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Old 08-05-2013, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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New to all this i could really use some help to get me going in the right direction

currently i am using a sonos speaker for my audio in the house and just a TV without external speakers

i would like to get better audio for the TV and also use it to listen to music.

In addition i would like to have the following

Independent second zone audio (would like to use that on my patio with outdoor speakers)
need to be able to play pandora and such as well as stream music from network
if second zone audio is used can the same music be played on both zones ?

would be nice to have a second zone HDMI (no need for different content just have a second TV in another room)

looking for suggestions on receiver and speakers. Dont want to spend a fortune but dont want garbage. The TV room isnt big so i dont need massive power either.

any help would be appreciated

Mike
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by starzen View Post

Dont want to spend a fortune but dont want garbage.

Do you have a general dollar figure in mind? There are quite a few receivers on the market that should meet all your needs, including Pandora and second HDMI out, but they're not entry level. Good news is that they're not necessarily top tier, either, so there may be some middle ground to work with.

Don't believe everything on the Interwebz! A duck's quack DOES echo!
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:19 AM
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hi there, it sounds to me like you want a fairly basic system. I have to say that there's so many different directions you could go with this depending on the house or apartment you live in. believe it or not money isn't the biggest issue or at least its not the issue one might easily think it is. I have a passion for this type of stuff and it truly is my hobby. check out the pics on my profile. they are unique in that you will see exotic setups, but you won't find many quite like mine. I don't have a whole lot of money in my setup. a lot of it is built from scratch or at least the most important parts of it are.

I have questions more from an installer point of view that would help me better give you advice.

lets look at the tv issue real quick. if you have newer tv that has a toslink optical output on the back of it then I would suggest you go with the BOSE CINEMATE GS2 system for it. it will keep things cheap and simple. the sound is great for what you want to do and it will without a doubt impress you. it features 2 small speakers that you can mount on the wall on each side of the t.v. and subwoofer you can hide next to your tv stand. the wiring is simple. the little speakers have cables that plug into the subwoofer. the subwoofer you plug into the wall power outlet. there's a small box that you would put on top of or in front of your tv that you will run an optical cable to from the back of your tv. that little box also has a cord that will run to and connect to your subwoofer. the system comes with a nice programmable remote control that will operate your tv and blue ray or dvd player.

here's the nice thing about the BOSE CINEMATE GS2 system. its size is one thing. it produces a very impressive sound quality for its size. nobody can dispute that. it is in fact a 2.1 surround sound system. what do I mean by that? well, it has electronics inside that can decode DTS or DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 surround sound coming from your tv and actually sonically project that sound field with 2 speakers and a subwoofer rather than 5 speakers and a subwoofer. is it as good as a true surround sound system? no, but its pretty close.

the way you would hook it up is directly to your tv via TOSLINK OPTICAL. the blue ray player or dvd player or cable box you have would be connected directly to your tv. your tv would act now as the A/V RECEIVER so to speak. its a real simple set up and doesn't take up much space at all and is very user friendly. the price is like $700 I think. they have a cheaper model system, but it doesn't come with as good a remote control and the smaller speakers aren't quite as good either. the cheaper model you can get for 500 new. i'm actually using the BOSE CINEMATE GS2 in my master bedroom with a 42" tv and blueray player and I love it. did I mention i'm no fan of BOSE? well, this is my one exception. BOSE got this one right. its a nice setup for a bedroom.

I look forward to learning more from all of you.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:48 AM
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now on to your zone 2 audio you are talking about. this is where as an installer I would suggest you work backwards so to speak. you mentioned having a 2nd HDMI out for another tv also instead just for your main room.

which ever room is closest to and hopefully borders your back patio, that's the room you want to have your A/V RECEIVER in that has zone 2 capability. the other room I would suggest the BOSE CINEMATE GS2 system to keep the installation simple. the install, if you hire someone, is probably going to cost more than the equipment. I know I would charge too much for the type of installation I do. custom installation work really is for the high end client with some money to spend. if you don't want to spend a fortune then you gotta consider not just the equipment you get, but how you are going to make it work as well.

the new a/v receivers are no longer called HOME THEATER A/V RECEIVERS. now they are called "NETWORK" receivers. why? well because they are designed to utilize internet music streaming websites as a source now. you only need a network receiver if you are going to be using the internet as a source for music. honestly, there are ways around it too where you can hook up an older receiver to your computer and stream music to your computer and use your computer as a source for both audio and video. the thing is, you don't have to have the newest of the newest receivers and don't let anyone convince you otherwise. there is one feature on these new network receivers that you will want as soon as you experience it the first time and that's AIRPLAY. with AIRPLAY you can actually use your iphone or ipad or droid phone to control your music in the zone 2 listening area. it is pretty awesome. its all up to you depending on how much you want to spend.

if I were you and I were on a budget and I didn't care about AIRPLAY or streaming music from an iphone I would opt out of getting a new NETWORK receiver and go with an older unit. YAMAHA RXV 673 was my last receiver. it will do everything you want it to do. you can get it used for just over 100 bucks on craigslist or ebay. its a very powerful receiver for what it is and is very capable too. I think it only has one HDMI output on it, but if you need 2 don't let that bother you. you can go on ebay and get HDMI splitters for 20 bucks and they work just fine. you can get splitters for going into the receiver and splitters for coming out of the receiver. they are cheap. those receivers and others like it from 5 or 6 years ago still work just fine. people are getting rid of them and upgrading to the newer ones because of the new AIRPLAY feature for the most part. i honestly can't see why most people would part with equipment from that era for any other reason unless they were doing a major upgrade with all of their equipment and expanding in all directions. audio formats in use today are still the same (DTS and dolby digital) and so are the video formats. the new 3d TV's and all that exotic stuff you see coming out. i know people that have bought that stuff and they never use it any differently than they used their old tv. these new technologies are great for the enthusiast, but the average joe doesn't use it now and probably never will.

as for speakers I would highly recommend you go with a brand called KLIPSCH and I would buy them used on ebay. they sound great and they are either going to work or not work. the all weather series klipsch you want for outsde zone 2 use will be the reference series. i would not buy anything of lesser quality on the klipsch line up. go check out the KLIPSCH AW525 on ebay. if you want something even better you can move up to the AW650, but then you'll end up in my shoes where you can't turn it up half way without the neighbors complaining. the aw 525 is plenty.

I look forward to learning more from all of you.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:01 PM
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if you must have AIRPLAY and the ability to stream music i would stick with the cheaper AV receivers around 300. i'm a Yamaha fan because they are simple to operate and understand and its my experience that they are the most trouble free. also, their RXV series are typically underrated as far as power goes in contrast to many of its peers. whatever you do don't go out and spend a grand on a receiver because it looks cool. you'll just be wasting your money because you won't use half the functions on it.

I look forward to learning more from all of you.
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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ok, some more information

a few hundred for a receiver and also a few for speakers and then additional for the outdoor speakers

as far as the house and installation i am doing the installation myself. the receiver will be in a room not too far from the patio but it is not the next room.\

definately need a network receiver. As mentioned i need it to play pandora and other internet music as well as music off my NAS drive

the second HDMI is not a must have, was just an idea as sometimes i would like to have the ability to watch TV when i am over in the kitchen which is between the TV room and the patio and while i could just plug in another TV i'd need another cable box and there really isnt a need for different programming on that screen

i looked at the bosemate system. looks nice but it doesnt play any network music
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:57 AM
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I believe most of the new blue ray players have Pandora on them along with Netflix. they aren't expensive. for under 100 bucks you can get a blue ray player that does all kinds different stuff. I personally use Netflix a lot, but my wife likes hulu. I think Pandora might be on there too. for music streaming i'm still using napster/rhapsody. I would explore those possibilities before you rule out the bose cinemate system. there again, you will still need some type of home internet network be it wireless or hardwired. if you go that route spend a few extra bucks if you have a cable modem and get a gigabit router. if you are hardwiring your network then also get a gigabit switch. you will need the switch to equalize the bandwidth in your home network otherwise one device might hog all the bandwidth and everything else is going to buffer. i'm actually running 2 switches in my house with a gigabit router and I haven't had any problems on my end yet. I do tax the modem pretty good though and have to replace it ever so often because i'm working the hell out of it LOL. I got through a cable modem once a year.

the 2nd HDMI output... you can get a splitter for that with a little button you can push or even a remote control to change the output. I don't know that the splitter will send the signal to 2 TV's at once though. something I use a lot of are HDMI / CAT 6 extenders. they are like 20 bucks on ebay. bear in mind they don't last forever. I actually had one burn out on me yesterday and had to order a new one. if you are going over 10 or 15 with an HDMI cable you really should get an extender and some CAT 6 patch cables. patch cables are really cheap if you buy them pre-made. I make my own patch cables since I need custom lenths, but you don't have to do that. i'm sure there are those who might disagree, because they have a better way. personally, I've had no problems with cat 6 / HDMI extenders except for well yesterday. one of them burned out on me. I been using them for a long time now though.

I know how I did my house and i'm trying to think of an easier way for you to do it, but I can't think of anything. where you are going to run into issues is your signal transfer. you have to get the signal from one place in your house to another and that's where you will have issues. its not about the equipment. its about your wiring that will make the difference.

I have seen some products at best buy that use wireless technology to do a lot of what you are talking about doing. how well does it work? I have no idea. i'm old school. I don't do wireless on anything. for me its due to my experience years ago as a gamer. i'm a believer in hardwiring everything especially communication lines. the iphones and the ipad are the only thing I do wireless in my house. everything else is plugged in.

there are people on this site that are proffessionals. they are building smart houses and all of that. i'm not at that level yet, but i'm certain that the work I have done closes a huge gap between what they are doing for the rich people and what the average person has. I have to tell you that it was a lot of work. it entailed running a lot communication wiring. i'm a big fan of cat 6 and cat 6A cable for running long distance cable runs. with the budget you are talking about you may need to go wireless in order to get close to what you want to achieve.

HERE'S SOME ADVICE IF YOU DECIDE TO START RUNNING NETWORK CABLE IN YOUR HOUSE TO ACCOMODATE THE NEEDED SIGNAL TRANSFER

1. go on youtube and watch some videos of splicing and terminating network cable. visit different sites that offer training videos and watch closely.

2. don't just jump into it. do your research. have a very good idea of what you want to do before you do it.

3. unless you are a pro it will take you several attempts to get a male jack on a network cable correctly. each time you mess up you will end up having to resplice and start over. you lose 3 to 4 inches of network cable after each attempt and it can add up. I say this because I want you to consider the benefits of running conduit first if you are planning to open up walls and your ceiling to run your cable through. you don't want to spend all that time and effort opening walls and running your cable and then after the walls are patched up and you start making your connections you end up messing it all up by running out of cable. most installers don't run network cable through conduit. they will provide for some type of means to stow extra wire somewhere, but over time you will run out of network cable from the constant splicing. nothing lasts forever. if you have conduit in your house then you can just fish a brand new network cable through and its no big deal. network cable is cheap and that's why I like it. my zone 2 system for example. i'm using cat 6 cable that was cheap. 1,000 foot roll of it for only 65 bucks on ebay and it works fine - no issues at all.

4. you really want to do your homework on this first though. there's a lot of issues to consider when running network cable. I have found that if I run it through conduit that alleviate 99 percent of all issues that can possibly come up. yes, conduit is a lot of work to install but when its in its in. you don't have to mess around anymore.

5. regardless of how you run your network cable be sure to follow a few simple rules. the emphasis should always be on preserving the condition of that cable as it came out of the factory. if you damage it the slightest bit it can fail on you.

NEVER KINK IT
always pull on it from the outer jacket of the cable and never from the individual twisted pairs (this is opposite of the way you would pull electrical wire)
if you fix it to the outside of the walls or on your base boards use some type of clip to support the cable. don't just staple it down.
never cross a communication line with a power line - always keep them separated (this is the strongest argument for using conduit I think)


there's a lot to be said about a project like this. I don't know what your background is as far your occupation and what not, but its helpful if you try to look at it through the eyes of a construction worker for example. I know i'm getting off topic, but stay with me for a minute. in most construction trades you have to REVERSE ENGINEER things in order to develop a plan. you take the idea of finished project no matter what it is and you work backwards in determining what steps you have to take to achieve the finish goal. everything from roads to high rise buildings to bridges... that's pretty much how we do it. you have to try to think like a construction worker.

so, you determine where you want all your tvs and all your speakers and then you figure out how you are going to get the signal to them. don't forget about electrical power, because you have to plug all these things in too. the equipment needed to make it work should be your last concern. it should suffice to know only that you need to get a signal from point A to point B. it doesn't matter if its speaker wire or HDMI or COMPONENT VIDEO or what it is. you just gotta get it from point A to point B. if you go with network cable its the easiest and cheapest way. network cable is bidirectional so all you gotta do is just get it installed. you worry about the connections after its in. speaker wire the same thing.

you are going to see threads on this site about how people are installing electrical subpanels and things like that - that doesn't apply to you. why? because you aren't ever going to run anything that requires it. I do have dedicated circuits for my main zone and my zone 2 systems, but i'm running some high powered equipment and there may come a point where I step it up a few notches and run some even higher powered equipment. what I have already is pretty extreme for a single family home. you don't have to go that far to do what you want to do so you can enjoy yourself. I would recommend running conduit though for your communication cables. in the end you'll be glad you did.

I look forward to learning more from all of you.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the advice. As far as the network side goes i am all set. This is what i do for a living for quite a while. As i mentioned i was really looking for recommendations on the receiver mostly and speakers that can handle the items i want solved
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:40 AM
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There are many AVRs out there that have 2 zones, Internet radio, and two HDMI outputs - this one is the Onkyo TX-NR616 and is $350:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882120197

I would recommend staying away from anything Bose, but one previous suggestion that I do agree with is that you could go with an AVR that doesn't have Internet radio and add that feature through a Blu-Ray player. Many of the previous generation AVRs without network capability can be had for a lot less and if you are going to get a BD player, that could be a real possibility.

If budget is a primary concern, I always recommend Polk speakers. You could even get some mid-series floor standing speakers for your mains that are on sale for around $250 - these are the Polk Monitor 55T for $128 each:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290277

For outdoor speakers, I will let your budget dictate your choice. Good luck.

2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks

just saw some deals on the following receiver. Good choice ?

Pioneer SC-1222-K 7.2 Channel Receiver

Also newegg has a deal on the Klippsch Synergy F-10. THese or the Polk 55T ?
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by starzen View Post

thanks

just saw some deals on the following receiver. Good choice ?

Pioneer SC-1222-K 7.2 Channel Receiver

Also newegg has a deal on the Klippsch Synergy F-10. THese or the Polk 55T ?

personally I would never buy a KLIPSCH SYNERGY product. REFERENCE SERIES! that's what you want man. you can get them cheap if you shop around. I guess i'm just spoiled by the higher end klipsch sound. their cheap stuff really is junk as far as i'm concerned man. there's just no comparison in sound. polk audio? the only polk audio I've ever heard that impressed me were their very expensive speakers man. those are in the thousands of dollars each price range. for the money stick with klipsch. you can't go wrong with klipsch if you are looking getting the best bang for the buck. to get better than a reference klipsch you gotta spend twice as much on another brand. that's just my opinion anyways.

I look forward to learning more from all of you.
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