Multi-Room / Multi-Source Help - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-23-2000, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is what I want to do :

First off, I need to find a receiver around the $1500 - $2000 price range (prefer $1500) that will power this.

One Main Receiver will power 2 Speakers to the following for whole house audio :

Living Room

Questions :
1) What is the best way to do infrared distribution? (This is a 4 level townhouse with the Main system on the fourth level).

2) What extra equipment will I need to power these speakers and what is the relative price of this? They won't be too powerful of speakers but they will be decent in-wall speakers.

3) I want to be able to wire volume knobs in each room, is this possible?

4) Will I be able to watch a movie on the 3rd floor while the rest of the house has music (or another source) going on? Does it matter what the source material is? I had in mind to use my Digital SP/DIF out on my computer to power the receiver for music and be able to watch a DVD upstairs.

5) Does anyone have any example setups that they could point me to, using this kind of configuration?


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post #2 of 5 Old 07-24-2000, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-29-2000, 11:08 AM
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Well, if you can run wire from each room to your receiver, then you can do what I did for music. I used Xantech volume controls with a built in IR receiver/transmitter. About $75 ea from Will need 3 wires for the IR (about 22ga) and two pair of wires for sound (left/right speakers) run from each location back to the receiver. Also run speaker wires in the room to the volume control. At the receiver use a Xantech connecting block to patch the speaker wires into the receiver and another to patch in the IR wires to your IR controller. Depending on your receiver model, you can directly connect a Xantech IR controller into it, or use an IR transmitter stuck onto your receiver's IR window. The site has more info. Buy universal programmable remotes for each room to control the receiver.

Works great for me.

Of course, with this setup, every room has to listen to the same radio station or other source from the receiver, but each can turn off the sound with the volume control. There are other more expensive solutions to allow for multi-source capability, such as the Kustom distribution amplifier ( Xantech also has similar hardware that also handles video (even more expensive).

Sorry, can't help with your DVD source question.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-03-2000, 08:19 AM
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Hi Josh,
I'll try to go in order.
1) your IR runs should be "homerun" if possible. One wire from
EQ to each sensor location. EQ will be your distribution.
Make sure to run the correct wire.
2) you will need a way to tell your new receiver that it's only
driving one pair of speakers instead of five.
a. install a speaker selector at the EQ, Niles SPS-6 ($140.00)
b. use impeadence magnifying volume controls, Niles VCS-2DIM ($75.00)
3) run a 4 conductor wire to each volume control location.
Then wire to each speaker. Don't forget to pull your IR with it!
Niles VCS-2D/VCS-2DIM ($65.00-$75.00). There are cheaper.
4) your movie question depends on how you do your TV/video distribution.
5) a good, 100w+ receiver will do. More if you want more.

I strongly advise consulting an A/V wiring and design specialist.
Good luck
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-03-2000, 10:01 PM
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There is a way to do all of this with simple home-run coax cable:
1) Use an A/V receiver with multi-source capability at the hub. You want one that does multi-source with BOTH audio and video -- some offer only audio. Examples are the Denon AVR-3300 and mid to higher-end Pioneer Elite models. These are at or below the price range that you indicated.
2) Feed the multi-source output (sometimes it's the record output) into a modulator with MTS capability, such as the ChannelPlus 56xx series ( This will put whatever source you've selected onto a UHF or cable channel that you select -- if it is an audio-only source, the screen will be blank.
3) Feed the output of the modulator to a distribution amplifier with an IR engine, like the ChannelPlus 8200 (
4) In each room where you want video capability, just use a TV & tune to the modulated channel.
5) In rooms where you also want audio capability, add a stereo VCR connected to a receiver & speakers. If you're just listening to audio, leave the TV off & listen to the audio output of the VCR tuned to your selected channel through your receiver.
6) In rooms where you want to be able to control the source equipment (e.g. DVD player), insert an IR target, like ChannelPlus 2133, between the coax on the wall and the VCR or TV (in front of any splitters).

This set up will give you:
1) Ability to watch / listen to any source in your main room (at the hub) and a different source (audio or video) in your other rooms.
2) Ability to control on/off and volume in any room and to control the source in any room where you add the IR target.
3) Avoid need for special wiring (beyond home run coax).
4) Avoid using your main receiver to drive multiple sets of speakers.

Disadvantages are:
1) Audio gets modulated into an MTS TV signal -- this may not be audiophile quality, but it sounds very good to me. This is not an issue in your main room, where the A/V receiver is getting the source directly.
2) Need to have a seperate VCR and receiver for rooms where you want audio. With current prices, this is not at all expensive & you may have some extras anyways.

Let me know if you have any questions or need more clarification.

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