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Two (2) Receivers vs MultiZone

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Working with my parents on getting their system setup in a new house. They have a family room prewired for 5.1 as well as speaker wire that runs to a nearby patio. they are on a budget..relatively speaking, but open to a new receiver if it makes sense. They are not audiophiles so don't need/want anything elaborate but looking for some feedback.

The question I have is what would they be missing if they use a separate receiver for the two zones (which they already own) vs. a multizone receiver? As far as I can tell:

1) both current receivers are pre-HDMI, so we would have to forgo running everything through the receiver. Plus this adds more cables to the components vs. everything using hdmi
2) extra space required in the cabinet for two receivers vs. one
3) don't believe they could use same universal remote for 2 audio receivers (but could be wrong)
4) won't be able to run tv sound out to patio...only radio from secondary receiver
5) no AirPlay without AppleTV..not sure would be used, same with new features like Pandora, Sirius, etc.

Am I missing anything that would be of benefit with one receiver?

post #2 of 5
Generally one in each location offers more flexibility but really depends on specific requirements, cost and cabling.

(1) and (2):

"Zone 2" is usually another set of pre-amp output, not HDMI, doesn't route HDMI input (until now in some models), 2CH, so you do still need a pair of RCA cables and a separate power amp, unless perhaps in some higher models where you can assign a pair of unused rear speaker terminals.

It's possible to output audio via HDMI using "TV out" (not "zone 2") to another AVR but you need to go to the menu to change HDMI output destination. Some AVRs will only output 2CH via HDMI.

Long runs of RCA cables would be much cheaper than HDMI of certain gauge, plus possible signal loss and HDMI handshaking issues between two AVRs.

(4) might be possible depending on what output the TV has.
post #3 of 5
As long as using the current two receivers does what they need them to do, standing pat would be the most cost effective solution. Also, as noted above, TVs generally have an optical or RCA analog outputs, both of which can be connected to a receiver.
post #4 of 5
I agree with the above posts. I have a multi zone receiver (onkyo htrc180) but I have started using an old receiver for multi zone. There are too many button clicks to activate/deactivate the zones. I'd rather just power on the second receiver the make a zone active.
I have a Harmony 900, which is more remote than I think you are referring to, but I have the old receiver defined as a device so I can use it to change the volume...
Based on your description, I doubt they would use airplay much.
Good luck!
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies guys. I did make it to their house to look over the currently owned devices and we have decided to stick with two receivers. As it turns out the TV does have 4 HDMI inputs while the main receiver has 3 optical inputs so I plan to just run all of the video sources through hdmi on the TV and audio through the receiver.

I sold them on AppleTV for AirPlay at the very least and the other features will be a bonus. It turns out I was "selling" the idea of AppleTV to the wrong parent;) Looks like it will be a nice setup for them even with their current hardware they had in their old house. Thanks again.
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