Originally Posted by dgoldberg
I have an AVR 2600. In addition to my TV, DVD player, and cable box I also have an apple TV hooked up. I'd like to hook up a pair of outdoor speakers in zone 2 and i have a few questions for you experts:
1) can I use an outdoor volume knob to control the zone 2 volume?
Yes. I've had an AVR254, the 2600's predecessor, setup this way (impedance matching volume control/8ohm speakers outside) without issue. Keep the 2600's Zone2 volume level up higher, use the external volume control to actually set the volume level (though the AVR Z2 volume control can be left at fixed level and used as a limit/max, and can always be lowered from inside to reduce level outside whenever desired / don't feel like walking outside)
Remember, you will be using what was the surround back channels to power the outdoor speakers - so main zone limited to 5.1
Note: The Zone2 speakers are being powered by the AVR and it's power supply. As the 2600/3600 do not have a dual secondary style power supply such as their predecessors, demanding material/speakers/volume level in Zone2 will also affect the peak performance capability of all channels
in Zone1, and vice versa. This is of little concern under normal circumstances / operation.
BTW: If you can mount the volume controller in a shaded or covered area, you may want to consider a model with built-in IR sensor/repeater system to send commands back to the AVR to change sources and for playback control of other IR controlled sources.
2) can I access the apple tv for both the indoor and outdoor speakers, and just the outdoor speakers?
Zone 2 is limited to analog L/R stereo audio sources.
If using an original Apple TV, use the analog RCA connections to receiver for the Zone 2 audio source. The main room source can remain HDMI or Optical/Coax.
If using a newer Apple TV with digital-only outputs, you will need an adapter such as this from Monoprice to convert the digital Optical/Toslink output to stereo analog;
*Apple TV's output must be 2.0 PCM (digital stereo)
Again, main room can remain HDMI
With the stereo analog connection made, use the source setup/settings menu to select this new analog connection as the Zone2 audio source for whatever source selection you are using for the Apple TV .
Zone2 can use an analog stereo audio input regardless of what is going on in the main room (including -off-, only Zone2 on)
3) can I change the volume of both?
Yes, AVR's Zone 2 volume control is independent of main room. Use remote and slide selector to Zone 2, then use remote volume control buttons to adjust Zone2 volume. Or if using the external control as mentioned earlier, just use that for Zone2 volume.
Use the remote (set to zone1) or AVR volume knob to control main room volume as before.
As the apple tv is being used as a shared source device for both zones, changes to it's volume output will affect both zones.
If you use the Apple TV's volume control (older versions), the level will be cut in both zones equally. When using airplay, reducing volume from streaming device iphone/ipod/ipad will also cut volume level in both zones equally.
4) can I hook up another apple tv, or airport express so that I can control the outdoor speakers my the remote iPhone app?
Thank you so much
You will be able to use the remote app with just the one apple tv, however of course the content and controls will be the same in both zones if both zones are using the same Apple TV as the source.
Zone 2 volume level will ultimately be controlled by AVR and/or your optional external volume control. Though remote app's volume control (when/where applicable) can always be used to REDUCE volume level without touching AVR Zone2 volume and/or an external volume control. I would recommend to just use the external/outdoor volume controller only, however.
If you want to be able to have different audio streams playing in each zone, then yes you will need more than one source device (or a multi-stream source device, such as a media server). If you want to stream content from a different Apple device in each zone, another apple tv or airport express will be needed and used as another
AVR source input.
Remember the AVR 2600's Zone2 is limited to analog stereo analog, so a new Apple TV will require an adapter such as that linked earlier. The Airport express has analog audio output ,no third-party adapter required.