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Simply sharing Audio to 5 Zones. So many options. Confused...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Yes I've read a ton on here and there's so much great info. Unfortunately, here's so many intense solutions I'm unable to find help on the simple design I have in mind.

I have one Media Room that will have a HTPC hooked up to a Receiver running 5:1 or 7:1 surround sound to that room single. I'd also like the ability to share audio to 5 other zones. The source of this audio will be
  • That HTPC
  • AM/FM
  • Pandora Radio

Questions
  1. I know there's tons of options to get the pandora feed: HTPC, Built-Into Receiver, or 3.5mm attached cellphone. In a perfect world I'd like to be able to control the pandora feed remotely. Is this possible?
  2. The 5 zones will each have 2 ceiling mounted speakers. My plan was to run speak wire from the receiver to a volumn control knob in each zone and from that knob to the speaker pair in that zone. Is using speaker wire the right solution?
  3. After some reading I'm thinking I will need an amplifier to power these speakers. If so there will be a single stereo output from my receiver into the amplifier which will then spread that signal to the zones, correct?
  4. In this scenario all the source control will be done via the Receiver. I can't wrap my head around having a second input source. My current Harmon Kardon receiver has a multi-room function so I can use the receiver to manage the 5:1 surround playing source A and Source B being transmitted via the multi-room output to the other zones. IS this a good plan?
  5. Lastly, what are my options if I wanted an isolated zone with ceiling mounted speakers and the only input is a wall mounted 3.5mm or RCA jack w/ a wall mounted audio control?

    Thanks in advance for any help. I'm really excited to get multi room audio
post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireberd350 View Post

[*]I know there's tons of options to get the pandora feed: HTPC, Built-Into Receiver, or 3.5mm attached cellphone. In a perfect world I'd like to be able to control the pandora feed remotely. Is this possible?

Sonos. Or any receiver with multi-zone support, Pandora, and a control app should be able to do that.

Quote:


The 5 zones will each have 2 ceiling mounted speakers. My plan was to run speak wire from the receiver to a volumn control knob in each zone and from that knob to the speaker pair in that zone. Is using speaker wire the right solution?

Yes. If you're running wire, pull a Cat5e in parallel to the control location in each zone, so you can upgrade to a keypad/display at some point in the future.

Quote:


After some reading I'm thinking I will need an amplifier to power these speakers. If so there will be a single stereo output from my receiver into the amplifier which will then spread that signal to the zones, correct?

That is the simplest/cheapest solution. You will need impedance-matching volume controls - certainly for more than 2 pairs. Be aware that if you're using a receiver, you will have to feed all sources via analog (in addition to any digital/HDMI feed) to get that signal routed to the Zone2 output. Limitations of the designs these days - still...

Quote:


In this scenario all the source control will be done via the Receiver. I can't wrap my head around having a second input source. My current Harmon Kardon receiver has a multi-room function so I can use the receiver to manage the 5:1 surround playing source A and Source B being transmitted via the multi-room output to the other zones. IS this a good plan?

Yep. It's just like there was a "second" source selector - one for Zone 1, another for Zone 2. They can each listen to whichever source they want...

Quote:


Lastly, what are my options if I wanted an isolated zone with ceiling mounted speakers and the only input is a wall mounted 3.5mm or RCA jack w/ a wall mounted audio control?

Meaning "independent" system in a room that using ceiling-mounted speakers? There are some products for this, but you'll have to decide what source(s) you want to feed to it. A Sonos Connect:Amp would be a good choice (IIRC, it has an analog input as well?).

Jeff
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
This reply is spectacular! thank you.

I know some receivers now have ethernet and pandora support, i didnt even think about one w/ a mobile control app. great idea! I'll look for one of them now.

As for the Sonus Connect for the Local Sourced Zone, what a great product. I might do the whole house w/ Sonus and skip the separate amplifier. Too bad there's no Android App

Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Sonos. Or any receiver with multi-zone support, Pandora, and a control app should be able to do that.



Yes. If you're running wire, pull a Cat5e in parallel to the control location in each zone, so you can upgrade to a keypad/display at some point in the future.



That is the simplest/cheapest solution. You will need impedance-matching volume controls - certainly for more than 2 pairs. Be aware that if you're using a receiver, you will have to feed all sources via analog (in addition to any digital/HDMI feed) to get that signal routed to the Zone2 output. Limitations of the designs these days - still...



Yep. It's just like there was a "second" source selector - one for Zone 1, another for Zone 2. They can each listen to whichever source they want...



Meaning "independent" system in a room that using ceiling-mounted speakers? There are some products for this, but you'll have to decide what source(s) you want to feed to it. A Sonos Connect:Amp would be a good choice (IIRC, it has an analog input as well?).

Jeff
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireberd350 View Post

As for the Sonus Connect for the Local Sourced Zone, what a great product. Too bad there's no Android App

Huh???

http://www.sonos.com/search/android
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Huh???

http://www.sonos.com/search/android

Good stuff. The reviews I was reading must have been pre-android apps.

This Sonus setup might be exactly what I need for all my needs. No need to wire anything. I simply want to enjoy Audio in each room so I can get a Play3/5 for each Zone and be done with it. The biggest challenge will be getting solid Wifi signal across the entire house. Great info! Thanks a lot.
post #6 of 7
You would only need wifi for control devices at they have discontinued the CR200. Sonos does not use Wifi, it creates its own wireless mesh network between all units.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by editor363 View Post

You would only need wifi for control devices at they have discontinued the CR200. Sonos does not use Wifi, it creates its own wireless mesh network between all units.

Actually, on Android, you can connect directly to the Sonos Mesh Network instead (it's an option in the settings of the app).
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