Help with 8+zone, multi-source home audio - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-04-2014, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Help with 8+zone, multi-source home audio

Hey Guys/Gals,
I'm new to the forum and in browsing around, there is clearly an abundance of information and opinions. I know this question is fairly common, but all the info gets diluted and applies in some ways to me and not in others. So I do apologize in advance for adding to the topic.

When we remodeled a few years back I had every intent on setting up a Control 4 system so we put in a ton of cat-6 (3 lines to every room) and installed 7 pairs of speakers in various rooms and 5 speakers in the living room for mini-home entertainment until we refinish the basement. Since then, I have seen that there are many options coming available that allow for smartphone control over A/V systems which look very promising. With the exception of the home theater all of the speaker wire runs into our "electrical closet" in the basement. Aside from the pricey Control 4 system, does anyone have input on other options that would allow for centralized location of a 16 channel/8 zone amplifier, receiver that will allow multi source input and output so that different rooms can potentially be listening to different sources at different volumes. Ability to add zones in the future would be ideal. Video distribution would be a huge plus but not necessary. Brands? Models? IR devices? Smartphone/iPad control software? IR over Ethernet? HDMI over Ethernet? Etc?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-05-2014, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt376 View Post
Aside from the pricey Control 4 system, does anyone have input on other options that would allow for centralized location of a 16 channel/8 zone amplifier, receiver that will allow multi source input and output so that different rooms can potentially be listening to different sources at different volumes. Ability to add zones in the future would be ideal.
You've just described a Whole House Audio (WHA) system... There's tons of threads on that topic. Sonos, NuVo, Russound, HTD, Monoprice. All depends on your desired feature set, sources you'll want to use, and budget.

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Video distribution would be a huge plus but not necessary. Brands? Models? IR devices? Smartphone/iPad control software? IR over Ethernet? HDMI over Ethernet? Etc?
Video distribution is a separate topic if you're not going to go for an integrated solution like Control4. You'll have to figure out what you're trying to accomplish there and for what sources. Note that HD video distribution is complicated and expensive, and for many folks is no longer necessary due to the availability of whole-house-DVR functionality in many providers' set-top boxes. Those boxes can easily be hidden away in a central location if desired - without getting into the complexity of distribution...

Jeff

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post #3 of 5 Old 07-05-2014, 05:55 PM
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And Control4 is still a good solution.

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post #4 of 5 Old 07-06-2014, 08:39 PM
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And Control4 is still a good solution.

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Your system sounds well within the capabilities of Control4. I assume you plan on having someone set this up for you as Control4 is not a DIY solution. Best bet is to interview a few companies and see what they suggest for you. These days all control systems work fine with iPads/IPhones. Go with the company you feel most comfortable with.
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-23-2014, 12:03 PM
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Video distribution is a whole different category of distribution. Tread carefully.


I would go beyond choosing a company you feel comfortable with. Although that is important, it could simply reflect a talented salesman whose engineering and installation team can't back it up, unfortunately.


Ask for references - although that's not foolproof either - who is going to give you the contact information of disgruntled clients? And even relatively happy clients may not know a good install from a bad one.


Also, ask who will be doing the programming of your system? If they have in-house programmers that's best, especially if they have more than one. Outside programming firms that specialize have their virtues, but prompt response and favorable costs are not among them.


Most importantly, ask to see photos of the company's work, and especially equipment racks. But not the front - the back. If the back of the rack isn't neat, well-organized, and labeled, you're in for a very, very difficult time both short- and long-term.
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