HTD Lync, need more zones? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 12 Old 06-06-2019, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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HTD Lync, need more zones?

So I'm still going through the process (slowly) of deciding what collection of automation, wha, av equipment might meet our needs. Foundation work starts this week, have plenty of time. So far leaning lutron, probably cqc, and interested in an Alexa input/dot in most zones with autoswitching amp (the new HTD model).

As for zones, I finally went through the exercise of mapping out how many zones and what speaker configuration for each zone. Max would be 23 independent zones if I kept some things like master bed, master bath, master closet separate. Combining some obvious ones I can get down to maybe 18 zones. Combing a couple I'd rather not and deleting one I'd rather not I can get to 13. Not sure how I'd get to 12 without combining something I'd really rather not.

I like the simplicity of the HTD Lync systems. The wife and I are leaning wall controls of some sort as neither of us thinks fumbling with phone apps to change sources, volume etc sounds exciting. We use and like Alexa in several rooms currently and would like to integrate that with whatever solution we use.

Questions...
Can two lync12 systems be joined? Didn't see anything in owner's manual so guessing not.

How would two independent Lync controllers function? I can see issues with intercom, door station. Any other negatives?

Suggestions for other similar system that could handle 18+ zones? Not a fan of the dealer installed routes. I like to be able to configure, maintain, alter my own equipment/system.

Could cqc handle wha on it's own without dedicated system like Lync? I know it has built in music organization and playback. Practically speaking, how would the experience using an automation controller like that compare to dedicated solution in a multizone system?
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-08-2019, 12:45 PM
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following this as I am in the same situation on selecting a WHA and some automation. I have looked really hard at the HTD systems as well.
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post #3 of 12 Old 06-08-2019, 05:26 PM
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The primary purpose of an automation controller like CQC and myServer is to control other devices. So the HTD would be an example of a device to control.

Additionally a very few controllers (at least myServer, not sure about CQC - Dean would have to chime in...) have media applications that support the PC sound card. With the sound card, music can be streamed to an analog output that can be amplified.
The sound card volume level can be controlled via software. So, there is a myServer Pandora app (and many others) that grabs the digital music stream, renders it within the sound card. The analog output can then go to a "smart" (whole house audio) matrix amp or a "dumb" fixed volume amp which is wired to the speakers. The automation controller provides the means to view channels of content ("Pandora" stations), to select which sound card outputs (a 7.1 sound card becomes four stereo zones) that music should stream from, and the volume / tone.

Locally stored MP3 files can be organized in the controller's media database for music searching / selecting / coverart view. These can be rendered by the sound card, or by an audio rendering device that is controlled by the automation controller.

On the same system, you might also have discrete audio sources - like an intercom microphone. This can be fed into the system either into the sound card Microphone Input, or as a page input to the whole house audio matrix switch (like a Russound MCA-88 or Grand Concerto). That can be controlled via the automation controller as well.

Another more common audio input would be an audio rendering device - like a Nvidia Shield or Android TV / Kodi box. The audio output can be wired directly to the amplifier as a source, and the Kodi box can be managed by the automation controller (like myServer).

Or a blu-ray player like an Oppo. also can be an audio (and video) source.

You can also use Sonos or Heos speakers as the output device. The automation controller manages which zone, which input, which content, what volume to those devices as well.

So, as you can see from the above brief overview, there are a ton of different ways that can be implemented on an advanced automation controller like myServer (and very likely CQC). And, multiple different means are supported on the same system for high flexibility. The key is it uses a common user interface that is built for the end user's understanding to make a highly complicated system super easy to use by most anyone.
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post #4 of 12 Old 06-09-2019, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I forgot a couple of zones. I can easily combine to stay at 24 zones. Going down to 18 would be doable but suboptimal. I think that is minimum. Don't see how to get to 12 zones without serious compromise.

Perhaps cqc or myserver could serve as a bridge between two HTD type wha matrix systems, sort of like how it could tie two lutron radiora systems together if absolutely necessary.

I've seen some YouTube video demos of using an automation controller for wha. Looks slick,but I'm skeptical of what happens in a computer with 48 output channels in 24 zones and multiple simultaneous sources. I'm sure the automation software could handle it, not sure the hardware platform would be up to the challenge.

Still more reading to do.

Last edited by Bigus; 06-10-2019 at 11:51 AM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-18-2019, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Bump. Any other thoughts?

I'd like a diy friendly solution, not fond of solutions requiring a dealer to install, configure, update every device, implement every change down the road etc.

I "think" the biggest downside of tying two HTD systems together may be losing intercom function between halves. I doubt that could be bridged easily.

Would probably be limited and/or confusing to try and operate from mobile devices, and HTD wall controllers may be limited in how they operate as well.

I guess if one HTD system could be controlled by an automation system then 2 could as well. But I'm afraid to just guess at how seamless that may or may not be.
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post #6 of 12 Old 06-19-2019, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post
Bump. Any other thoughts?

I'd like a diy friendly solution, not fond of solutions requiring a dealer to install, configure, update every device, implement every change down the road etc.

I "think" the biggest downside of tying two HTD systems together may be losing intercom function between halves. I doubt that could be bridged easily.

Would probably be limited and/or confusing to try and operate from mobile devices, and HTD wall controllers may be limited in how they operate as well.

I guess if one HTD system could be controlled by an automation system then 2 could as well. But I'm afraid to just guess at how seamless that may or may not be.
Bigus

I am in a similar situation that you are as I am getting ready to build and trying to determine which solution I am going to go with. The one thing I will say about HTD, which I am leaning towards, is that their support seemed very helpful to me. I would recommend calling them and getting more information from them directly
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-20-2019, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadcj7 View Post
Bigus

I am in a similar situation that you are as I am getting ready to build and trying to determine which solution I am going to go with. The one thing I will say about HTD, which I am leaning towards, is that their support seemed very helpful to me. I would recommend calling them and getting more information from them directly

I took your advice and called. Glad I did. My experience with customer support for tech companies is usually suboptimal, that was definitely not the case with HTD.

Three important notes from that call:

1. A new HTD system/platform is in development, no details available to public yet but one goal is an expandable system, 24 zones shouldn't be a problem, next spring/summer target.

2. Current Lync platform can't be connected together natively but two can coexist. One app can toggle between the two. Intercoms would not interconnect. Unsure how much an automation controller may be able to bridge that gap.

3. Extremely nice and helpful. Offered to mark up my plans regarding speaker and wiring strategy using the zones I had in mind as a guide. Never hurts to have another perspective on that.
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-20-2019, 08:51 AM
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How many sources and what are they?

I mean you could always just "Y' the output of the sources into both Lyncs. You would limit yourself on sources though, and as you said the doorbell and intercom stuff might need some workarounds or not work at all. I haven't looked at the HTD stuff in a while, and it looks like the actual processor only has 5 inputs for sources, and the rest need to be done through input plates etc? Seems like kind of a kludge.

Are you doing all 24 zones as stereo sources? I would never use stereo everywhere, it's a waste of I/O. I do most zones as mono since it's background music, and use stereo where needed or wanted. I would do the bathroom and closet on the same zone without a second thought.

I've never used it, but Zektor has a great reputation and the I/O you need. The 16/16 or 16/32. Both are listed as having mono/stereo output so maybe the 16 output can give you enough zones if you can split the outputs. You would probably have to buy it from a dealer, but their control protocol and firmware is on their website so after purchase it might be DIY. You might just not get any support. Videostorm also has large I/O audio matrix. 24 zones with intercom, ducking, etc is well into proaudio DSP territory as well, Symetrix, QSC etc.
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-20-2019, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Not a ton of sources. Probably a local device streaming from my server, a CD somewhere for anyone that actually brings a disc to a party or something, and decvice that streams from online sources (Pandora, Spotify etc). If HTD the I would almost certainly use their new amplifiers that have a second priority audio input for each channel and have several echo devices around the house. That would take care of internet streaming and not require a main input. Other possible inputs are security and/or automation. I don't see doing a distributed video/audio solution where video sources or local TV audio can be sent to WHA.

My understanding of the HTD setup is that most of the inputs that require a plate of some type are for wall controls that have a local input. I guess I could see maybe needing another one or two for centralized inputs.

I had thought about the stereo/mono thing, but not sure how to accomplish the downmixing. If you have stereo source inputs, and want a mix of stereo and mono outputs, then the downmixing has to be done inside the controller. I don't think HTD allows for that. Maybe other systems make that easier to accomplish.

I'll check out the zektor recommendation, not familiar with that.

Thanks.
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post #10 of 12 Old 06-20-2019, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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The Zektor looks interesting, at least enough to find out more. Don't need 80 input channels for sure! Guessing it's a bit more roll your own on the control side but perhaps if integrating with automation controller that wouldn't be a showstopper.
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post #11 of 12 Old 06-27-2019, 08:01 AM
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I used Crestron BIPAD-8 units for my setup... 16-sources to 24-zones.

But, then again I installed and programmed all of it.

At least it was fairly inexpensive as those units go for next to nothing on eBay.

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
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post #12 of 12 Old 06-27-2019, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
I used Crestron BIPAD-8 units for my setup... 16-sources to 24-zones.

But, then again I installed and programmed all of it.

At least it was fairly inexpensive as those units go for next to nothing on eBay.
Well, those certainly look interesting for the price. 3 of those would give me all the zones I'd ever want, and could pair with the HTD amps that have priority input switching.

Two questions...

Is the software needed to program these available to the public?

How do you control them day to day? I could see a cqc or myserver front end for touchscreen control in a few locations but not every zone. Do you use Creston wall controls as well?
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