7.1 in theater - Think I need an AVR but can this 7.1 feed theater room and control rest of audio in home?
No. If you go the more expensive Control4/Crestron/et al route, they all typically have proprietary systems that can accomplish this. My suggestion is go DIY with iRule to control everything, and then use Sonos Connect Amps for each of your zone. For each Amp, you create one zone with has independent volume control and can have an independent music source. Each amp can easily power 2 sets of speakers. This nicely integrates into the iRule interface.
5.1 in Rec Room - Thinking I need another AVR?
4- AppleTV in Mech Room to feed the Theater room and the Rec Room. Should I just get 2 and put them in same location and send feed to all locations?
5- Looking at 1 DirecTV Genie in Mech Room to feed a total of 8 TVs (3 will have the small extenders to sync with Genie in the location of TV)
6- 1 PS3 in Rec Room. Will send the feed back to the AVR via HDMI over IP in the Mech Room to give 5.1
7- Want to put BD players in Master BR, Great Room. Will also have 1 or 2 in the Mech Room to feed the Theater/Rec Room. Question here is should I leave it as discussed or thoughts of other ideas?
Look into an HDMI matrix. A decent 4x4 will cost about $1500 while 8x8 are a bit more. A matrix will allow you to take any source (e.g. blu ray, Genie, etc.) and send it to any (or all, or a few) TV. So, for example, if you don't anticipate more than 2 TVs ever needing to watch DirecTV at the same time, you could get the Genie and the mini and hook them up to the matrix, thus giving all the rooms the ability to use those sources. For all of this, I'm assuming you'll have a central AV closet. And if you don't, you should. There won't be a single DVD player or DirecTV box or anything next to any of my TVs. They'll all be cleanly hanged on my walls.
1- All rooms to have a 6 Gang Wall plate where the TV should be mounted on the wall (4 Cat5e, 2 RG6)
2- All rooms to have a 2 Gang Wall plate somewhere along baseboards (1 Cat5e, 1 RG6)
2- Theater Room to have Power and 4 Gang Plate where projector MAY be mounted (3 Cat5e, 1 RG6)
3- All rooms to have 2 speakers for audio (except theater-7.1, rec-5.1, and Great Room-Soundbar)
4- Wall plates for control of audio - (will run 1 Cat5e cable to each location.. should I do something else here also?)
Don't go crazy on wall plates. In fact, don't get any unless you have a specific need for them. Wire every location you might want audio or video, but only cut holes in the walls for those that will be immediately used. And wall plates create one more stop in the line where things can go wrong. For example, if you're going to send HDMI over Cat cable, you're not going to want to send HDMI to a converter to a wallplate to another converter to the source.
For control, the Cat cable will be sufficient. But again, don't cut the holes in the walls yet. Most of these solutions offer wireless independent volume control all from the comfort of your ipad/iphone/android device. I'm setting up a whole home audio video solution in my condo and it will all be controlled via my phones / tablets with no on the wall interfaces. I'm actually looking at picking up a couple Kindle Fire HDs and using those as dedicate controllers.
Good AVR to that will be for Theater and Rec Room
I like Denon. Go to Amazon and Newegg, do a search, read reviews. If you only need 7.1, only buy a 7.1. No need to spend extra on more outputs if you won't use them.
What is good whole home audio (thinking NUVO, Crestron, Russound... will listen to inputs and what equipment will be best to feed 4-6 zones)
Nuvo and Russound are good. I like Sonos. If you go with Crestron, Control4, et al, these are dealer controlled systems. That is, any change must be done by the dealer, costing you money each time you change your system. If you like DIY, look at Sonos, Nuvo, Russound.
Those are all good. I'm going to put in my own server and then throw in a WD TV Live as a source on my matrix.
Good Video Matrix that might feed house or distribute Video (Control4, Savant, Crestron, Elan g!, ????)
Many of those don't actually have a video matrix, but they can control a video matrix (as can iRule, my current favorite). Look at Octava, Atlona, Gefen, Snap AV. I'm throwing in an Octava 4x4 in my setup. And again, my whole setup will be controlled via iRule.
If you want to get a feeling for cost, take a look at this post, specifically post #7. http://www.avsforum.com/t/1428725/control4-setup-thoughts-suggestions#post_22661658
There's a PDF attachment that contains the quote for my Control4 setup. I did tons of research on iRule and am now going that route and have effectively cut my costs in half. Yes, it's all DIY, but I can change anything I want whenever I want. My setup was 4x4 video matrix with audio in 4 zones (to start).