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HTD and keypads vs. Nuvo P3100 and no keypads

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Help.

I'm building a new house and I'm a few weeks out from wiring. We've been planning to wire for whole home audio in six zones the entire time, and I was originally looking at the Nuvo Essentia system. I liked it, but it was too expensive after adding the music port.

Then I found HTD and their Lync 6 system. It was perfect. I love the fact that each zone has an input that can then be played throughout the house. I keep having visions of my wife plugging her iPhone into a jack in the kitchen and being able to listen to it with the in-ceiling speakers.

I was planning on using an Airport Express as a source to play my iTunes music throughout the house, and run a line from the satellite receiver to the HTD system to play satellite music throughout the house.

The only problem is the keypads. They only control volume and change the source. It seems like a bit of a waste of wall space. Plus, the HTD Lync web interface that I can use from my iPhone is not the most attractive looking piece of software. It would require me to use two apps, one to control the zones, and one to control the music.

Then I saw the new Nuvo P3100 system. This looks great. It's completely app driven, so I can turn it on, change the volume, and pick a song from iTunes all from one Nuvo app. It has access to online radio streams and line-in jacks to add more sources. Sounds great.

Problem is, there are no keypads in the wall. What happens if I need to lower the volume quickly and my phone or iPad aren't handy?

I love the look and feel of the Nuvo app, but it has it's own cons. I'd have to buy two P3100's for my six zones, and together they cost more than the HTD setup.

My question is, for everyone out there who has a system like this, what do you prefer? Are keypads really useful, or has their time come to an end?
post #2 of 24
Keypads are very useful, but as you point out, to get the truly useful ones requires a system at the higher end of the price range... I'm really hoping NuVo will enable keypad support for the P3100 at some point, as that would be huge advantage over Sonos.

My preference is for both. I use the keypads more often, but for browsing / selecting music from the digital library, the app is much easier. (NuVo could do some simple things to make it better - I've asked...) But you can't beat the keypads for "always where you left it" functionality.

I guess if I were going to select between those two solutions, I'd go with the P3100, as you get your source selection, control and volume all from one app.

But regardless of your choice, do wire for future keypads, so even if you don't have them today, you can easily upgrade the system later. If the world goes where I think it will - a simple wall-mounted, touchscreen, Ethernet-powered keypad/display (probably running Android) will fill that role in the not too distant future.

Jeff
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks Jeff. What brand / system do you have in your house?
I'm really torn between these two.
If we go the Nuvo route, I'll probably wall mount an iPod touch somewhere to use as the keypad in the one large common area we will have. Still, it's a good idea to prewire the rest of the rooms for the keypads, just in case.
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by madmic23 View Post

Thanks Jeff. What brand / system do you have in your house?
I'm really torn between these two.

NuVo Grand Concerto and the Music Port (old version of the MPS4)
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post


My preference is for both. I use the keypads more often, but for browsing / selecting music from the digital library, the app is much easier. (NuVo could do some simple things to make it better - I've asked...) But you can't beat the keypads for "always where you left it" functionality.

I guess if I were going to select between those two solutions, I'd go with the P3100, as you get your source selection, control and volume all from one app.

One of my ideas is to go with the Nuvo with an iPod Touch mounted in the wall in some areas running the Nuvo app. That way, we can still get the always there feeling of a keypad. It will cost a bit more, but it will also look great. I'd have that iPod set with only a few apps, like Nuvo and weather.
It would definitely cost a lot more than HTD, but it will also look a lot more high tech.
That's a good idea about prewiring for more keypads. I can't see myself installing too many iPod touch docks (probably just one or two), but it would be nice to have the option in the future.
post #6 of 24
Hey there. For what it is worth, I have the 6 zone lync system and all your scenarios that you outlined are exactly what I am using. It works very well and the customer support is the best I have ever experienced. I bought an IR system through them and had an issue. Without hesitation they sent me a different sensor at no cost. And said just keep the old one( it still functions).

Not the best looking keypads, but functional. Hoping they come out with a different interface with their mobile control.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Den85 View Post

Hey there. For what it is worth, I have the 6 zone lync system and all your scenarios that you outlined are exactly what I am using. It works very well and the customer support is the best I have ever experienced. I bought an IR system through them and had an issue. Without hesitation they sent me a different sensor at no cost. And said just keep the old one( it still functions).

Not the best looking keypads, but functional. Hoping they come out with a different interface with their mobile control.

What do you think of the mobile interface? That's one of the big stumbling blocks for me, as I really like the looks of the Nuvo app. Do you find yourself using the keypads more, or are they something you could live without?
post #8 of 24
I have mabey used the mobile interface twice in 6 months. It is very slow as it uses a web browser. Plus every time the power goes out or something, you need to find the newIP address. It might be useful if you have outdoor speakers. But only for the " cool factor".
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Den85 View Post

I have mabey used the mobile interface twice in 6 months. It is very slow as it uses a web browser. Plus every time the power goes out or something, you need to find the newIP address. It might be useful if you have outdoor speakers. But only for the " cool factor".

What do you use as your main music sources? Do you primarily leave it on one source?
post #10 of 24
I mostly use airplay with my iPhone. I use zone 2 on a pioneer vsx 1122 which includes AirPlay. Also have a satellite reciever hooked up to it so we can listen to music, sports games or the news. Also have the XM app so that gets used alot through airplay.

On an average,the system is probly on for 10 hours if I'm inside all day
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
This is seriously the hardest decision I've had to make about my new house.

I was set on going the Nuvo route with an iPad mini mounted in the wall in the living room (found a great wall bracket here for only $100 http://ipadwallbracket.com/).

I sent an email to Nuvo asking about the analog inputs on the P3100. They told me that yes, I could share any of the three inputs in any zone, and if I bought two units I'd have six inputs which could be played in any zone. However, they said there would be a delay with the audio if I were to plug the audio out from my TV into the system, causing a lip sync issue.

It's not a total deal breaker, but that was one of the big selling features of HTD. I want to hook my bedroom TV into an audio input in the wall so I can listen to it from the in ceiling speakers.

I'm still bouncing back and forth between the two, and seem to change my mind every day. I took another look at Sonos last night. For pretty much the same price as the Nuvo, I could go with a set of Sonos Connect Amps and expand one zone at a time in the future.

One thing I haven't asked about is audio quality. I will be using in-ceiling 8" Yamaha speakers for my sound. Out of HTD, Nuvo, and Sonos, which has the better audio quality? Or will I even notice a difference?
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by madmic23 View Post

It's not a total deal breaker, but that was one of the big selling features of HTD. I want to hook my bedroom TV into an audio input in the wall so I can listen to it from the in ceiling speakers.

Use the TV speakers at the same time as the in-ceiling speakers (as main L/R, not in a surround arrangement)? Are you using a set-top box to serve the display, because there will be slight delays introduced by the TV regardless - you'll need to take an analog output from the TV to even have a chance at a "zero delay" between the two systems.

I send set-top box audio to my system, so I can listen to the news in the master bathroom, while the TV is on in the bedroom. There is a slight delay between the two, with the WHA system slightly ahead of the TV speakers. Upgrading that recently to an AVR fed audio separately, it's closer...
Quote:
I'm still bouncing back and forth between the two, and seem to change my mind every day. I took another look at Sonos last night. For pretty much the same price as the Nuvo, I could go with a set of Sonos Connect Amps and expand one zone at a time in the future.

You should probably just stop for now. You've done the homework for the pre-wiring, and are several months away from needing a solution - keep your short list of products and wait. Very possible something else (new brand, new model, whatever) will show up before you need to purchase it. Assuming you're 3-4 months from move-in, you're getting very close to the CEDIA show in September, which would be the most likely point for new WHA products to show up. That would probably push availability into late this year, but it might be worth a bit of delay to see. If it was 6+ months, I wouldn't recommend waiting, but you're probably only 1-2 months of 'wait time'.
Quote:
One thing I haven't asked about is audio quality. I will be using in-ceiling 8" Yamaha speakers for my sound. Out of HTD, Nuvo, and Sonos, which has the better audio quality? Or will I even notice a difference?

Don't think you'll be able hear a quality difference that wouldn't be dwarfed by other factors (speaker quality, room placement, etc.)

Jeff
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Use the TV speakers at the same time as the in-ceiling speakers (as main L/R, not in a surround arrangement)? Are you using a set-top box to serve the display, because there will be slight delays introduced by the TV regardless - you'll need to take an analog output from the TV to even have a chance at a "zero delay" between the two systems.

I was planning on using the audio out from the TV to use the in-ceiling speakers in place of the TV speakers. It's a bedroom, so no need for surround sound, but it's still nice to have something that sounds a little bit nicer than your typical flat panel TV speakers.

The house is going to be ready by the end of May, so I don't have too much of a wait. I'll wire as if I'm using HTD, but in the end, may end up with the Nuvo.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by madmic23 View Post

I was planning on using the audio out from the TV to use the in-ceiling speakers in place of the TV speakers. It's a bedroom, so no need for surround sound, but it's still nice to have something that sounds a little bit nicer than your typical flat panel TV speakers.

eek.gif No need for surround??? wink.gif

Any delay may not be an issue, it has to be "significant" to cause the rubber-lip mismatch with video.

But I'd caution you about using in-ceiling speakers for main L/R audio for your TV. Dialog will come from above you instead of from the screen, and this is not generally a preferred solution. If you want better sound than the TV speakers, you should probably look at a powered soundbar as the next step.
Quote:
The house is going to be ready by the end of May, so I don't have too much of a wait. I'll wire as if I'm using HTD, but in the end, may end up with the Nuvo.

Six weeks to completion and they don't have the drywall up? Wow, that's fast... Mine was done 4 months after drywall, which in the timeline was at the 50% completion point.
post #15 of 24
I don't know how much truth there is to this, but I had an audio specialist come out to my house to review my setup as I, too, was considering the P3100. The house we recently purchased already had WHA in multiple zones. My source at this point is nothing more than my old home theater receiver, so I was looking to replace it.

The home we purchased has a volume control knob for each zone. Although antiquated, it immediately resolves any volume issue if the phone rings or someone comes to the door. No stumbling around looking for the iOS device.

I stumbled upon the P3100 about three mos back and really liked what I saw - mostly from the iOS interface. My biggest beef was the three zone limitations (I really need a "P6100" unit!!). However, my wife immediately pointed out that she wouldn't be happy if she had to go find the iPad to turn the volume down. She wanted to use the contorl knob on the wall.

The specialist said both could be used, but we'd have to be aware of this. He said if the volume knobs were turned up, she could still turn one down manually if she so chooses. He just warned to be aware as I might want to control the volume and wonder why it isn't going up...only to find out that she turned it down with the knob. Not a big deal, but if I were to go with the P3100 that's what I was planning on doing - leaving the in-wall control and still leveraging the iPad.

But then a friend showed me the HTD devices...still haven't made a decision!
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ayemac View Post

I don't know how much truth there is to this, but I had an audio specialist come out to my house to review my setup as I, too, was considering the P3100. The house we recently purchased already had WHA in multiple zones. My source at this point is nothing more than my old home theater receiver, so I was looking to replace it.

The home we purchased has a volume control knob for each zone. Although antiquated, it immediately resolves any volume issue if the phone rings or someone comes to the door. No stumbling around looking for the iOS device.

I stumbled upon the P3100 about three mos back and really liked what I saw - mostly from the iOS interface. My biggest beef was the three zone limitations (I really need a "P6100" unit!!). However, my wife immediately pointed out that she wouldn't be happy if she had to go find the iPad to turn the volume down. She wanted to use the contorl knob on the wall.

The specialist said both could be used, but we'd have to be aware of this. He said if the volume knobs were turned up, she could still turn one down manually if she so chooses. He just warned to be aware as I might want to control the volume and wonder why it isn't going up...only to find out that she turned it down with the knob. Not a big deal, but if I were to go with the P3100 that's what I was planning on doing - leaving the in-wall control and still leveraging the iPad.

That is correct, you can certainly do that, and in these cases it may make some sense. The issue that comes up is a usability one - that the wall-mount volume control is only adjusting "down" from whatever level you've set with the controller/amp's app interface. So there will be times where you set the wall volume control to "max", but the volume will be much lower than expected, because the controller volume (from the app interface) is low.

As long as you understand the relationship between those two, and get used to the behavior, there's nothing "wrong" with adding them. Especially if you only use it for those quick needs, and restore the volume control to "max" afterwards...

Jeff
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Six weeks to completion and they don't have the drywall up? Wow, that's fast... Mine was done 4 months after drywall, which in the timeline was at the 50% completion point.

We've had some delays in the construction schedule, so my closing date is now looking more like mid to late June now. It's only a 2000 sq ft house, so it shouldn't take too long. I took a look at your theater pictures in your signature. Very nice job. I can see why your house took four months after the drywall went up!

So, I've reintroduced Sonos into my decision making process. I found it's actually cheaper than Nuvo if I buy it from the US (I'm in Canada). I prefer the Sonos interface to Nuvo's. However, I like that one unit from Nuvo runs 3 zones, instead of Sonos needing one unit per zone.

The never ending debate continues....
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by madmic23 View Post

We've had some delays in the construction schedule, so my closing date is now looking more like mid to late June now. It's only a 2000 sq ft house, so it shouldn't take too long.

I think those were built-in delays... :-)
Quote:
I took a look at your theater pictures in your signature. Very nice job. I can see why your house took four months after the drywall went up!

Thanks, and yeah, there was probably more finish work, which is why I quoted it as the "halfway point" in the schedule for perspective...
Quote:
So, I've reintroduced Sonos into my decision making process. I found it's actually cheaper than Nuvo if I buy it from the US (I'm in Canada). I prefer the Sonos interface to Nuvo's. However, I like that one unit from Nuvo runs 3 zones, instead of Sonos needing one unit per zone.

Same is probably true for NuVo...
post #19 of 24
If it worth anything I have installed quite a few P3100s and I have had nothing but very happy customers. I do you the line in for the tv and had a noticeable delay, like others mentioned people use it to listen to tv news in the shower. I do understand your keypad / app dilemma.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
We moved in back in June. I decided to go with a Sonos setup, using Sonos Connect Amps.

I had all of the pre-wiring done, so there is speaker wire in the ceiling in each room all going down to the basement. I buried Ethernet cable behind the wall where I could potentially put a keypad in the future if I were ever to go with a Nuvo or HTD system.

So far, I just have one Sonos Connect Amp and a Sonos Play3 speaker. I bought the Play3 to test out the system and see what life with Sonos would be like. After using it for a while, I started to think that I should have just bought a Sonos Play5 to put in every room and just forget about the wiring! It worked great and sounded really good.

I finally got around to installing my in-ceiling speakers last weekend in my main living room. I have four speakers total, all hooked up to the one Sonos Connect Amp. It sounds great, and the interface is easy to use. So far, I'm loving it.

Over time, I plan on purchasing more Connect Amps to build up my system. With everything wired the way it is, I feel comfortable knowing that I have the flexibility to switch out the Sonos system if something better comes along.

I've decided not to install any iPod touch or iPad minis in the wall as control panels. I find that with our two iPhones, two iPads and desktop computer, there is always a Sonos controller within easy reach.

I'm very happy with everything so far, and I can't wait to expand my system with some more Connect Amps.
post #21 of 24
Well your go around with everything now has me uber perplexed. We are starting our build this spring. I'm most likely gonna pre-wire to the max and deal with what system later on. I was debating between the sonos, htd and nuvo. Also being from Canada, it all likely have to come out of the states.
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
Pre wiring is definitely a good idea. You never know when something might change. I probably have way too much CAT6 cable running to my basement, but it's good to know that I have the flexibility to change things around whenever I feel like it.
I highly recommend Sonos. I'm so happy with the Play3 that I feel like I could have saved a lot of money on speaker wire if I had just bought a Play3 or Play5 for each room. They really do sound great. I'm glad I have my one Sonos Connect Amp powering my four living room in ceiling speakers though. It does a great job for background music.
I will definitely need another Connect Amp to run my outdoor speakers once I get my backyard sorted out this coming summer, but I can hold off on that for now.
I was on the verge of going with HTD, but the ease of use with Sonos just can't be beat.
post #23 of 24
And what makes it even more appealing is I get employee pricing at Best Buy!!!
post #24 of 24
Not sure if anyone is still looking for alternative options, but I have a Nuvo essentia system with a sonos serving as one of the sources. I can use the wall panels to select the source and use the sonos app to browse/play. Works pretty well.
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