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Best inexpensive way to wire house so can have speakers in each room and music from a central source

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I purchased a ranch and am fixing it up a bit.



I want to put in speakers in each room, and have it that I can play different songs on each of them. The songs should all come from the same source.

I am anyway planning on somehow mounting a cheap android tablet in each room so that I can use them as an intercom system (SIP clients w/ asterisk). So it would be great if I can use them to control the speakers as well.

This is the equipment I currently own, so it would be great to be able to integrate everything together without needing to buy to much more, but I will if neccessary.



1 - Vera 3 (This controls a lot of light switches as well as a door lock)

2 - cheap android tablets

3 - Harman Kardon - AVR 1700 500W 5.1-Ch. A/V Home Theater Receiver

4 - Linux computer running asterisk



I have no problem running wires as I am anyway fixing up holes in the walls.





There are 11 rooms where I would like to put speakers, however I can probably break them down in to 8 groups.



Any suggestions?Best inexpensive way to wire house so can have speakers in each room and music from a central source

Thanks
post #2 of 3
Not sure about best or least expensive. Different songs in each room means independent amplifiers for each zone, something you can't really accomplish with your current equipment unless you limit it to five zones (or however many channels your hk avr has) and mono sound, and then your avr can't be used for anything else.

But say we add a suitable multichannel amp or amps to the list. One possibility I suppose would be running something like xbmc (if your tablets are up to it) or another android mediacenter type app on each tablet, all pulling songs stored as a collection on the Linux server. Probably dozens of potential apps, including simple ones like vlc, that will vary in balance between hardware requirements, flexibility, simplicity, beauty etc. Each tablet sends line level analog audio back to multichannel amp(s), powering the various zones. Volume could be handled by tablet control (don't know if this is done digital or analog in android devices, probably digital) or the common transformer wall switch/knob in each zone that are widely used for this purpose, or some combination of the two.

Using physically separate amps for each zone might cost more for the amps but would cut way down on the wiring runs required and significantly reduce the potential for nasty noise and hum problems with long low voltage line level runs.

Cool thing about xbmc and possibly other solutions is the possibility of having one tablet control another as a target, letting you say start a song in the kitchen from the bedroom tablet. At least xbmc devs have been working on that, not sure if its exposed in the latest release or not.

Other apps might be better suited for music only purpose, xbmc is more TV/movie centric though it does music and more too. Perhaps someone can recommend something a little more trim on the app side.

There are probably more "proper" or elegant ways to do this type of thing, but stuff like crestron comes to mind and then inexpensive is out the window.
post #3 of 3
"I want to put in speakers in each room, and have it that I can play different songs on each of them. The songs should all come from the same source."

Well what you want to achieve is an EXACT fit for a complete multi room Sonos system. But sorry, not cheap.

Still, maybe you can get it within a reason...buy a Sonos connect to hook into your AVR, and that can drive a few zones if the AVR has em. Then invest in a bunch of Play 3s, and keep adding them as your budget allows. You wont regret it.
(And of course, Your cheap andriod tablets would all run the sonos software so in a sense you'd have controls all over the place, plus on your phone. Volume, music, and zones are all controlled there.

Music resides on Linux Computer and of course you have access to uncountable number of radio/streaming services.
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