Originally Posted by viffer_man
A budget whole home AV solution
6 zones including outdoor zone
Home Theater control
User selective inputs for each zone
Possibly iPad/iPhone control
Centralized in the basement media closet
"Budget" will mean a separate WHA system from any video distribution. Figure out what your audio sources will be and how you'll control them, which will lead you to the right system(s). And you need to figure out what your video distribution goal(s) are - centralized for aesthetics, or multiple sources selection from each room?
Any 5.1/7.1 zones should be thought of as independent systems, though they can share sources with a distribution system. But issues will arise when trying to get surround sound from sources involved with distributed video (see HDMI common denominator issue).
The whole house is being wired with CAT6 pairs to control panel locations for the individual zones. As well as CAT6 to the TV locations and all other data drops.
You only need one cat6 to each keypad location, but should run multiple cables to each display location.
I am looking to put together a system that will give me the greatest flexibility for audio and video distribution. I'd like to be able to control from either the wall mounted control pads or ipad/iphone
TV source selection and control is usually handled via remote controls, not keypads, but those will very likely be different systems, anyway.
I know there is no one "be all end all" solution, but I am hoping to put something together that is user serviceable and that I can purchase off e-bay or similar so I can get the greatest value.
The better equipment is not offered via eBay (or will lack warranty support from the manufacturer). There are a few vendors that sell direct - see HTD.com for a good value... Others will offer from a limited set of Internet sellers - you may get a better deal than MSRP if you work with a local dealer on these.