My in ceiling speakers are driven by an Integra DTM-40.4 AV receiver, located a floor below in a closet. The receiver is networked and is controllable through an iPhone app.
What is the simplest way to get the TV audio through the in ceiling speakers Would it just be to run a coax digital audio cable to the Directv box from the Integra? I don't necessarily want to use the in ceiling speakers all the time, but I would like it as an option.
I have an opportunity to run any kind of cable through the walls right now.
Assuming the in-ceiling speakers are on the Zone2 outputs from the Integra - you're going to have to convert the signal to analog before going to the AVR. AVRs in general don't route digital inputs to the zone2 outputs (check that one specifically, but pretty sure it doesn't, either).
So a cheap DAC is needed. I would suggest the Monoprice PCM stereo-only model, and configure the DirecTV box to always output PCM (no Dolby Digital). Which in your use case wouldn't hurt anything.
A model with Dolby Digital support will run ~$50 or so...
So those are the only two speakers you've got attached to the receiver, then? You'll need to configure the AVR (or the DirecTV box) to output L/R only - so that the digital signal is downmixed to 2-channel properly.
Yes. Either terminate with an RCA jack, or, my preference, terminate with the normal coax F-connector, and use the $.50 RCA-to-F adapter on both ends.
Jautor is dead on with his recommendation. It certainly makes sense to add an extra wire or two while doing things, but the best (and proper) way to do this is with a piece of coaxial wire between the DirecTV receiver and your A/V receiver for the room.
Toslink -> coax -> Integra? I've never used S/PDIF. Distance limitation? Should fiberoptic be used?
With walls open, run extra cables, for futureproofing. You won't have this same hardware setup in 10 years.
Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
run cat 6 from the tv to the receiver, then get a set of digital audio baluns by niles (provided that your TV and the receiver have digital coaxial outputs and inputs in not you may have to pick up converters toslink to digital coaxial)
even easier i just found these, but you will have to run cat 6