New Construction - Help with A/V distribution - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 Old 10-08-2012, 02:46 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
lv2pitch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
We are in the process of building our new home (ranch with a finished basement) and I need some important advice on working with my custom installer for getting the results I want. I think he is a reliable installer, but I want to know I am asking the right questions and prepared for any issues.

I am trying to serve video to three rooms (theater(in basement) master bedroom, and living room on first floor). The theater room needs to be able to use all the sources independently and the other two rooms I am a little more flexible if there have to compromises on independent sources. I am using two Yamaha A820 receivers. The first will serve the theater (7.1 setup)and two channel audio in the kitchen and porches. The second will serve the bedroom (yamaha soundbar)and living room (in-wall two channel)

In the theater I will have an Oppo BluRay player, and Xbox, and a Popcorn Hour C300 and have access to one of our two DirecTV HDDvrs. The theater will be 7.1 when Zone 2 is inactive and 5.1 when Zone 2 is in use. That should be a rare occassion. I would also like the remote to control a simple sconce lighting system in the theater room with some basic scene functions.

For the other rooms they will be sharing another Popcorn Hour and also have access to our DirecTV receivers. Both rooms have flat screen HD tv's. I am thinking of having a local source BluRay player in the living room, but that might be overkill as I will have most movies on the Popcorn Hour.

We will be using iRule to control the system.

I can provide more details if need be, but those are the basics.

So, my questions are:

1) what kind of matrix switch is required, if any?

2) I want the electrician ( the whole home is new construction) and the installer to be on the same page, any advice on what I should make sure they discuss?

3) Is iRule a good choice for this environment. My wife and I both have iPhones and iPads, so it seemed like a good choice from what I read.

4) please let me know if anything I am thinking in impractical or poorly conceived.

Thanks so much in advance, this is stressful and I want to get things right the first time.
lv2pitch is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 5 Old 10-09-2012, 12:53 AM
AVS Special Member
 
ifor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: La Quinta, CA
Posts: 2,423
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 45
You should talk with your installer about your concerns and they should be able to design and install a system to your liking.

You can't have the receiver do both 7.1 and 5.1 with powered zone 2 at the flick of a switch, there are many steps in the menu to accomplish this. your better off using a 2 channel amp to power the zone 2 fed fro, the line level zone 2 out from the receiver.

I haven't used irule but many control systems offer ipad, iphone and android control. but it looks like a modified system like the harmony uses. using the internet and pre-configured screens for control. many other control system like rti, savant, control4 and crestron offer their control systems using an ipad, iphone or android interface.

you are better off using a receiver for each room as i don't know how you are going to split the bedroom and living room. if you want everything in a single location and want to send the video and audio to each room via cabling, then you will need a hdmi matrix switch. as to which one? your installer will be able to offer you one that they are familiar with. you will also want (or need) cat to hdmi extenders to send the video to the living room and bedroom.

make sure the installer has enough time to pre-wire your home the way you want or need. I, myself like wiring everything including the cat, cable and audio cabling as i know it is done correctly. the electrician is cheaper at running some cables but my clients would rather pay more for peace of mind.

you also want to think about how you going to control the zone 2 rooms with the gear in the basement.
ifor is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 10-11-2012, 02:35 AM
Senior Member
 
has7738's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: North America
Posts: 297
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifor View Post

I haven't used irule but many control systems offer ipad, iphone and android control. but it looks like a modified system like the harmony uses. using the internet and pre-configured screens for control.
LIttle misconception here. iRule is only like Harmony in that there's a library of device codes available. That's where any similarity ends. There are no pre-configured screens, though you can use examples. The Internet is required for the design process, but not required for operation. A LAN with WiFi is required, though.

It's pretty much a blank slate. But there's also where it shines. You can make it as "stock" or as "custom" as required. Full customization requires a working knowledge of Photoshop and graphics formats. There is an incredible range of what can be done, from whipping together a quick control system in a few minutes to making it really simple and slick. There is little point, for example, in duplicating every button on every remote.

This is where, just like the discussion below re: electricians and low-voltage installers below, you might want the assistance of an iRule installer. The simple stuff is pretty easy to do, but the Builder app is deceptive, there are a lot of features that aren't obvious, and experience in designing the control flow and navigation is worth a lot, as is the experience of which codes out of the library actually work right, and what to do if they don't. Some iRule installers will even work with you to design and build the system, then have you do the actual hardware installation, if you're up to it. They don't need to ever be on site if you do that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifor View Post


many other control system like rti, savant, control4 and crestron offer their control systems using an ipad, iphone or android interface.
Yes, they all have some sort of iPad app. You'll pay for Crestron and SavantAV, big time. I favor the SavantAV approach, but it's really not in reach of the average ranch-style home owner. Neither is Crestron. RTI and Control4 are approachable, but somewhat rigid in their ability to customize. You also have to lock into their hardware. iRule uses no hardware made by iRule. The control units are by Global Cache, who's just a partner. The entire iRule system is less expensive and more flexible than any of the others in, or out of it's price class.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifor View Post


you are better off using a receiver for each room as i don't know how you are going to split the bedroom and living room. if you want everything in a single location and want to send the video and audio to each room via cabling, then you will need a hdmi matrix switch. as to which one? your installer will be able to offer you one that they are familiar with.
Big potential for error in choice here. Many matrix switches have issues with handling HDCP and EDID. For example, many inexpensive ones that installers often use depend on all destination devices being operational, or nothing works at all. The middle-priced matrix switches sometimes blank video for a second or two after a switch is made. That's not too bad an issue, but when the blanking occurs on an output that hasn't changed it's input, it's just clumsy and dumb. There are very few matrix switches in the mid-price range that handle everything right, and frankly price is no guarantee. Grill the installer about what happens to other outputs when a switch is changed, or when a destination device is powered off. If they stammer around and seem not to know, don't trust the recommendation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifor View Post


you will also want (or need) cat to hdmi extenders to send the video to the living room and bedroom.
Depends on the distance to the rooms from the devices. 30' of HDMI is completely doable, and active Cat5 extenders are less reliable than a good HDMI cable. I've had several fail, where good 'ol wire wouldn't have. Use them where distances are long, though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifor View Post


make sure the installer has enough time to pre-wire your home the way you want or need. I, myself like wiring everything including the cat, cable and audio cabling as i know it is done correctly. the electrician is cheaper at running some cables but my clients would rather pay more for peace of mind.
you also want to think about how you going to control the zone 2 rooms with the gear in the basement.

Electricians are great guys, and the best ones are experts at their craft. Low voltage wiring is often a blind spot, though. Installers like ifore (and me) spend all our time with low-voltage, and know a few things electricians don't. I don't think we're more expensive, especially if we get it right.

Yea, I'm an iRule installer, hence my bias.
has7738 is offline  
post #4 of 5 Old 10-11-2012, 05:11 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
lv2pitch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
My installer is a relatively new iRule installer, and I am a graphic designer. So, I am hoping together we can come up with something cool. Are there any things I should be on the look-out for in particular. Or just a lot of testing as we go along?

Also, I had read that the Yamaha receiver can change from 7.1 to 5.1 pretty much on the fly (or at least with pre-prgramming of the system and remotes). I read that in a few places, that is one of the reasons I selected it. Do you know for a fact that it does not have this capability? This is not a deal breaker, but good to know in advance.

Do you have recommendations for a matrix switch that is dependable for the system I described. Obviously I do not want to save a little cash to have a system that doesn't work, this whole thing is running a good chunk of change.

As far as the HDMI cable, my equipment closet is in the basement (fairly central). I think the longest run we might have will be around 35-40 feet to the master bedroom. The house is a contemporary ranch, so only one floor on top of the basement. I would prefer to stick with HDMI for the video and Cat 6 for the networking if possible. Thoughts?
lv2pitch is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 10-11-2012, 07:46 AM
Senior Member
 
has7738's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: North America
Posts: 297
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 24
HDMI is on the edge at 40ft. I'd use a Cat5 extender at that point.

Cat6 is more trouble that its worth for short runs, Cat5E is fine, but the paranoid will want Cat6.

Contact Wirestorm for a matrix. I haven't used them (yet) but have used many others with complete frustration. I spoke with a rep from them a few days ago, he's the first guy who completely understood the problem. They'll go into my next project.
has7738 is offline  
Reply Home A/V Distribution

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off