Originally Posted by laxguy49
I'm new to the a/v scene- want a 5.1 hometheater zone, and 2 separate audio zones(living room, outdoor area) so that all 3 can play different sources simultaneously. Looking at Onkyo 717/818 or Denon 3312. What recievers do you recommend? or should I just concede the 2 audio zones and run both as 1? If so can the reciever power all four speakers on the second zone? Thanks for time/help.
If you don't want to deal with external amps, you'll need a receiver with three powered zones. The only receivers I'm aware of that support this are the Denon 4311/4520, Onkyo 3010/5010, Yamaha 2010/2020, and Yamaha 3010/3020. I don't follow Pioneer receivers very closely, but I image their top of the line Elite receivers support this as well. These are all considered "flagship" receivers for their respective brands, so none of them are cheap.
I personally own the Yamaha 3010, and I would highly recommend it. I have 5.1 main zone, two channel in the garage, and two channel for the outdoor patio. I believe I can also do 7.1 in the main zone if all three zones aren't in use at the same time, but I haven't tried that yet.
The Denon 4311 is also a good option.