Originally Posted by arrogant
About to buy this receiver, and just want to verify a few things. Looking to have two independent video zones going at the same time with a third audio only zone. The first video zone will include audio of 5.1, the second video zone will include 2.0 or possibly 2.1, and the audio only zone will be 2.0. All 3 zones must be able to work at the same exact time. Will this receiver suffice? Also, there are multiple Ethernet ports in this device, what is the point of all these ports? Does it effectively act as a switch? One more question, how much space inside the cabinet will this thing need? I am going to have a cabinet custom built, and I would like to build it to give the receiver ample room to breathe.
I suggest you spend some time reading through this thread. Don't have to read EVERY post, but devoting an hour of your life before you drop $2k on a product will yield a lot of benefit. For example, heat / ventilation has been discussed ad nauseum, and the existence of the 4-port ethernet hub is noted right at the beginning of the thread. You'll learn a lot of stuff you may not have even thought of. I would suggest starting from the beginning and reading for a while until it gets repetitive, and then skipping forward and just reading the past few hundred posts to catch up to current stuff.
Anyway, here's the deal:
- Easy one first... yes, the multiple ethernet ports are because there is a built-in network hub.
- If you are building a custom cabinet, I would integrate ACTIVE cooling as part of the design. Integrate some fans to exhaust heat. This will be beneficial regardless of what components you add in the future (e.g. amps, HTPCs, game systems, etc). With a good system, you will probably be fine leaving an inch or two on either side of the unit and 3-4 inches on top.
- The audio-only zone is pretty straightforward. That's a standard multizone implementation, just be aware of the limitation that only analog audio and internally tuned network sources can be output as Zone audio. So HDMI or digital audio sources will not be accessible; for these inputs, if you want them available to other zones you will have to "double connect" with standard analog RCA's in parallel with the digital connection. You CAN play digital sources to other zones using the "All Zone Stereo" party mode function, but it requires all zones to be synced to the same source, so for independent function you need the analog cables. If the audio only zone will basically just be outputting network audio (e.g. Pandora, Internet radio, streamed audio from a media server) then it's a moot point, no extra cabling needed.
- The video zone is a little trickier. The 4520 has a total of four independent zones, Main Zone plus three others. Zone 2 and Zone 3 are standard zones, which can output stereo audio as described above, and can also output component video. However, there is NO video conversion to these zones, so utilizing the component video output will require component video connections from the sources. Thus, not very practical with modern setups where it is assumed that all video is HDM sourced. The Zone 4 output is actually a built-in HDMI matrix switch; it can output any HDMI input independently from the Main Zone. However, it is just a *switch*, it does not process the signal (e.g. no audio processing and amplification) so utilizing the Zone 4 matrix HDMI output will require an additional "HDMI sink" to receive and process the signal.
So for your setup, assuming you will have all HDMI video sources for the second video zone (making the component video output to Zone 2/3 a non starter), you have the following basic options:
OPTION 1) If you don't need fancy audio in the second video zone, connect the Zone 4 HDMI output directly to a HDMI display. You can watch one HDMI source in the Main Zone with surround sound, and another HDMI source on the other TV using basic TV audio. If you want better audio, use the audio output of the TV itself to drive a soundbar or a pair of speakers.
OPTION 2) If you want more audio capability in the second video zone, connect the Zone 4 HDMI output to a second HDMI receiver, which will be the audio/video hub for that zone.