AVS Special Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto area, Canada
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Actually, that question isn't necessarily as simple as it may seem at first. Most AVRs have a mode which will do stereo to all channels ("all channel stereo", "all zone stereo", "7 channel stereo", "party mode", etc.), but you'll still have left and right speaker differences.
Even AVRs with mono modes may not do it the way you want. e.g. mine has "mono movie" which puts one channel of sound to all speakers, but it assumes a mono source for that, like from an old movie. So that's not exactly what you want either, since you presumably want it to mix L and R from a stereo source into mono first, and then distribute that.
Considering all the fancy A/V stuff my AVR does, it can't do exactly what you want. It can do half of it in various ways, including distributing mono (mixed L + R) to a couple speakers in another "zone", but it has no way to take a stereo source, mix it to mono, and distribute that to all the multi-channel speakers, all by itself without external help i.e. to do what you want it requires a mono source, which in this day of stereo (at least) inputs, requires a mixer and maybe a Y cable to input the mono to both L and R.
I can see why you might want to do this. Since you brought it up, even though I have no need for it, I'm kind of surprised it isn't easier, doesn't seem like a lot to ask of an AVR. Though admittedly not at all what they're designed for.