Multi room audio - Need solution - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-07-2013, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I am building a house and i got 4 rooms speakers prewired with Volume control prewire at each room.

Appart from this I have 5.1 wired in Living room and 7.1 wired in my media room separately.

Guy from design center told that all of the wires will end in one place at Living room and for media room wires will end in that room itself.


I need to understand what I need to buy to implement multi room solution.

My budget is 2k to 3k for equipments excluding speakers. Could you pls help me list down equipments that would work under my budget??


Thanks a lot...

Regards
Arul
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-07-2013, 10:35 AM
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If your media room is completely separate from the distributed audio then take that out of the equation - you will need local sources for that.

It sounds like the rest of the gear will end up pulled to the family room. You can get any two-zone A/V receiver (Denon 2113CI for example) and use the main zone and amplifier outputs for your local speaker and source amplification. Then, use 'zone-2' audio output from the receiver to feed any source to an external amplifier which is connected to the other rooms.

Let's say you get 2 Denon 3313 AV Receivers (media room and living room surround) - they have dropped well under $1,000 now (end of model year), and those will provide good power and the ability to add an external amplifier if you want to later on for more power.

Now pick up a separate two channel amplifier for the rest of your speakers, or pick up a multi-channel 8 or 12 channel amplifier via eBay (around $500).

So, you pretty much can have a very good setup with some money left over for right around $2,000. That leaves you $1,000 if you want to pick up a dedicated 5 channel amp for the media room setup, or get a better subwoofer somewhere.

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post #3 of 11 Old 05-07-2013, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arul_nandha View Post

Hi,

I am building a house and i got 4 rooms speakers prewired with Volume control prewire at each room.

Appart from this I have 5.1 wired in Living room and 7.1 wired in my media room separately.

Guy from design center told that all of the wires will end in one place at Living room and for media room wires will end in that room itself.


I need to understand what I need to buy to implement multi room solution.

My budget is 2k to 3k for equipments excluding speakers. Could you pls help me list down equipments that would work under my budget??


Thanks a lot...

Regards
Arul

Above you mentioned Volume Control prewire..
Make sure that you use a quality stepped transformer based type such as a SpeakerCraft VSI45, and not the cheaper, less reliable L Pad...

Just my $0.02... 👍😉
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-07-2013, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi AV_Integerated....
If I put Denon 2113CI or even powerful av receiver, will it support volume controls on each room? how do I implement volume controls connected to audio video receiver?


Hi M_Code

They don't give any volume controls, they prewire cat5 for volume control.
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-08-2013, 08:53 AM
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If you wired a CAT-5 to each 'volume control' location then you are going to go up several price brackets because your system was designed to use 'smart' keypads, and not traditional volume controls. A typical generic volume control has the speaker wiring run right through the volume control itself so you can adjust volume at the volume control. A smart keypad allows you to adjust volume, pick different sources, and turn a specific room/location on and off right from the keypad.

This price difference is generally a couple thousand dollars for the preamp/amplifier and smart keypads. It almost always allows all zones to be run independently from each other.

So, something like this:
http://www.nilesaudio.com/product.php?prodID=ZR-4 SERIES2&recordID=ZR-4 Multizone Kit&categoryID=Multizone Products&catcdID=2&prdcdID=FG01610

Price for that unit seems to be around $1,800 for that unit alone.

It handles discrete amplification, includes keypads, includes pre-amplifier, and source selection capabilities, but that unit alone eats up most of your budget. Niles, Speakercraft, and Sonance all make some type of distributed audio system which is similar I believe and you should look for a deal/special from any of them.

ie: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Niles-ZR4-Series-2-Open-Box-4-Source-4-Zone-Audio-MultiZone-Receiver-/171021310043?pt=Receivers_Tuners&hash=item27d1aa185b

Anyway, you would really separate everything and treat it like 3 individual setups... Your media room (surround), your living room (surround), and your distributed audio system (4 zones). The keypads would go in the wall and give you local source selection and volume control, the univeral remote it comes with can be used to pass commands onto devices (track up/down/etc.) as needed. Throw an AppleTV or similar in there and you can get control from your pocket of your distributed music if you want.

The tough part for me is that I don't use that type of system, but I am familiar with them. I can't offer you deep thoughts on your options, but you have quite a few and I would consider most of your options fairly similar. The Niles solution I listed I like because it seems to be plug-and-play.

Plug in a keypad (let's call it zone 2), then plug the other end of the cat-5 into zone-2 on the Niles main box, then plug your speakers from zone 2 into the amplified output on the Niles main box, and plug all your sources into the Niles main box, and plug it in. Your keypad should work immediately. Pretty straightforward for the audio newbie.

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post #6 of 11 Old 05-08-2013, 12:36 PM
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Before we can recommend hardware we need to know How the system was wired?
CAT5? Speaker wire?

This will have a direct cost and feature impact for the final system...

In our AV install biz, when we quote a system we breakout the respective labor, materials & hardware costs all tied to various performance and feature levels to match various budgets.
Today the residential systems (audio, video, security, lighting, control) are very advanced with incredible features and capability at multiple cost levels..
By separating the actual wiring install by itself from from the target hardware, one is severely limiting certain stepup options that may be desired later on. Thats why at the construction build-out time when the walls are open it is far more cost-effective to install the necessary wire and materials then to go back later..

Just my $0.02... 👍😉
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-08-2013, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot for the suggestion ...
This is exactly I think i am looking for as functionality i need.
Budget for hardware is ok as well. Pls tell me if following setup will work

I already Denon 1913 7.1

If i hook Sat receiver or Cable setup box to Denon via hdmi and take audio out via RCA cable (yellow & Red ones) from St receiver and input to Nile multi zone audio receiver as one of the inputs, Will I be able to pull that Sat receiver audio in my other room zones while Living room still run by Denon sending 5.1 output to living room speakers???

I would like to know what are the other good brands that I could consider for 4 zone multi audio receivers.
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-08-2013, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Good question.. now I got all the info from the design center tech guy. This is how they wired.

Media room
7.1 Speaker wired
cat5, hdmi, component connection between Receiver location (in the media room) to Projecter block (at the ceiling).

Above setup is completely isolated to other wiring.

Living room
5.1 speaker wired and all ending at one location in living room.

4 zone speakers
8 speakers wired in 4 rooms and all are ending at same location in living room.
cat5 is running from living room location to all 4 rooms for volume control installation.

They also prewired universal port in living, media and master bed room. Not sure what is that for, he said it is used for cable and dish box connection. I believe this connection is between outside to inside wiring for cable or sat service.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-08-2013, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arul_nandha View Post

Thanks a lot for the suggestion ...
This is exactly I think i am looking for as functionality i need.
Budget for hardware is ok as well. Pls tell me if following setup will work

I already Denon 1913 7.1

If i hook Sat receiver or Cable setup box to Denon via hdmi and take audio out via RCA cable (yellow & Red ones) from St receiver and input to Nile multi zone audio receiver as one of the inputs, Will I be able to pull that Sat receiver audio in my other room zones while Living room still run by Denon sending 5.1 output to living room speakers???

I would like to know what are the other good brands that I could consider for 4 zone multi audio receivers.
You can look at what Niles, Speakercraft, Sonance, and others have, but Niles is pretty well regarded.

For hookups, you kind of have it right.

Sat Receiver connected to your Denon via HDMI
Sat Receiver connected to the NILES via Red/White RCA cables - Yellow is for video, and you aren't distributing video - so just the red/white analog audio cables.
Blu-ray Disc Player - Connected to the Denon via HDMI
Blu-ray Disc Player - Connected to the Niles via Red/ White RCA cables
AppleTV (or similar) - Connected to the Denon via HDMI
AppleTV - Connected to a Toslink to RCA DAC then connected to the Niles via the red/white RCA cables coming out of the DAC.

You pretty much are on pace now.

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post #10 of 11 Old 05-08-2013, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arul_nandha View Post

Good question.. now I got all the info from the design center tech guy. This is how they wired.

Media room
7.1 Speaker wired
cat5, hdmi, component connection between Receiver location (in the media room) to Projecter block (at the ceiling).

Above setup is completely isolated to other wiring.

Living room
5.1 speaker wired and all ending at one location in living room.

4 zone speakers
8 speakers wired in 4 rooms and all are ending at same location in living room.
cat5 is running from living room location to all 4 rooms for volume control installation.

They also prewired universal port in living, media and master bed room. Not sure what is that for, he said it is used for cable and dish box connection. I believe this connection is between outside to inside wiring for cable or sat service.

Wish they wired more cat cables to your projector, but to late now.
Cat-5 is the 'magic' cable that supports about 100 things different than networking, as well as networking. It's pretty amazing stuff.

Anyway, your 'universal port' is a multi-media jack that typically has 2-RG6 coax cables and 2 pieces of cat-5 in it. It allows for a cable box, a phone, and a Ethernet wired connection... This is TYPICAL, but not required.

My recommendation:
Get a screwdriver and pull off the wall plates and look behind them. Low voltage cabling can't shock you so there is no harm in doing this at any location that isn't a power outlet. See what cables are behind those plates so you can know for sure what is there. The 'zone speaker' locations have speaker wires run to the speaker, but is the wire run to the wall as well where the volume control would be? Or is the only wire at the wall location the cat-5 cable? Easiest way to tell is to pull off the wall plate and look with your own eyes to see if two cables are there.

This installation portion is not incredibly difficult, but you may want to hire someone to come out for a day to install everything for you and test it all instead of learning to set it all up yourself.

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
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post #11 of 11 Old 05-09-2013, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks AV_Integrated, I will take a look at those manufacturer's products

Let us say we stick to this setup as of now as below.


Sat Receiver connected to your Denon via HDMI
Sat Receiver connected to the NILES via Red/White RCA cables - Yellow is for video, and you aren't distributing video - so just the red/white analog audio cables.
Blu-ray Disc Player - Connected to the Denon via HDMI
Blu-ray Disc Player - Connected to the Niles via Red/ White RCA cables
AppleTV (or similar) - Connected to the Denon via HDMI
AppleTV - Connected to a Toslink to RCA DAC then connected to the Niles via the red/white RCA cables coming out of the DAC.

Question1: When I watch Sat receiver movie or news in the living room thru Denon, will I be able to hear the audio in another zone too simultaneously??

Regarding wiring, yes I have separate Cat5 wires running for both Projector location and to the volume control location. Wiring for speakers are separate.

Question2: With above setup, say Sat receiver is playing in living room, can I control my ipod or CD player using Volume control (since I have cat5 wiring) and listen to it without disturbing Sat playing for living room. I guess this basic question, just want to clarify again.

Since my wall insulation is going to be foam, I need to make sure all the corners covered, if i need to make wiring change i need to do it now. Suggest me if any wiring i am missing.

Thanks a lot for all your suggestions guys.. really appreciate it.
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