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post #1 of 8 Old 06-25-2019, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Help planning small distribution system for new build

I've been reading various threads but I'm pretty confused and would appreciate some help. We're planning to build a new house, and I'd like to centralize all the components for the primary purpose of keeping the endpoints (the rooms with the TVs) free of clutter and wiring. I plan to do the wiring and install myself (I've done plenty of A/V wiring, but never distributed video). Current thinking is to have 1x coax and 2x cat6 to each TV location, and all speakers wires run back to the central closet through terminal plates in the rooms they're in (so they can be used with a "locally" placed amp if desired).

There will be 4 video endpoints (Family room (5.1), basement theater (5.1), basement bar (stereo), outdoor patio (stereo)), and 4-6 audio-only zones. I'm not trying to do anything very high end; not really an audio- or videophile, just want it to work. The majority of our consumption is streaming services (e.g. Netflix, Amazon prime, PBS Kids, ESPN app), over-the-air HDTV, or the (very) occasional Blu-ray. I wouldn't mind being able to play my Xbox One on any TV too, provided the controller signals reach.

I've been reading up on the different tech out there and it seems like HDBaseT might be the way to go. I've looked at products like this from Monoprice, which makes sense in isolation, but when I start thinking about how to incorporate the surround sound and other audio I get a bit lost. The questions I have are:


1. Am I even on the right track with HDBaseT? Or considering our primary use cases (streaming+HDTV), should I avoid the complication/cost and just tuck hardwired streamer boxes (Rokus or whatever) behind each TV, and then use digital-to-cat5 converters to extract the audio from the TV and run it back to centrally located amps for the speakers? That would mean I only do Blu-Ray/Xbox in the basement theater but that's probably fine.

2. If I go for the full HDBaseT distribution, how would I handle the separate amplified 5.1 or stereo speakers for each video area with an HDBaseT matrix? I know the audio is carried by HDBaseT to the HDMI, but I don't think that helps me here because I don't want to carry it to the TV. I would want to separate it out so I can run it to a separate amp/receiver (colocated in the basement with the HDBaseT matrix) that powers the 5.1 speakers in, say, the family room. EDIT: Maybe I need a matrix like this, with de-embedded audio?

3. If I get something like Monoprice's home audio distribution system (which I've installed in my in-laws' house and liked just fine), is there a way to "share" a set of speakers for both video and music purposes? Like let's say I have the speakers out in the outdoor patio, and sometimes I want to use them to listen to music via Chromecast, but other times I want to use them for the TV that's out there. How can I make that work?


I'm sure I'll have more q's as I get deeper into it but if someone can point me in the right direction on those I'd appreciate it.

Last edited by rogersmj; 06-26-2019 at 05:38 AM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-26-2019, 09:20 AM
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I'm not a whole lot of help, what with a 1994 house, with little wiring for such things.

But I had grand plans of pulling wire to each TV location, so I could watch recorded stuff everywhere. Then I got TiVo's (with Tivo Mini's) and Roku's and decided it wasn't necessary. There are very few times where I want the exact same thing playing at the exact same time around the house, video wise. I can watch the same show in different rooms, just not synchronized. As my kids get older, I see this becoming even less important.

Regarding audio, i went Sonos, mostly due to not having wires everywhere. And I really enjoy it. It's not the cheapest game in town, but if you have Sonos soundbars, you can get TV audio around the house, which is something I use almost daily. OK, maybe weekly

The Sonos soundbars make it easy to switch from TV audio to music, through the Sonos app. I would think the Monoprice WHA would have similar functionality, though not sure how the switchover would exactly work.

I don't know if I'd do Sonos in new construction, but I'd think pretty hard about it. I've been extremely pleased with everything about it. I've seen guys who pulling the speaker wiring to their wiring closet, and have a stack of Sonos Connect Amps. Sounds like it's actually not as cost ineffective as you'd think.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-27-2019, 10:58 AM
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HDbaseT may serve your needs but the devil is in the details. I do think it is still a good idea to run your internet to a centrally located equipment cabinet through conduit to a patch panel and then to a switch. From there run conduit to your drop locations. Currently, I have 2 cat6a cables, 2 RG6 coax cable and speaker wire in the conduit. I am just streaming internet content to an LG TV and using LG's webOS to select content. For one site through HDMI cables I have a blu ray player capable of 4K Ultra Hd and 3D , an AVR capable of atmos, a computer and a PS3 I rarely use.

While I think HDBaseT was a good concept when full HD, 1080 with dolby audio, were the best quality, I think the advent of 4K and now 8K and atmos it is time to question whether HDBaseT is adequate, cost effective or too complex. If we are headed to needing to transmit 48 GBPS, use earc, variable refresh rates, etc we will need to rewire and get new equipment.

Anál nathrach, orth’ bháis’s bethad, do chél dénmha
Display: LG OLED 65e6p, Player: OPPO UDP-203, AVR:Yamaha TSR 7810, Streaming: Comcast 60Mbps RG6 to Cat6a, Speakers: Mains Vandersteen IIC, Center, Surrounds, Rears Klipsch
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-27-2019, 06:19 PM
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Not saying HDBaseT is appropriate for OP’s situation, but I will say it handles 4K just fine. I have 8 TVs all fed via HDBaseT, all 4K, and everything syncs up perfectly and looks great.


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post #5 of 8 Old 06-28-2019, 10:30 AM
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If it's during construction, don't run your wire through conduit. It's easy to drill and route wires through framing lumber. Run conduit, but leave it empty aside from pull string. This is for future use.
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-10-2019, 04:41 PM
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I'm kind of in the same boat and had the same questions regarding distributing the audio and video. The answer is don't go from matrix to receiver, but from receiver to matrix. HDMI will carry both the audio and video.

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post #7 of 8 Old 07-16-2019, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Postmoderndesign View Post
HDbaseT may serve your needs but the devil is in the details. I do think it is still a good idea to run your internet to a centrally located equipment cabinet through conduit to a patch panel and then to a switch. From there run conduit to your drop locations. Currently, I have 2 cat6a cables, 2 RG6 coax cable and speaker wire in the conduit. I am just streaming internet content to an LG TV and using LG's webOS to select content. For one site through HDMI cables I have a blu ray player capable of 4K Ultra Hd and 3D , an AVR capable of atmos, a computer and a PS3 I rarely use.

While I think HDBaseT was a good concept when full HD, 1080 with dolby audio, were the best quality, I think the advent of 4K and now 8K and atmos it is time to question whether HDBaseT is adequate, cost effective or too complex. If we are headed to needing to transmit 48 GBPS, use earc, variable refresh rates, etc we will need to rewire and get new equipment.
Since I posted the Valens VS 3000, which allows 18GBPS to be distributed over long distances through category cable, (cat6A will allow the most capacity), has been announced. To be useful HDCP, switches and storage devices need to be rethought. The Valens chip may be immediately useful in the situation where a player is far from a display. It possibly allows HDMI to go to the recycle bin. https://www.avsforum.com/forum/168-h...ns-vs3000.html

In truth I do not understand or know enough to described the hurdles or the solutions to achieve a 4K Ultra HD whole house system.

Anál nathrach, orth’ bháis’s bethad, do chél dénmha
Display: LG OLED 65e6p, Player: OPPO UDP-203, AVR:Yamaha TSR 7810, Streaming: Comcast 60Mbps RG6 to Cat6a, Speakers: Mains Vandersteen IIC, Center, Surrounds, Rears Klipsch

Last edited by Postmoderndesign; 07-16-2019 at 08:07 AM.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-17-2019, 08:00 AM
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'The majority of our consumption is streaming services (e.g. Netflix, Amazon prime, PBS Kids, ESPN app), over-the-air HDTV, or the (very) occasional Blu-ray. I wouldn't mind being able to play my Xbox One on any TV too, provided the controller signals reach.' - I would question any requirement for a centralised Video Matrix.

For the most part a 'Smart' TV's with wired internet will likely deliver most of what you require in the secondary zones and where required you can mount an additional streaming device local to the TV for any services the TV does not deliver.

The trend to BYOD means you want to plan around 'local' Video and audio connectivity - be that wired or wireless with the ability to integrate with local or distributed music too.

Joe

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