What Equipment Do I Need?! - AVS Forum
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I've posted on here just the other week discussing what I am trying to do but I need assistance. Here is what I'm wanting to do, but I am not sure what is the right equipment to get.

1- Whole Home Audio
2- 7.1 in theater - Think I need an AVR but can this 7.1 feed theater room and control rest of audio in home?)
3- 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?

From what you see, what is best option for accomplishing this? Also, what are thoughts on equipment/wiring:

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?)

Need help with following:

1- Good AVR to that will be for Theater and Rec Room (don't want to break bank)
2- 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)
3- Good Media Server (Popcorn, Kaleidascope, or ?????) - Do I need this if I use AppleTV or should I go with something other than AppleTV?
4- Good Video Matrix that might feed house or distribute Video (Control4, Savant, Crestron, Elan g!, ????)
5- Best locations for equipment and ease of use?

THANKS FOR HELP!!!
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Forgot to mention. Want to control the following:

1- Lights
2- HVAC
3- Locks or Security
4- Garage Doors

With the above mentioned and since this is a new build and I am doing wiring, what should I wire and where in order to do this?
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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If anyone has an input/idea/solution, it would be greatly appreciated and I will take anything as for advice. Thank you!
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:25 PM
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Do you have a budget? And are you up for DIY?
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I am totally up for DIY. I'm looking to do ALL wiring by myself. Only concern i have is adding the equipment and writing code for it to work specifically for my house (ie: lighting control) and not sure if some or all video has to be written/programmed for specifically per location/build. Thanks again.

OH and budget... I really don't have one on this but I know that under $15K is desirable if possible.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
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.

Quote:
5.1 in Rec Room - Thinking I need another AVR?

Yep.

Quote:
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.
Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
Good Media Server

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.

Quote:
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).
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:47 PM
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Oh... didn't mention lighting et al. iRule works with all that. Check out iRule and then Insteon. iRule can control Insteon and Insteon makes tons of devices that can control your lighting, hvac, etc.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gramin View Post

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.

Yes but to connect the Sonos Connect Amps, those have to be in the rooms with the speakers correct? is there any way to control these or get away from having these in the rooms?
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Originally Posted by Gramin View Post

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.

I would like to do this also but don't you think walking up and down the steps to put a BD in the player tends to be a pain?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gramin View Post

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.

I have been looking at this and curious on the best way to get the signal pack. My local theater store priced out units that were called "Just add Power" and were $600 each. The were basically a HDMI over IP solution but then if you look on say monoprice.com, they have a simple HDMI input with 2 Cat5e runs going back to the source. Curious on why the just add power box if it isn't needed, or is it?
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Originally Posted by Gramin View Post

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.

I do like the idea of using a phone/tablet but also like the ability to control it from a simple touchpad or keypad on the wall so I may go that route.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gramin View Post

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.

Awesome
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Originally Posted by Gramin View Post

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.

I am curious on all the eqpt you are buying (4X4 matrix and iRule). The wiring, speakers, and audio control seems simple enough. It's the video portion that seems to be throwing me for a loop and what is needed.

Thanks for the reply and I am sure this is simple for most, but I'm definitely trying to learn about this. The replies and help have been great. Thank you.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Was just doing some research on iRule. Have you actually used this before? if so, what is the delay between switching inputs and what not? This works via wireless connections, so it's only as good as your wireless network. Has this posed an issue with your setup?
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:54 PM
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Yes but to connect the Sonos Connect Amps, those have to be in the rooms with the speakers correct?

No. The amps can be placed in any location, such as an AV closet. As long as the speaker wire can get from the speakers to the amp, you'll be fine.

Quote:
I am curious on all the eqpt you are buying (4X4 matrix and iRule). The wiring, speakers, and audio control seems simple enough. It's the video portion that seems to be throwing me for a loop and what is needed.

iRule is just software. Essentially, iRule allows you to control all of your devices via a user defined app. Those that can be controlled via IP just need an ethernet cable plugged in. For those that are RS232 or IR, you can purchase Global Cache devices (they're on the iRule website) that will convert IP signals into IR or RS232. So, if you want to control your TV via your iPhone, you purchase an IP to IR converter, fasten it to the back of your TV, plug in the IR transmitter to the device and tape/glue it to the IR port on the front of your TV, and now you can control that TV via your iPhone.

The matrix is so that my DirecTV mini genie, WD Live TV and Blu Ray player can all be plugged into the matrix as a source and used by any of my four TVs in my bedrooms or Living Room. The main DirecTV Genie will actually be a direct input to the 5.1 AVR in my living room to save space on my matrix. Same goes with any 4k device I get. I'll plug it into the 5.1 directly versus routing it over the matrix.

Now, HDMI is only good up to 35 feet. Once you're past that, you need to look at alternatives, such has HDMI over Cat. There are a few variations, but essentially you take the HDMI signal from the matrix, route it over Cat to a converter near the TV which has an HDMI output, and plug that HDMI into the TV. Some matrices have ethernet already on the matrix whereas others have HDMI (thus requiring a converter both at the matrix and at the TV). Note that the former (with ethernet on the box) are typically more expensive, but can be better. Some models require 1 Cat run while others require 2 Cat runs. Do your research on those, Google them, check reviews, and post on here before purchasing if you need help.

I have not personally used it, but it's received great reviews. Response time will be based upon the strength of your network. So, if you have a large home or a weak wifi signal in certain spots, you might want to use one of those ethernet drops to plug in another wifi transmitter at the other end of your house. Or purchase a business class wireless repeater. And hardwire as much as is possible. Very few (if any) of my devices will actually use wifi. Everything will be hardwired in (hence the need for a 16 port switch) for faster response times. But overall, I've seen great information about the responsiveness. I was ready to spend the 15k on the Control4 setup but, since I love DIY and iRule has received such great reviews, I've completely changed my tune and reworked my system. And I've saved so much money this route. And iRule has a very active support community, from both the users and the company. Post on their forum and an iRule rep/engineer/employee will respond ASAP. I'm very impressed with what I've seen so far. They remind me of Amazon (from a customer service standpoint).
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
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So excuse me for being more ignorant, BUT it looks as though you will do something like this:

1- Global Cache iTach IP2IR-P at all TV locations
2- 4X4 or 8X8 Matrix (what are you using)?
3- 16 port managed switch (model and purpose)?
4- 5.1 AVR (will this be routed back to the AV Closet for a use anywhere else or just for Living Room use?)
5- Any whole home audio?
6- If I don't put my AVR next to the TV in the Rec or Theater Room, but instead I put it in the AV Closet, what is best way to connect a PS3 to it for surround audio?
7- For the Genie, why not take advantage of it and allow it to feed 4 remote TVs plus the 1 main connected TV? I understand it being only good as 1 source if plugged into the Matrix, but is there a way to put it in say the living room or AV Room and run RG6 throughout and use it as intended and not go through matrix? Or is it best to just keep a DVR (or 2) and use them as sources to be watched by any TV?
8- I'm assuming (i think you mentioned) but iRule will control HVAC, security, and lights correct? If so, have you read anywhere that it works best with certain products?
9- Thoughts on Gefen?

THANK you again, but I am a visual person and want to only purchase exactly what is needed to have Audio (4-6 sources w/ 4-6 zones) throughout, video distributed and controlled with touchpad (phone/tablet) in home, security (lock doors, close garage door, and maybe 1-2 cameras), lighting control, and HVAC control... Just not sure on what all is needed and what is best setup. Sorry for the confusion but I'm definitely someone who wants a DIY system and once there, can do it, but just need tutored on what is needed. Again, sorry for the ignorance, but def appreciate the help thus far.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:04 AM
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No worries! I've only recently started to learn all of this... and I'm still learning!

1. Yes, that's the device. The -P indicates PoE, power over ethernet, which I want to reduce power cables.

2. 4x4. I only have four TVs (3 bed / LR) so that will be sufficient. I'm going to use the Octava (http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI%20Ethernet%20matrix%20switch%204x4.html). And you can always play around with the inputs, as I'll note in a minute.

3. 16 port unmanaged. I don't need the degree of control that a managed switch provides. I'm just passing 1s and 0s from one device to another, nothing too fancy. Haven't decided on the model yet, but it will be one of the more popular brands with good reviews, such as Netgear.

4. The 5.1 will be in the AV closet in my rack but not on the matrix as a source; however, it will be an output on the matrix. Then I'll take the HDMI signal from the AVR and ship it over to the LR TV.

5. Yes, Sonos. I'm going to start off with 3 Sonos Connect Amps and 1 Sonos Connect. The 3 amps will power Zone 1 (Master Bed and Bath), Zone 2 (Hallway) and Zone 3 (Kitchen). The Sonos Connect unit will create Zone 4 (Living Room) as I can plug it directly into my AVR. Side note... I'm putting together my own rack. It will be an OmniMount rack. And then Middle Atlantic makes custom rack shelves for any device you have. I'm going to purchase custom shelves for my Sonos units so they neatly integrate into my rack. Another side note. Sonos has a wiereless option which creates a mesh, and as such it benefits when you're devices are spread throughout your home. However, since I'm going to hardwire them into my switch, I'm not concerned about the wireless mesh.

6. You'll need to send the PS3 back to the AVR. Depending on the length, you could probably get away with using the Monoprice redmere HDMI cables.

7. Absolutely. And a good suggestion. If I can easily mount it to the back of my TV, I might try that out.

8. It will, at some point. My primary concern is A/V distribution. I'll add that stuff later. But I'll probably go with Insteon. http://www.insteon.net/index.html These devices can be controlled with iRule.

9. Seems like a good product. My only issue was that the inputs/outputs are on top of the unit and won't make for a clean install in my rack.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gramin View Post

No worries! I've only recently started to learn all of this... and I'm still learning!
1. Yes, that's the device. The -P indicates PoE, power over ethernet, which I want to reduce power cables.

Makes complete sense there, but will the only device you have at the TV location be TV?
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2. 4x4. I only have four TVs (3 bed / LR) so that will be sufficient. I'm going to use the Octava (http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI%20Ethernet%20matrix%20switch%204x4.html). And you can always play around with the inputs, as I'll note in a minute.

Will look into this company. From your research is this one of the best options, why not Control4? Solely Price?
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Originally Posted by Gramin View Post

3. 16 port unmanaged. I don't need the degree of control that a managed switch provides. I'm just passing 1s and 0s from one device to another, nothing too fancy. Haven't decided on the model yet, but it will be one of the more popular brands with good reviews, such as Netgear.

Where does the switch come into play? I saw a switch in the control4 setup that I was given but want to be sure i understand the purpose of it in the setup.
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4. The 5.1 will be in the AV closet in my rack but not on the matrix as a source; however, it will be an output on the matrix. Then I'll take the HDMI signal from the AVR and ship it over to the LR TV.

Purpose of making it an Output vs a source is? By using it as an Output, what control does that give you with your system?
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5. Yes, Sonos. I'm going to start off with 3 Sonos Connect Amps and 1 Sonos Connect. The 3 amps will power Zone 1 (Master Bed and Bath), Zone 2 (Hallway) and Zone 3 (Kitchen). The Sonos Connect unit will create Zone 4 (Living Room) as I can plug it directly into my AVR. Side note... I'm putting together my own rack. It will be an OmniMount rack. And then Middle Atlantic makes custom rack shelves for any device you have. I'm going to purchase custom shelves for my Sonos units so they neatly integrate into my rack. Another side note. Sonos has a wiereless option which creates a mesh, and as such it benefits when you're devices are spread throughout your home. However, since I'm going to hardwire them into my switch, I'm not concerned about the wireless mesh.

Will all of these be plugged via ethernet into the switch? Are the speakers from your zones being plugged directly into them or into something different?
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6. You'll need to send the PS3 back to the AVR. Depending on the length, you could probably get away with using the Monoprice redmere HDMI cables.

This is what I figured but just wanted to be sure that it was best option. I'm assuming it will still be controlled via iRule?
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7. Absolutely. And a good suggestion. If I can easily mount it to the back of my TV, I might try that out.

Why does it need to be mounted there? Why not have all your RG6 ran back to the AV Closet and connected to the DTV SWM device there?
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:43 PM
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Makes complete sense there, but will the only device you have at the TV location be TV?

Yes, aside from the IP to IR device and possibly the mini. But both of those would be mounted to the TV behind it.

Quote:
Will look into this company. From your research is this one of the best options, why not Control4? Solely Price?

Two different things here. Control4 does not have a distributed video solution. You have to buy a third party matrix (i.e. Octava, Snap AV) which can then be controlled by your Control4 system. And the reason I'm moving away from Control4 is the cost and lack of owner customization. The dealer controls the system, not you.

Quote:
Where does the switch come into play? I saw a switch in the control4 setup that I was given but want to be sure i understand the purpose of it in the setup.

All those damn ethernet cables. I need ethernet cables for: AVR, 4 Sonos units, IP to RS232 device, 4 IP to IR devices, NAS, WD Live, and I'm probably missing a few. So the cable line goes to my modem, which then goes to my router which then goes to my switch. I need that switch for all those devices since I'm hardwiring 99% of my setup.

Quote:
Purpose of making it an Output vs a source is? By using it as an Output, what control does that give you with your system?

The 4x4 matrix can't power a 5.1 setup. That is, if the 5.1 was a source, I'd have to send it to another 5.1 so I could get my speakers to work. You make it an output so that your Blu ray sends the signal to the AVR which then sends it to your TV and your speakers. The 5.1 is dedicated to the Living Room.

Quote:
Will all of these be plugged via ethernet into the switch? Are the speakers from your zones being plugged directly into them or into something different?

Yes and yes. Hardwired into the switch and the speaker runs go back to my AV closet (and plugged into the Sonos amps).

Quote:
I'm assuming it will still be controlled via iRule?

Yep.

Quote:
Why does it need to be mounted there? Why not have all your RG6 ran back to the AV Closet and connected to the DTV SWM device there?

Resale value. You and I (and everyone else on these forums) love this kind of thing. But to the average home buyer, they're going to want an RG6 in each of the bedrooms. They might not want to invest in this sort of setup and will be perfectly content putting a cable box and DVD player in each room (and having 20 damn remotes versus our pretty tablet remotes).
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:21 PM
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Just a tip from an experience Irule user: The global cache itach devices can be mounted in your AV closet if you wish. The 3.5mm 6ft IR buds can be snipped and extended via a twisted pair of a cat5/6 cable. I have an itach that controls 3 TVs, 1 in the kitchen, 1 in the living room and 1 in the family room. I snipped it close the jack, leaving 5+ ft on the bud side. Inside the jacket you'll find some bare wire and a red wire. I used the orage/white and orange twisted pair and some electrical tape (soldering would be a bit more secure but I didn't feel like buying a tiny iron just for this purpose). Did the same at the bud end of the emitter and they all work like a charm. My longest run is about 75ft.

I also went the cheapest route for my video distribution and bought he monoprice 4x4 matrix over cat 5/6. While it does work I am thinking that I will upgrade when funds allow or prices come down significantly. I have trouble with the PS3 on 2 TVs, flashing screen or no signal at all, a power cycle of the matrix fixes things. Not that big of a deal, but if other people are using other sources then turning off the whole system can cause a headache. It doesn't happen every time so I haven't been able to figure out a root cause and try to eliminate it. EDID is also retained on it which causes an issue with my Dune player and PS3. The PS3 never changes its internal EDID settings which works for me, gaming in the theater in 7.1 is great. But when playing a game in another room that only has the stereo speakers of the TV we don't get all the sound, watching a bluray from the PS3 on the other TVs is impossible as no center channel comes through. The opposite is true with the Dune. It always goes to lowest common denominator so downmixes everything to stereo, so I don't use it for movies in the theater unless I pull it from the matrix and plug it directly the my AVR.

I've heard these things are non-issues with the higher end matrices.

Anyway, you both seem like you have great systems going. I have been putting things together piece by piece and running wires in an older house where needed is not an easy task. Slowly but surely as we remodel this place I'll have a full system.

PSN ID: Seldom_Seen
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:50 PM
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Good luck to you Seldom. I've got to give credit where credit is due, and that's the AV companies that provided me with a few proposals. I already had an idea what I wanted, but their Control4 proposals really got into the nitty gritty. And in turn, further aided my research and I was able to find iRule. I really think this is the best (and one of the cheapest) options for my setup. Sure, I won't have the on screen interface that Control4 offers, but who really needs that when you have an interface on your phone and tablet? I think I might pick up a few of the Kindle Fire HDs for dedicated remotes. They're cheap and just about the right size. I could even wall mount them if I ever wanted an in-wall display smile.gif
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
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All... Great discussion and love reading the crosstalk. Question... Is there not a small wall unit that will work with iRule in the areas where only audio is being sent? I don't find the need to have a Kindle Fire or, God forbid I'm not there, someone else to install and run an app in the event they want to control the volume on the back porch or patio. What would you suggest I put in those areas? I would prefer to do a "Hardwire" wall mount or something. Does SONOS have a hardwire mount for an iPod or something that would control that zone via a wall mount?

Also, again, I've had a tad too many drinks and am a visual person, but trying to understand the layout and how all this works is still a bit overwhelming. One of the things that is confusing is, what gets plugged into the matrix (outputs? or inputs?) and what gets plugged directly into switch (outputs? or inputs?). Here is what I gather:

1- Each TV will have the iRule POL unit that goes back to AV closet (although in the last post, the gentleman eliminated the need for 1 at each location but instead did it over Cat5e. Was an interesting read)
2- SONOS will be for each zone hand speakers will be hardwired back to player (up to 2 pairs of speakers). Those will in turn plug into the Switch (unmanaged)
3- AVR 5.1 receiver... Will be plugged into matrix as an OUTPUT not an input
4- DTV will be a source plugged into Matrix. Or will it be plugged into switch?
5- AppleTV will be a source or will it be plugged into switch?
6- BD player will be a source or plugged into switch?
7- I will have another AVR that will be an output from matrix
8- I will have a PS3 that is sent back from Rec Room via HDMI to AVR for 5.1
9- Need to know what wiring needs to be done for electrical/lighting (hasn't been discussed in depth... anything different than what electrician comes and sets up?)
10- HVAC Control- Any special thermostat needed for control?
11- Security- Do I need to do any special wiring?

I think this captures it but wanna be sure. So equipment looks like this:

1X 5.1 AVR
1X 7.1 AVR
6X Sonos players
1X PS3
1X BD Player
1X AppleTV or Kaleidescape
1X Genie or
3X DTV boxes (currently have, will be sources so do they go into Matrix or switch)

Thanks again everyone.
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:17 AM
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The Switch in your system is just a way to have enough ethernet jacks for all of the harware you have that needs a networ/internet connection. Most routers have 4 ports and 1 that connects to your modem so you could only connect 4 pieces of equipment. A switch plugs in to 1 of those 4 ports and gives you the ability to connect a much larger selection of hardware, multiple computers, itach products, sonos, receivers, dtv boxes, all of these have ethernet ports and need to be on your network/internet to function.


The HDMI matrix is a bridge between video sources and TVs. My 4x4 matrix has 4 video source inputs: DTV, Dune player, PS3 and HTPC. It has 4 outputs: Family Room TV, Living Room TV, Kitchen TV and Theater AVR. I can watch any of the 4 sources on any of the TVs, 1 source can be watched at the same time on multiple TVs as well.

My AVR is an output from the matrix so that all the sources of the matrix are available in my theater. I also have a dedicated DTV box that is not part of the matrix that is plugged directly via hdmi in to the receiver.

I hope that clears it up, the switch and the matix have really nothing to do with each other, and most of my devices are plugged in to both, ethernet to the switch for network/internet access and hdmi for audio/video connectivity.

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Old 12-19-2012, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholsps View Post

All... Great discussion and love reading the crosstalk. Question... Is there not a small wall unit that will work with iRule in the areas where only audio is being sent? I don't find the need to have a Kindle Fire or, God forbid I'm not there, someone else to install and run an app in the event they want to control the volume on the back porch or patio. What would you suggest I put in those areas? I would prefer to do a "Hardwire" wall mount or something. Does SONOS have a hardwire mount for an iPod or something that would control that zone via a wall mount?

iRule is just a remote control software app. You need IP-to-IR only at locations where there will be IR devices to control. If you're using a Sonos unit(s) for audio, you'll control it with the Sonos app (or the iRule Sonos module), with no need for local IR control.

On that entire topic, I use iRule for my theater controls, but I wouldn't recommend it (or any of the iOS / Android solutions) for "normal" TV viewing and everyday A/V control. The lack of hard buttons (as compared to a remote) make it difficult to use without looking at the device, and they're generally a pain to use for channel surfing / DVR list navigation / etc.
Quote:
Also, again, I've had a tad too many drinks and am a visual person, but trying to understand the layout and how all this works is still a bit overwhelming. One of the things that is confusing is, what gets plugged into the matrix (outputs? or inputs?) and what gets plugged directly into switch (outputs? or inputs?).

Seldom answered this, but think of those cat5e cables like PVC plumbing pipe. They are generic, useful conduits - PVC pipe carries both fresh water and sewage in your house. Connecting one of those "systems" to the other would not be good... You'll have cat5e cabling, terminated with RJ45 jacks (which we commonly call "Ethernet cables") - some of them are Ethernet, others are carrying a proprietary HDMI-over-cat5 signal. They are completely different, just use the same type of pipe. biggrin.gif
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1X AppleTV or Kaleidescape

Putting AppleTV and K-scape as "one or the other" is, um, funny. K-scape systems are awesome, but I suspect if you're lumping them in the same category, that you haven't seen the price...

Jeff

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Old 12-19-2012, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok. Well maybe I was saying things that got some confused. I completely understand what networking, networking cable, and networking equipment is. My job is a network engineer so I understand what everything is, but the confusing part for me is the actual equipment and how it all ties together. The reason i ask or mention this is due to the following website/image:

http://www.hdmi-over-ip.co.uk/images/diagrams/system-example1.png

It basically shows all the outputs running into the switch (I'm guessing working as the Matrix) and the HC-300 is the controller? To me, that's confusing b/c seeing this diagram almost seems as thought you could have a 24 port switch and have a 12X12 matrix or a 20X4 Matrix. Am I not seeing or understanding that correctly?
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholsps View Post

Ok. Well maybe I was saying things that got some confused. I completely understand what networking, networking cable, and networking equipment is. My job is a network engineer so I understand what everything is, but the confusing part for me is the actual equipment and how it all ties together. The reason i ask or mention this is due to the following website/image:
http://www.hdmi-over-ip.co.uk/images/diagrams/system-example1.png
It basically shows all the outputs running into the switch (I'm guessing working as the Matrix) and the HC-300 is the controller? To me, that's confusing b/c seeing this diagram almost seems as thought you could have a 24 port switch and have a 12X12 matrix or a 20X4 Matrix. Am I not seeing or understanding that correctly?

JustAddPower is an exception - it is a real-time video encoder and its output is TCP/IP over 1Gb Ethernet... So yes, it's a real Ethernet device. The rest of the HDMI-over-cat5 products are just repurposing the eight conductors in a cat5e cable for A/V signals.

Jeff

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Old 12-19-2012, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there anything similar to Just Add Power but doesn't cost 600$ each for the box that goes by the TV? I think it's a great product but getting me to pay $45K for something that was strictly equipment with no wiring, install, TVs, just seems a bit high. Looking for an economical option but wanting a good product..
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by nicholsps View Post

Is there anything similar to Just Add Power but doesn't cost 600$ each for the box that goes by the TV? I think it's a great product but getting me to pay $45K for something that was strictly equipment with no wiring, install, TVs, just seems a bit high. Looking for an economical option but wanting a good product..

Sharing DirecTV boxes, $99 AppleTV or Roku boxes is not going to be economically viable with an HDMI matrix, unless you can really cut down the total number of boxes (which also limits your source selection) to remove monthly fees. Even then it can be several years just to break even.

A ZeeVee solution may be something to look into, but none of these is going to be anything resembling "cheap" (and I assume you mean $4.5K, not $45K). Monoprice is supposed to come out with an HDBaseT matrix - that would be the one to watch for.

Jeff

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Old 12-20-2012, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I could upload my quote from the local A/V Store. They quoted me 45K for speakers (B&W) and Just add power. This did include everything to control Just Add Power, 2 AVRs, a Rack and I think that's it. So yea, to me that seemed high. I plan tomorrow to go to another store and see what other viable options are out there. I think overall I'm really interested in WHA, Lighting, HVAC, and Security. All those seem fairly simple to install, control and monitor. i think the DTV (with Genie) should be simple. Not really interested in having my A/V equip for theater in theater room so def would be interested to hear thoughts on best solution for that. Thoughts or inputs?
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Sooooooooooo, after talking to an AV guy today, looking to do a WHA (FOR SURE), and then looking to do Video Distribution in the basement, with possible partial video distribution on the main floor. Was wondering a couple of things that I'm really hoping everyone can help with:

1- Best cost effective way to do a MAX 8 Zone WHA (Sonos, Russound, Nuvo). Definitely down for ideas. Like idea of not needing wall outlets.
2- Will have 2 AVRs in the mech room (1 for 7.1 and another for 5.1). Is there an option for sharing ALL video sources between the 2 and controlling them (guessing a 4X2 Matrix here possibly is best).. Best option here?
3- Will have a simple setup in the Great Room upstairs. Looking to only share the BD player from this location to the Master Bedroom. Will probably have a DTV Genie or something for cable... Any thoughts on best way to do this? OH, will probably just use sound bars at both locations here (Master BR and Great Room)...
4- Best way to get my PS3 from the Rec Room or Theater Room back to AV Room/Mech Room where AVRs for those rooms are at? More than 30' run I'm guessing.

Thanks all.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Sharing DirecTV boxes, $99 AppleTV or Roku boxes is not going to be economically viable with an HDMI matrix, unless you can really cut down the total number of boxes (which also limits your source selection) to remove monthly fees. Even then it can be several years just to break even.
A ZeeVee solution may be something to look into, but none of these is going to be anything resembling "cheap" (and I assume you mean $4.5K, not $45K). Monoprice is supposed to come out with an HDBaseT matrix - that would be the one to watch for.
Jeff

The HDMI matrix route may not be cost effective for sharing a $99 box, but it adds functionality you wouldn't otherwise have, like being able to move from room to room...
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:42 AM
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The HDMI matrix route may not be cost effective for sharing a $99 box, but it adds functionality you wouldn't otherwise have, like being able to move from room to room...

Correct, and that functionality is part of the non-economic decision. If that's what the OP wants out of the setup, a matrix is the way to go. But a $99 box for each display also gives more source flexibility - it all depends on what the goals of the setup are...

Jeff

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Old 12-23-2012, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Jeff...

Hopefully the design or the goals of what I was looking for, is above. Maybe you can see what I am going for. I really am torn on what to do or what is best here but hopefully through reading the above post I made, you can see what I'm going for. Thanks for taking time to reply through here.
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:10 AM
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Well what you've mostly listed is a bunch of equipment, not a set of goals... But getting a full design for a house with A/V distribution, HVAC, security and lighting control from the forum is a tall order...

Jeff

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Old 12-24-2012, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
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Correct, and that functionality is part of the non-economic decision. If that's what the OP wants out of the setup, a matrix is the way to go. But a $99 box for each display also gives more source flexibility - it all depends on what the goals of the setup are...
Jeff

Correct. Once you get past a 4x4 HDMI matrix, which is a couple hundred bucks, you're out of the realm of economics driving the decision, and you're looking for a distribution system that has the capability to move the signal from one room to another, or mirror stuff on an as-needed basis, not just to save money on the number of components.
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