4-5 Video Zones + 8-10 Audio Zones Help - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-17-2013, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I am about to move into my new house and I am trying to plan out my AV setup. First off everything will be located in 2 40U racks (not all equipment is listed on my diagram) in a central location and I will be using a RTI XP8s with 3 T2C+ and 3 iPads for control. I want all rooms to be able to turn on/off independently. Right now I have a dumb amp with volume knobs so when I turn on whole home audio its everywhere. I think the RTI AD8 will allow me to turn on individual zones and control volume via iPad (I think). Also is it frowned upon to share video sources based on their use, as in if I watch AppleTV in living it flags one and grabs ATV1 off the hdmi matrix then if I hit watch AppleTV in the bedroom it flags it and grabs ATV2 off the matrix (ie none are dedicated to any single TV/zone) Also if I am turning on audio in the kitchen I'd like to choose either the audio on the tv, the dvd player (cd audio rare) or sonos for example.

What Im trying to accomplish:

Living Room
Cable
Apple TV - shared
HTPC - shared
DVD Player - shared
Sonos - shared
Own Audio Zone

Master Bedroom
Cable
Apple TV - shared
HTPC - shared
DVD Player - shared
Sonos - shared
Own Audio Zone

Master Bath
Cable - Shared with Master Bed
Apple TV - shared
HTPC - shared
DVD Player - shared
Sonos - shared
Own Audio Zone

Patio
Cable
Apple TV - shared
HTPC - shared
DVD Player - shared
Sonos - shared
Own Audio Zone

Pool
Play Patio Audio or Sonos Audio independent of patio

Breakfast, Kitchen, Dining
Play Living room audio or Sonos Audio independently
Each as it's own Audio Zone

Future expansion will include a game room TV + speakers and garage speakers


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post #2 of 10 Old 04-17-2013, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigZAJ View Post

Also is it frowned upon to share video sources based on their use, as in if I watch AppleTV in living it flags one and grabs ATV1 off the hdmi matrix then if I hit watch AppleTV in the bedroom it flags it and grabs ATV2 off the matrix (ie none are dedicated to any single TV/zone)

Spending big bucks on an 8x8 matrix to share $99 ATV and DVD players is a waste, especially when your video zones all have AVRs with HDMI switching. If you want to allow simultaneous viewing (same source in multiple rooms), split the HDMI from the ATV or BD player(s) to each AVR. Otherwise just dedicate each $99 device to a zone, and at least reduce the matrix to a 4x4. Same goes for the set-top boxes, splitting their outputs to the AVRs is likely a better option. If you have a mix of TVs and AVRs connected to an HDMI matrix, you will encounter the "common denominator" problems with audio, and will limit your surround choices (or be limited to 2-channel stereo).
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Also if I am turning on audio in the kitchen I'd like to choose either the audio on the tv, the dvd player (cd audio rare) or sonos for example.

Sure, just run the analog outputs from any video device to the audio controller as a source. I use the TV audio in my master bathroom to listen to the news every morning.

Who's your cable provider? Do they have a whole house DVR offering - with your video zones almost all being surround systems (and I assume the bathroom / bedroom are served by a 2-zone AVR with a dual video matrix output), you may be able to skip the video matrix altogether.

Jeff

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post #3 of 10 Old 04-18-2013, 06:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Jeff,

So what you are saying is I'm better off having dedicated sources for each AVR / Zone? The reason I am going to the HDMI matrix is in the event I add future devices or CCTV, but also to act as a defacto splitter to reduce equipment. However after realizing the Atlona 8x8 I've chosen will cost me in excess of $2K I think I can make due with the Wyrestorm 4x4 I currently have.

How should I get TV, etc to the Master Bed TV, 2nd HDMI out from Receiver or HDMI Matrix? My fear is I dont want to force main zone audio to 2 channel because of the bathroom.

Also, will the RTI AD8 I've selected allow me to have analog input from Cable Box, Sonos, etc as programmable zones, I assume it will but audio distribution is totally new to me.

Cable Co is Comcast and I dont think they have a whole home DVR offering in my area, I honestly have not even looked into it. My plan was 1 dvr and 2-3 cable boxes.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-18-2013, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigZAJ View Post

So what you are saying is I'm better off having dedicated sources for each AVR / Zone? The reason I am going to the HDMI matrix is in the event I add future devices or CCTV, but also to act as a defacto splitter to reduce equipment. However after realizing the Atlona 8x8 I've chosen will cost me in excess of $2K I think I can make due with the Wyrestorm 4x4 I currently have.

I'm saying spending $2k to share a $99 device among 4 TVs doesn't feel like a good spend...

Since all your video zones are served by an AVR, you have more than half the matrix solution already built-in. Splitting the HDMI outputs from the truly shared devices (the DVR and HTPC, at least) to each AVR is effectively the same as the matrix. If you use a new AVR for the bedroom that has the dual-HDMI (matrix) output for zone2, you'd be in really good shape.

Think of it less of "dedicated" sources, more "replicated". Two Apple TVs allow two people to watch two different things simultaneously. One shared on a matrix doesn't... Adding an ATV for each AVR gets it all off the matrix and reduces the number of splitters / matrix feeds.
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How should I get TV, etc to the Master Bed TV, 2nd HDMI out from Receiver or HDMI Matrix? My fear is I dont want to force main zone audio to 2 channel because of the bathroom.

A new AVR with a dual-output "matrix" HDMI solution would by far be the best answer for that zone, given your configuration.
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Also, will the RTI AD8 I've selected allow me to have analog input from Cable Box, Sonos, etc as programmable zones, I assume it will but audio distribution is totally new to me.

It's just an analog audio source, piece of cake...


Jeff

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post #5 of 10 Old 04-18-2013, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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So basically when/if I only have 1 device I want to share across multiple displays is when I bring the HDMI matrix into the fold?

I think that ultimately I will add the game room with dedicated cable box, but share the same Apple TV and HTPC, so it will be 4 independent video zones, 5 total zones. However this will also have an AVR.

Do any of these home automation, installation companies offer any kind of consulting services? I am very comfortable wiring and programming, but I am not familiar enough with equipment/best practices to design the system the "right way"
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-18-2013, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
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So basically when/if I only have 1 device I want to share across multiple displays is when I bring the HDMI matrix into the fold?

Generally yes, but in your situation, with most/all of the zones having an AVR (with built-in HDMI switching) and all the gear co-located, there's limited reason to use an HDMI matrix over the cheaper HDMI splitter(s) and the AVR's internal switching.
Quote:
I think that ultimately I will add the game room with dedicated cable box, but share the same Apple TV and HTPC, so it will be 4 independent video zones, 5 total zones. However this will also have an AVR.

So a 4-way HDMI splitter for any shared device, with all four outputs going to each zone's AVR would be the simplest / cheapest solution.
Quote:
Do any of these home automation, installation companies offer any kind of consulting services? I am very comfortable wiring and programming, but I am not familiar enough with equipment/best practices to design the system the "right way"

They may, if you're going to buy gear from them. I'm sure there's pro AV consultants, but whether they'd be interested in a small job consult on a fixed fee basis, hard to say...

Jeff

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post #7 of 10 Old 04-18-2013, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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One reason I was also leaning towards the matrix is... in my head I like the idea of programming the ipads (which will be mobile, not room dedicated) to allow for the option of "moving rooms" as in if Im outside watching Netflix I can click "Move to Living" and it will turn off outside, bring up Living Room with the same Netflix movie/device up and going (ie Apple TV) or the same with HTPC.
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-18-2013, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigZAJ View Post

One reason I was also leaning towards the matrix is... in my head I like the idea of programming the ipads (which will be mobile, not room dedicated) to allow for the option of "moving rooms" as in if Im outside watching Netflix I can click "Move to Living" and it will turn off outside, bring up Living Room with the same Netflix movie/device up and going (ie Apple TV) or the same with HTPC.

You can still do that without a matrix in your case. If you want to, split the output (again, cheap HDMI splitter) of an ATV and connect it to each AVR. It'll work better and it will be less work to program. But note that "controlling everything from an iPad" will have its limitations, as you'll be moving from app-to-app regardless of what path you take.

Jeff

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post #9 of 10 Old 04-19-2013, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Which of these methods will have the least impact on audio? My big concern with even the splitter is having to dumb down audio settings because two zones will be stereo and two/three will be 5.1
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-19-2013, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigZAJ View Post

Which of these methods will have the least impact on audio? My big concern with even the splitter is having to dumb down audio settings because two zones will be stereo and two/three will be 5.1

You'll use a separate audio path for the audio-only zones and avoid the issue altogether. Analog RCA cable from the sources to the RTI controller/amp, which is always 2-channel regardless of what's being sent via HDMI. So the video zones get 5.1 (or better) via HDMI, and the audio-only zones get 2-channel via analog RCA from the same source(s).

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