Stream audio from phone to an existing whole house audio system - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-04-2013, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi folks,

I have a bare bones whole house audio system installed by the builder with a source input ports in the living room as shown in the picture.
20121229_161310.jpg 36k .jpg file
The audio is directed to 4 different rooms with simple in-wall speakers and volume control in each of these rooms. I dont think it is a multi-zone system. I havent used it yet, but my end goal is to play the following on my whole house audio
1. Be able to stream audio or play songs from my android phone using raphsody subscription service to my whole house audio.
2. Be able to stream music on my laptop or desktop
3. Be able to access the music library on my computers through my android phone and play on whole house audio
4. Be able to connect a audio receiver or a player and play audio CDs the traditional way

What is a good elegant solution that is cost effective and most bang for the buck. I suppose some sort of an all in one wi-fi player/receiver with a smartphone app, that can act as a central hub to do all of the above 4 things and simply output that signal to the whole house audio input in the picture. Is there such a solution or any other way I can achieve the goals above?

All comments are much appreciated.

Thanks,
AJ
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-04-2013, 11:13 PM
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Sonos Connect or NuVo P200. P200 includes Bluetooth to stream from a mobile device. Sonos and NuVo both have a lot of streaming options and can play from a digital library. Those both also give you integrated control from a single app.
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-05-2013, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. Looks like Onkyo and several other top music vendors are also offering streaming. I looked up Sonos and Nuvo. A wireless player with streaming solution with Sonos/Nuvo both cost around $400. I found an Onkyo 5.1 channel receiver with streaming feature for $400. Looks to me the Onkyo is a better value as it is a full fledged receiver that can support multiple zones,inputs and a future home theater speaker system. Am I missing something here? Onkyo seems like a no brainer compared to a Sonos or Nuvo considering I already have a whole house audio speaker system and all I need is to hook for a wireless streaming player.
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-05-2013, 08:07 PM
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The Onkyo and other networked AVRs are great values for a single source, single-zone setup (and for a 2-zone, 2 source setup, too, when paired with a small zone amp). Once you cross to more than two zones, using an AVR begins to be a limiting factor, as you lose flexibility and the control mechanisms don't scale well.

So if you're planning a 4-zone system, starting with one of the zone-based streamers will allow you to expand/extend by buying additional units over time. With an AVR, you'll be "stuck", and any upgrade would mean replacing it or using a mish-mash of products.

So either way, you hook up all four rooms (rooms are "zones", I think you meant "single source") to the device in question, ensuring that there's proper impedance matching (either with a speaker selector or by verifying that the volume controls have that function). The limitation of this single-source/amp arrangement is that all connected rooms will come on/off together - so you may turn on rooms you weren't expecting - and will need to turn the volume controls up/down in each room to handle that.

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post #5 of 13 Old 07-06-2013, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Jeff. That was helpful. I guess based on the terms, what I have might be a single source multiple zone audio system. I would ideally like to have a single product that can play CDs, access my android phone streaming music services and my music library on the computer wirelessly. Then I should be able to direct music to the zones selected. All from an android app. If the input panel picture in my first post can support only a single input, I dont think I will be able to stream multiple music streams to different zones. Adding a Nuvos for each streaming source (Raphsody android service, Music Library on computer, CD Player) to seperate zones might not even be possible in my set up, if I only have a single input source.

Thanks.
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-06-2013, 10:22 AM
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I'm sorry - I didn't look at the picture, just read your description... You have an A-Bus system installed, and yes, it's a single-source, 4-zone system. Because these systems run only cat5e wires from the hub to the keypad location, you'll have to stick with an A-Bus or Digi5 system.

In this case, the best answer probably is an Onkyo AVR with a zone2 output. You don't need an amplified zone2, so any AVR with a pre-out for Zone2 will work. The other standalone option would be the Sonos Connect (no amp). But if you can use the AVR for your living room anyway (is this your primary TV room?) for surround, etc. - that would certainly be the better route.

You could replace that in-wall hub with a set of keystone RJ45 jacks (assuming there's not much wire to play with), and then some short patch cords to a 4-source/4-zone hub:

http://www.russound.com/product_detail.php?i=978

Jeff


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post #7 of 13 Old 07-08-2013, 04:53 AM - Thread Starter
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It is slowly making sense to me smile.gif I see the Hub has some sort of IR emitters. There are 4 of them. Googling IR emitter wasnt too helpful. I assumed the IR emitters are to direct music to each of the 4 zones. What is their purpose? Would you be kind enough to suggest the Onkyo AVR model/models that best suit my needs. I am looking for something cheap and or value for money. Yes, the Hub is in the living room. I was able to use my PS3 to play some CDs recently using the audio out of PS3 on my whole house Audio. Wasnt too impressed with the sound quality. I am no audiophile, so the quality must be pretty bad. Must be the cheap speakers the builder installed.

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post #8 of 13 Old 07-08-2013, 08:31 AM
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I have the same system. The ir emitters are plugged into your source(ie. a CD player or DVD player). You are then able to use the remote for that source or a universal remote aimed at each control pad to control the source.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-08-2013, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks! Does that mean when using IR emitters as source, one source will play in only one zone or would it play on all 4 zones/rooms where my speakers are located.
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-08-2013, 01:40 PM
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You can only play one source at a time. For example, Using an AVR as your switching device you can input a DVD player, Blu-ray player, cd player and an iPod dock into the AVR. Use a pre-out on the AVR to the Abus hub. You would only be able to play one of these sources at a time to your room/rooms. Meaning, 1 source in up to 4 rooms. You don't have to listen in all 4 rooms at the same time, but you can if you want to. I'm being redundant...rolleyes.gif

On my Onkyo AVR, I have a zone 2 pre-out. It can only put out from an analog source, so a bluray player with an HDMI output, but no L/R analog outputs, wouldn't play (unless you purchase a digital to analog converter...$40 from Radio shack). Most receivers with zone 2 or zone 3 pre-outs work this way.

To use the emitters, you plug one end in the hub, the other end is taped to the ir window on your source component. Aim the remote at any of the A-KP2 keypads and you will be able to control your source (ie. skip to next song or fast forward, etc.)
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post #11 of 13 Old 07-08-2013, 01:53 PM
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I just noticed that you want to use your android phone as a source. I'm not sure which product works best for that. I have an iphone and ipad and I use apple tv as my source to access my stored music as well as Pandora, etc. It works great and I can control the whole house audio from my phone and ipad.
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post #12 of 13 Old 07-15-2013, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all. I think I am going to go with a Onkyo network AVR that can control multiple sources through an android app. I will explore accessing the mp3 on my computer using DLNA and play them through my phone onto the AVR. Once I complete my little project, I will come back with details about my experience and pictures to help others. Thanks for the clarification on the IR emitters. So they are just an extension of the source remote to the audio keypad in each rooms. Glad that mystery is solved.
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post #13 of 13 Old 07-24-2013, 12:34 PM
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FWIW I ended up doing the Onkyo 616 avr for my whole house audio while many of even the midlevel Onkyo's have three zones. With the third being unpowered and with fixed volume level. While there are limitations to doing it this way, I am finding that it works just right for us as our foray into whole house audio. 99.9% of the time I control the music with my Iphone and because of CEC, my tv remote controls some basic AVR functions even though it isn't a universal remote. I haven't touched the Onkyo present remote more than a couple times in two months. The Onkyo phone/tablet app also has a full featured tv remote control to control your tv and all of its functions. I will reiterate that most avr's do only analog for zones two and three as they don't have the DAC built in. My solution was the $17 dollar DAC from Amazon which works as expected though it seems to steel a bit of volume versus playing music in other zones. If you can buy it retail, you can get it for less than half price online. Amazon's dac was even cheaper than Monoprice. The Onkyo avr's don't have airplay but of course you can easily add that into your system or use a Bluetooth adaptor that Onkyo offers.
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