Foundation is set now the whole home audio. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-13-2013, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently started construction of a new home and have a few questions about my whole home audio. Ideally I would like a 5.1 in wall/ceiling setup in my living room and three additional zones. I plan to run all of the wires to a central location between the kitchen and living room. I would want a multi source options in all 4 zones and would be happy with control via smartphone or ipad(no need for keypads).

First what are my best options for the equipment, budget being between 2-6 grand?
Where is a good place to start looking for the speakers, sale wise(I live in the NYC area)?
What is the best option for in wall speaker wire?
Is HDMI to cat 5 a decent way to run wires between tv and settop box or should I buy extra long HDMI and run those?
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-13-2013, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zartan089 View Post

I would want a multi source options in all 4 zones and would be happy with control via smartphone or ipad(no need for keypads).

You should pre-wire for keypads regardless, as you'll never get another chance to do it so cheaply. Mobile device control is good, but we don't know what products will come in the future - but we can guess...
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First what are my best options for the equipment, budget being between 2-6 grand?

NuVo, Sonos, HTD, all the usual suspects - read any number of threads here for a lot of the same questions...
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What is the best option for in wall speaker wire?

Monoprice.
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Is HDMI to cat 5 a decent way to run wires between tv and settop box or should I buy extra long HDMI and run those?

You should run multiple cat5e / cat6 lines to any display location. If the runs are relatively short that a Redmere HDMI cable can reach, I'd run one of those in addition. But HDMI and video distribution will continue to evolve - you want to have wiring in place for future flexibility. Flex conduit runs to key AV locations is the truly future-proof method... (in addition to lots of cat5e/cat6).

Jeff

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post #3 of 12 Old 07-14-2013, 10:58 AM
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I will just agree with all that has been said above.

Right now is the time to wire. Not just for now, but for the long term. If you don't/won't have access in the future, then put as much wiring/conduit in as possible.

I never understand people who say they just want phone control.

I mean, if you turn on the audio, set it to a comfortable level with your phone, then you go somewhere, or drop your phone, or leave the room, and anyone wants to control the volume, change a source, or anything else, they have to go find you to do so. Nice to setup your house that way, but extremely inconvenient for casual listening.

Which makes no sense, when you can get a system which will do both for around $1,000...

http://www.htd.com/whole-house-audio/mid-level-whole-house-audio

You will need a surround receiver for your surround area, and you will need all of your sources to have analog audio outputs to feed the other zones. This used to be extremely straightforward, but is getting more and more complicated to find sources with analog and digital outputs on them these days.

As said - I would (and did) run HDMI as well as multiple cat-5/6 cables to all of my TVs and this is a good way to do things. HDMI cables are fairly cheap these days and cat-6 is very cheap, but cat-6 HDMI baluns of good quality are still relatively expensive.

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post #4 of 12 Old 07-15-2013, 09:34 AM
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I third the future wiring. Run every cable you can possibly think you might need. Even the most expensive cables pale in comparison to the difficulty of wiring an already constructed house. I just finished the final ceiling repairs from my whole house audio system in an old construction. It's been almost two months from start to finishing every last little detail when time allowed. Calculating the time I spent into a dollar value and my wife's incessant whining about the time I was spending is enough to make anyone prewire. I've got a sort of second leg of the project planned but for fear of divorce, I will have to hold off until the previous installation fades in her memory.
I use a phone app and volume controls but still wired cat5e to every volume control anticipating exactly what AV_Integrated explains. The work around is to have dedicated Ipod installed in the wall in each room next to the volume control knob with the AVR App running all the time. Problem is Ipods are expensive and even a decent midlevel AVR only has 3 zones (which is actually one more than we need as we use our system).
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-15-2013, 05:45 PM
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Keypad control of distributed audio far surpasses iOS and Android control, in terms of speed and convenience. I have both KPs and iPads, and almost never use the iPads for audio control.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #6 of 12 Old 07-15-2013, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

Keypad control of distributed audio far surpasses iOS and Android control, in terms of speed and convenience. I have both KPs and iPads, and almost never use the iPads for audio control.
I had keypads in my last home and listened all the time. Now I only have iPad control in my new home - I almost never listen to my distributed audio! My family never does.

Gotta find some time to hook my keypads up! (cut some more speakers in, etc. etc., etc.)

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post #7 of 12 Old 07-16-2013, 04:40 AM
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What kind of keypads are you referring to ?
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-16-2013, 05:23 AM
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HTD, Russound, Nuvo, and many others offer distributed audio systems than can use KPs.

I have a Nuvo Grand Concerto/MPS4 system. Don't buy a system without a music server or other means to listen to streamed music.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #9 of 12 Old 07-16-2013, 06:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Question if I went with the HTD system does anyone have a recommendation for a comparable music server I could connect. Also would a music server be able to stream pandora/Internet radio?
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-16-2013, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zartan089 View Post

Question if I went with the HTD system does anyone have a recommendation for a comparable music server I could connect. Also would a music server be able to stream pandora/Internet radio?

A Sonos Connect is a good single-source music server. And yes, many of the music servers (Sonos, NuVo, Autonomic, etc.) will stream Pandora natively. Others will allow AirPlay or other means for a mobile device to stream services to the system.

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post #11 of 12 Old 07-16-2013, 09:18 AM
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We've got three phones, an Ipad, an ipod and a tablet lying around the house. I don't want to let the kids in on the fact they can control the system with their devices. I exclusively use my phone to control the system as it is on me at almost all times except in the morning getting ready for work. That's the only time I really would like to have a keypad in the master suite. As it is, a dedicated ipod built in would do the trick but such a waste of capability to in-wall an ipod for the use of one app.
The only down side so far with using the wireless app for me is that for some reason my internet is under a constant synflood attack and another attack that I can't recall the name, that I can't seem to stop. The connection just started dropping in and out all day for all of our streaming stuff. For us then our formerly rock solid internet connection is causing issues. That said, since I don't own any music, I rely exclusively on the streaming services and a keypad would still simply control the streaming services same as the app does.
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post #12 of 12 Old 07-16-2013, 11:31 AM
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Just be aware that with a separate source and zone controller, such as using a sonos source into your HTD zone controller, (or others for that matter) that you will have to use 2 apps. One for the source to select what to play and another for the zone, to select which zone you want to play to.

Mixing products in general seems to cause this. One way around this is to add an automation program such as Irule or commandfusion, which are app's that can be programmed to control the zone controller via RS232/WIfi and also have plugins to control the source. However, these plugins tend to break when they get updated.

It comes down to what you want to pay for and the UI you feel comfortable with.

Sonos just works, and works well, but is a bit on the expensive side.
HTD is very reasonable but has no source (only zone control, and amps).
Itunes and airport expresses can work within a single app, but you won't spotify or pandora, but they do now have their radio service.

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