Newbie seeking receiver and IFR assistance - AVS Forum
Receivers, Amps, and Processors > Newbie seeking receiver and IFR assistance
Wolzy15 11:35 AM 07-18-2014
First post for this newbie. I’m not a techie by any means. Iknow entry-level stuff about audio/video equipment set up so I’m looking forhelp, specifically on IFR stuff and receivers with HDMI switching capabilitiesand multiple zones.
My wife and I are building a house (ready in Oct/Nov) and mybuilder only allows one guy to come in before drywall to run wires and doinitial a/v set up. I currently have thefollowing equipment (don’t laugh):
10 yr old 5.1 ch Yamaha receiver
Polk tsi300 towers
Klipsch 10” powered sub
10 yr old 42” Sony rear projection (original bulb finally went about 6 monthsago!)
42” Samsung LCD (probably 3-4 years old. This will probably go above fireplace upstairs)

Downstairs - I had him quote me rear in-ceiling surrounds, anew center channel, and receiver. Iplanned on using my Polk towers and Klipsch sub. A new tv will come later down the line.
Upstairs – I had him quote me two in-ceiling speakers formusic, a pair of speakers for the outside patio, a receiver, and IFR set upwith remote as I’m having all the components in the coat closet.
Here’s the quote I got back:
Downstairs
Receiver – Integra DTR20.4 - $660.00
Center Channel – Paradigm Center 1 - $320.00
In-Ceiling Rears – Sonance VP62R - $340.00/pair
Custom speaker boxes - $50.00
Subwoofer cable - $50.00
Front Left/Right (for Polk towers) - $60.00
Smurf tube - $75.00
Install speaker boxes - $100.00

Upstairs
Receiver – Integra DTR30.5 - $945.00
In-Ceiling speakers – Sonance VP62R - $340.00/pair
Outdoor speakers – Episode ESAW6 - $310.00/pair
Remote – Universal MX880/MRF260 - $600.00
HDMI Cable – Binary B3HD15 (50ft?) - $150.00
Cat5 Cable - $25.00
Run HDMI Cable - $25.00
Run speaker wire for patio - $60.00
Labor for complete set up - $800.00

First of all, I’m sure this is all really nice stuff, but I feel that it is abit too nice for what I need. In doingresearch, the remote seems a bit excessive and since the programming capabilitiesare not available to consumers, it sounds like a money pit since he would haveto fix it if anything went wrong. Also,I feel I can find receivers (Onkyo, Yamaha, Denon, etc.) that will come closeto doing what those Integra’s do for a lot less money. If I’m running the one HDMI cable from the TVto the receiver in the closet, I must have a receiver capable of HDMIswitching, correct? As for the IFR issue…canI just use something like this?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Wolzy15 01:17 PM 07-18-2014
Again...any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Selden Ball's Avatar Selden Ball 03:21 PM 07-18-2014
When purchasing equipment through an installer, you aren't really paying for just the equipment. The "line item" prices include his overhead costs, and reduces the price he needs to quote for installation. You aren't just paying for the hardware, but also for his expertise. As a result, if you decide to purchase equipment on your own, he'll have to charge more to run cables and make things work together, in addition to taking longer to get it to work properly, since he probably won't be familiar with it.

.4 and .5 series (and the previous .3) Integra equipment include HDMI switching with at least a half-dozen inputs. They're essentially the same as comparable Onkyo models, repackaged for custom installers, and come with longer warranties. Integra receiver manuals are freely available for downloading from Onkyo's Web site.

Your description suggests that you might be getting "whole house" audio control. That's just a start toward whole-house automation. Getting everything to work together is not easy, including proper amplification for the speaker systems in other rooms. If you really just want simple per-receiver IR control, you need to tell the installer that up-front, so he doesn't waste his time and yours installing something you really don't want.

Don't forget to include ventilation exhaust fans in the closets into another open space (attic?). Enclosed equipment gets hot, which drastically reduces its lifetime.

Another thing to discuss with the installer is making sure it'll be easy to add additional speakers and speaker cable runs in your main TV room. This year's Onkyo (and Integra) receiver models (most of which will be released this fall) will include support for Dolby Atmos, which will make good use of additional overhead speakers.

Bear in mind that having a TV over the fireplace is going to be uncomfortable for those watching it. Craning your neck up to look at it can get painful after a while. Looking down is easier than looking up. That's one reason for considering not using in-ceiling speakers: you may want to change the orientation of the TV and speakers by 90 degrees to use another wall.

I hope these comments help a little.
Wolzy15 09:40 AM 07-19-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
When purchasing equipment through an installer, you aren't really paying for just the equipment. The "line item" prices include his overhead costs, and reduces the price he needs to quote for installation. You aren't just paying for the hardware, but also for his expertise. As a result, if you decide to purchase equipment on your own, he'll have to charge more to run cables and make things work together, in addition to taking longer to get it to work properly, since he probably won't be familiar with it.

.4 and .5 series (and the previous .3) Integra equipment include HDMI switching with at least a half-dozen inputs. They're essentially the same as comparable Onkyo models, repackaged for custom installers, and come with longer warranties. Integra receiver manuals are freely available for downloading from Onkyo's Web site.

Your description suggests that you might be getting "whole house" audio control. That's just a start toward whole-house automation. Getting everything to work together is not easy, including proper amplification for the speaker systems in other rooms. If you really just want simple per-receiver IR control, you need to tell the installer that up-front, so he doesn't waste his time and yours installing something you really don't want.

Don't forget to include ventilation exhaust fans in the closets into another open space (attic?). Enclosed equipment gets hot, which drastically reduces its lifetime.

Another thing to discuss with the installer is making sure it'll be easy to add additional speakers and speaker cable runs in your main TV room. This year's Onkyo (and Integra) receiver models (most of which will be released this fall) will include support for Dolby Atmos, which will make good use of additional overhead speakers.

Bear in mind that having a TV over the fireplace is going to be uncomfortable for those watching it. Craning your neck up to look at it can get painful after a while. Looking down is easier than looking up. That's one reason for considering not using in-ceiling speakers: you may want to change the orientation of the TV and speakers by 90 degrees to use another wall.

I hope these comments help a little.
Selden - Thanks for the reply. I guess the thing that bothers me the most is I don't really have a choice in all of this. The custom installer that my builder chose is the only authorized person do work on my house before closing. If I don't install this stuff now, I'd have to spend much more ripping out drywall to re-do everything. As for the IR control, would one controller for all components be fabulous? Yes, without question. I'm the type of person that likes to have options and with a controller like that, I'm at the mercy of the custom installer once again. Like I previously said...I'm an amateur when it comes to this stuff and maybe no matter which custom installer it was, I would be looking at the same price and the same issues. I guess I'm just stubborn and frugal.

I won't have "whole house" audio control. I'll have one system that runs my downstairs living space and another system to essentially listen to music upstairs in the living room and outdoor patio. I won't have speakers in any of the bedrooms, bathroom, or office areas. I don't like the tv above the fireplace (located in the corner) either, but my options are very limited. Windows take up the wall to the south of the fireplace and a piano will take up the space on the other side.

I'm probably going to have him run the wires, install the ceiling/outdoor speakers and I'll attempt to do the rest. Will it turn out as nice as he would've done it. No, but I can live with that if it saves me $2k. I have more important things to take care of before this audio system (furniture, fence, washer/dryer, fridge - just to name a few).

Again, I appreciate the reply. If anyone else wants to chime in, I'm all ears. Thanks.
Selden Ball's Avatar Selden Ball 09:34 AM 07-21-2014
Wolzy,

You might get more authoritative information if you were to post your questions in the "A/V distribution" forum at http://www.avsforum.com/forum/36-home-v-distribution/

You're not alone in having that kind of problem.
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