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Home A/V distribution advice needed to build system - Page 2

post #31 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMcG View Post

What I meant by expensive and proprietary is that each company produces keypads that only works with their system. Niles, for example, makes a component called a ZR-6, that sells for about $2300. The minimum keypad cost is $110 per room and the maximum is about $250 per room for one that can receive metadata. So you are looking at $3K on the low end and $3800 on the high end for such a system. And with the exception of the top-end keypad, it is extremely difficult if not impossible to control the system outside of on/off and volume up/down when you have a system based on streaming content.

Well, the cost of an iDevice to leave in each zone for similar accessibility is ~$200/zone... And yes, some systems more open than others. My NuVo shows excellent metadata on streaming sources (from their server product, of course), and I've added my own stuff for some non-NuVo sources using their API...

Hopefully we'll see more "open" keypad / control panel devices in the near future, although the equivalent of a wall-mounted iPod is not what I'd want. To do it correctly, there needs to be a "single app", which has required either high-end custom work or "proprietary" stuff (I don't like using that word in this context - the keypads are part of a single product)...

But yes, as long as the wiring is in place, pick and choose your solution!


Jeff
post #32 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Note that any 100Mbs switches bought in the last 5+ years are all true switches (not a "hub"), so each link has 100Mb of bandwidth - multiple devices streaming to other devices can add up to a lot more than 100Mbs total without issue (since each link is using less than 100Mbs). Yes, there is internal switch bandwidth limitations - more so on the cheapest devices, but still likely more than enough for what we're talking about.

I definitely hit this internal switch bandwidth limitation with my old 10/100 switch. The only reason I bring this up is because over the Christmas holiday a couple of years ago when our house was essentially "maxed out" with friends and family - kids watching a movie downstairs, some watching a football game via DirecTV whole-house network box, and the women-folk streaming a Netflix movie. We had bottlenecks galore on our 10/100 switch - and I didn't even have Blu Ray streaming at the time. Since then I updated my wireless network to two simultaneous dual band access points (D-Link DAP-2690) with a robust Gigabit small business level switch (Cisco SRW-2048) - all connected by new Cat-6 wiring for all devices. Since then we have purposely tried to overload the network as a test when everyone is in town and there wasn't even a glimmer of network slowdown. The only thing that was obvious was a bit longer download times from our ISP. I have the QoS set for my VoIP and several other devices with everything else getting the "leftovers" of the download rate which was evident when you have an army of iPads and devices simultaneously downloading and streaming content as the buffer times were much longer.

I would KILL to have Verizon Fios here in Charlotte, but alas it is not available in my area so I am stuck with 25Mbps downstream on my cable modem. mad.gifmad.gif

Thanks for the correction on the HDBaseT run length - hopefully manufacturers will jump on board and start to offer this feature.
post #33 of 194
Thread Starter 
OK, here's a question regarding the HDMI matrix. Let's say I have a 4x4 matrix with 1 of the outputs going into an AVR. If I am playing source 1 (say HD cable box), watching the video and getting the audio as well but then later on want to keep watching the video but want to listen to music as audio from another source (say source 2 which could be an apple TV). Would I be able to do that by only having an HDMI connection between the matrix and the AVR or would I have to make analog audio connections as well for all the sources? An if I do make the analog audio connections, would the analog audio always be used instead of the HDMI audio, even for the source I am watching video from?
post #34 of 194
My system design philosophy is that simpler is always better. With that in mind, you have to look at the practical aspect of how often you would actually be doing this split activity and how do you hook it up / control it.

I once had a client who wanted this scenario in his basement bar area where he could hit one button and have the TV go to closed-captioned and his music would come through the in-ceiling speakers instead of the TV audio. It wasn't too bad to do given that he had a full-blown AMX control system and separate distribution matrices for analog audio and video. The most difficult part was sequencing a series of key punches on the DirecTV remote as if you were physically pressing the buttons yourself to turn closed-captioning on and off since there was no single button on/off for cc. It worked great until DirecTV decided to update their firmware and menu structures from time to time and then we would have to reprogram just that piece.

Anywho, to do what you want above properly you would really have to move into an analog audio distribution matrix in addition to your HDMI matrix. An HDMI signal from the matrix would be sent to one input and the analog audio from the other matrix would be sent to a different input on the same receiver. What I am about to propose will ONLY work if the receiver you choose has a flexible architecture to assign video and audio inputs to any source. So for the HDMI input, video and audio would come from the same source. For the second input (cable box video and analog music audio), hopefully your receiver would allow you to assign HDMI for the video portion of the signal and analog audio for the audio portion of the signal. If not, then this method will not work.

Another approach is to have a 1x2 HDMI splitter in between the output of the HDMI matrix switch and the AVR. One HDMI will come out of this splitter and go straight to your TV. A second HDMI will come out of the AVR and go straight to your TV. Analog audio would be plugged into a source as normal. So when you watch TV with TV audio, just select the input on the AVR that has the HDMI and the video input on the TV that uses the HDMI coming from the AVR. When you want to watch TV video and listen to analog music, simply select the analog input for this source on the AVR and switch the TV's HDMI input that uses the HDMI coming from the 1x2 splitter.

With your system's limited capabilities, this is really the only way to do it without adding significantly more equipment and expense / complication. There are more elegant methods, but it involves significant investment into quality matrix switchers and control systems.

I personally hate the methods described above and would really challenge you on how much you would actually watch something different than what is displayed. If you do this a lot, then I would say that is a whole different conversation where you should be investing another $2-$3k into your system for PROPER system design rather than "finding a way" using your existing equipment.

PayPal bill sent....LOL!
post #35 of 194
Thread Starter 
Hi again TMcG, thanks for the clarification on the matrix setup. I do not foresee having to play audio from a different source while watching the video from another very often but /i do see times where this will occur. I guess my best bet is to go with the HDMI splitter (or similar workaround, see below) directly from the matrix as you stated since the other option will likely be quite expensive.

That being said, I see my configuration heading in this direction for the moment:
  • 4x4 HDMI matrix (either Monoprice 4x4 matrix or Gefen Toolbox 4x4 matrix), using OUT1 to go to the basement (Z1) 3-zone AVR, OUT2 directly to the basement projector (instead of using splitter), OUT3 to the den 50" plasma (Z2) and OUT4 to the family room 32" LCD (Z3).
  • All sources will have analog connections to the basement AVR so that audio can be distributed to the other zones (Z2 & Z3) via the AVR.
  • Z2 and Z3 pre-out connectors will go into individual stereo amplifiers (don't need 6 zone amp as originally suggested because I do not foresee more zones in this house). This is one area where I would need suggestions for amplifiers as I do not know what to look for while staying under the $100`each range and being able to control them (volume mostly) either via IR or other.

I don't know if this setup makes sense at all but you can let me know if I am missing anything. Obviously when I'm using OUT2 on the matrix I will be viewing the video on the projector while listening to other audio via the analog connections on the AVR. This can also be done for the other zones as well since the video is going directly to the TV's while the audio is being fed to the amplifiers.

The final piece of the puzzle is to make sure that my RF control system will be able to communicate with all these pieces without any issues. I am also looking into perhaps adding control over IP for the zones (Itach IP2IR) so that I do not have to get RF remotes for every zone. Your thoughts and comments are welcomed!
post #36 of 194
I forgot you were only sending video to three zones and had the spare fourth zone available to go to your theater AVR - so good solution you proposed.

As for cheap stereo amplifiers, I am not sure what is really out there because dedicated stereo amplifiers are normally only higher-end pieces from higher-end manufacturers. To me, cheap means mass market which means integrated (like a receiver). I am sure you can go find some cheap used AVRs to do the trick but if you just want to get the 2-channel amplifiers I would recommend Rotel as some of the least expensive and highest value units. They have many 2-channel amplifiers that originally sold for $600 or $800 selling now in the $150 to $300 each range. They automatically turn on when they detect a signal and turn off after a certain period of inactivity. They also run very cool and will do a nice job powering your system. So control would be easy in the sense that you are still manipulating zone on /off, zone volume up/down and zone source selection.

As for the remote, you could literally have three RF remotes programmed identically for control of the system. Step one would be to simply select what zone you are in so that particular remote knows when to cue the video display device via IR, the what zone the receiver is controlling the volume for from that particular remote. From there zone 2 and 3 would also be identical, just triggering separate discreet commands for zone on/off, volume, source selection and local video. You may be able to save some money by just buying one complete remote package and then just purchasing two additional RF remotes only that will talk to the same receiver module / IR emitter system.
post #37 of 194
For cheap stereo amps for Zone 2/3 usage, can't beat the street price on the AudioSource AMP-100. Has auto-on/off 'signal sense', so perfect for a zone amp...

For remotes - are you not looking at one of the matrix switches with IR routing included? That's the best way to solve this, so that you don't have any issues/complexity if you end up with multiple set-top boxes, for example.

And regardless of IR or RF, do as TMcG suggested and use the same remote everywhere - makes it easy for everyone.

Jeff
post #38 of 194
Thread Starter 
Thanks Jeff, I will look into the AudioSource amp, I'm guessing you are suggesting getting 2 of them right, 1 for each zone?

As for the matrix switch, can you elaborate on the ones with IR routing included? I do not know how this works, I just figured all IR would be going from the RF base to the different components.

Lastly regarding the remotes, I plan to eventually have all the same remotes at each location but for the time bring, I will probably start off with 1 remote that will serve the den and family room ( since they are very close to each other) and look to have the basement zone run with an iPad over IP control.
post #39 of 194
Yes, you'll need a zone amp for each zone.

As for IR routing, this Monoprice matrix includes it, for example:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10113&cs_id=1011310&p_id=8151&seq=1&format=2

IR routing means that IR received in each zone is routed ONLY to the selected source on the matrix switch. This makes it much simpler to deal with multiple, identical sources (like 3 set-top boxes). Without routing, identical source components need to be set to different IR codesets or some other solution will have to be devised...


Jeff
post #40 of 194
Thread Starter 
OK, settled then on the 2 zone amps. The price for these is also very attractive at the moment so combined with a 3-zone AVR, the total cost will be below $600 for all 3 machines.

As for the matrix with IR routing, I still do not know how this will help. I guess I'm just not understanding the principle. I always figured that the IR emmiters would go from the RF base to the different sources. Can you elaborate if possible on this IR routing a little more so I can fully comprehend the advantages? Furthermore, it seems like most (if not all) HDMI matrices will downgrade the audio and video to the lowest level depending on the output devices connected. How will this affect my system if all display devices are 1080p input capable but they vary on the audio capabilities (projector and Elite plasma have no audio circuitry and LCD is probably only stereo)? I want to be able to get 7.1 in the basement since my speakers are setup for that (and not 2 channel audio converted in some way) and if I only get stereo in Z2 and Z3, then I am fine with that since I only have a pair of speakers in each of those other zones.

Thanks
post #41 of 194
The HDMI Matrix essentially has an IR "input" that can receive IR signals from a specific zone and re-transmit that IR code to a specific piece of equipment. For example, if you had two DVR cable boxes and one was playing in the theater and the other in the family room and you decide to press "pause" on the family room DVR.....if you have the remote set up to flash ALL equipment, then BOTH DVRs in the equipment room will receive the same "pause" signal and pause play on both DVRs. By routing IR from a specific zone to a specific IR output to a specific piece of equipment you can easily handle this potential issue.

The only additional thing I would add is an IR blocker sticker to cover the IR emitter stuck to the front of your equipment completely. That way no stray IR light will be received by similar equipment. The same would hold true if you had two identical AVRs for these second and third zones.
post #42 of 194
Let's say you have four identical cable set-top boxes hooked to your matrix. If you stood in front of all of them, and pointed the remote at the stack and pressed "channel up", what would happen? All four would change channels. Now do the same thing remotely with an IR repeater, with the IR signal showing up in front of all four. Same result. So someone in one room just changed the channel on all of them.

IR routing, would instead, send that repeated IR signal to ONLY one emitter, placed in front of a single set-top box. Now, pressing "channel up" in that room only changes the channel on the currently selected source (one of the set-top boxes instead of all four).

Many set-top boxes have selectable IR addresses to deal with this type of situation, but using that feature means having to create different remote setups for each source - which may require more expensive remotes (due to the number of "devices"), and certainly adds to the programming complexity.

As for the HDMI common-denominator issue - yep, you're going to hit it. Audio from any shared source will likely be set to 2-channel PCM stereo as that's all most TVs support (new models are starting to do DD5.1). For any location that you want DD51, and especially for advanced codecs from Blu-ray - you'll want to either dedicate a separate source (BD player), or run a separate digital audio cable.

Jeff
post #43 of 194
Thread Starter 
Wow, not the answer I was expecting for either item. So without routing capabilities on the HDMI matrix, I will not be able to control just 1 of the cable boxes without affecting the other? Is there any other workaround to this, such as en external routing IR system seperate from the matrix.

As for the audio issue, I do not like this one bit and was not expecting it. What do people do to circumvent this when they have 7.1 setups in one location and maybe 2.0 in other locations? I cannot see people downgrading their 7.1 setup to only receive 2.0 audio, there must be a solution here. These issues are making me possibly rethink the whole AV distribution if I cannot get around them.
post #44 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV Maniac View Post

Wow, not the answer I was expecting for either item. So without routing capabilities on the HDMI matrix, I will not be able to control just 1 of the cable boxes without affecting the other? Is there any other workaround to this, such as en external routing IR system seperate from the matrix.

1) Get a matrix with IR routing. That's why they make them...
2) Look at your device mix and see how much of an issue it will be. If you only have two set-top boxes, and those have selectable IR addresses, it can be managed.
Quote:
As for the audio issue, I do not like this one bit and was not expecting it. What do people do to circumvent this when they have 7.1 setups in one location and maybe 2.0 in other locations? I cannot see people downgrading their 7.1 setup to only receive 2.0 audio, there must be a solution here. These issues are making me possibly rethink the whole AV distribution if I cannot get around them.

1) Use a component video matrix instead of HDMI
2) Dedicate a BD player or AppleTV to any surround setup.
3) Spend $15k+ for a Crestron matrix... eek.gif
post #45 of 194
+1 to what Jautor said. You have to realize that there will be sacrifices unless you make the investment in the right pieces of equipment to satisfy every nuance of audio/video distribution and control. It makes me think of the guys who tune a 1.8 liter Honda Civic engine with a bunch of stuff to get an equivalent 0 to 60 time to that of an everyday sport sedan. You are at the point you either have to live with and accept some of the sacrifices that are commensurate with making equipment do what it is not normally designed to do.....OR.....just buck up and buy what you really should be buying to do everything you would like to accomplish.
Edited by TMcG - 7/16/12 at 11:53am
post #46 of 194
Thread Starter 
OK, the obvious choice is #3;)eek.gif

I will consider all these points and see what makes the most logical sense. As for the set top boxes, I will check if they can do different IR codes/addresses as that will solve my problem of IR routing.

I'm also guessing that if I passed the output of the matrix through individual AVR's, then there would be no problem in down mixing the audio (assuming I can get all of them to be 7.1 right)?
post #47 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV Maniac View Post

I'm also guessing that if I passed the output of the matrix through individual AVR's, then there would be no problem in down mixing the audio (assuming I can get all of them to be 7.1 right)?

Correct. There's three buckets of devices when it comes to audio support:

1) TVs - 2 channel stereo (PCM)
2) New TVs - 5.1 DD support, downmixed internally to 2-channel stereo
3) AVR's with DD, DTS-MA, etc. and >5 channel support

The only source for content that requires #3 is Blu-Ray (or digital rips thereof) - and yes, while DVDs also have DTS, you can probably "make it by" with the DD5.1 tracks...

For television/streaming HDTV content, you only need #2 or #3. So it's possible to build a setup (less $$ than the Crestron solution) with newer TVs, AVRs, and dedicated BD players...
post #48 of 194
Thread Starter 
I just thought of another possible solution that may be interesting so bear with me as I try and go through this. For those not aware at this point, Z1 is the basement with projector and 7.1 setup, Z2 is the den with the 50" Pioneer Elite plasma and stereo speakers and Z3 is the family room with the 32" LCD and stereo speakers.

What if I had the 4 sources that will be going into the matrix all go though a 1x2 HDMI splitter, with one output going to the matrix and the other going into the Z1 AVR (which will be a 3-zone model). Then I have 2 AudioSource AMP-100's feeding the Z2 and Z3 audio and a 4x2 HDMI matrix to get the video to these zones. There will obviously be analog connections from each source to the AVR in the basement so I can get the audio to Z2 and Z3 as well as being able to watch video from one source and listen to the audio from another. This way the audio from the matrix will be 2.0 which is fine since is only feeding Z2 and Z3 (which are stereo zones) and the HDMI connection to Z1 (without going through the matrix) will allow me to produce 7.1 in that zone since it can handle it. I can then also put another 1x2 HDMI splitter on the OUT2 from the AVR to Z2 and Z3 if I wanted. This also allows me to connect local sources to Z1 and send them to Z2 and Z3 if they want to see what is playing on Z1. What do you think of this setup, will it work and does it make sense to do something like this to retain the full capabilities of the audio signal in Z1? The only thing I am not sure to be able to do in this setup in Z1 is play video form one source and listen to audio from another as it will most likely look to use the HDMI audio for the main zone. Please let me know your comments and opinions on this setup.

Another thing I wanted to mention about the remote control option, I have found a product called Next Generation Remote Control Extender which in essence turns a regular IR remote into RF. The reviews and comments on Amazon seem pretty good so I just wanted to know if anyone else has any experience with this. This will permit me to get a regular IR remote from URC (such as the URC R50) since it is very well priced and get it for each zone, since it will be able to do RF with the extender.

Opinions welcomed.
post #49 of 194
There you go, tuning that Honda Civic engine again. wink.gif

Seriously, I had to read this three times before I could even understand what you were proposing. My opinion is too many splitters, too many looped feeds and too confusing to control. To put it another way - use the Grandma / Parents / Babysitter / Visiting Guest rule of thumb.....can you say "the remote is on the coffee table if you want to watch TV" and then walk away with the expectation that they could actually get everything running with no further instruction from you. If they can't, then it's too damn complicated.

It sounds like you just need to buy dedicated systems for each room and be done with it.
post #50 of 194
HDMI splitters won't help any of this. HDMI audio/video settings are negotiated between the source and display(s). Regardless of how it's split / repeated / matrixed, at some point you have X displays requesting output from a single source device. The source has to figure out what works for all of them, and send that.

On the NextGen remote - yes, it works very well. But I agree with TMcG again here - it's gotta be simple for all the users... And honestly, if the step up to an RF remote solution or a IR-routing matrix is the cost-breakpoint, you probably should stick with dedicated sources (but if there's pre-wiring to be done - spend that money!). Building a fragile and/or complicated A/V distribution system is a good way to get the entire family mad at you...

Jeff
post #51 of 194
Thread Starter 
So if I am understanding TMcG and Jeff correctly, I am better off getting seperate AVR's for each zone and just plugging things in locally? I will definitely get some sort of remote control system, be it RF from URC or the extender from NexGen, it's just a matter of picking the one that will best suit my needs and not run me too much money (remember all equipment will be located in the AV closet in the basement). I think the NexGen system along with seperate R50 remotes from URC is worth a try since it is cost effective and seems to be a very viable solution, I will be able to program the remotes the way I would a regular RF remote with activities and such so that it is easy to understand for all users.

As for the HDMI matrix itself, I will need to think this through again, maybe having a 4x2 just for the stereo zones (Z2 & Z3) and leaving the basement zone (Z1) with locally connected sources since I want to take advantage of the 7.1 setup. Trying to figure out what is best is the toughest part in all this.
post #52 of 194
That's not what we are saying at all. Get a 3-zone AVR with 2 two-channel amps, an HDMI Matrix that has discreet IR output ports (IF you have two pieces of identical equipment (such as a DVR) where the remote codes cannot be individualized), one remote with RF kit and two other identical remotes that can link to the same RF base. That's it. Enough analysis paralysis. Go buy it, install it and enjoy it!

We only ever advised to go with separate systems in each room if you start to veer down the path of making the system too complicated where only you can work it. That is the easiest way to piss off anyone who wants to watch TV, listen to music, etc. who can't easily control the end-result of your system design. With the proposed system above you are really at the limit of what can be done with a minimal equipment for three discreet AV zones. Doing ANYTHING more will put you over the line in terms of complicating the system and at that point it is not worth it to push a bad situation. You MUST keep it easy to wire and control to make it usable.
Edited by TMcG - 7/17/12 at 5:40am
post #53 of 194
I am very surprise that no one comment about the speakers and the sub selection.

I’ve never seen an in-ceiling setup that I like. Pre-wire the sub is fine but keep in mind that you’ll need room treatment and calibration tools to account for the sub placement. 10” sub (x2) usually do not have enough LFE to pressurize a room with a 130” screen.

The sound is what pulls viewers into the action. I didn’t see 3D mention in the OP, if 3D is in the picture; the sound setup gets even more complicated. In my setup, people sit ~17-20 feet for 2D but move closer ~10 feet for 3D (on a 120 screen). That’s a good change in sweet spots.

My recommendation:
Room treatment: This is where you get your best bang for your money. At least take care of the first inflection points.

Speakers: DIY for in-wall. I recommend In-Khan-Neato setup. They can be done for around $600/pair + 2 weekends or so. Great learning experience.

Sub: good commercial one such as the SVS or HSU. Keep in mind they’ll be expensive and large. You can also DIY which is much easier than DIY speakers.

Receiver: Denon 4311 for its’ XT32 and great sub calibration routine.

Amplifier: I use the earth quake cinenova because my speakers are 4-ohm at 88-90db efficiency + large room. You may be able to get away w/o one.
For electronic: For ease of use (wife/kid etc) I also have apple TV (x3). With airplay, people can have the movie/music follow them when they move into different rooms. I have a dedicated server with 10TB space to host movies/video for my network players/apple TV etc. I do not have discs around my house. All disc is backup onto the server and stored in nearby shelves. I also have iPads around as universal remote control for apple TVs.
post #54 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by NK215 View Post

I am very surprise that no one comment about the speakers and the sub selection.

Honestly, didn't even see it, until the wiring is figured out, equipment can wait...

But yeah, for any planned, dedicated theater, in-ceiling speakers for the mains (L/C/R) are a definite no-no. Those speakers need to surround the screen, or be behind it with an acoustically transparent screen (either way works). If it's truly a "dedicated" theater, no reason to use in-ceilings in the surrounds, either.

Jeff
post #55 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by NK215 View Post

I am very surprise that no one comment about the speakers and the sub selection.

You can't save the whole world from bad audio!
post #56 of 194
Thread Starter 
Honestly guys, thanks for all the advice and info. The theater basement is not a dedicated theater and that is why I went with in-ceiling speakers. As for the sub, there is only 1 for the moment but the wiring has been placed in the wall for the second should I chose to add it later on. I know the world of high fidelity audio is quite expensive so I just was not able to go that route, I went with something that had high WAF and I believe will do the job just fine (at least for 99% of people that will watch movies in the basement). Right now the setup is configured in a way to have a 112" wide 16:9 screen (129" diagonally) and the couch will be placed just over 12' from the screen. I plan to get a 3D projector since I am looking at the Epson 5010 primarily but even in 2D I like this distance. This is my first venture into home theaters so it's a learning process as to what I like and what will be good to me. When I move to another house years from now, I will know exactly how I want to set it up so this is only the maiden voyage for me.

As for your last post TMcG, you're right about beating it over the head too much, the system laid out seems quite capable of doing what I want with the 3-zone AVR, 2 amps, HDMI matrix and RF control system. I also will probably look to add an Itach system (with roomie or irule remote apps) to control the equipment over IP with an iPad/iPhone/iPod. The only thing that I'm still not happy with is the downconverted audio for the basement 7.1 setup for sources connected to the matrix. If there was a way to get past that I would be completely satisfied. Lastly, does anyone know if a regular consumer would be able to program any URC universal remote? I have heard that most of their remotes need to have a professional set it up, is this true or just an urban legend?
post #57 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV Maniac View Post

The theater basement is not a dedicated theater and that is why I went with in-ceiling speakers. As for the sub, there is only 1 for the moment but the wiring has been placed in the wall for the second should I chose to add it later on. I know the world of high fidelity audio is quite expensive so I just was not able to go that route, I went with something that had high WAF and I believe will do the job just fine (at least for 99% of people that will watch movies in the basement).

I disagree. I think you'll be unhappy with the performance / characteristics of ceiling-based LCR speakers for a theater setting. For non-dedicated theater space, in-ceiling surrounds are a very reasonable compromise if there aren't wall locations available. For the fronts, though, you're moving the source of sound pretty far away from the screen, which is unnatural and distracting - particularly for dialog (voices don't appear to come from the same place as the image). Nothing wrong with some good quality in-wall speakers for LCR if you want to avoid exposed speakers. Put them as close to the screen frame as possible within reason. An acoustically-transparent screen, again, can place the in-walls behind the screen...

As for subs - yep, wire for two locations. Wire is cheap.

Jeff
post #58 of 194
Thread Starter 
Jeff,

I understand what you're saying about the in-ceiling speakers but I did account for this by getting angled in-ceilings and further aimed the tweeter to the seating position. It's the best I could do because the setup of the basement space did not allow for wall mounted speakers and if I wanted the biggest screen possible I couldn't place the LCR speakers (even recessed) on the front wall. I have been to houses that have a home theater setup with in-ceiling speakers and it was quite good. I'm sure you're points are quite valid and accurate but this is how this space was designed so I will have to live with it for now. Any other thoughts on the rest of the things I wrote not concerning the speakers?
post #59 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV Maniac View Post

Jeff,
I understand what you're saying about the in-ceiling speakers but I did account for this by getting angled in-ceilings and further aimed the tweeter to the seating position. It's the best I could do because the setup of the basement space did not allow for wall mounted speakers and if I wanted the biggest screen possible I couldn't place the LCR speakers (even recessed) on the front wall.

Which is why I suggested looking at acoustically transparent screens and in-walls behind it... At 12' you shouldn't have any issues with an AT screen. Look at the SMX stuff...
Quote:
I'm sure you're points are quite valid and accurate but this is how this space was designed so I will have to live with it for now.

So the walls are finished already?

IMO, making huge compromises on speaker placement to get a bigger screen size is not a good trade off...

As to the matrix - for sources other than BD, you can run separate digital audio links to your AVR to ensure you get DD5.1. But that will depend on two things:

1) the source able to provide DD output even if the audio-over-HDMI is 2-channel PCM
2) Your AVR's ability to accept a separate audio source input for HDMI video inputs

As Blu-ray (can) use audio codecs that can only be transmitted over HDMI (DTS-MA, DD+), your only choice is to dedicate a player to the theater setup.

URC remotes can be programmed by end users if they have the software - you do need to talk to an authorized dealer to buy it from them, and your mileage will vary as to accessibility of the software. URC has been a @#$^#$% about it over the years, and has been generally unfriendly to the enthusiast market - which is one reason why you see such a draw to iRule / Roomie...

Jeff
post #60 of 194
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help Jeff. Yes, the walls are finished and closed so can't run any speakers inside the walls at this point. I believe I will be more than happy with the in-ceiling setup but time will tell. One thing for sure, nobody else in my family or from the people that usually come over for movies will have a problem with this so I guess it's not worth busting my head for it. In either case, an AT screen would involve making a false wall at this point which would bring the screen closer to the couch (maybe to 10') thus this may be an option in the future if I chose to do it. I will try and take pictures of the basement to show you what I mean by the shape and the reason for the in-ceiling setup.

As for the DD5.1 (from certain sources) and the HD audio (from BD sources), I guess I can live with separating the BD player in the basement on another input of the AVR. This is not a big deal and I guess I can run digital audio from the Apple TV and cable box DVR to the AV receiver as well to get 5.1 (which will then be up-mixed by the AVR to 7.1 right?). Not a big deal, will figure this out.

As for the URC remote, I was under the impression that the programming of these remotes was done on the remote itself so I do not understand your comment about getting the software form an authorized dealer. I see that Amazon sells some RF remotes from URC so there is no way they can sell them if the end users cannot use them. I need clarification from URC users on this matter. I'm either going to go with an RF base station (MRF-260 or 350) along with 1 MX-450 remote (for now, others to come in the future due to price) and an iTach system for IP control of components over wifi (Roomie or iRule on iPads/iPhones/iPods) or simply go with the NexGen IR extender (RF converter) and buy 3 R50 remotes (IR only) from URC and be done with it.
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