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Looking for suggestions on whole house audio

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
To start this off, I would like to say I thought I had this figured out but I am starting to question the functionality of my vision.

So this is going into a new house that is in construction now, it is a 2 story house and I have paid to have 2 locations prewired for speakers and cat 5e, outside and a living/diving room area that will go back to a central location in the great room, all of which is on the bottom floor. My thought was I could run all the wires for the rooms upstairs since I was putting in raceways in several locations.

As a side note, I am having 2 rooms prewired for 7.1 sound and the raceways like I mentioned.

My thought was to use a product like ATON HDR44KT 4-Source, 4-Zone HD Component Video and Digital Audio Matrix Kit which allows for digital audio but I started thinking about the sources that I would use like a roku for pandora and computer for local source material.

Well most of these sources go through a receiver anyways but the problem is that most receivers that I would be willing to buy don't have a digital audio out. So I suppose I could just use the speaker wire and run to these other rooms as separate rooms on the receiver but I think I will have more rooms than the 3 zones most receivers have plus you can't run digital audio to zones except it really high end gear.


So what are some options I could use.

Here is a picture of what is planned to be run by the contractor before I get in the home.

post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
No one?
post #3 of 7
This is just IMHO, but I've found whole-home audio (or video) is much less frustrating when done with individual clients in the various locations. Whether Roku boxes or ATVs, they're cheap enough these days that buying 5 of them and hooking them up to whatever playback devices are in a particular room (receiver/speakers, display, computer speakers, whatever) is a far easier and more hassle free solution than trying to centralize sources and amplification. You also have the added benefit of adding video streaming to every room, i.e. making older displays "smart". For locations where there is no display, smartphone control is probably your best bet. If this all sounds too hodge-podge, suck it up and go with something like Sonos. To me, centralized speaker distribution/amplification is antiquated and there are far better inexpensive solutions available these days.
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins View Post

This is just IMHO, but I've found whole-home audio (or video) is much less frustrating when done with individual clients in the various locations. Whether Roku boxes or ATVs, they're cheap enough these days that buying 5 of them and hooking them up to whatever playback devices are in a particular room (receiver/speakers, display, computer speakers, whatever) is a far easier and more hassle free solution than trying to centralize sources and amplification. You also have the added benefit of adding video streaming to every room, i.e. making older displays "smart". For locations where there is no display, smartphone control is probably your best bet. If this all sounds too hodge-podge, suck it up and go with something like Sonos. To me, centralized speaker distribution/amplification is antiquated and there are far better inexpensive solutions available these days.
+1.. I suggested WDTV in a similar thread in the media streamer forum and got snubbed by Sonos/Logitech Squeezebox fanboys (of course they need to defend their purchase). here is the thread in case you want a simple and economic solution:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1403726/whole-home-music-cheaper-alternative-to-sonos#post_22315139
post #5 of 7
Can you do smartphone control of a WDTV for locations without a display? It's been awhile since I sold my original WDTV Live, so I don't know one way or the other if this is a current feature.
post #6 of 7
No you need display.. the iOS/android app is not rich enough yet to fully control from smartphone. That's why I suggested to attach a $20 LCD display. On a second thought lot of receivers these days are integrating network features including internet radio. If those are used, then even wdtv/ATV are not needed, but my understanding is that those will also need displays to effectively browse through various internet radio stations. I suggested WDTV Live SMP, because it can source music from local network from both Samba share or NFS share. So quite useful, if you have a NAS setup. Also the receiver cost can be avoided by a simple Tripath/Dayton amplifier and would be adequate for stereo listening.
post #7 of 7
I'd suggest any of the newer Roku boxes because the low-end models can be had super-cheap (as low as $40 for refurb 720p models) and the smartphone app has robust control and also includes "Play on Roku" for music and pictures stored locally on the phone.

The WDTV would be the kind of device I would suggest for someone looking to connect to a large library of locally/network stored video content in various file formats with a display attached, but not so much as a headless audio streamer.
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