A "modern" approach to Whole House Audio - Page 5 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #121 of 153 Old 03-16-2018, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fhcraig View Post
Consider me another convert! I installed a Russound system 10 years ago during new construction to control 24 zones - a mix of home run speaker pairs, home theater receivers and A-Bus controllers. As years went by we found ourselves using the keypads less and less. We also largely abandoned a huge ripped music library, XM radio, etc. as audio sources in favor of Pandora, Spotify, etc. feeding the Russound system through a Sonos CONNECT. Family & friends found it way too easy to use a PC/Phone/Tablet interface to the Sonos and my expensive multi-zone system and keypads ended up being glorified volume controls.

Largely on inspiration / information from this thread (and others), I pulled out all the Russound equipment and went with 17 CCA's feeding 3 multi-channel amps, 3 existing HT receivers, and a legacy A-Bus controller (I was short sighted during construction and wired 3 guest baths locally for A-Bus ... home run EVERYTHING!). The solution is the bomb! I picked up a couple of Azus ZenPad 8's to play with as controllers, but find we use our Android phones as much as anything. Creating Groups is super easy, switching zones is seamless, and the rich app interface on the tablets and phones is hugely superior to the simple meta data we ever got on our Russound keypads. I'll get some pics and post more details later, but this was one of the most gratifying, cost effective tech projects I've ever tackled (and I've done a bunch of them!).

Rick
Congratulations! You can still integrate ripped media/content easily - I use Plex, and gives me a nice UI along with video access to my DVR library, and understands casting to Chromecast really well.

Of course, for music alone, you can always upload all your content o Play Music or Spotify, etc,... and play it all through those interfaces.

And best of all, you don't have to worry about Russound or Nuvo etc... EOL'ing their product or not supporting the content provider you want. Almost all the music providers now support Cast as an option, where as Russound etc... all have to build code for every service they want to integrate, and that isn't their sweet spot anyway.

thx
mike
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post #122 of 153 Old 03-16-2018, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post
Congratulations! You can still integrate ripped media/content easily - I use Plex, and gives me a nice UI along with video access to my DVR library, and understands casting to Chromecast really well.

Of course, for music alone, you can always upload all your content o Play Music or Spotify, etc,... and play it all through those interfaces.

And best of all, you don't have to worry about Russound or Nuvo etc... EOL'ing their product or not supporting the content provider you want. Almost all the music providers now support Cast as an option, where as Russound etc... all have to build code for every service they want to integrate, and that isn't their sweet spot anyway.

thx
mike
Mike -

Without a doubt Plex is a great solution for integrating served content! I've played with/used it on other projects and have been impressed following the threads wrt CCA integration. The truth is that I finally left my original content behind ... There wasn't a lot I couldn't replicate on streaming and I almost exclusively listen through the WHA system now so digital quality isn't the most important criteria (there was a day ...). My musical tastes also run a lot more current than my 60yr old frame, so streaming has been a huge blessing!

Without a doubt it's an awesome time to build out these kinds of systems ... regardless of the hardware solution! I understand the pull people have toward wall mount panels, but truthfully they are dinosaurs when it comes to interacting with content! I'd encourage people to think about how they already select/browse/experience their music through their phones/tablets!

Rick
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post #123 of 153 Old 03-16-2018, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fhcraig View Post
Mike -

Without a doubt Plex is a great solution for integrating served content! I've played with/used it on other projects and have been impressed following the threads wrt CCA integration. The truth is that I finally left my original content behind ... There wasn't a lot I couldn't replicate on streaming and I almost exclusively listen through the WHA system now so digital quality isn't the most important criteria (there was a day ...). My musical tastes also run a lot more current than my 60yr old frame, so streaming has been a huge blessing!

Without a doubt it's an awesome time to build out these kinds of systems ... regardless of the hardware solution! I understand the pull people have toward wall mount panels, but truthfully they are dinosaurs when it comes to interacting with content! I'd encourage people to think about how they already select/browse/experience their music through their phones/tablets!

Rick
Ha. I'm younger than you are but like oldies music, but either way, you don't have to choose - this approach supports local music just as easily. I like the ability to have something like Plex integrate Music, DVR recordings, ripped DVD's, and be able to play them on any chromecast device.

Yes, the UI is great on the phones (and is always getting better!), but as ahard commented, combining with Google mini's or Homes for voice control adds a lot for the time you don't have a device in your hand or nearby.

Did you hardwire your CCA's with ethernet adapters, or are you using all WiFi? 24 of them would be hard on the WiFi network. How about showing off a pic of your wiring hub and how everything is hooked up for folks?

Did you drywall over the old holes for the keypads, or did you lave them in place?

thx
mike
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post #124 of 153 Old 03-17-2018, 12:36 PM
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Mike -

I'm out of town for a few days but will definitely post pics and a more detailed description when I get back. I actually did a pretty in depth hand's on using both CCA's / Google Home vs Echo Dot / Alexa before making a decision. And yes I totally spaced on the added benefits of voice control as an option to phone/tablet!

I am using all Ethernet adapters and it was a large factor in my decision! I wanted to avoid audio drop-out's and streaming interruptions as well as create the most responsive environment possible for user interaction. Even with multiple streams, the CCA's on Full Dynamic, and Spotify using High Quality the audio just isn't pushing the network very hard and playback has been rock solid.

I'm terrible at drywall and paining, so I just covered the original Russound wall plate openings with blank covers and painted them to color match the walls!

Rick
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post #125 of 153 Old 03-25-2018, 01:56 PM
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Because of the (ridiculous!) length, I started a new post here https://www.avsforum.com/forum/36-hom...l#post55919204 describing my Russound to CCA conversion project. Thanks again for all the information shared on this thread!

Rick
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post #126 of 153 Old 04-02-2018, 11:36 PM
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If I understand the CCA WHA option, the matrix switching is really smoke and mirrors. The zone where the audio is played is determined by selecting the CCA that is connected to that zone.

So if for example, you were watching the game on TV (through a receiver) and wanted to pipe the sound outside so you could listen to it while working the BBQ, you wouldn't be able to do it since there really is no matrix switching. For that to happen, you would need to find the game on a CCA source and then cast it to the CCA connected to the BBQ zone.
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post #127 of 153 Old 04-03-2018, 09:27 AM
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I'm not a CCA guy, but don't they have audio inputs? Couldn't you output audio from the receiver to the CCA, and 'cast' that to you BBQ area?

My Sonos setup is a different beast, but I always thought the CCA was similar in that regard.
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post #128 of 153 Old 04-03-2018, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Garet Jax View Post
If I understand the CCA WHA option, the matrix switching is really smoke and mirrors. The zone where the audio is played is determined by selecting the CCA that is connected to that zone.

So if for example, you were watching the game on TV (through a receiver) and wanted to pipe the sound outside so you could listen to it while working the BBQ, you wouldn't be able to do it since there really is no matrix switching. For that to happen, you would need to find the game on a CCA source and then cast it to the CCA connected to the BBQ zone.
Your observation is correct that CCA's aren't designed as a multi-zone input selection device and in that respect are not "matrix" switches. In fact the CCA "puck" doesn't have any dedicated inputs at all. It is designed to play from a single source that is able to "cast" audio to Chromecast devices. Most of the typical scenarios described in this forum are using the native casting capability from online streaming audio services (Spotify, Pandora, etc.). There are also documented CCA solutions for streaming from stored local content using Plex. The Chrome browser can also cast natively for playing other web content (YouTube, ESPN.com, ...) across single/multiple CCA's. In addition the Google Home app can "mirror" ANY screen content to the CCA. Others may be able to comment on creative solutions to share other types of sources like broadcast TV. Multiple CCA's can "sync" together from a casting source for multi-zone output. That is what allows "whole house" playback.

Your illustration is also correct! As an example on my system, I play live broadcast content to all my TV's using DirecTV Now through Roku devices via either H-T Receivers or directly connected Roku streaming sticks. If I also want to play the same broadcast audio in other CCA zones (like outdoors), then I use the DirecTV Now app on my phone or Asus tablets. I start the Google Home app first and set it to "Cast screen / audio" (since DirecTV Now does not natively cast). Then when I play the broadcast content via the DirecTV app, it plays the audio to whichever CCA's I have selected.

Granted it does involve additional steps, but for us it isn't a scenario we find that we use very often. We are typically either watching / listening to the TV or we are playing the audio content to other locations (like outdoors). For us, it's more typical that we actually want different things playing in different places. For that the flexibility to stream different source content to different CCA zones/groups works really well.

Hope this helps more than it confuses things ...
Rick

Last edited by fhcraig; 04-03-2018 at 11:00 AM.
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post #129 of 153 Old 04-03-2018, 11:02 AM
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Rick - Thanks a lot - you've been very helpful.
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post #130 of 153 Old 04-06-2018, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post
Fair enough. The Chromecast plugin on homeseer is very good, and quite well supported. So is Sonos BTW. The challenge will be trying to get code to drive the Nuvo system in a reasonable way. Perhaps your best bet is to call Legrand (who bought Nuvo) and see which automation system has the best support for your GC and for displaying things on your keypads, and start there on how to interface them.

Good luck, and come back and share what you find!

thanks.
mike
Hi Mike,

I promised to get back to you. My HomeSeer, ChromeCast and Nuvo integration is working great!
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/36-hom...l#post55983992

It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on what the limits will be to this kind of set-up.
Thanks!
Bob
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post #131 of 153 Old 04-07-2018, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Mike,

I promised to get back to you. My HomeSeer, ChromeCast and Nuvo integration is working great!
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/36-hom...l#post55983992

It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on what the limits will be to this kind of set-up.
Thanks!
Bob

Bobone, that is great that you got it to work! If you can turn it into an HS3 plugin, you would be able to make it easier on others to follow your path.

I do think you will have problems unless you decide what mode you want to use your set up in. For example, if both chromecast and Nuvo keypads are being used to set volume and muting, etc.., you are goingto have real problems. Only one should have control over volume.

So I think you have a choice to make. But with what you've done, I think you can make it work either way.

The first approach is to configure the chromecasts to think they are feeding a receiver, and lock volume output to max, and disable volume changing via Cast. This will work, but you will always be reaching for your keypads even when you have your phone out casting tunes and switching streaming sources. And your ability to control playback via voice will be limited, since the Google home's assume playback zones are mapped to specific speakers, and not a matrix switch that allows multiple sources to be played back on any one speaker zone. And the google homes won't be able to control volume or muting, since your Nuvo system does that. But it most closely resembles what you had before you installed the chromecast.

The other approach is to make the chromecasts primary. For this, you set up a fixed mapping on your Nuvo systems from each chromecast to each output zone, and not change it. You set the max gain on your nuvo system, and leave it, and then allow the chromecast to control volume the normal way casting does. Now, you will have problems if people try and reset volumes or sources on the keypads. But you have Homeseer that can fix that for you! If someone pushes the volume down on a specific zones keypad, and Nvo tells you that, you can tell HS to undo the change on the Nuvo, and use the Chromecast plugin to lower the volume for the casting on that zone. Same for muting. Every push on a keypad gets translated by HS to a chromecast command.

You should even be able to check for zone changes in the Nuvo and have HS undo them. Essentially, you turn your Nuvo into a dumber multizone app, but one with meta data playing on the keypads, and keypads that work like Chromecast physical volume controls, which are not normally available in the chromecast approach.

This may require you doing more scripting work on HS to enable this mapping, but you will end up with a pretty cool setup if you can get all that work.

Make sense?

thx
mike
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post #132 of 153 Old 04-07-2018, 04:07 PM
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Hi Mike,

Thank you for your thoughts!

In theory you are completely right!
In practice I have not yet noticed any major problems with double commands of volume.
You are right, avoiding the extremes should be able to fix quite easily with Homeseer!

I have set the CCA at 65% and adapted input gain to allow significant remaining smartphone control and normal GC volume settings.

For now, muting on the pads would be done through “pause” and the same on the phone. That case is already handled.
But you are right, muting on the phone and say the MPS4 app could become messy. Best to keep using “pause”.

I would not know how to do a PI unfortunately.
Bob

Last edited by Bobone; 04-07-2018 at 04:11 PM.
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post #133 of 153 Old 04-16-2018, 02:19 AM
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Hi Mike
I understand that this thread is really about "new" WHA, but I thought it could be meaningful to share the results of my integration of Nuvo and CCA from a modernization perspective. Seeing is believing!
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/36-hom...l#post56029244
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post #134 of 153 Old 04-16-2018, 02:48 AM
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After more than ten years, I still find my Squeezebox solution offers me the most complete experience. I can access Spotify if I want, I can play my local music (with tens of thousands of tracks handled flawlessly). If hardware breaks down I can substitute with Raspberry Pi(s). It's not as if Squeezeboxes were perfect (I'd like for them to have HDMI multichannel audio out, for example, but they do play DTS/AC3 to an AV receiver), it's just that they still offer to me all that I currently need, more or less. And audio synchronization between multiple players works a charm.

Seriously. AVS is a place where you go to learn to be unhappy. - Bear5k
Video Pioneer PDP-LX6090 (calibrated)
Audio Yamaha RX-A3010, Dynaudio Audience 72 (FL, FR), Dynaudio Audience 42C (C), Dynaudio 42W (SR, SL), Chario Piccolo Star Satellite (Presence Height), SVS PB-1000 (SW)
Sources HTPC, Xbox One S, Squeezebox
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post #135 of 153 Old 05-02-2018, 11:12 PM
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I'm so glad I found this thread!!! I searched the Internet for days thinking there has to be a write-up of this somewhere

We have a new home and the following pre-wired. Everything goes home run to one media cabinet in the family room which has our only TV.

Family Room: 5.1
Patio: 2.0
Den: 2.0
Master Bath: 2.0
Master Bed: 2.0

After reading this entire thread, I'm thinking:

1) buy a 6 channel amplifier with 4 CCA for each room with the 2.0 zone.
2) find a 7.2 receiver that has Chromecast built-in (any recommendations? I assume they switch the source automatically to Chromecast when something gets sent?)
3) add a Chromecast TV on the TV itself

With that setup I should be able to have full audio control with whatever I can play on a Chromecast for all rooms using Google Home correct? For my TV experience I will have to use the remote to switch the sources like with any traditional Receiver.

One question: is it possible to stream video and audio to the Chromecast TV and simultaneously the same audio to select or all CCAs?

Now to the tricky part:
I have a small Windows PC hooked up to the main TV via HDMI (video + audio). The TV then acts as monitor for the PC which has my pictures for slide shows, MP3 collection and allows me to watch any video on any website using a regular browser and clicking into full screen mode. (btw the Logitech K400 is awesome to use on the couch if you want a full mouse and keyboard). I also have a permanent audio out from the TV to the 7.2 receiver so that I can listen to the audio of whatever is playing on the TV (media PC, streaming apps that run on TV, digital over-the-air from my roof antenna) via the 7.2 speakers instead of the TV speakers. (I guess this makes )

In some cases it would be nice to get the audio from the TV / Media PC out to the rest of the house and it seams like there is no solution for this yet with Google Home.

However, as a work-around, I guess I could activate the Zone 2 output of the 7.2 receiver and send that signal to the bus line-in on the 6 channel amplifier. That way I would hear the same sound everywhere, correct? Only downside I see right now is that I would have to use the manual audio controls on the 6 channel amplifier if I want to adjust volume in each room, or turn rooms on or off. But it's probably the only=best solution currently possible?

I'm really curious to hear your thoughts if this could work or if you have improvement suggestions!
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post #136 of 153 Old 05-02-2018, 11:24 PM
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since i couldn't find an edit: i meant a 6 zone (=12 channel amplifier)
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post #137 of 153 Old 05-03-2018, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rhawke View Post
I'm so glad I found this thread!!! I searched the Internet for days thinking there has to be a write-up of this somewhere

We have a new home and the following pre-wired. Everything goes home run to one media cabinet in the family room which has our only TV.

Family Room: 5.1
Patio: 2.0
Den: 2.0
Master Bath: 2.0
Master Bed: 2.0

After reading this entire thread, I'm thinking:

1) buy a 6 channel amplifier with 4 CCA for each room with the 2.0 zone.
2) find a 7.2 receiver that has Chromecast built-in (any recommendations? I assume they switch the source automatically to Chromecast when something gets sent?)
3) add a Chromecast TV on the TV itself

With that setup I should be able to have full audio control with whatever I can play on a Chromecast for all rooms using Google Home correct? For my TV experience I will have to use the remote to switch the sources like with any traditional Receiver.

One question: is it possible to stream video and audio to the Chromecast TV and simultaneously the same audio to select or all CCAs?

Now to the tricky part:
I have a small Windows PC hooked up to the main TV via HDMI (video + audio). The TV then acts as monitor for the PC which has my pictures for slide shows, MP3 collection and allows me to watch any video on any website using a regular browser and clicking into full screen mode. (btw the Logitech K400 is awesome to use on the couch if you want a full mouse and keyboard). I also have a permanent audio out from the TV to the 7.2 receiver so that I can listen to the audio of whatever is playing on the TV (media PC, streaming apps that run on TV, digital over-the-air from my roof antenna) via the 7.2 speakers instead of the TV speakers. (I guess this makes )

In some cases it would be nice to get the audio from the TV / Media PC out to the rest of the house and it seams like there is no solution for this yet with Google Home.

However, as a work-around, I guess I could activate the Zone 2 output of the 7.2 receiver and send that signal to the bus line-in on the 6 channel amplifier. That way I would hear the same sound everywhere, correct? Only downside I see right now is that I would have to use the manual audio controls on the 6 channel amplifier if I want to adjust volume in each room, or turn rooms on or off. But it's probably the only=best solution currently possible?

I'm really curious to hear your thoughts if this could work or if you have improvement suggestions!
Hey, great to have you part of the thread.

As far as I know, you can only group chromecast audios and google home devices together in a simultaneous playback zone. A chromecast video can't be in the group. I don't know exactly why this is the case but nonetheless it is, at least as of the time of this post.

If you are OK with burning an extra zone from the multizone amp on your family room speakers, you could use a speaker level audio switch like this one: http://www.newark.com/mcm-custom-aud...or/dp/29X0258# or you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/AUTOMATIC-SPE.../dp/B00L9YVJ0Q and hook up the chomecast fed multizone amp output to the "A" input, and your A/V receiver to the sensing or "B" input. It's good for up to 200W Your speaker will be part of the normal chromecast WHA system until the receiver fires up and starts putting sound through the speaker. When that happens, it switches the speaker to the AV receiver. After a configurable amount of time of silence, it switches back to the chromecast fed amplifier input.

Using this device, the volume when in WHA mode will be controlled by the phone's volume control, and when part of the TV/home theater system, by the receivers volume control. This is a pretty simple way of partitioning functions, and doesn't result in 2 sets of devices controlling the zone's volume.

There not a good way of taking an RCA style input and sending the audio through chromecast audio distribution, though if you are using the chrome browser on that PC, you can cast from the browser to any chromecast device or group. That's built into Chrome as well. I use it for doing presentations all the time, and it works fine.

It is also possible to cast the entire desktop audio or video via the chrome browser as well: https://support.google.com/chromecas.../6375070?hl=en if you are running android, windows or a mac. You need a decent amount of CPU to transcode if you are sending video, but for audio, it should just work. Try it out with a Google home device.

I think this does pretty much what you want, though not necessarily the way you were thinking about implementing it. Regardless of my advice, if you go down this route, please come back and tell us what you did and how it worked out for you!

Thanks,
mike
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post #138 of 153 Old 05-03-2018, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
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PS One other approach you could take borrowing from what I and Bobone do using a Homeseer automation system. Here, you would take a chromecast audio and use it as one input on your AVR, and using Homeseer and the Chromecast plugin, detect when that chromecast goes active, and then command the AVR through sending an IR command (or a plugin if network control for that AVR happens to be supported by homeseer) to it to power on, set the audio to a preprogrammed level, and switch to the Chromecast audio input. When the chromecast stops playing, after a preprogrammed time, turn everything back off.

Now, I think this is overkill for your setup, and the original approach using the MCM speaker level audio sensing switch is the likely the simplest and easiest approach for you. But this approach could be appealing to others that have a more complex set of needs, and already are planning on implementing a home automation system.

thx
mike
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post #139 of 153 Old 05-03-2018, 05:51 PM
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Thanks, see my comments below!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post
Hey, great to have you part of the thread.
As far as I know, you can only group chromecast audios and google home devices together in a simultaneous playback zone. A chromecast video can't be in the group. I don't know exactly why this is the case but nonetheless it is, at least as of the time of this post.
too bad... come on google, work on this

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post
If you are OK with burning an extra zone from the multizone amp on your family room speakers, you could use a speaker level audio switch like this oner you can find it here: and hook up the chomecast fed multizone amp output to the "A" input, and your A/V receiver to the sensing or "B" input. It's good for up to 200W Your speaker will be part of the normal chromecast WHA system until the receiver fires up and starts putting sound through the speaker. When that happens, it switches the speaker to the AV receiver. After a configurable amount of time of silence, it switches back to the chromecast fed amplifier input.

Using this device, the volume when in WHA mode will be controlled by the phone's volume control, and when part of the TV/home theater system, by the receivers volume control. This is a pretty simple way of partitioning functions, and doesn't result in 2 sets of devices controlling the zone's volume.
I have the extra channel so that should be fine but the downside with this is that I would only have the audio played on 2 speakers out of the 5.1 system. I was hoping to instead play the music on the left and right front as stereo and on the left and right back as stereo since those speakers are closer to the kitchen. For that I need the receiver to send the line in to all four speakers I assume?

But if I have a Chromecast Audio built-in receiver, I would assume it would come one by itself and that such a receiver would allow me to change the volume via Google Home and not require a remote to change the volume?


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Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post
There not a good way of taking an RCA style input and sending the audio through chromecast audio distribution, though if you are using the chrome browser on that PC, you can cast from the browser to any chromecast device or group. That's built into Chrome as well. I use it for doing presentations all the time, and it works fine.

It is also possible to cast the entire desktop audio or video via the chrome browser as well: if you are running android, windows or a mac. You need a decent amount of CPU to transcode if you are sending video, but for audio, it should just work. Try it out with a Google home device.
Great, this sounds like a great solution for any PC audio files I have. (if google were to remove the restriction from the point above, it would even be more useful).

This mainly leaves the issue of not being able to distribute audio generated on the TV (e.g. Netflix or OTA TV). I don't need it to go through the Chromecast system since all wires / devices are in the the same location. I would just need to find a way to feed the TV out signal into the Multi-Amp without cutting off the CCAs. I realized that my idea with the BUS Line-in does not work well, because the switch is at the back and it is not designed for live switching. If I got 5 speaker switches (one for each zone on the Multi-Amp) + a device that allows me to distribute the TV line out signal into all 5 speaker switches, I would have what I want? But that seems too many pieces and cables for just the benefit of distributing TV audio ...
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post #140 of 153 Old 05-03-2018, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rhawke View Post
Thanks, see my comments below!



too bad... come on google, work on this

Yeah, I don't understand why its hard, except that AVR's do typically add some amount of delay in processing, and without knowing what that delay is, you could get some things playing back slightly out of sync.



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I have the extra channel so that should be fine but the downside with this is that I would only have the audio played on 2 speakers out of the 5.1 system. I was hoping to instead play the music on the left and right front as stereo and on the left and right back as stereo since those speakers are closer to the kitchen. For that I need the receiver to send the line in to all four speakers I assume?
Hmmm, most receivers will only play stereo on the front L and R, but maybe you can configure it to do that. If you only cared about the rear L and R, then you can just use the speaker switch on those two. If you have 6 zones in your amp, and you only have 4 being used for your 2.0 zones, you could simply double the solution and use your 2 extra zones on the amp with 2 switches and handle it that way, feeding both of them from a single chromecast audio using a Y splitter on the amp inputs.

Now, if you wanted to use your subwoofer etc.., you'd need the AVR in the loop, and then you could use that homeseer style solution.

Quote:
But if I have a Chromecast Audio built-in receiver, I would assume it would come one by itself and that such a receiver would allow me to change the volume via Google Home and not require a remote to change the volume?[/B]
Nope, the reason the chromecast can do that is because of the CEC signals carried through the HDMI cabling. A chomecast audio only does analog L and R (plus the optical SPDIF), so no CEC signals and therefore no auto power on. You'd have to use an automation system approach like I outlined in the second post I did.


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Great, this sounds like a great solution for any PC audio files I have. (if google were to remove the restriction from the point above, it would even be more useful).
yes, that works...



Quote:
This mainly leaves the issue of not being able to distribute audio generated on the TV (e.g. Netflix or OTA TV). I don't need it to go through the Chromecast system since all wires / devices are in the the same location. I would just need to find a way to feed the TV out signal into the Multi-Amp without cutting off the CCAs. I realized that my idea with the BUS Line-in does not work well, because the switch is at the back and it is not designed for live switching. If I got 5 speaker switches (one for each zone on the Multi-Amp) + a device that allows me to distribute the TV line out signal into all 5 speaker switches, I would have what I want? But that seems too many pieces and cables for just the benefit of distributing TV audio ...
Well, there is an audio level version of that switch too: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L9YVL90..._t4_B00L9YVJ0Q You can use this on the INPUTS to the multizone amp. It would seem a little tedious to do this for all your zones, and then you'd end up sending the TV audio to the whole house once it turned on, but I don't think that's what you want. If you only wanted the TV audio extended into the kitchen or one other location when the AVR turned on, you could use one of these switches, and then feed it with a second zone audio that most AVR's have for multiroom output. That is usually selectable by the remote control on the AVR, and could be activated when you wanted the TV audio sent to a certain room or set of rooms.

There is theoretically a way to send RCA level outputs to chromecasts by using the squeezebox LMS server, which can take audio inputs into a PC sound card, and cast the outputs to chromecast devices, but unless you are a software engineering type, I wouldn't try - it's a lot of config work and you need to set up the squeezebox server and use an app to control it, etc...

I am sure one of these days Google or someone else will make this work. I think the Google assistant Raspberry PI development kit would allow you to cast from the audio input of the PI, but that hasn't been packaged yet into a very easy to use setup. But I think someone will make that work at some point.

thx
mike
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post #141 of 153 Old 05-03-2018, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post
Nope, the reason the chromecast can do that is because of the CEC signals carried through the HDMI cabling. A chomecast audio only does analog L and R (plus the optical SPDIF), so no CEC signals and therefore no auto power on. You'd have to use an automation system approach like I outlined in the second post I did.
I did some more research and AVRs with chrome cast audio built in (so the receiver manufacturer has taken google code and embedded it into their receiver software) actually do turn on automatically. I found a bunch of posts on Google and Reddit support that confirm this:

My Onkyo TX676 has chromecast built in and when I ask it to play it turns my amp on (from stand-by) and starts to output the audio.
My Pioneer VSX1131 with built in Chromecast operates the same way. Audio only though.

Only downside is that you have to rely on the Receiver Manufacturer to keep the Google software inside the receiver up to date. The below shows what can happen if they don't.
forum.onkyousa.com/viewtopic.php?p=41248&sid=c143e2f68f5d99898d026e2e b56a5780

On a side note: I also found a bunch of comments saying that if you connect the CCA dongle via toslink, some receivers have capability to wake up and auto source select from that digital signal, it's just a question of the capabilities of the receiver ...

I will keep doing some research to find a decent 7.2 receiver with proper support from the manufacturer (regular updates) and as fall back option make sure it has the wakup from toslink feature.
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post #142 of 153 Old 05-04-2018, 05:52 AM
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A "modern" approach to Whole House Audio

Yes, with a Chromecast built-in receiever you can configure that ‘input’ to play in ‘party’ or ‘mono’ surround mode so that the audio piped through the CCAs/MultichannelAmp will play through all speakers in your 5.1 system and all volume controlled by your phone.

However, from what I’ve read the Onkyo/Pioneer implementation is pretty slow to turn on, which might be frustrating. I’m not aware of any orther Chromecast built-in receievers. You also may have issues with volume not being where you want it when switching between TV and CCA. I’d personally go the speaker-level switcher route if you have the extra channels to cover it.

For TV audio feeding the multichannel amp, you’ll want zone2 output on your receiever to feed audio-level switchers that switch between CCA and Zone2 output, as previously mentioned. If you have zones that are only ever used together (ie open floorplan), then you can use an amp like this one (link below) and use its bus inputs to reduce the number of CCAs and audio-level switchers required.
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_021AMP...AMP1200VS.html

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post #143 of 153 Old 05-04-2018, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhawke View Post
Thanks, see my comments below!



too bad... come on google, work on this



I have the extra channel so that should be fine but the downside with this is that I would only have the audio played on 2 speakers out of the 5.1 system. I was hoping to instead play the music on the left and right front as stereo and on the left and right back as stereo since those speakers are closer to the kitchen. For that I need the receiver to send the line in to all four speakers I assume?

But if I have a Chromecast Audio built-in receiver, I would assume it would come one by itself and that such a receiver would allow me to change the volume via Google Home and not require a remote to change the volume?



Great, this sounds like a great solution for any PC audio files I have. (if google were to remove the restriction from the point above, it would even be more useful).

This mainly leaves the issue of not being able to distribute audio generated on the TV (e.g. Netflix or OTA TV). I don't need it to go through the Chromecast system since all wires / devices are in the the same location. I would just need to find a way to feed the TV out signal into the Multi-Amp without cutting off the CCAs. I realized that my idea with the BUS Line-in does not work well, because the switch is at the back and it is not designed for live switching. If I got 5 speaker switches (one for each zone on the Multi-Amp) + a device that allows me to distribute the TV line out signal into all 5 speaker switches, I would have what I want? But that seems too many pieces and cables for just the benefit of distributing TV audio ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhawke View Post
I did some more research and AVRs with chrome cast audio built in (so the receiver manufacturer has taken google code and embedded it into their receiver software) actually do turn on automatically. I found a bunch of posts on Google and Reddit support that confirm this:

My Onkyo TX676 has chromecast built in and when I ask it to play it turns my amp on (from stand-by) and starts to output the audio.
My Pioneer VSX1131 with built in Chromecast operates the same way. Audio only though.

Only downside is that you have to rely on the Receiver Manufacturer to keep the Google software inside the receiver up to date. The below shows what can happen if they don't.
forum.onkyousa.com/viewtopic.php?p=41248&sid=c143e2f68f5d99898d026e2e b56a5780

On a side note: I also found a bunch of comments saying that if you connect the CCA dongle via toslink, some receivers have capability to wake up and auto source select from that digital signal, it's just a question of the capabilities of the receiver ...

I will keep doing some research to find a decent 7.2 receiver with proper support from the manufacturer (regular updates) and as fall back option make sure it has the wakup from toslink feature.
I wasn't aware that the receiver guys had added auto-turn on for Chromecast Audio support! Thanks for flagging that!

Pretty neat, and simplifies things. Do all the receivers handle Chromecast control of volume in the same way?

Thx
Mike
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Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post
I wasn't aware that the receiver guys had added auto-turn on for Chromecast Audio support! Thanks for flagging that!

Pretty neat, and simplifies things. Do all the receivers handle Chromecast control of volume in the same way?

Thx
Mike
I will keep looking into this and buy one of these Chromecast Built In receivers in the next 2 months. I will report back here! Right now I have the following models in mind in the $350 to $500 price range

Onkyo TX-NR676 (have to check they fixed the firmware issue)
Pioneer VSX-832
Sony STR-DN1080

There are different models from those brands that offer it, but I assume the implementation is the same for all. So I will have to try to find some experience reviews on how well Chromecast built in really works.

I also saw that all these receiver offer listening modes to play regular 2.0 stereo through all speakers, meaning it will use the surround speakers for background music in the living room as well.
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post #145 of 153 Old 05-04-2018, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhawke View Post
I will keep looking into this and buy one of these Chromecast Built In receivers in the next 2 months. I will report back here! Right now I have the following models in mind in the $350 to $500 price range

Onkyo TX-NR676 (have to check they fixed the firmware issue)
Pioneer VSX-832
Sony STR-DN1080

There are different models from those brands that offer it, but I assume the implementation is the same for all. So I will have to try to find some experience reviews on how well Chromecast built in really works.

I also saw that all these receiver offer listening modes to play regular 2.0 stereo through all speakers, meaning it will use the surround speakers for background music in the living room as well.
Great. I haven't seen any reports here about Chromecast performance in a AVR, but I haven't been looking at the receiver threads in that forum. No Denon support for Chromecast? I tend to like their receivers...

thx
mike
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Great. I haven't seen any reports here about Chromecast performance in a AVR, but I haven't been looking at the receiver threads in that forum. No Denon support for Chromecast? I tend to like their receivers...

thx
mike
No unfortunately not. I was interested in the AVR-S730H but it doesn't have it.
I found this article. My guess is they are trying to push HEOS and maybe they saw Chromecast as competition.

https://www.cnet.com/news/denon-brin...ivers-at-last/

do you think i should start a separate thread on the receiver forum and ask about any experiences with Chromecast built in?
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No unfortunately not. I was interested in the AVR-S730H but it doesn't have it.
I found this article. My guess is they are trying to push HEOS and maybe they saw Chromecast as competition.

https://www.cnet.com/news/denon-brin...ivers-at-last/

do you think i should start a separate thread on the receiver forum and ask about any experiences with Chromecast built in?
Well, it would be great if you posted your experience here. The threads over there seem to all about specific recovers rather than a feature, but feel free if you think it would be useful...

Thanks
Mike
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However, from what I’ve read the Onkyo/Pioneer implementation is pretty slow to turn on, which might be frustrating. I’m not aware of any orther Chromecast built-in receievers. You also may have issues with volume not being where you want it when switching between TV and CCA.
Thanks for that feedback. Sony is another brand that offers it now (see post above). I guess i can always try it and if it doesn't work then still get extra devices

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For TV audio feeding the multichannel amp, you’ll want zone2 output on your receiever to feed audio-level switchers that switch between CCA and Zone2 output, as previously mentioned.
So how do i get the signal from the Zone2 output to 4 different speaker switches? Do I need even another device to split the signal 4 ways or can this be done with special wiring? (sorry I'm really new to the wiring part)

I'm still debating whether this will be worth the cost of 4 speaker switches and the extra space this would take up in my AV cabinet. But the nice thing is it can be done in a second step if I really feel like I need it.
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post #149 of 153 Old 05-25-2018, 07:14 PM
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So how do i get the signal from the Zone2 output to 4 different speaker switches? Do I need even another device to split the signal 4 ways or can this be done with special wiring? (sorry I'm really new to the wiring part)
Special wiring can do it, but you'll need to be careful about the level of the audio signal. Splitting a signal reduces it's strength - means you'll have to turn up the volume more for TV zone 2.
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post #150 of 153 Old 06-28-2018, 05:16 PM
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Will a Fire HD tablet work well as a remote control for numerous chromecast audios? I didn't know if Google's and Amazon's devices might not get along, so to speak.

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