Need a primer on options for getting outdoor sound - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 06-09-2013, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Folks,

A/V distribution is a whole new world for me. I am looking for a primer that might help me identify, understand, and decide on the options for achieving the following:

I am interested in some simple 2-channel sound for my outdoor patio. I was planning on installing a higher end set of speakers under the eaves of my patio and wiring them to the "B channels" of one of multiple receivers indoors. I have an Onkyo TX-SR806 about 30 feet away in a family room, a simple 100 wpc Kenwood about 15 feet away in my garage, even have a couple of receivers in storage in my basement I could use. The challenge is they are all indoors which means I would have to walk in and out to control the audio source and selection.

I've got an android phone, and android tablet, 2/5 ghz wifi, and I know that there are ways to leverage these as remote controls and source units. I've also got media server functionality on my PC and a wifi connection to an XBOX 360 in the family room.

Without replacing any of my primary equipment (receiver), what are the options for getting flexible control of my sound on my patio?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 2 Old 06-09-2013, 11:46 AM
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Well, your AVR has a powered Zone 2, so you're set for everything but remote control. An RF remote control for outside would be the simplest and cheapest solution. If you would prefer a mobile device / WiFi solution then Roomie or iRule plus an IP-to-IR gateway like the iTach would be the path. The limitation is that it's difficult to do much more than select sources or adjust volume. An RF remote can be <$100, a Roomie / iRule solution around $150 (plus some learning / programming time!)

You don't mention what source(s) you want to listen to, but the best solution is probably either a Sonos Connect, attached to your AVR and using the Zone2 functions, or a Sonos Connect:Amp that's self contained. The Connect would allow you to utilize any of your AVRs sitting around, too, but the limitation is going to be remote control, again. The Sonos remote app is excellent, but it won't control other gear - so you'd need a separate solution for volume and power on/off. Which is why I'd suggest the Connect:Amp. It's a freestanding solution, but you could certainly connect it to your Onkyo for use inside as well as outside. And that would get you a single-app solution.

But, for the cost of a single Sonos Connect:Amp, you could likely sell your existing AVR(s), buy a new Onkyo NR system that would have much of the same functionality built-in (including the app support and many of the same streaming music services).

Hope that helps,

Jeff

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