Need Help to Design New A/V Distribution - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-25-2013, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I am going to have the following setup in a new house and need help choosing a way to distribute and control it:

Inputs (these will be centrally located in a rack in the media room):
1 Directv Genie
1 (or 2) more Directv HD DVRs
Blu Ray Player(this could be used independently instead of fed to all rooms)
1 (or 2) A/V Receivers

Outputs:
11 TVs
1 TV/media room will have 7.1 surround sound
1 TV/room will have 5.1 surround sound
2 TVs/rooms will have stereo sound

Budget is between $5 - 10k (desire to be on lower end of that range). I was shown an option that would use Control4 by an a/v dealer with a component matrix switch (not HDMI) that would bring me down to $11k. What other control systems could I use for my setup that fall within my budget price range and would be reliable? If it makes things easier some of the tv's can get the same input simultaneously (does that make sense).
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-25-2013, 08:48 AM
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Video distribution for DirecTV is best handled with Genie and their whole-house-DVR client support. For 11 displays you'll need two Genies. $11k will pay for a lot of years of set-top box fees.

And BD players are dirt cheap - put one where you need it. Going across the house to load a disc is not fun...

Jeff

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post #3 of 14 Old 06-25-2013, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Are Directv customers allowed to have more than 1 Genie? If not are there other options?
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post #4 of 14 Old 06-25-2013, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajun Storm View Post

Are Directv customers allowed to have more than 1 Genie? If not are there other options?

Yes. And there's lots of options, depending on what cabling is available, but other solutions will probably end up costing more and provide less functionality.

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post #5 of 14 Old 06-26-2013, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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The Directv Genies will take care of the control of the various tv's.. How do I control the a/v receiver (located in the media room along with a blu-ray player) for the 5.1 speakers located in the family room?
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-26-2013, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajun Storm View Post

The Directv Genies will take care of the control of the various tv's.. How do I control the a/v receiver (located in the media room along with a blu-ray player) for the 5.1 speakers located in the family room?

RF remote or IR repeater.

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post #7 of 14 Old 06-27-2013, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Will I need HDMI over coax baluns for the long cable runs to the tv's while using the Directv Genies?
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-27-2013, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajun Storm View Post

Will I need HDMI over coax baluns for the long cable runs to the tv's while using the Directv Genies?

Sorry, I should have been clear - I meant use a pair of Genies and put a client box at each display, avoiding HDMI distribution altogether. Each box then operates independently, so you also have effectively 11 sources.

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post #9 of 14 Old 06-27-2013, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Awesome - I love all the money that you are saving me! Thanks so much!
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-27-2013, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Bad news - I called up Directv and they said that they are NOT allowing customers to get more than 1 Genie at this time. The service rep said that I should look on ebay since they used to let customers directly buy the Genie. I see that I can get an HR44 for about $300. The rep also stated that she cannot let me know what is available (as far as cost and exact equipment) until I'm ready to place the order (which I cannot do until my new home builder gives me a move-in date). Should I buy one from ebay if they still won't give me 2 when I make the order?
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post #11 of 14 Old 06-27-2013, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Cajun Storm View Post

Awesome - I love all the money that you are saving me! Thanks so much!

Note that DirecTV charges monthly fees for set-top boxes, so it's not a total win... $6/unit/month. Depending on how many people are in the household, some hybrid approach may work "better". Meaning - a single set-top with an HDMI splitter serving infrequently-used displays, for example. A good rule of thumb on set-top boxes is to have one per family member, adjust up or down from there depending on guest expectations, ages of kids, etc.

But the right answer will all depend on your usage model and in what rooms all those displays are located.

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post #12 of 14 Old 06-27-2013, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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One other thought: does the Directv Genie have to be located near the "first" tv? If so, I will have that arrangement for one set of tv's but not for the 2nd set since the house is wired for everything to home run back to the media room.

Jautor - I do realize that I am going to incur extra monthly costs for the upgraded system but it will still be better than spending $10k in the long run (as you stated in your first post). Thanks again for all of the help.
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post #13 of 14 Old 06-27-2013, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajun Storm View Post

One other thought: does the Directv Genie have to be located near the "first" tv? If so, I will have that arrangement for one set of tv's but not for the 2nd set since the house is wired for everything to home run back to the media room.

Well, you should connect the Genie to a TV somewhere since you're paying for that box - using one HDMI extender if needed.
Quote:
Jautor - I do realize that I am going to incur extra monthly costs for the upgraded system but it will still be better than spending $10k in the long run (as you stated in your first post). Thanks again for all of the help.

Just wanted to make sure you didn't think you were getting off too cheap! tongue.gif

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post #14 of 14 Old 06-27-2013, 03:13 PM
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Great advice Jautor, I just went through this math on my own.

I don't like the "leasing of the box" idea. For me, with a Genie and 2 mini boxes, the leasing fees alone were $27/mo ($15 +6+6)... there are 3 of us in my household with 4 TV's planned. If I plan on only 2 people watching different live shows at the same time (my wife and I watch together, or I'm on the computer or watching a blu-ray in a different room) then another consideration becomes putting in a Genie in my main viewing area with a second HD DVR run through an HDMI splitter. A 1x4 splitter is not too pricey but still spending $1k (for an HDBaseT with receivers) to save $6/mo doesn't make a lot of sense. HOWEVER, I have a blu-ray changer that I would like to distribute as well, making a 4x4 matrix more desirable.

My distances from a matrix would be 120' max (already pre-ran dual CAT6). I've been tempted to try the monoprice 4x4 matrix. They have a new 4x2 HDBaseT matrix as well. Ultimately, I decided to work on my house, and will probably wait for the HDBaseT matrix prices to continue to drop before pulling the trigger. There are so many other pieces of electronics I need to buy for now I may as well suck up the leasing fees and pay that $82/mo in the second year.

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