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Home A/V distribution advice needed to build system - Page 5

post #121 of 194
Oh, and one other question...

Given that HDMI doesn't carry 5.1, I'm assuming I'll need to send a digital audio signal from each of my four inputs to the receiver. And then the remote will be programmed to switch audio sources as I switch the matrix input. Is this correct? Thanks again!
post #122 of 194
I personally have an Atlona matrix switcher, but if you peruse through this thread you will see that HDTV Maniac is planning on purchasing a Monoprice 4x4 unit. I have also had good experience in the past with Gefen, although they can be pricey.

I don't know what wires you have in the wall or if your walls are still open, but I would encourage you to run TWO shielded Cat-6 wires to each TV location from your central equipment location. You must also use shielded RJ-45 connectors to terminate these connections. This will give you the opportunity to send flawless 1080p HDMI over Cat-6 wires. Some systems use just one wire, but considering most still use two wires, it is easy to justify running the second wire to each spot.
post #123 of 194
Yeah, I saw that he was looking at the monoprice device. I've heard they're decent to work with, so maybe I'll give the mono a shot. If it doesn't work, I'll switch over to the Atlona. $1100 is reasonable for this device, but if a $150 device gets the job done just fine, then fine by me. Thanks again!
post #124 of 194
Thread Starter 
Glad the conversation has picked up again on this thread. Gramin, the advice given by TMcG is very sound and if you are still early enough in your build, run the wires that he suggest (and some more if you can), you can never have enough wires for future use.

As for myself, I am getting ready to pull the trigger on my equipment (planing to order soon and pick up by first week of October from the US border) so let me update everyone on the setup, since it has gone back and forth a few times (as TMcG can attest to!! LOL).

The HDMI matrix will be the 4x4 model from Monoprice. I figure for the price it is worth a try, especially considering the huge amount of positive feedback.

The main receiver in Z1 (Theater) will be a Yamaha V573. I found it to have great feedback and Yamaha usually puts out a great product. It is also a network receiver that is Airplay capable. It also has many audio inputs (2 coax digital, 2 optical digital and 5 stereo analog) which will help with the audio distribution I want to accomplish.

For Z2 (den) and Z3 (living room), I plan to buy a Sherwood RX5502 stereo amplifier, which has 5 analog audio inputs and can distribute the different sources to 2 independent zones, therefore perfect for my situation (at least that's how it looks to me).

For the remote control, I plan to use the NexGen IR extender to get an RF type system going. I will also buy 1 URC R50 remote and test out if it works well for what I want to do and if the testing phase is positive, I will buy the same remote for each zone (or maybe a slightly better remote for the theater zone).

The plan right now is to connect the following sources to the matrix: Apple TV, Cable HD DVR, Blu-Ray player and either another HD DVR or a WD TV Live. All of the outputs on the matrix will go directly to the display devices. The audio (digital) from each matrix connected source will be split, with one branch going into the Yamaha AVR and the other branch through a Digital to Analog decoder and then into the Sherwood amplifier. This way I can control the audio from all matrix connected sources independently from the video (meaning in any of these zones, I can have any video feed playing while listening to another sources audio if I choose to).

The plan is to also eventually add network connectivity and control every piece of equipment via IP, with a remote such as the Roomie. This will involve getting some iTach IP2IR modules in the future to accommodate all equipment that does not have a network connection. The Therter room AVR (Yamaha) will also have locally connected sources (PS3 and others possibly in the future) so as to take advantage of the HD audio codecs for serious viewing experiences.

That is how it stands right now, you can feel free to critique it as I am all ears until the order is placed. I am always looking for people's experiences and if they can guide me on the best possible path, I will definitely listen.
post #125 of 194
I like the Sherwood piece you found, but a couple of things I don't like....

All sources go to the HDMI matrix and then to the display devices....that is fine with the exception of zone 1 where the output of the matrix should run through the receiver and then to that zone's display. This way you get the OSD for the receiver. You would also lose the ability to have the DTS HD Master Audio and the Dolby TrueHD Codecs - granted, these are only available on Bluray at this point, but I thought that was important to you. Without checking, if the inputs of the Yamaha AVR can be set up to point toward any video input and and audio input independently then I would simply create a second "input" on the Yamaha that still points to the same HDMI video signal but points to a different audio (either digital or analog) input for the audio so you can do the "watch one thing listen to another thing"...uh....thing.

The other is simply why not just run the analog audio out from each source directly to the Sherwood and skip the outboard D to A converter boxes? Then all the digital outputs from the Monoprice would just run to the Yamaha and be split as per the above recommendation. Seems like an added expense you don't need.
post #126 of 194
Actually had a long conversation with a customer of mine today, and he said a lot of interesting things, and he had a TON of problems with a set up almost EXACTLY the same as yours. He had 2 Samsung Blu-ray players, 1 cable box and a AppleTV hooked to a 4x4, outputting to 2 Samsung TV's and 2 Onkyo TXNR616's.

1. Get a HDMI 4x4 that can do EDID learning. This is very important because some TV's, like Samsung, do not send out EDID information for about 8 seconds, while the Onkyo amp expected the EDID within 3 seconds, so there was constant sync issues.

2. He was using a Snap AV 4x4 that did not have EDID learning, so he actually had to add 2 Atlona ATHD SYNC's to the system to keep the EDID path open.

3. He had a lot of problems with sound fading in and out, and problems with connecting the 4x4 outputs to 2 TV's and 2 Onkyo amps. His solution was to go into the TV settings and turn off the TV speakers. This ment sound would only be output through the sound system and not through the TV speakers, but it also ment both Onkyo amps recieved HD audio.

4. ALWAYS follow the hookup instructions for your HDMI Baluns. IF it says plug the receiver of the balun into power, than plug in the CAT5, than the HDMI, than do it in that order on the transmission side, do it how it says it (unless it's Atlona, who for some reason wrote their instructions backwards).

5. Lastly he got rid of the Samsung BluRay players, as they seem to be grumpy right now with Onkyo and Integra amps (his words not mine, he switched to Sony BD player and it seemed to work out much better on his setup)

Hope some of this helps.

Long and the short is, you got a long road ahead of you, but hopefully this helps get the foundation.
post #127 of 194
Agreed with Maggus. The more and more research I do, the more and more complicated it becomes. Living in Chicago I have no shortage of A/V installers to assist with my project. I'm thinking about giving BestBuy a shot. Any strong words of support or contempt for them? And specifically, they recently opened one of their huge Magnolia Design Centers in a nearby store. Most of us tech savvy people can agree that the general BestBuy salesperson knows far less than us, but I'm inclined to believe that the Magnolia staff would be much more up to speed and knowledgable. Any feedback on them is appreciated. Thanks!

G
post #128 of 194
Only thing that I would say about the Best Buy/Magnolia installers is that they would never be able to afford the installer that diagnosed and fixed the problems I described above.

Is that a PC enough answer? wink.gif
post #129 of 194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMcG View Post

I like the Sherwood piece you found, but a couple of things I don't like....
All sources go to the HDMI matrix and then to the display devices....that is fine with the exception of zone 1 where the output of the matrix should run through the receiver and then to that zone's display. This way you get the OSD for the receiver. You would also lose the ability to have the DTS HD Master Audio and the Dolby TrueHD Codecs - granted, these are only available on Bluray at this point, but I thought that was important to you. Without checking, if the inputs of the Yamaha AVR can be set up to point toward any video input and and audio input independently then I would simply create a second "input" on the Yamaha that still points to the same HDMI video signal but points to a different audio (either digital or analog) input for the audio so you can do the "watch one thing listen to another thing"...uh....thing.
The other is simply why not just run the analog audio out from each source directly to the Sherwood and skip the outboard D to A converter boxes? Then all the digital outputs from the Monoprice would just run to the Yamaha and be split as per the above recommendation. Seems like an added expense you don't need.

TMcG, the reason why I would not run the HDMI out from the matrix into the Z1 AVR would be so that I can play different audio while watching another video feed. If the AVR does not allow me to choose the audio and video feeds independently (as is the case for most AVR's, I would have to check this for the Yamaha RXV line). As for the HD audio, I am already expecting not to be able to get it from any sources connected to the matrix due to the HDMI down-mixing issue we discussed in the past. That is why I plan to have the PS3 locally connected to the Z1 AVR, so I can get the HD audio from Blu-Ray discs.

As for the analog audio from the matrix sources, I am not sure that the sources can send out the analog and digital audio at the same time. If that is the case, I will not need a decoded for those sources but if there is a way I can check this, please let me know so I can test. Furthermore, some sources (such as the Apple TV) only have a digital audio output therefore the splitter and decoded path is necessary. I also do not understand your suggestion well because you still mention that I would split the digital audio at the Yamaha, what would be the point of that if I could run the digital to the AVR and the analog to the Sherwood (assuming the sources can send out both at the same time of course)?
post #130 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magguss View Post

Not positive, but I think this will work if you set the Audio Link TV to on it will de-embed the Bitstream Audio to L/R stereo and still pass Bitstream through the HDMI cable. Am I wrong?
http://www.atlona.com/Atlona-HDMI-Audio-De-Embedder-with-3D-Support.html
post #131 of 194
I'm still trying to figure out WHY you feel the need to have different audio playing in Z1. From what I can tell by your basement plan, it's a dedicated home theater. You have seats, a bar, but not much else. It seems you would be there to watch and listen to something. I could understand if maybe it was a larger room with a pool table/family area where you would want to play sports and listen to music at the same time, but it doesn't SEEM to be set up that way. Am I wrong? If you had people in Z1 sitting the the seats, facing the screen, what kinds of things would you be watching where you would want different audio playing at the same time?
post #132 of 194
Thread Starter 
Magguss, the basement plan has changed considerably from the one I still have up on my signature link. It is now a multi-purpose theater room where the kids will also be down there at times. I always pictured the basement as a place to host parties as well so I can see people down there watching something on the TV (such as a sports event) but listening to the music of the party.
post #133 of 194
Onkyo TXNR616 has video pass-through, so you can be listening to the CD/AM/FM inputs and have the video from CBL/SAT will be on the screen. Just tested it, it works. It might only let you choose one for the main video pass throughs, but it seems that it would solve at least one of your problems.
post #134 of 194
Thread Starter 
I don't quite understand what you mean Magguss. Judging from the TXNR616 connections, there are various AV inputs on this device. I want to have one of the HDMI out from the matrix go into the AVR and then make digital connections from the sources connected to the matrix directly on the AVR (digital in's on the left hand side, 2 coax and 2 optical). This way I want to be able to view the video playing from any of the sources on the matrix through HDMI and possibly listen to the audio from another source connected to the matrix via digital. Is this possible with the 616? Unless I misunderstood what you meant, then please clarify because the way I read your post, I don't get the impression you are referring to HDMI video input.
post #135 of 194
Try this another way maybe.

On the Onkyo TXNR616 undersetup, under hardware there is a HDMI setting that says HDMI-Through, which I messed around with and found would allow you to view 1 predetermined source on the projector, while also listening to another source on the amp that normally would not have video with it, ie. AM/FM/CD.

I put the pass through to CBL/SAT.
When I switched the amp to AM, FM and CD inputs, it kept the CBL/SAT video displayed on the projector.
The only major drawback is that the HDMI passthrough is always on, even if the Onkyo is off, which means it's still drawing a small amount of current, even in standby mode.
Is it a perfect solution? No.
Real question is can you live with it and make your life easier?
You can have your CBL/SAT box and listen to the radio, or a CD player, or hook-up a IPOD dock to the analog inputs for CD (if you don't have an actual CD player). The only 2 drawbacks is that you would have to go into the Onkyo setting if you wanted to, say, watch the PS3 and listen to music, which is fairly easy to do, and the Onkyo will still output the video even when it is turned off.

Does that make sense?
post #136 of 194
Thread Starter 
It makes sense Magguss, although as you say it is not an ideal situation. What I really want is to choose audio and video independently therefore I think going from the matrix outputs to each TV/projector location directly will be my best bet for what I want to accomplish. Obviously I will have local sources plugged into the Z1 AVR via HDMI (such as PS3 and other future additions) so that I can at least have access to the AVR OSD. That way the receiver will mostly act in the audio sense with video only being fed to it from locally connected sources. You think this is a good compromise?
post #137 of 194
It's your system. Just trying to simplify an already complex system for you.
post #138 of 194
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the help and advice Magguss, trust me I try to understand everyone's comments correctly to see if it makes sense to implement.
post #139 of 194
Thread Starter 
So it's been almost 2 weeks since I last posted and I wanted to update everyone on the progress. I have moved out of my so called decision paralysis mode and ordered almost all my equipment. I have decided to go with the following:
  1. AVR -- Finally pulled the trigger on a Yamaha RX-V673. Found that it had great reviews and it's predecessor (V671) was very highly touted so I found the current model at a great price and got it.
  2. HDMI Matrix -- Finally went with the Monoprice PID 5704
  3. Zone 2/3 Amplifier -- Went with the Sherwood RX5502
  4. Universal remote -- Bought 2 URC R50's and will look to get a 3rd for the basement Z1 if the other 2 work well
  5. IR distribution -- Bought the NextGen Remote control extender to use in Z1 & Z3 (Z2 plasma has an IR repeater out which I will send to the AV closet and plug into a IR distribution hub along with the NextGen IR out).

The plan it to stay with what I had described a few weeks back, namely all the outputs from the Matrix will go to the 3 displays directly. Digital audio connections from all matrix connected sources (AppleTV, cable DVR, Sony BDP for now) to the AVR and analog connections to the Sherwood so I can listen to any audio in any zone independent of the video displaying. Z1 local sources (PS3 only for now) will be plugged into the AVR with the out going into the 2nd HDMI in of the projector. I believe that I can make it all work as I intended for it to function so I will keep you all informed on the process once I receive all the components in a few weeks.

What I wanted to run by everyone is my wiring diagram. I have attached the file so please have a look and let me know if I am doing anything wrong since the input will be gretaly appreciated before I tackle the connections when the last of the equipment arrive.

Thanks,

Wiring Diagram.pdf 501k .pdf file
Edited by HDTV Maniac - 9/19/12 at 8:00pm
post #140 of 194
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post #141 of 194
@TMcG - I didn't really understand your response - UNTIL I opened the wiring attachment diagram.

WOW. I need some Advil after looking at that. . .heck, forget the Advil, just give me a bottle of whiskey.

To the OP - good luck. I will say there's a movie quote that comes to mind: "The more they overtake the plumbing, the easier 'tis to stop up the drain"

I DO have one suggestion. Because you have a somewhat complicated wiring scheme, start slowly - make one or two connections at a time, and make sure those work as expected before adding another one or two - that should make it easier to debug any problems. With as many wires as you've got going there, if you just plugged everything in and had problems, I'm not sure I'd know where to start to begin diagnosing the problem. You might work on in sections as well - connect your video and make sure you can get signals distributed the way you want, then do the audio, then the IR, etc.
post #142 of 194
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestion Mike, that makes a lot of sense in case there is a problem in the chain. I know the diagram looks a little complicated but it all makes sense (at least in my warped mind!!).
post #143 of 194
@Mike - no, I thought the wiring diagram looked fine. My only complaint would be having to run all the source components directly to the AVR and two different HDMI feeds to the projector, which can complicate programming in an IR-based system.....but I understand this is in an effort to preserve full 7-channel surround because the Monoprice HDMI truncates all outputs to the lowest native audio resolution of those devices connected to it. I still say this is either a severe deficiency in the engineering on behalf of Monoprice or unconfirmed "legend" that I would want to see for myself so I could run an output from the Matrix to the AVR to the projector without having to run the sources individually and two runs to the projector. Without running through the thread again, perhaps this is something associated with "watching one thing and listening to another".

The eek.gif was a face of shock that almost all the equipment had been ordered!!!

I am looking forward to some of the first pictures in this thread.....
post #144 of 194
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the support TMcG, I will definitely post pictures once I have all equipment in my hands and start connecting.
post #145 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV Maniac View Post

Thanks for the suggestion Mike, that makes a lot of sense in case there is a problem in the chain. I know the diagram looks a little complicated but it all makes sense (at least in my warped mind!!).

Believe me, I've been there with complicated wiring. And yeah, it mostly only makes sense in your own head!!!! smile.gif

I've followed this thread closely, and with what you want to accomplish within your budget constraints, I think you've got a pretty decent plan layed out. Good luck with everything, and I'm also looking forward to hearing about and seeing pics of the final result.
post #146 of 194
Updates Please and Thank You

Dallas Knox
post #147 of 194
HDTV Maniac,
Great thread (I read it in its entirety). Any updates, pictures, lessons learned, what worked what didn't work, things you would do differently?

I'm looking at doing something very similar, but only two zones instead of three.

Thanks!
post #148 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMcG View Post

Have networking wire delivered to each component that needs it so your network and components are hard-wired as much as possible

Why not just use a mini-switch in the component rack to distribute IP access to each component? Running a bunch of CAT6 to a closet so that each component gets a dedicated in-wall port seems excessive. Two for the cabinet (one for Ethernet, one for phone) is probably sufficient.
post #149 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV Maniac View Post

So it's been almost 2 weeks since I last posted and I wanted to update everyone on the progress. I have moved out of my so called decision paralysis mode and ordered almost all my equipment. I have decided to go with the following:
  1. AVR -- Finally pulled the trigger on a Yamaha RX-V673. Found that it had great reviews and it's predecessor (V671) was very highly touted so I found the current model at a great price and got it.
  2. HDMI Matrix -- Finally went with the Monoprice PID 5704
  3. Zone 2/3 Amplifier -- Went with the Sherwood RX5502
  4. Universal remote -- Bought 2 URC R50's and will look to get a 3rd for the basement Z1 if the other 2 work well
  5. IR distribution -- Bought the NextGen Remote control extender to use in Z1 & Z3 (Z2 plasma has an IR repeater out which I will send to the AV closet and plug into a IR distribution hub along with the NextGen IR out).

The plan it to stay with what I had described a few weeks back, namely all the outputs from the Matrix will go to the 3 displays directly. Digital audio connections from all matrix connected sources (AppleTV, cable DVR, Sony BDP for now) to the AVR and analog connections to the Sherwood so I can listen to any audio in any zone independent of the video displaying. Z1 local sources (PS3 only for now) will be plugged into the AVR with the out going into the 2nd HDMI in of the projector. I believe that I can make it all work as I intended for it to function so I will keep you all informed on the process once I receive all the components in a few weeks.

What I wanted to run by everyone is my wiring diagram. I have attached the file so please have a look and let me know if I am doing anything wrong since the input will be gretaly appreciated before I tackle the connections when the last of the equipment arrive.

Thanks,

Wiring Diagram.pdf 501k .pdf file
Have you considered using iTach devices instead of IR extenders to do iPhone control?
post #150 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by archbid View Post

Why not just use a mini-switch in the component rack to distribute IP access to each component? Running a bunch of CAT6 to a closet so that each component gets a dedicated in-wall port seems excessive. Two for the cabinet (one for Ethernet, one for phone) is probably sufficient.

I didn't say home-run wires to each component...I just said go the route of hard-wiring vs. wireless since hard-wiring is far more robust. I thought it went without saying that you could have one data "drop" to the rack and then install a simple switch with however many devices require data access. Without getting into more complicated networking discussion, but if you have a very complex system with many streaming components that will be used simultaneously you do have to worry about the backplane throughput of the switch. This is not the case for most systems, but could cause issues if a simple network switch was installed in a complex data-intensive system. Make sense?
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