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Talk me out of metadata keypads, and recommend a system

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
About 4 years ago, I built a house and spent time on AVS Forum researching whole house AV distribution options. At that time, the Nuvo Grand Concerto looked like the perfect solution. I REALLY loved the look and function of the OLED keypads. The problem was--I never got around to pulling the trigger on it. Things came up, I put it off, rinse and repeat.

Now I am finally going to go ahead with the project. The problem is the Nuvo stuff has gotten really expensive--especially if you add the music server. So I need to look at everything again.

My house is wired, speakers are in, and double gang keypads openings are in place (done during original construction).

We are an Apple household. We all have iPhones, my wife has an iPad and I have a Macbook and a Mini

I need to power 6 zones. I don't see the need to ever expand this.

I don't know what I need for sources. I think I would like: Internet radio, my digital music library, CDs, and possibly my DirecTV music channels. I also have an Apple TV (gen 1)

As I said, I love the way the Nuvo OLED keypads look and work. They would look great in the house. That said, I'm not sure they are really necessary.

I don't want to spend a fortune on this, but I would like the system to work well and sound great. I hope it can be simple to operate.

The HTD Lync systems looks good, but I would like metadata, and I am unclear on what my source options are.

The Nuvo Essentia looks like it might do the job, but the keypads are just ok, and again I don't know what my source options are

I can't figure out what Russound is offering right now, and I've read a worrying thing or two about the quality of their product.

I would love to be able to control everything from an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and do away with the keypads.

Thoughts/recommendations?
post #2 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maui19 View Post

About 4 years ago, I built a house and spent time on AVS Forum researching whole house AV distribution options. At that time, the Nuvo Grand Concerto looked like the perfect solution. I REALLY loved the look and function of the OLED keypads. The problem was--I never got around to pulling the trigger on it. Things came up, I put it off, rinse and repeat.

Now I am finally going to go ahead with the project. The problem is the Nuvo stuff has gotten really expensive--especially if you add the music server. So I need to look at everything again.

It's up a few hundred MSRP over the last 3 years. But yes, the music server should be considered "required".
Quote:
I don't know what I need for sources. I think I would like: Internet radio, my digital music library, CDs, and possibly my DirecTV music channels. I also have an Apple TV (gen 1)

That's a good list. I think you'll find that Pandora will be a much better source than the DirecTV music channels. I pipe my DirecTV receivers to the NuVo, too. I originally was going to use it for XM, but once Internet Radio / Pandora were added to the MusicPort, I never used the XM again (and DirecTV dropped them for SonicTap, too).

I still use the DirecTV audio every morning though to listen to news channels while getting ready. And of course it'll get used all day Sunday during the Super Bowl party to pipe the game to all the zones...
Quote:
As I said, I love the way the Nuvo OLED keypads look and work. They would look great in the house. That said, I'm not sure they are really necessary.

You came to the wrong place. biggrin.gif

The combination of the metadata-capable keypads and the iPod/iPad app make a great combination. It's both - not one or the other. Keypads are in every room, so you don't need to carry a device around, but selecting music is easier from the app.
Quote:
I don't want to spend a fortune on this, but I would like the system to work well and sound great. I hope it can be simple to operate.

It's certainly not cheap, and I struggled with the same thing - but frankly, one of the best A/V things I've ever bought. I use it every day.
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The HTD Lync systems looks good, but I would like metadata, and I am unclear on what my source options are.

You have the same source options, but essentially, no metadata support.
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The Nuvo Essentia looks like it might do the job, but the keypads are just ok, and again I don't know what my source options are

Essentia has the same source options. Just smaller zone amps and a bundle of the single-gang keypads. If you already have the double-gang keypad boxes in the walls, patching them to hold the single-gang seems like the wrong way to spend that money. One of the bid advantages of the GC OLED keypads is the ability to read the screen from across the room. Neither the Essentia keypads nor the competitive offerings can do that.
Quote:
I can't figure out what Russound is offering right now, and I've read a worrying thing or two about the quality of their product.

Their product is worth looking at, especially as they've added the digital music server. I went with NuVo GC ~4 years because Russound didn't have one at the time, although I still prefer the look of the NuVo keypads.
Quote:
I would love to be able to control everything from an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and do away with the keypads.

You really don't. "Both" is by far the better answer, IMO, for the reasons I've listed above...

Jeff
post #3 of 28
It's like new car shopping. You have to ask yourself what you can really afford.

If you can't, you shouldn't, but if you can, go for it.

Buy from an authorized dealer.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
I just learned that the GC OLED keypads are compatible with the Essentia system. Any reason I shouldn't be looking at the Essentia system instead of the GC?
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maui19 View Post

I just learned that the GC OLED keypads are compatible with the Essentia system. Any reason I shouldn't be looking at the Essentia system instead of the GC?

It's a smaller-wattage system and supports the same sources as the GC. But the real issue is if you're going to purchase the bare Essentia system and individual GC OLED keypads, you're effectively at the price of the bundled GC with six keypads included. Even if you pieced together a mix of keypads (single and double-gang), for the difference in price, I'd recommend the GC solution instead. Especially since you've got double-gang openings trimmed out...


Jeff
post #6 of 28
I am likely in the minority, and I have posted this response before, however, I believe you should take a look at the Sonos offering.

Nuvo, Russound and others are simply not in a position to invest in the keypad/controller technology the way Apple, Samsung, and others can, and they have already been exceeded in terms of flexibility, ease of use, and integration by smart phone apps. Whatever keypad you install will likely be outmoded very quickly, which to my mind makes it a poor investment. Even ipad/phones are outmoded in a few year, but you don't screw them into your wall!

I believe that the older whole house audio vendors have very solid sound distribution technology, and since I do not have on installed, I cannot comment on sound quality or flexibility.

I can, however, share my experience with Sonos, and you can take from it what you will.

When I wired the house, I did speaker wire runs from each room to a wiring closet, including loops by the doors for volume control/keypads. I also ran cat5 to the keypad areas. These remain safely behind drywall. I have 8 zones in my house (2 outdoors), and my requirements were to have access to my music library, integration with my AV receiver, ability to synchronize all zones, and access to third party services (Pandora, etc.). I had the system installed and integrated in about 15 minutes, downloaded the app to laptops and iphones, and had a Pandora station running about 20 minutes later.

I virtually never use my 5,000 song library. Most days I put on either a radio station or Pandora "station", which immediately fills the house with music. My kids can use it, and the sound is great. I hooked the output of my AVR to a sonos bridge and I can also share the audio from sports throughout the house.

I recognize that there are some integration opportunities available in the integrated systems that may be lacking in the Sonos, but I have yet to think "I wish I had a keypad in this room". Maybe twice in two years I have wanted to turn the sound off and didn't have my phone.

On the plus side, I cannot imagine actually running sound with a keypad that has six-eight fixed buttons. A keyboard is nice to create a new station, find a song, or set a station.

If you have to have wall mount, consider one of these - http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/wall-mounting-your-ipad-and-ip-125295
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by archbid View Post

I am likely in the minority, and I have posted this response before, however, I believe you should take a look at the Sonos offering.

I don't know if you're in the minority... Certainly not in the opinion that Sonos can be an excellent solution. (note also that the new NuVo P100/200/3100 system should compare very well to a similarly-price Sonos setup, but those products are very new and we don't have any history or first-hand usability reviews yet)
Quote:
Nuvo, Russound and others are simply not in a position to invest in the keypad/controller technology the way Apple, Samsung, and others can, and they have already been exceeded in terms of flexibility, ease of use, and integration by smart phone apps.

No, but they can leverage the same ecosystem that created those components. A wall-mounted touchscreen built on an Android platform is the likely future. The good news is that those would connect easily with cat5e, Ethernet and PoE... And that solution could (done correctly) exceed the usability of a general purpose mobile-app solution.
Quote:
Whatever keypad you install will likely be outmoded very quickly, which to my mind makes it a poor investment. Even ipad/phones are outmoded in a few year, but you don't screw them into your wall!

Agreed they *can* look outdated if not chosen carefully. One of the reasons I picked NuVo over Russound was due to the look of the keypad / displays. But let's separate function from form, too - they will still work for a long, long time. My keypads will outlast the functionality of an in-wall iPad dock. Those all just broke. And who knows what will happen trying to integrate one next year... Which is the flipside - the iPad is a general purpose device, and will evolve at its own pace, regardless of the needs of the wall-mount keypad concept(s).
Quote:
When I wired the house, I did speaker wire runs from each room to a wiring closet, including loops by the doors for volume control/keypads. I also ran cat5 to the keypad areas. These remain safely behind drywall.

And this is why you're not wrong - you've wired correctly, made the product choice that fits your needs, but have the future ability / flexibility to change/upgrade as new products emerge... On the flip side, that's the other reason I didn't even think about installing the current NuVo color touchscreen. Besides price, it's also "slightly larger" than a double-gang faceplate, Undoing that for some future product would be a royal pain of patching and filling.
Quote:
I virtually never use my 5,000 song library. Most days I put on either a radio station or Pandora "station", which immediately fills the house with music. My kids can use it, and the sound is great. I hooked the output of my AVR to a sonos bridge and I can also share the audio from sports throughout the house.

Same here, in terms of sources for the whole house system - TV audio piped into the system (use that for the morning news every day), Internet Radio, Pandora, and the digital library a distant 4th place...
Quote:
I recognize that there are some integration opportunities available in the integrated systems that may be lacking in the Sonos, but I have yet to think "I wish I had a keypad in this room". Maybe twice in two years I have wanted to turn the sound off and didn't have my phone.

I don't carry my phone around the house, certainly not in the bathroom... But there's a keypad there. I'll continue to stress that "both" mobile device and keypad control have their place. My issue with mobile-app based solutions (OTHER than the Sonos or the new NuVo wireless), is the lack of integration between the system and the 'source'. Switching apps to turn on a zone, change volume, then back to the music app is a pain and can't be considered "easy to use".
Quote:
On the plus side, I cannot imagine actually running sound with a keypad that has six-eight fixed buttons. A keyboard is nice to create a new station, find a song, or set a station.
Agreed, but the best-in-class keypad controller solutions are not fixed buttons - metadata display plus software-based menus. Simple keypads like the HTD that offer source selection and volume are useful (and inexpensive). The area between the two (where those 6-8 fixed-function buttons w/o a display live) should be considered no-man's-land...
Quote:
If you have to have wall mount, consider one of these - http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/wall-mounting-your-ipad-and-ip-125295

I'm not a fan of most of these solutions, as they either offer no power/charging solution (so it's not staying on the wall for long), or are going to put a big hole in the wall that will very, very likely need to be changed in 2-3 years (as the iPad gets swapped out for the next gen, and therefore the mount becomes obsolete, and must be replaced).

We're not that far apart, really... smile.gif

Jeff
post #8 of 28
+1

Can we convince Apple that the next ipod touch should be in a mini format that fits exactly inside a Decora switchplate opening?

wink.gif
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by archbid View Post

+1

Can we convince Apple that the next ipod touch should be in a mini format that fits exactly inside a Decora switchplate opening?

wink.gif

I'd rather have a purpose built device without a battery, and with an Ethernet / PoE connector on the back that slips into a single-gang or double-gang opening, and covers the whole thing with a flush edge-to-edge glass... Once you have a double-gang display big enough to see across the room, you don't want to go back. biggrin.gif The correct answer, though, is to offer both sizes. Fitting into a decora opening, though, would make for a very small display. Fit OVER the whole opening, and now you've got something.
post #10 of 28
I have a Russound system (CAV6.6) and frankly I wouldn't get another one. It does it's job but it's rapidly becoming outdated. The only time I would reocmmend one is if you were going to get all the bells and whistles to go with it.. the intercom, ipod dock, touchscreens, matrix switcher, sms server and so on. That's a lot of $$

I think the solution of the future will be a central amp that can handle multiple sources. Everything will be controlled by wireless or enet connected devices, just as was suggested with the pads.

The screens in a two-gang box have a "wow" factor, but frankly they aren't very helpful. I have the CAV connected to JRMC and can stream song titles and playlists to the pad.. honestly when do you actually look at it. I tune in a shoutcast or start a playlist and don't look back. Control is limited (with multiple playlists you have to scroll through them.. can't select from a list).. A touchscreen device gives a lot more control.

A CAV6.6 minus the keypads but with control via iRule (maybe via the RS-232 port??) would be a nice solution, IMHO. But.. can it be done cheaper??


Tim
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Tim View Post

I have the CAV connected to JRMC and can stream song titles and playlists to the pad.. honestly when do you actually look at it.

All the time when using Pandora or Internet Radio, when it's a song I like and I don't know what it is... I use the Pandora "bookmark this song" menu option via the keypad often for the same reason.
Quote:
Control is limited (with multiple playlists you have to scroll through them.. can't select from a list).. A touchscreen device gives a lot more control.

Haven't lived with the Russound, but a poor implementation of any design can spoil the experience. Seen some really awful touchscreen interfaces, too. biggrin.gif
Quote:
A CAV6.6 minus the keypads but with control via iRule (maybe via the RS-232 port??) would be a nice solution, IMHO. But.. can it be done cheaper??

That would be an HTD system with HTDNet:

http://www.htd.com/Products/Mid-Level-and-Lync-Systems-Without-Keypads

And yes, a lot cheaper, but you start separating the sources from the system and the lack of integration is the trade-off. An iRule implementation to control an HTD system, with the Sonos and/or iTunes plug-in may get close to a single-app solution - but will require work...

Jeff
post #12 of 28
Exactly my point.. I suppose it is the fact with many systems.. but I can speak for the Russound.. if you're not going for all the bells and whistles, it isn't worth it, in my opinion.

$2700/$3700 street for just the Nuvo music server. If you consider that part of your initial purchase and are comfortable with it-- if you have seen/used the keypads and find them useful-- then by all means these systems may well be worth it for you. I'm don't want to discourage anybody, I'm just speaking from my experience. I went from "I must have this, because it is awesome" to "this doesn't work very well for me"

With the Russound I have an old P3 rackmount server with 1TB and can serve 3 zones independently. I think the most expensive part was JRMC. I certainly didn't need a CAV to do that, but I couldn't justify the $$$ for a Russound SMS which apparently fail. A lot.

Thanks for the link to HTD! Never even new it existed. Definitely has my interest.

Tim
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Tim View Post

Exactly my point.. I suppose it is the fact with many systems.. but I can speak for the Russound.. if you're not going for all the bells and whistles, it isn't worth it, in my opinion.

$2700/$3700 street for just the Nuvo music server. If you consider that part of your initial purchase and are comfortable with it-- if you have seen/used the keypads and find them useful-- then by all means these systems may well be worth it for you.

Not sure if I'd consider that "all the bells and whistles", but yes, if someone is looking at the NuVo or Russound systems (or anything with metadata keypads), the associated music server / Internet streamer device needed to populate the keypads with useful data on the popular sources should be considered part of the purchase price (or at least, planned for).

The metadata display and menu system is what you're paying for - if you're not going to enable it, get the cheaper system(s)... (there are other feature differences, but this is the big one)
post #14 of 28
Speaking solely for myself, the music server and the system is not worth it.. at least not in Russound. The keypads for the Nuvo seem a lot nicer than Russound (again, I never used a Nuvo system).

OTOH Russound has the matrix video switcher and compoint intercom addons in addition to the music sources. I have no interest in them, but I can see the appeal to somebody that would want a totally integreated solution without jumping to Crestron.

The absolute best thing about my system is when you ring the doorbell it mutes all the speakers and announces it across all zones. I'm not sure if Nuvo can do that, but it is one really nice thing about the system. I would spend a bit more money over a basic system to get that feature.

Your point is well taken that if you aren't going to use the metadata display, then go with a cheaper solution. I guess that is part of my point as well. I have never found the metadata display of much use and I have them in every room, including Master Bath. Abus is the dining room and guest bath.

You have found a use for them, and maybe the OP will too. I myself would have a hard time spending $7500 to listen to the radio and stream music only to have the benefit of the metadata.

However, I do like to tinker and I don't have a problem doing a little work (like connecting the Russound to my JRMC server), and that is another point that requires serious consideration on the part of the purchaser.

Tim
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Tim View Post

Speaking solely for myself, the music server and the system is not worth it.. at least not in Russound. The keypads for the Nuvo seem a lot nicer than Russound (again, I never used a Nuvo system).

That was my opinion as well when I was comparing the systems. I couldn't read the Russound display from more than arm's-length away. At the time, Russound didn't have their music server / streamer, either (or it was a less-capable MP3 system, I can't remember which), which made the choice between the two obvious for me. At the time, NuVo offered the software-only music server (MSRP $999), so the cost delta to add that was a no-brainer for the functionality.
Quote:
OTOH Russound has the matrix video switcher and compoint intercom addons in addition to the music sources. I have no interest in them, but I can see the appeal to somebody that would want a totally integreated solution without jumping to Crestron.

Their component video matrix I think is very limited in its usefulness. It assumes audio will come from the WHA system - that's not how I use any of my video zones. The in-ceiling speakers are separate from the TV audio (where both are present), or are shared for use as surround channels. Controlling video by pointing the remote at the keypad is counter-intuitive to me as well - point at an IR receiver on the TV...
Quote:
The absolute best thing about my system is when you ring the doorbell it mutes all the speakers and announces it across all zones. I'm not sure if Nuvo can do that, but it is one really nice thing about the system. I would spend a bit more money over a basic system to get that feature.

NuVo can do that with some extra bells and whistles. wink.gif
Quote:
Your point is well taken that if you aren't going to use the metadata display, then go with a cheaper solution. I guess that is part of my point as well. I have never found the metadata display of much use and I have them in every room, including Master Bath. Abus is the dining room and guest bath.

That's a shame, since yeah, you certainly paid for that gear...
Quote:
You have found a use for them, and maybe the OP will too. I myself would have a hard time spending $7500 to listen to the radio and stream music only to have the benefit of the metadata.

Well, that's a total cost, the delta isn't quite that much, since you still need the amp, controller, sources, speakers, etc. regardless. But yes, it's at least a $2-3k bump over an HTD system with a Sonos unit. Which is what makes the NuVo P3100 intriguing - 3 zones for $1500 and control from mobile devices in a nice 1U package...

I wouldn't fault anyone for using the cheaper solution - but back to the subject of pre-wiring - absolutely should run the cat5e keypad wires for the option in the future.

Jeff
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Well, that's a total cost, the delta isn't quite that much, since you still need the amp, controller, sources, speakers, etc. regardless. But yes, it's at least a $2-3k bump over an HTD system with a Sonos unit. Which is what makes the NuVo P3100 intriguing - 3 zones for $1500 and control from mobile devices in a nice 1U package...

True, the number is not representative of the upgrade to the metadata keypads. I'm getting a little off topic with 'what I would do' versus 'talk me out of metadata'.

In weighing all the options the Lync is not a bad deal for the price, even with the lyncpads. Being able to control via http is a huge plus for me. The MCA would almost fit the bill for me, but it doesn't have the doorbell interface.

Tim

edit: the P3100 is also a nice setup at a lower cost.. but I love that doorbell interface!
post #17 of 28
I will throw in my 2 cents on this one. I just replaced a SpeakerCraft MODE MZC-88 system (with jukebox and iPod) with a Sonos system. Installation of the 4 Sonos Connect:amp's in my media closet was a breeze and took up less room than just my amp did before. Total list cost was $2k, but no programming required. Everything just worked. Plus I can manage all changes to the system without much effort on my part.

We loved our MODE 3.1 keypads. Controllers were nicely placed and physical buttons are great. (Only physical volume buttons remain in the Sonos system).

That being said, in our 5+ iOS device household, a controller is always handy and much easier to use than the MODE. Plus, the computer works as well.

Sound quality is fine and we are able to distribute MOG, Internet radio and our local digital music without a hitch. (My Apple Lossless library resides on a simple USB hard drive connected to my Airport. I may upgrade to a NAS as well.).

I've also managed to connect our Apple TV through the Aux ports. With 3 AUX ports remaining, I may add an old fashioned CD player -- albeit without transport controls on my iPad. I may even add a record player. Gasp!

I think the new Nuvo system could compare but Sonos is much more evolved at this point and I didn't need to go through the installer morass. I had the system up and running within 3 days of ordering it on Sonos' website. Plus, price is really comparable.
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Interesting discussion--thanks all.

So I guess the alternative would be something like the Sonos. I'm not conversant in their product, but it looks to me like I would need 6 of the Connect:Amp units (1 per zone), which I would put in my equipment closet and hardwire to my speakers. The whole thing would be controlled by iPhones/Pads, MacBooks, etc. Sources would be built in (Internet radio) or could pulled from computers, iPods or NAS devices.

Do I have this right?
post #19 of 28
Maui19 and archbid

I myself am dealing with the same confusion. I plan to build (and invest in) my system in stages. I did some research and looked through systems like Nuvo, Russound etc. At the moment, I am planning to get speakers installed with in wall volume controls at the time of construction and I plan to leave a Cat5 at each Keypad.

Stage 1 - 2 Sonos Connects + Multi Zone amp (something like Dayton Audio MA1240a) + In wall volume control + android phones/tablets that I already have for control

Stage 2 - Sonos Connects/Other sources + Control 4 amp + Control 4 in wall volume controls (Including 2 wall mounted Ipads for source selection etc.)
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rallykeeper View Post

I think the new Nuvo system could compare but Sonos is much more evolved at this point and I didn't need to go through the installer morass.

Just FYI - you can get authorized/supported NuVo gear from Smarthome and Parts-Express directly and avoid any dealer "issues"... wink.gif But a DIY-friendly can probably beat those prices.
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post

Stage 1 - 2 Sonos Connects + Multi Zone amp (something like Dayton Audio MA1240a) + In wall volume control + android phones/tablets that I already have for control

Stage 2 - Sonos Connects/Other sources + Control 4 amp + Control 4 in wall volume controls (Including 2 wall mounted Ipads for source selection etc.)

What 'other sources'? Are you aware that you can use the analog line-in on the Sonos units to make other source(s) available to any Sonos unit?

How many zones total? I'm not sure what the Control4 setup would get you in this setup that a Sonos-per-zone (and just use the Amp version perhaps) wouldn't... If the only thing the keypads are going to do is volume / source selection, just go with an HTD with Sonos sources. Wall mounting an iPad (not my recommendation) would work just as well directly to a Sonos unit (better if it was the Connect:Amp).

Probably need more details to a better answer, though...

Jeff
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

What 'other sources'? Are you aware that you can use the analog line-in on the Sonos units to make other source(s) available to any Sonos unit?

How many zones total? I'm not sure what the Control4 setup would get you in this setup that a Sonos-per-zone (and just use the Amp version perhaps) wouldn't... If the only thing the keypads are going to do is volume / source selection, just go with an HTD with Sonos sources. Wall mounting an iPad (not my recommendation) would work just as well directly to a Sonos unit (better if it was the Connect:Amp).

Probably need more details to a better answer, though...

Jeff

Thanks for answering. With other sources, I meant tuner for local radio or even additional sonos connects etc. Pardon my ignorance but how would I control a tuner connected to sonos unit via analog line in?

I will have 8 zones in total but I dont need to have 8 separate streams. I can do with 2-3 streams with each playing in > 1 zone at a time. Hence I can do with 2-3 sonos connects. Sonos connect amps by themselves cannot merge zones hence I need a dedicated amp/matrix for that. Control 4 amp in stage 2 will be part of more elaborate control 4 installation including lighting, security, HVAC etc down the line.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post

Thanks for answering. With other sources, I meant tuner for local radio or even additional sonos connects etc. Pardon my ignorance but how would I control a tuner connected to sonos unit via analog line in?

A tuner, no, you wouldn't control it via Sonos. But most "local radio" is also available over the Internet, which you can get via Sonos, so you may not even need it. Check TuneIn to see if the stations you care about are available to the streaming services.
Quote:
I will have 8 zones in total but I dont need to have 8 separate streams. I can do with 2-3 streams with each playing in > 1 zone at a time. Hence I can do with 2-3 sonos connects. Sonos connect amps by themselves cannot merge zones hence I need a dedicated amp/matrix for that. Control 4 amp in stage 2 will be part of more elaborate control 4 installation including lighting, security, HVAC etc down the line.

If you're going to go Control4, you should talk to the dealer now to make sure all the gear you're buying in the interim will fit in well with the system.

For 8 zones an HTD system would be a better inexpensive choice than a simple multi-channel amp, since you'll want to be able to select sources and have some local control capability. Since they're RS232-controllable, I assume there's Control4 drivers for them.

Jeff
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well I guess I have talked myself out of the keypads with metadata. I am pretty sure I am going to go with a Sonos system, and start with 3 zones to see how it goes. Sonos seems so simple and appropriate for my needs.

Thanks very much for all your thoughtful comments!
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
Final answer: I am moving ahead with the Sonos. I bought a Connect:Amp locally so I could return it easily if it didn't meet my needs. This solution is perfect for me--even my wife likes it. I have ordered 3 more Amps, and will use a non-Amp Connect to drive music to my great room. I can control everything from my phone, laptops, desktop Mac (and I always have one of these within reach). This is working out better than I could have hoped.

Now I have to decide if I should patch over the outlets for the keypads. I think I probably will.

Now if I could figure out which Soundbar to get...
post #26 of 28
I know this is a newb question, but is a sonos amp needed for every zone?
post #27 of 28
Quote:
I know this is a newb question, but is a sonos amp needed for every zone?

A Sonos Amp is needed for every zone that does not have powered speakers. So, if you want to connect your 5.1 setup to your WHA system, you can just get the Sonos Connect.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maui19 View Post

Final answer: I am moving ahead with the Sonos. I bought a Connect:Amp locally so I could return it easily if it didn't meet my needs. This solution is perfect for me--even my wife likes it. I have ordered 3 more Amps, and will use a non-Amp Connect to drive music to my great room. I can control everything from my phone, laptops, desktop Mac (and I always have one of these within reach). This is working out better than I could have hoped.

Now I have to decide if I should patch over the outlets for the keypads. I think I probably will.

Now if I could figure out which Soundbar to get...

Sonos just came out with their own sound bar this week
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