Best Solution For A Multi Zone Control... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-14-2013, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I am trying to find an optimum and cost-reasonable solution for a project I am working on.  I am trying to determine the best way to control everything.

 

The project will be a 2000 sq ft basement. There will be three "zones" I wish to control.  The basement is divided into two seperate rooms.  One room will be laid out like a rec room.  Let's call this Zone 1.  The Rec Room will have four seperate TVs in it.  One TV to each wall.  All TV audio will come from sound bars located on each TV.  All TVs in this entire project will be receiving full 1.4 signal with ethernet in HDMI.

 

The other large room is about 20 ft x 60 ft in dimension.  At one end of this room is a 7.2 Home theater with a Sharp 80" LCD screen. The receiver used for the theater is an Onkyo TX-NR626.  We will call this Zone 2.

 

At the end of this room is a bar.  The bar has a TV framed into the back wall behind the bar.  That TV will use its own speakers for audio.  This will be Zone 3.

 

All of the six screens will feed back to an 8x8 HDMI matrix in a closet.  I have not selected which matrix to go with yet.  Any advice on that would be greatly appreciated!

 

In the closet are also the following four sources: 1)Dish Client, 2)Dish Client, 3)AppleTV, 4)AppleTV, 5)Samsung BluRay Player.  The Onkyo receiver will be in this closet, as well, with the sources and the matrix.

 

What I want is an "idiot-proof" way of controlling this assembly via a Smart Phone or iPad, and possibly with a remote.  This project requires something much more than a Harmony Ultimate Control, I believe!

 

So, I need help with a control solution that is reasonably affordable, and then a recommendation on a 8x8 HDMI matrix (not over CAT5) that is 1.4 compliant.

 

Thanks so much for your help!

 

Jon

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post #2 of 7 Old 11-15-2013, 04:49 AM
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Check out Roomie Remote. You would probably want to make each TV a "room".
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-15-2013, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Very cool! I just briefly checked out their website. I need to research it further.

Initially, my concern is how it will communicate with all the devices if the screens are in various zones, and the electronics are in a closet behind closed doors.

I really hope Roomie can do this!

Jon
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-15-2013, 08:36 AM
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irule is another similar solution to Roomie. Large thread here about both products. I'm an iRule guy myself. My understanding is that the main difference is the customization options available with iRule. It has a higher learning curve but with that comes the ability to design your remote interface from the bottom up to function and look exactly as you need it.

Both require a piece of hardware from global cache to enable signals from your ipod/ipad/android device to communicate with your IR or Serial controllable AV equipment.

If your basement isn't finished yet, make sure to run extra CAT5/6 to each TV location or potential equipment location to be used for IR. I use iRule to control TVs in my basement, living room, family room and kitchen. I used 1 twisted pair from within a cat5 cable to extend the IR buds from the globacl cache ITACH IP2IR device to these remote locations from where the IP2IR is located in my equipment rack. You could also put a IP2IR device at each TV location but that adds cost, you'd still need a cat5 cable at the TV location (though it sounds like you'll have ethernet available via 1.4 HDMI). You could also go with the wireless ITACHs.

Equipment that is IP controllable, such as many newer AVRs (unsure about your Onkyo) require no extra equipment for control. I control my 3 DTV boxes, Dune Player, XBMC openelec PCs with iRule via IP.

Hope that helps. You're basement project sounds awesome. What an enormous space. Congratulations.

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post #5 of 7 Old 11-16-2013, 05:57 AM
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Seldom seen has done a good job describing the differences between iRule and Roomie. I chose Roomie because you are able to get up and running more quickly. Of course you must use the Roomie layout and can not customize as you can in iRule. Both work with the same itach devices for non ip controlled gear.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-19-2013, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR!!!

Thanks both of you for all your guidance. I'm going to try them both to see how I like them.

This is going to be great! I will post back with my findings and perhaps a few screenshots.

Sincerely,
Jon
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-08-2014, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Just an update...

I did use the iRule software. The project came out excellent! The support staff at iRule went way above and beyond to make sure everything worked properly and that the layout was intuitive.

As well, the software is remarkably adaptive and customizable. Once you understand the basic premise of how to create a panel and how the commands are created and work, you can really take off and have a lot of fun. The only shortcoming is the software is not logic based. However, I can't really fault the software for that because there is no way to do that without a huge (and mega pricy $$$) logic control unit like crestron and Control4 have. I knew that going into this as did the client so there was no surprise.

I will get a few screenshots up here soon.

Thanks again for all your advice.

Jon

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