I have just moved into a new (actually 4 years old) house. The house I moved from only had a TV, a DVD player and a DVR cable box.
Now for the new house. It was a foreclosure and understandably many things were taken out. Please bear with me while I try to set the stage for the problem and am not very well versed in techspeak.
1. At the entertainment center recess there are 2 bundles of wires hanging from the wall at power outlet height.
Bundle 1 - There are 5 pairs of 14 ga wires with the ends stripped and a wire with a single RCA plug.
Bundle 2 - There are four 4 conductor 16 ga cables, with ends stripped, labeled 1, 11, 1111, 1111. There is one 4 conductor 16 ga cable with ends stripped and a yellow sleeve on it. There are five CAT 5 cables with RJ45 plugs. Four are labled 1,11,111, 1111 and one is a different color.
2. There are CAT5 cables with RJ45 plugs at 5 locations throughout the house. These are at shoulder height and just hang through a hole in the box faceplate.
3. There are ceiling speaker pairs in 3 rooms (DR, MBR, Loft), 1 speaker pair outside and a single ceiling speaker in the kitchen.
4. There are five ceiling speakers in the family room.
This completes the setup and now on to the current actions.
After doing some research I discovered that I have a home theater and "Whole House Audio". I bought a Sony 7.1 receiver and connected the TV, DVD player and cable box with HDMI cables. I also connected the 5 family room (Bundle 1) ceiling speakers to the receiver in 5.0 fashion. Viola! I now have a functional home theater and my wife thinks I am a technical wiz. I do not have a sub so the RCA plug is not connected.
Now she wants to know if there is something I can do about the CAT5 wires hanging from the walls and why don't the ceiling speakers in the other rooms work.
I discovered that the CAT5 wall box wires go to the entertainment center as well as wires from each of the speakers in the other rooms (Bundle 2). The speaker wires do not go through the wall boxes.
After some more research I found out that we have a 5 zone speaker system and the CAT 5 wires are to control the audio source, speaker volume and other things.
What we would like to have is some background music the other rooms with wall mount volume controls. I think this would be defined as a 1 source, 5 zone system.
Now for the problem.
I only need a very simple single source multizone controller using simple rotary wall mount on/off/volume controls in each zone. Going from room to room to turn it on or off is of no concern. I do that now with lights, AC, TV, etc.
I have found several 6 source, 6 zone systems with keypad controls but I have no use for the 6 source capability. I also have no use for keypad control (IR, IPOD, computer, controlling all zones from all locations, party mode, video distribution, intercom, etc.)
Since I have just paid $750 for a receiver I do not want to pay another $2000 -$5000 for the multi source/keypad capability that will probably never be used. If for some strange reason in the future I (read wife) will want the extra bells and whistles I know that can be done.
At a reasonable price I have found some 6 zone speaker selector/amps but only with local controls. They require setting the volume for each zone at the entertainment center.
I do not want to reroute the speaker wires through the wall boxes for serial volume control.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.