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AirPlay home audio implementation

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
For the past few years I have been using the remote ap on my iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch to control my music streaming from my iTunes library through my computer, AppleTVs and Airport Expresses throughout my home.

I am now building a new home and Apple has just unveiled AirPlay and I am pumped! The new house is totally Cat5/RJ45 and Cat5/RG6 wired (multiple lines to each TV), speakers mounted in the ceiling of every room and "home runs" to the basement. I plan to install a rack of amplifiers each connected to it's own Airport Express for zone control. There are 10 zones.

Each TV will have it's own AppleTV (hardwired RJ45 and HDMI) installed behind the screen. The living room will have a set of stereo speakers and an amp to drive them. The master bedroom will have 7.1 surround wired to a Denon AirPlay receiver located in a closet.

I will have a centrally located Apple Airport Extreme that will be hard wired to the Internet and provide the umbrella network for the whole home.

So with any of my iDevices I should be able to control the audio volume and source in each zone and not have any unsightly "wall warts". Just audio control for now.

With the completion of the house scheduled for May I have some time to noodle this through. Any ideas? Have I made any wrong assumptions here?
post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by john.t.keller View Post

For the past few years I have been using the remote ap on my iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch to control my music streaming from my iTunes library through my computer, AppleTVs and Airport Expresses throughout my home.

I am now building a new home and Apple has just unveiled AirPlay and I am pumped! The new house is totally Cat5/RJ45 and Cat5/RG6 wired (multiple lines to each TV), speakers mounted in the ceiling of every room and "home runs" to the basement. I plan to install a rack of amplifiers each connected to it's own Airport Express for zone control. There are 10 zones.

Each TV will have it's own AppleTV (hardwired RJ45 and HDMI) installed behind the screen. The living room will have a set of stereo speakers and an amp to drive them. The master bedroom will have 7.1 surround wired to a Denon AirPlay receiver located in a closet.

I will have a centrally located Apple Airport Extreme that will be hard wired to the Internet and provide the umbrella network for the whole home.

So with any of my iDevices I should be able to control the audio volume and source in each zone and not have any unsightly "wall warts". Just audio control for now.

With the completion of the house scheduled for May I have some time to noodle this through. Any ideas? Have I made any wrong assumptions here?

Sounds like a nice system. You might want to check out irule on this forum for control of everything you have from your I device. I recently have integrated this in to replace pronto and it has been a lot of fun.
post #3 of 21
Sounds like a good and easy to manage idea. I'm not a fan of Apple, but I do appreciate the user friendly UIs and setup process, especially in a field that takes so much tweaking to get just right. The only thing I would add is well placed wall docks. I don't know if you want an iPod touch in each room, but it'd be nice to have something like this next to the door when you walk in.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scl23enn4m3 View Post

Sounds like a good and easy to manage idea. I'm not a fan of Apple, but I do appreciate the user friendly UIs and setup process, especially in a field that takes so much tweaking to get just right. The only thing I would add is well placed wall docks. I don't know if you want an iPod touch in each room, but it'd be nice to have something like this next to the door when you walk in.

Thanks for the feedback. I am just tired of paying too much for ugly switch plates that look old in a year or two and have limited functionality and no future programability. I have so many charging plugs in the house and my car I don't feel much need for dedicated stations. Maybe one of those charging pads in the foyer and kitchen. Thanks again.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by btinindy View Post

Sounds like a nice system. You might want to check out irule on this forum for control of everything you have from your I device. I recently have integrated this in to replace pronto and it has been a lot of fun.

I have programmed Pronto, Harmony, Sony and URC remotes and cannot help but feel that for a theater they rock but for home audio they are overkill and just too expensive. I had to hold a tech for ransom to get the URC editor so I could reprogram my theater for additional components or new light timings. This is 2010 and I just feel I am done with programming in DOS. I (and my wife) just want the stuff to work and be simple to operate. Remote on the iPod is sooooo easy. Touch, touch and listen.
post #6 of 21
3rd party devices are on the way that will be Airplay compatable, so sit tight a bit until. Marantz has added Airplay to some of it's AVR's and Pio and Yammy are likely to follow. They may even be just firmware upgrades. I'm quite sure flat panel displays are comming as well.

What Apple NEEDS to do is let you RIP your existing video library to iTunes for ATV access.
post #7 of 21
Regarding ripping DVDs, I have been successful using Handbrake or VLC. I also have a standard def TiVo networked to my mac server and use Toast to convert recorded content and transfer it to iTunes. Quality is so so but perfect for iPhone. I have more tv shows than I have time to watch!
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by john.t.keller View Post

For the past few years I have been using the remote ap on my iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch to control my music streaming from my iTunes library through my computer, AppleTVs and Airport Expresses throughout my home.

I am now building a new home and Apple has just unveiled AirPlay and I am pumped! The new house is totally Cat5/RJ45 and Cat5/RG6 wired (multiple lines to each TV), speakers mounted in the ceiling of every room and "home runs" to the basement. I plan to install a rack of amplifiers each connected to it's own Airport Express for zone control. There are 10 zones.

Each TV will have it's own AppleTV (hardwired RJ45 and HDMI) installed behind the screen. The living room will have a set of stereo speakers and an amp to drive them. The master bedroom will have 7.1 surround wired to a Denon AirPlay receiver located in a closet.

I will have a centrally located Apple Airport Extreme that will be hard wired to the Internet and provide the umbrella network for the whole home.

So with any of my iDevices I should be able to control the audio volume and source in each zone and not have any unsightly "wall warts". Just audio control for now.

With the completion of the house scheduled for May I have some time to noodle this through. Any ideas? Have I made any wrong assumptions here?

Just found this old thread and I'm looking to build similar home-run AirPlay audio system.

What amps are you looking at (or already got) to power the home-run speakers? Are they on all the time or do they wake on activity?

Thanks!
post #9 of 21
I would love to do this as well. Where can I get help on this?
post #10 of 21
I've implemented apple tv and AirTunes into my system. Any questions feel free to ask. It's simple and brilliant on apples part! No AirPlay ready device is needed just and open input. Apple does the rest. Good luck paul
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mav-avs View Post

Just found this old thread and I'm looking to build similar home-run AirPlay audio system.

What amps are you looking at (or already got) to power the home-run speakers? Are they on all the time or do they wake on activity?

Thanks!

I'm also trying to figure out a similar implementation. AirPlay seems like a very easy way to steam music since I already have iTunes setup nicely and there are many idevices floating around the house. Plus, 3rd party apps can shoot out to the system, making it that much nicer.

I'm replacing the receiver in my family room and debating whether to make it the center if distribution, or have a more segmented setup with individual airport expresses/atvs. If I use the receiver for distribution to zones 2 and 3 (kitchen and outdoor speakers), then I need a secondary app/remote to control the volume and what not on the receiver. I'm thinking it might be easier to put amps in the basement with their own airport express for each zone. That way I can turn on and off each zone in the Remote app and control volume the same way.

Any thoughts on the approach and any leads on simple amps that turn on when sensing a source? What did you end up with, mav?
post #12 of 21
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob968 View Post
I'm also trying to figure out a similar implementation. AirPlay seems like a very easy way to steam music since I already have iTunes setup nicely and there are many idevices floating around the house. Plus, 3rd party apps can shoot out to the system, making it that much nicer.

I'm replacing the receiver in my family room and debating whether to make it the center if distribution, or have a more segmented setup with individual airport expresses/atvs. If I use the receiver for distribution to zones 2 and 3 (kitchen and outdoor speakers), then I need a secondary app/remote to control the volume and what not on the receiver. I'm thinking it might be easier to put amps in the basement with their own airport express for each zone. That way I can turn on and off each zone in the Remote app and control volume the same way.

Any thoughts on the approach and any leads on simple amps that turn on when sensing a source? What did you end up with, mav?
ditto that. i'm also looking for 3 simple amps (for three zones with in-ceiling speakers) that can power on when sensing a source and are iphone-remote-controllable if at all humanly possible.

the downside of denon/marantz's airplay receivers is that they all require the MAIN ZONE to be playing at all times (can't Airplay to just zone 2 or zone 3, for example.)
post #14 of 21
I am setting up an AirPlay based system in my home and want to connect the ceiling speakers for each room to an individual airport express. I have apple tvs connected to each tv in 4 rooms and would like to power each airport express with a small amp. There are impedance balancing volume controls in each room connected to the speakers in the ceilings. The speaker sets are 8 ohms

Any suggestions for individual amps (perhaps rack mounted if avail) to power them? I do not believe I need much more than 50 watts. Please help.
post #15 of 21
I might recommend the Behringer Reference A500 amplifier. It's rackmountable and pretty affordable, about $250 per stereo pair at 600 Watts.
post #16 of 21
Also, you should checkout the multi-room audio software at www.plethra.com. It can play to Apple AirPlay/AirTunes devices and computers on an IP network. Basically a software equivalent of Sonos but you don't have to buy proprietary hardware.
post #17 of 21
For that application I would seriously consider sure tri path amps and pop them in some kind of box. Like 100w x2 channels for less than $100 including a power supply.....
post #18 of 21
has anyone finalized their systems and willing to give a brief description. I'm looking at doing doing a whole audio system, and possible video and keep coming back to the ease of use of apples airport express's or ATV's for audio, with either airplay or Rogue Amoeba's software.

For ripped dvd's, ATV/itunes pose the format problem though.

Anyone have pros/cons of using AE/ATV's or multiple output sound cards for multi-room.
I know sonos is great but quite expensive.
Any feedback on Amplifier selection, or HTD setups?

thanks
derek
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by capaill View Post

has anyone finalized their systems and willing to give a brief description. I'm looking at doing doing a whole audio system, and possible video and keep coming back to the ease of use of apples airport express's or ATV's for audio, with either airplay or Rogue Amoeba's software.

For ripped dvd's, ATV/itunes pose the format problem though.

Anyone have pros/cons of using AE/ATV's or multiple output sound cards for multi-room.
I know sonos is great but quite expensive.
Any feedback on Amplifier selection, or HTD setups?

thanks
derek

So far the only limit to the Airplay system I have seen is when streaming music with Airplay you can only control one device on the network. When using the Remote app you can control all devices for music.

I hope that makes sense..
post #20 of 21
Is the music synchronized across different devices? Just curious, I'm already onboard with Sonos.
post #21 of 21
Hi Guys,

Quote:


So far the only limit to the Airplay system I have seen is when streaming music with Airplay you can only control one device on the network.

Apple limits you to 1 source and N # of sinks (in practice only 4-6 sinks) for AirPlay and can only play from apple sources (i.e. iTunes, iPhone, iPad). If you have multiple iTunes libraries that you want to play from, you either have to go the actual computer that has the iTunes library and play from there, or use the iPhone "Remote" app, which even then is not ideal to switch back and forth between libraries.

Airfoil as well as the audio|acacia software I mentioned above, don't have these limitations. They can play from N # of sources to N # of sinks and play from a bunch of different sources (i.e. Android and internet radio). The audioacacia takes it a step further and lets you do this from the same interface.

Quote:


Is the music synchronized across different devices? Just curious, I'm already onboard with Sonos.

Yes. With iTunes, Airfoil, and audio|acacia the music is synchronized across all the devices. Though iTunes will only play to AirPlay devices while Airfoil and audio|acacia can play to computers as well. audio|acacia allows you to split up a 5.1 or 7.1 card into 3/4 stereo zones. So you could conceivably put a bunch of internal sound cards or usb soundcards on one dedicated machine and create your own server of sorts.
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