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post #1 of 6 Old 03-07-2019, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
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New Construction, Will this work? (floorplan attached)

I am building a new home and trying to figure out how to do the Audio/ Video on a budget. My plan right now is to run my audio off of a 2 zone AV receiver. I will have 8" speakers in the ceiling in the den, and keeping room. The screened-in porch will be Zone 2 and will have Wall mounted speakers (because of the slope of the ceiling). House will be wired with CAT6a.

This is the equipment I am looking at. Any suggestions will be helpful.

-Receiver:
Sony - 1155W 7.2-Ch. Hi-Res Network-Ready 4K Ultra HD and 3D Pass-Through HDR Compatible A/V Home Theater Receiver - Black (it wont let me link to it)

-Need suggestions on Decent Priced Ceiling and Outdoor/Wall speakers. (Monoprice Maybe?)

-14 Gague wire?

Needs:
-Basically, I want to be able to play audio from the tvs on the Porch and the Living Room.
-Play music over all zones from a cell phone or FM radio
-I believe in this setup, I can still run it as a 5.1 surround sound for Movies in the den?


Any help would be appreciated. As you can tell, I am very new to this and have tried to deep dive into it, but this stuff seems really complicated.

Thanks,
Corey
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-07-2019, 06:58 AM
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Most important for now is to do the pre-wire with today and the future in mind.
Dependent on the wire run length, 14 is good, 12 is better. Price diff is rounding error. Labor is same.
But 14 is easier to terminate and is better than most builders install by default.
Your Video wiring strategy is more important and more expensive.
the largest decision is centrally located sources / matrix distribution or in room.
Centrally is more flexible and more expensive.
With your thought on using a 2 zone AV receiver, you are going down a central path.
But, the rest of your zones (future) should be wired same.

For short runs, HDMI cable. For longer, Cat6 for HDBaseT distribution (this is NOT connected to the ethernet network). You don't say what your plan is for wiring the AV receiver to your TVs.
You can put any cheap speaker you want and upgrade later. You can wire all future rooms, take measurements and video of the ends of the wire and seal up the ceiling / walls for future speakers.

Don't forget you will need a way to control the sources and AV receiver from the places you will be watching...and IR is not the best / most reliable strategy and falls short when the device is not in sight of the IR remote (yes, you can use a IR receiver and wire the emitters and yes, you can use an RF remote to a IR blaster). But overall IR is not the best strategy.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-07-2019, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post
Most important for now is to do the pre-wire with today and the future in mind.
Dependent on the wire run length, 14 is good, 12 is better. Price diff is rounding error. Labor is same.
But 14 is easier to terminate and is better than most builders install by default.
Your Video wiring strategy is more important and more expensive.
the largest decision is centrally located sources / matrix distribution or in room.
Centrally is more flexible and more expensive.
With your thought on using a 2 zone AV receiver, you are going down a central path.
But, the rest of your zones (future) should be wired same.

For short runs, HDMI cable. For longer, Cat6 for HDBaseT distribution (this is NOT connected to the ethernet network). You don't say what your plan is for wiring the AV receiver to your TVs.
You can put any cheap speaker you want and upgrade later. You can wire all future rooms, take measurements and video of the ends of the wire and seal up the ceiling / walls for future speakers.

Don't forget you will need a way to control the sources and AV receiver from the places you will be watching...and IR is not the best / most reliable strategy and falls short when the device is not in sight of the IR remote (yes, you can use a IR receiver and wire the emitters and yes, you can use an RF remote to a IR blaster). But overall IR is not the best strategy.

Thank you for the quick reply. I am going to run the speaker wire myself, so I will go ahead and up it to 12 gauge. Will the Monoprice Access Series 12AWG CL2 Rated 2-Conductor Speaker Wire be alright? (I am new so it still wont let me link products)

I have purchased a 40 ft Active HDMI Cable to connect the Receiver and outdoor TV, but I will run 2 CAT6A runs from the receiver to the outdoor tv for HDBaseT if the HDMI does not work for some reason.

The control was always going to be the problem. Realistically, the house is not that big, so I could probably just point the main remote at the window and control things. I need to read up on IR receivers. I need to be able to control Roku, Blueray, and Cable. I have not clue how that would work right now.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-07-2019, 09:06 PM
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New Construction, Will this work? (floorplan attached)

If you’re price and complexity sensitive, I'd suggest a 9.2 channel 3-Zone Receiver and for the Porch speakers, an external amplifier with auto-on and auto-switch capabilities like the Dayton Audio APA102. It would be preferable for the Receiver to have a phone app to control Zone-2 and Zone-3, but you can use the Receiver remote otherwise. Most Receivers at this price point will have an phone app though.

Configure to use the extra 4 Receiver channels for Zone-2 and 3 speaker outputs. Zone-2 speaker outputs will not be used. Configure Zone-2 volume to be variable (not fixed). Configure the Zone-3 volume to be fixed (not variable).

Add a volume slider in the Kitchen between the Zone-3 speaker outputs and the Kitchen speakers. This allows for local control of the volume for your Kitchen speakers without having to have a remote handy. You'll use the Receiver's phone app to control Zone-3 on/off and source.

When mirroring the Den source to the Porch you'll control Zone-2 on/off, source, and amplifier volume using the Receiver's phone app.

Configure the Porch TV to turn off the TV speakers and set the Analog Audio output to variable (controlled via TV remote). If you don't have Analog Audio output for this TV, the headphone output usually works exactly this way, instead.

For easy native control for non-techies, I'd consider just getting a Roku TV for your Porch TV so you can just use the standard TV remote for control.

Sources for the Den -> Receiver HDMI inputs
Receiver HDMI 1 output -> Den TV
Receiver HDMI 2 output -> Porch TV
Receiver 5.1 Speaker Outputs -> Den Speakers
Receiver Zone 3 Speaker Output -> Kitchen Speakers
Receiver Zone 2 Line Out = Porch Amplifier INTERRUPT
Porch TV Analog/Headphone output -> Porch Amplifier MAIN
Porch Amplifier Speaker Output -> Porch Speakers

How it works:

When you want to watch TV in the Den, it's just a normal system.

When you want to add audio in the Kitchen, turn on Zone 3 and set the source using the Den remote or the Receiver's phone app (or any other control system controlling the Receiver via TCP/IP). Use the local volume slider to control the volume.

When you want to add audio to the Porch, turn on Zone 2, set the source, and control the volume using the Den remote or the Receiver's phone app (or any other control system controlling the Receiver via TCP/IP). The Porch Amplifier will automatically switch on and default to using it's MAIN input and play audio from the Receiver Zone 2 Line output.

When you want to mirror the output from the Den TV to the Porch TV, switch the Porch TV's input to HDMI and use the Receiver's phone app to turn on Zone 2, set the source, and control volume. The Porch Amplifier will automatically switch on and automatically switch to using it's INTERRUPT input and play audio from the Receiver Zone 2 line output.

When you want to watch the Porch TV independently of what's playing on the Den TV, turn on the Porch TV, use the Roku apps, and control the volume using the TV remote. The Porch Amplifier will automatically turn on and default to the MAIN line, which will play the output from the Porch TV.

Caveats:

1) If the someone sees the volume slider in the Kitchen fully down, they may think sliding it up will turn on audio. That will be necessary, but you may also need to turn on Zone-3 for the receiver.

2) Just because the Porch TV is off, doesn't mean that no audio will play. If Zone-2 is turned on, even if the Porch TV is off, then audio will start playing based on whatever the Zone-2 source is selected. You'll want to make sure you turn of Zone-2 before turning off the Porch TV. For example: 1) you're watching the game through a cable box on both TVs, 2) you turn off both TVs and the cable box when the game is over, 3) late that night, someone turns on cable box to watch TV in the Den, 4) the Porch speakers will start playing the cable box sound immediately, possibly waking up your neighbors.

NOTE: If you can find a receiver that forwards *all* audio signals over HDMI for Zone-2, then you can get around this by skipping attaching the Zone-2 Line Output to the Porch Amplifier INTERRUPT. But I'm not sure if any Receivers have this feature - most only output audio signals to Zone-2 over HDMI when the input is 2-channel PCM (which is rarely the case for video sources these days).

3) After you turn off Zone-2, the audio won't play from the Porch TV for a brief period of time. This is because the Porch Amplifier needs to switch back from INTERRUPTING to MAIN. This switch-back behavior is delay-based.

NOTE: You can trade the INTERRUPT and MAIN line to shift this delay period to either the Porch TV output or the Zone-2 output.

NOTE: You can get around this by just introducing a manual switch. This means you'd press a button on a switch each time you need to switch between Zone-2 and Porch TV audio (in addition to turning on/off Zone-2).

Each of these caveats may come with a WAF (wife-acceptance-factor) cost. Most other bulletproof designs will require pretty extensive control, integration and coordination components to get a really solid functioning system. This means more cost and more advanced programming and equipment. So if you can live with the above caveats, and are price and complexity sensitive, then I'd lean towards this solution.

Otherwise, get ready to dive in and do a LOT more research or just pay for a company to come in and do it for you. There's a tradeoff in solutions based on whether you care more about configuration complexity or more about cost. If you care about cost, I'd consider not trying to mirror the two TVs for video (you can still play the same game/movie/etc., it just won't be perfectly in sync), and using analog audio splitters from a single source for audio mirroring (so that whole-house audio is in sync). If you want to absolutely have video in sync between the two TVs, then you'll need to look at a matrix solution, which will add more complexity and cost to the design.

And if you can send me over $150 via Paypal for the hour I spent designing the above system for you, that would be great... (kidding of course)

Last edited by Lindahl; 03-10-2019 at 10:38 AM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-16-2019, 06:16 PM
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anything but a sony receiver please....
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-28-2019, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post
If you’re price and complexity sensitive, I'd suggest a 9.2 channel 3-Zone Receiver and for the Porch speakers, an external amplifier with auto-on and auto-switch capabilities like the Dayton Audio APA102. It would be preferable for the Receiver to have a phone app to control Zone-2 and Zone-3, but you can use the Receiver remote otherwise. Most Receivers at this price point will have an phone app though.

Configure to use the extra 4 Receiver channels for Zone-2 and 3 speaker outputs. Zone-2 speaker outputs will not be used. Configure Zone-2 volume to be variable (not fixed). Configure the Zone-3 volume to be fixed (not variable).

Add a volume slider in the Kitchen between the Zone-3 speaker outputs and the Kitchen speakers. This allows for local control of the volume for your Kitchen speakers without having to have a remote handy. You'll use the Receiver's phone app to control Zone-3 on/off and source.

When mirroring the Den source to the Porch you'll control Zone-2 on/off, source, and amplifier volume using the Receiver's phone app.

Configure the Porch TV to turn off the TV speakers and set the Analog Audio output to variable (controlled via TV remote). If you don't have Analog Audio output for this TV, the headphone output usually works exactly this way, instead.

For easy native control for non-techies, I'd consider just getting a Roku TV for your Porch TV so you can just use the standard TV remote for control.

Sources for the Den -> Receiver HDMI inputs
Receiver HDMI 1 output -> Den TV
Receiver HDMI 2 output -> Porch TV
Receiver 5.1 Speaker Outputs -> Den Speakers
Receiver Zone 3 Speaker Output -> Kitchen Speakers
Receiver Zone 2 Line Out = Porch Amplifier INTERRUPT
Porch TV Analog/Headphone output -> Porch Amplifier MAIN
Porch Amplifier Speaker Output -> Porch Speakers

How it works:

When you want to watch TV in the Den, it's just a normal system.

When you want to add audio in the Kitchen, turn on Zone 3 and set the source using the Den remote or the Receiver's phone app (or any other control system controlling the Receiver via TCP/IP). Use the local volume slider to control the volume.

When you want to add audio to the Porch, turn on Zone 2, set the source, and control the volume using the Den remote or the Receiver's phone app (or any other control system controlling the Receiver via TCP/IP). The Porch Amplifier will automatically switch on and default to using it's MAIN input and play audio from the Receiver Zone 2 Line output.

When you want to mirror the output from the Den TV to the Porch TV, switch the Porch TV's input to HDMI and use the Receiver's phone app to turn on Zone 2, set the source, and control volume. The Porch Amplifier will automatically switch on and automatically switch to using it's INTERRUPT input and play audio from the Receiver Zone 2 line output.

When you want to watch the Porch TV independently of what's playing on the Den TV, turn on the Porch TV, use the Roku apps, and control the volume using the TV remote. The Porch Amplifier will automatically turn on and default to the MAIN line, which will play the output from the Porch TV.

Caveats:

1) If the someone sees the volume slider in the Kitchen fully down, they may think sliding it up will turn on audio. That will be necessary, but you may also need to turn on Zone-3 for the receiver.

2) Just because the Porch TV is off, doesn't mean that no audio will play. If Zone-2 is turned on, even if the Porch TV is off, then audio will start playing based on whatever the Zone-2 source is selected. You'll want to make sure you turn of Zone-2 before turning off the Porch TV. For example: 1) you're watching the game through a cable box on both TVs, 2) you turn off both TVs and the cable box when the game is over, 3) late that night, someone turns on cable box to watch TV in the Den, 4) the Porch speakers will start playing the cable box sound immediately, possibly waking up your neighbors.

NOTE: If you can find a receiver that forwards *all* audio signals over HDMI for Zone-2, then you can get around this by skipping attaching the Zone-2 Line Output to the Porch Amplifier INTERRUPT. But I'm not sure if any Receivers have this feature - most only output audio signals to Zone-2 over HDMI when the input is 2-channel PCM (which is rarely the case for video sources these days).

3) After you turn off Zone-2, the audio won't play from the Porch TV for a brief period of time. This is because the Porch Amplifier needs to switch back from INTERRUPTING to MAIN. This switch-back behavior is delay-based.

NOTE: You can trade the INTERRUPT and MAIN line to shift this delay period to either the Porch TV output or the Zone-2 output.

NOTE: You can get around this by just introducing a manual switch. This means you'd press a button on a switch each time you need to switch between Zone-2 and Porch TV audio (in addition to turning on/off Zone-2).

Each of these caveats may come with a WAF (wife-acceptance-factor) cost. Most other bulletproof designs will require pretty extensive control, integration and coordination components to get a really solid functioning system. This means more cost and more advanced programming and equipment. So if you can live with the above caveats, and are price and complexity sensitive, then I'd lean towards this solution.

Otherwise, get ready to dive in and do a LOT more research or just pay for a company to come in and do it for you. There's a tradeoff in solutions based on whether you care more about configuration complexity or more about cost. If you care about cost, I'd consider not trying to mirror the two TVs for video (you can still play the same game/movie/etc., it just won't be perfectly in sync), and using analog audio splitters from a single source for audio mirroring (so that whole-house audio is in sync). If you want to absolutely have video in sync between the two TVs, then you'll need to look at a matrix solution, which will add more complexity and cost to the design.

And if you can send me over $150 via Paypal for the hour I spent designing the above system for you, that would be great... (kidding of course)
Let me start by saying THANK YOU for this. I realize that I never responded which makes it look like your work had gone for nothing. But, I can assure you, over the last 3 weeks I have been reading and trying to digest what all you recommended. I feel like I finally have a grasp on what you have laid out. I am new to this AV stuff and (holy crap) this stuff can get complicated.

Yesterday, I finished running the speaker wire. I wired for the volume control in the keeping room as well.

Could I get away with a 7.2 system if I put a speaker switch on the patio and keeping room output? I could just put some sort of soundbar on the outside tv for audio. The only 9.2 channel receivers in my budget would be the Onkyo and I have read mixed reviews on them. 99% of the time the outdoor speakers will be used for music controlled from a cell phone for Spotify. From what I understand, the Yamaha phone app is awesome compared to the rest of the control apps.

Please tell me if my thinking is flawed on this:

If Zone 2 were on a switch, I would have the zone 2 L/R IN (2 speakers) and Output of Porch L/R (A) and Keeping Room L/R (B) (4 speakers). If I only play one of the sets of speakers at a time, it should just be a normal strain on the receiver, but if I wanted to play both of them, it would start getting into the impedance and ohm equations. (4)8 Ohm speakers should result in 4 ohms of impedance on the receiver. So if I can find a receiver that can accept 4 Ohms of impedance I should be ok?
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