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Newbie room-to-room questions  

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm new to room-to-room A/V discussions and have read some of the last month's posts about hardware and recommendations. What I'm hoping to find is a place with general information about the whole idea and what issues I need to be aware of since I've not done much research so far.

I live in a two story Townhouse (which my husband and I own) and any new wiring has to been done in a visible fashion because of the construction (concrete floors and no attic) but adding/changing wiring is an option to help with this. We're wanting to find a way to better utilize the A/V equipment we have. Downstairs is a Sony A/V Receiver, Sony DirectTV/Tivo, Denon CD changer, RCA VCR, Phillips LD/DVD player and 27" Sony TV. Upstairs in one room is another Sony A/V Receiver (older than the one downstairs), a Sony CD player, tape deck, turntable and 17" TV. Another room upstairs has a 13" TV, Sony Tivo (standalone), Sony VCR, Sony DSS Receiver & a remote controller switcher. Needless to say, this has gotten out of hand and we need to find a way to collapse some of it if we can. There is no room-to-room hardware in the picture now so we'd be starting from scratch in that regard. So I'm interested in both good general information on how to do room-to-room configurations as well as any suggestions those of you with experience might have.


post #2 of 11
Sometimes stand alone systems are best. What exactly do you wish to end up with. One TIVO shared? One CD player shared. One closet with all the equipment?

Is there zero attic access or just over certain areas?


Watch HDTV!!! Nothing else comes close!
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
I don't mind having systems both upstairs and downstairs, it's mostly a problem that you have to go to a specific location to watch something, depending upon where it was recorded for example. So even if the equipment still resides in different parts of the house I'd like to be able to watch it without going to the room it's in. On the first pass I'd like to have:

Downstairs: TV, 1 A/V Reciever, 1 DirectTV Tivo, 1 VCR,
1 DVD/LD, 1 CD player
Upstairs (library): TV, 1 A/V Receiver, 1 SA Tivo, 1 VCR, 1 CD player
Upsatirs (bedroom): TV

I'd like to be able to watch for example, what was recorded on the upstairs Tivo, downstairs if I want, or vice versa. And watch/listen to any of it in the bedroom. This doesn't collapse all the hardware but it at least moves some of it from the bedroom into the library.

As for no attic - there isn't any crawl space in the entire house. Not even a teeny-tiny section in the roof. And since it's a townhouse the walls have firebreaks in the outside walls which makes running anything in them really difficult. So cables showing is what've got now and we're able to cope with that (most of them are outside).

post #4 of 11
You could modulate both TIVOs.

While my mind is cranking out ideas, the price increases.

In my mind I have a Crestron RF remote with both TIVOs modulated. Use a Crestron ST-CP processor. It has 4 IR zone. One zone for each room of equipment. You take the remote around with you and have full control of each system. You can add extra remotes as the money becomes available.


Modulate one TIVO and use a Prontos to control the TIVO and system via hardwired sensors.


Watch HDTV!!! Nothing else comes close!
post #5 of 11
We have a primer on multi-room video distribution on our website.
Goto www.channelplus.com and follow the links to "How Do I Watch DSS From My Bedroom?"

This is several years old, but it should give you a flavor for many of the issues.

Early on, you should decide what kind of budget you have to address this problem. If you want to be a do-it-your-self-er you probably should look at the wireless stuff first or some simple modulated equipment if you don't mind running coax on the outside wall.

Dave's thoughts will point you to the CEDIA world where you should find a pro. You can have very elaborate, capable systems this way. But as Dave points out, you pay for it.

Good luck.

Rich Foye
Multiplex Technology
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'd rather go the DIY route if I can. Wiring on the outside isn't a big problem. I read the information on "DSS in my bedroom" and while it solves part of the problem I'm looking at solving it for both Audio and Video components, not just the DSS or Tivo. I'll look at some of the options that you guys have mentioned though.

Thanks for the help.

post #7 of 11
If you buy a modulator I'd purchase a Chanel Plus or Channel Vision. Both are quality units.

I wish I had a cheaper solution but I only work with quality parts as an installer/programmer, so don't work with the "all in one units" that seem to offer a cheaper solution.


Watch HDTV!!! Nothing else comes close!
post #8 of 11
I think the Modulator for the TIVO would be easy for you to wire and setup. I wanted to write this post concerning your wiring. You don't have to look at it! Locate areas common areas on the top and bottom floors, especially in the corners. You can build and place wire runs behind moldings that you can build. The moldings can dress up the room and conceal wiring. Cove, base and floor-to-ceiling casement. A common hole can be bored right through concrete. This uses a special drill bit and is not hard to find. A conduit can be placed between the floors to meet code.
Some companies that make controlling the items easy are: www.panja.com , www.crestron.com. , www.lexcon.com , www.nilesaudio.com . I posted these because they all make Radio controlled systems, which will allow you to wander around with the controller. Yes, you can have more than one. -j
post #9 of 11
My mistake: this is it www.lexicon.com
post #10 of 11
First, two questions, given that video distribution acnbe handled with source modulation, is the interest in centrally locating the audio equipment driven by aesthetic concerns? Second, did you know that most (with a few exceptions) distributed audio systems relegate all locations other than the headend to stereo playback, surround sound is difficult to distribute. If I were a DIYer getting into distributed audio and video, I would start with Elan's Z-series components. The are built in a fashion that allows intuitive assembly. They are ir addressable, so you can start out with a remote as a controller, as opposed to some of the more expensive alternatives. Also, most of the Z components are constructed in three zone increments, the same number it seems you need. The website is informative, www.elanhomesystems.com. There are some lower priced options, Russound, IntelliNet and Matrix Audio might be good choices. And some more fantastic options, ADA and Crestron come to mind. But there aren't many that are simpler to install.

post #11 of 11
Whatever you end up doing, don't waste money in wireless room-to-room devices. They suffer from all kinds of interference, which will only get worse as more and more devices (cordless phones, etc) are using the 2.4GHz frequencies. Modulation seems the best answer (for the video at least). And if you only have to split the signal 2 or 3 times, you might not need a very expensive modulator or amp/splitter.

Wendell Ocasio
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