In-Ceiling Speakers Wired Simultaneously to Chromecast Audio and A/V Receiver - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-06-2017, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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In-Ceiling Speakers Wired Simultaneously to Chromecast Audio and A/V Receiver

I'm in the process of building a home and I'm considering going with an all-home audio system, multiple 5.1 surround systems, while also cutting the cord with DirecTV/local cable company. I'm considering an HD antenna in the attic that's wired to all rooms, along with something like a Roku Ultra or Chromecast Ultra for streaming. Let's say Roku Ultra for this discussion. I have a great room on the main floor that will have a TV, along with a larger living room in the basement that will serve as more of the theater room. I'm considering 5.1 in-ceiling speakers for the great room; 5.1 in-wall center channel, in-wall front left/right, and in-ceiling surround speakers in the basement/theater area; and a sound bar for the master bedroom with in-ceiling surround speakers. I'm also planning on some in-ceiling speakers for the deck, kitchen area, etc.

My question is - can I have in-ceiling speakers wired to both a receiver (for the home theater) and to a Chromecast Audio dongle? My thought is I'll control the home theater audio via Roku Ultra (or the TV, or the TV's receiver, etc.) and I'll control the whole-home audio via Chromecast apps. The same would apply to the master bedroom where the in-ceiling speakers would be connected with the soundbar as well as the Chromecast Audio dongle.

I'm also considering adding a Google Home to be able to control the whole-home audio via voice controls.

So in addition to my question, I'm open to any other suggestions/feedback you have. Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-06-2017, 06:33 PM
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I cannot help you with your problem.


But would assume that you need a speaker wire selector, with two different input for the signal.
But the one thing I know is, since you intend to put some speakers wires in the ceiling (no matter if it is for one room or many).


Make sure to spend a little more (they are not much more expensive), for In Wall/Ceiling rated, normally it would say CL2 or CL3 on them.
Chance of a fire cause by speakers wires are nil to none, your AVR will get into protection mode before that!
This is just for House Insurance, they could denied a claim just as an excuse for this one, it's only a few more dollar wise when buying a reel on line.


Good Luck with your project, and hopefully others can help you with your original problem
Just thought, to let you know about the Fire Code, for most States and Provinces.


Ray
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-06-2017, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tparson View Post
My question is - can I have in-ceiling speakers wired to both a receiver (for the home theater) and to a Chromecast Audio dongle? My thought is I'll control the home theater audio via Roku Ultra (or the TV, or the TV's receiver, etc.) and I'll control the whole-home audio via Chromecast apps. The same would apply to the master bedroom where the in-ceiling speakers would be connected with the soundbar as well as the Chromecast Audio dongle.
My quick thought on this is how would you power the speakers without the AVR? Chromecast audio is nice, but I believe it is self-powered speakers only. Your AVR would still need to drive them for power.
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-06-2017, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TorinTPG View Post
My quick thought on this is how would you power the speakers without the AVR? Chromecast audio is nice, but I believe it is self-powered speakers only. Your AVR would still need to drive them for power.
Good point. I was thinking I'd have an amp in some central location (or storage room downstairs) to power the speakers not connected to the AVR. After considering your point, I wonder if it'd be easiest/best to just do one Chromecast dongle on each AVR and switching inputs on the AVR to whole-home audio when I want to switch from home theater audio to whole-home audio.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-07-2017, 01:27 PM
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Sounds easier to me depending on your budget and know-how. I always try to look for the simplest solution first.

Have you selected speakers yet?
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-07-2017, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I haven't picked speakers nor receivers (planning on replacing all my current speakers/receivers, telling the wife I HAVE to upgrade ). Wanted to get my technology and high-level plan down before I start digging in. Open to suggestions for sure!
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-07-2017, 08:00 PM
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There are a couple ways of doing what you would like and have it be automated so you don't have to turn n extra gear when you want control from your app.

1. Use an automatic speaker selector with a signal sensing amplifier for the Chromecast Audio. When the chromecast is turned on the amp turns on and when power is supplied to the selector it automatically switches to the chromecast amplifier. When the chromecast amplifier is off the switch defaults to the other system. Here is an example of the switch other companies make them as well.
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/50-8395

2. Connect the Chromecast to your receiver and use a decent control system that has sensors and detects the chromecast signal. The control system when it detects a signal will turn on the receiver and set it to the proper input. the control system can also set the proper surround mode for the receiver for example if you want to use 5 or 7 channel stereo so the Chromecast plays through all the speakers in the surround system instead of just two like in option #1. The other advantage of the control system is many of them can be programmed to use Google home or Amazon Alexa for voice control. The disadvantage is cost.

One question I have is Chromecast a must? I ask because there are many streaming devices that have similar functions that would make this not as complicated. For example Yamaha has MusicCast built into many of its receivers and sound bars as well as separate amplifiers and speakers. A whole house audio system would integrate a lot easier without using a control system or separate amps with switchers. You would lose voice control but everything would be able to be controlled with the Yamaha App. Yamaha already announced Alexa support coming later this year, it is only a matter of time before they add Google Home. I'm sure the competitors are working on it too. Denon with their Heos system and DTS PlayFi compatible equipment are similar systems.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-08-2017, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ellebob View Post
There are a couple ways of doing what you would like and have it be automated so you don't have to turn n extra gear when you want control from your app.

1. Use an automatic speaker selector with a signal sensing amplifier for the Chromecast Audio. When the chromecast is turned on the amp turns on and when power is supplied to the selector it automatically switches to the chromecast amplifier. When the chromecast amplifier is off the switch defaults to the other system. Here is an example of the switch other companies make them as well.


2. Connect the Chromecast to your receiver and use a decent control system that has sensors and detects the chromecast signal. The control system when it detects a signal will turn on the receiver and set it to the proper input. the control system can also set the proper surround mode for the receiver for example if you want to use 5 or 7 channel stereo so the Chromecast plays through all the speakers in the surround system instead of just two like in option #1. The other advantage of the control system is many of them can be programmed to use Google home or Amazon Alexa for voice control. The disadvantage is cost.

One question I have is Chromecast a must? I ask because there are many streaming devices that have similar functions that would make this not as complicated. For example Yamaha has MusicCast built into many of its receivers and sound bars as well as separate amplifiers and speakers. A whole house audio system would integrate a lot easier without using a control system or separate amps with switchers. You would lose voice control but everything would be able to be controlled with the Yamaha App. Yamaha already announced Alexa support coming later this year, it is only a matter of time before they add Google Home. I'm sure the competitors are working on it too. Denon with their Heos system and DTS PlayFi compatible equipment are similar systems.
Thanks for your input! I like the sound-activated speaker selector. Thanks for sharing! I'm not completely sold on Chromecast; it's just a cheaper alternative to Sonos. I got a free design from Crutchfield and they recommended Yamaha MusicCast as well. I haven't completely ruled that option out but the little research I did uncovered some downside when compared to Sonos. Most of the negatives on MusicCast seem to be related to immaturity, i.e. buggy app, not as many features, not as many supported services, etc. Seems like they'll get there with time, hence haven't completely ruled it out. I'll look in to it a little bit further, per your suggestion. Are you running MusicCast for whole-home audio yourself?

Thanks!
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-08-2017, 09:24 AM
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I am one of the guys that does the testing on new products for the company I work. So I currently have a Sonos sytem with 5 devices running, a MusicCast with 3 devices running, A paradigm system (DTS Play-fi) with 3 devices running and a URC system with 10 devices running. The Denon and Bluesound we also tested but no longer here as they decided not to carry those.I've also set up many Chromecast units.

While each has its pros and cons if I had to pick one for most people it would be Sonos.

I haven't had any problems with the Yamaha app but it is not as intuitive as Sonos and if you have a large collection of music on a hard drive trying to get to the song you want to play, if not in you favorites can be a little cumbersome. No real search function. For most people that use a streaming service like Pandora this is not an issue.

You have to decide which features of each will work best for you.
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