each zone to have the ability to play any source at any given time. Audio is easy -- JRiver + a multi-out audio interface on a custom built pc will do the trick. Video on the other hand is more involved. Given the requirement of having each zone work independently from one another at the same time, I'll need 4 cable boxes and 4 Boxee Box devices. I'm OK with that.

I'll need decoding and HDMI switching. Now a little bit of context: these 4 video zones are for casual TV watching. Nothing too fancy as we'll have a dedicated theatre in the basement with support for 3d etc etc. Again, given the requirement of supporting the use of each zone at the same time, I'll need a pre-pro/receiver for each zone. How about something cheap like the Emotiva UMC-1? 4 of them are only $2k. I'd prefer something IP controllable, but I don't think I could find any receiver with pre-outputs for under $500.

The Emotiva's in the zones with video AND audio would handle switching/decoding of all sources (video and audio) and would output to one of two 12 channel amps. For the zones without the need for video, the outputs of the JRiver PC would be wired directly to the amps.

This really is more like a traditional setup where each room has a bunch of gear -- the only difference is all equipment in my scenario would be located in a centralized room in the basement -- keeping each room clutter free.

Is there any better way of accomplishing my goals? How would I go about incorporating IP cameras into the mix? I suppose a simple HDMI splitter/distribution unit could feed each of the Emotiva's?

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 4 Old 08-20-2012, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memmo View Post

I'll need decoding and HDMI switching. Now a little bit of context: these 4 video zones are for casual TV watching. Nothing too fancy as we'll have a dedicated theatre in the basement with support for 3d etc etc. Again, given the requirement of supporting the use of each zone at the same time, I'll need a pre-pro/receiver for each zone. How about something cheap like the Emotiva UMC-1? 4 of them are only $2k. I'd prefer something IP controllable, but I don't think I could find any receiver with pre-outputs for under $500.

The Emotiva's in the zones with video AND audio would handle switching/decoding of all sources (video and audio) and would output to one of two 12 channel amps. For the zones without the need for video, the outputs of the JRiver PC would be wired directly to the amps.

Why go through all the extra steps for the zones with video? Just get an AVR with network support for each zone. Feed your audio server as an input to each one. Save the 12-channel amps for audio-only zones. Also, since the networked AVRs have Internet sources (Pandora, etc.) you'll probably get more stuff than the server would by itself.

Jeff

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post #3 of 4 Old 08-21-2012, 06:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I suppose that is a good idea. I figured it would be cleaner to use the same amps for all the speakers, but it is a little bit wasteful when the receivers could handle the job nicely.

I guess what I'm looking for is 4 cheapish 5.1 receivers with IP capability. Perhaps the Denon AVR-1613 or similar. Combined with some mid-level in wall speakers they should be fine for casual TV viewing/background music. With 4-5 HDMI inputs, they would provide future expansion also.

Even though they are IP controllable, I'll want IR support. What's the best way to get IR to each of the 4 video zones? Probably in whatever Baluns I go with I imagine?

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post #4 of 4 Old 08-23-2012, 12:36 PM
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Hi Memmo,
I'm looking into the exact same thing, with a preference to getting 8-10 zones of audio going first, selectable using a touch remote-phone/tablet, however I've not been able to get solid info on whether Jriver can actually sync a single source across more than 1 multi-output sound cards. ie Two 7.1 surround sound cards for 8 synced zones, and be selectable from a touch remote, and which app can do this.

Do yo have any info on this?

Thanks
derek

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