Originally Posted by ecriswell
I don't really want to deal with separate systems.
"Integrated" systems are significantly more expensive, and most of them will require a dealer to install / program as they are not "DIY friendly" - meaning the software and equipment is not accessible...
Aside from phone and coax jacks sprinkled throughout the house, what else am I missing?
Lots. Read the "Wiring Your House" wiki pages over at cocoontech.com...
Any particular reason?
Yes. See below...
I have an IT background and have participated in structured wiring projects of many kinds, as well as server room builds and data rack and patch panel install.
That's part of the story, but both the techniques and the labor involved is considerably different...
This is the first time I will have stood in a framed-up house and started from scratch on an AV system. I'm 3-4 months from actually doing the work, so I'm trying to start early and formulate a solid plan ahead of time.
And that's the other reason. It's a lot easier to expand / copy the wiring / routing methods once you see how the pro did the basics. They'll also cover stuff you might not think about, like the lines to the service entrance and sat dish access...
If you haven't done a residential wiring job before, you need to spend some time looking at how it's done - if there are other homes nearby at that phase of construction, walk through them, take notes and pictures of how it all gets done. Note routing of cables, how they're held in place to avoid damage during drywall, etc.
This is exactly what I'm trying to do, especially since I am likely a year or two to actually having a distribution solution in place. I just want to make sure that HDMI is the transport I should focus on to all monitors. I am finding quite a bit of equipment designed for component video so it has me wondering if I am missing something.
You'll see a lot of component video equipment - especially on the used market!
It's still a viable solution, but with many new devices (all BD players, streamers like AppleTV and Roku) shipping without component outputs, it's going to have limitations. That said, I have no plans to replace mine, because it's bulletproof. Also, the economic answer for AppleTV and other <$100 products is to just dedicate them to the zones anyway.
I have some resources who are very familiar with Crestron and have access to the programmers, but my personal knowledge is very limited. It may be a DIY with some help.
A lot of help. The programming is not rocket science, but there are whole companies that do nothing but offer the programming services and UI design. Their very anti-DIY stance also means you're just going to be banging into issues that you won't be able to get assistance to fix. If you're thinking Crestron, think dealer - if you can get one that will work with you, then maybe. I wouldn't even consider their gear without a good "friend" as a source for gear, support, and software.
I also am interested to know if the Pioneer Elite SC-68 reciever may accomplish what I am looking to do.. possibly for 3 zones. Do you have any experience with this unit?
No, but any multizone receiver, if it has Internet streaming services (available on Zone2, 3) and an "app" for control can be a viable solution for 2-3 rooms. Any more than that, and no, wrong product.
Thanks for the suggestion. I'm realizing that I may be much better off just purchasing pre-made HDMI cables from Monoprice and skipping the Cat6. Any savings seem to be eaten up by the need to purchase baluns. None of my runs will exceed 100' - most are less than 50'.
I wouldn't run any HDMI cables in the walls except for an in-room system. The cat6 wires will be useful for lots of things, the HDMI cables are problematic >25' anyway (Redmere will work easily at 50'), and are likely to be out-of-date within a decade.
No worries. I just cringe when I see someone write a well thought out post looking for help and people jump on them for not hiring the work out.
They're usually not that well thought out...
I do have other IT type people willing and capable to help me complete the job. We are hoping it will be during a long weekend timeframe while consuming cold beverages and eating delivery pizza! Like I said earlier - I have the means to hire someone to do this for me. But for the same reason I change my own oil in my car, I would like the satisfaction of researching this myself and executing a plan. It should be a good time with my buds and I look forward to contributing some man-hours to building my family's dream home.
Umm - if none of them has done this before, you're going to spend your entire time supervising - so be prepared for that and also the blowback if "they're doing all the work". Running patch cables through cable trays in a datacenter and getting them in the right jacks is much different than drilling through studs and pulling wire. You'll be better off with friends that have done any form of residential construction trades than IT folks, frankly. You'll spend half the day explaining why they're doing something, and why their "suggestions" won't work.
Make sure you have it all planned out, then, with diagrams, punch lists, and end points marked. Best to hammer the LV boxes in place ahead of any help, so that folks know where they should go. Note that line-voltage work will very likely need to be done by a licensed electrician - and you'll want a number of outlets placed for the equipment, and behind TV wall-mount locations.
Consider that "the plan" can be the equipment and the ability to perform the AV distribution tricks that the final installation will be able to perform, rather than the labor portion of that job. I get plenty of satisfaction out of my system(s) doing what I designed them to do - the fact that a skilled trade did the labor doesn't diminish that satisfaction at all. Besides, it's the stack of gear in the wiring closet that gets the attention and the questions. No one will ever ask you how you routed all that cable to the attic, for example...