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.