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I am looking for a receiver to control 2 fully independent zones for around $300 - pipe dream?

I am replacing an Onkyo TX-NR626 that has been flakey for the last couple of years, and had serious limitations from the start but it kinda sorta mostly did some of this...

I have 2 pairs of outdoor speakers, one pair in an outdoor room and another pair by the pool. The outdoor room will have a TV in the future and I would like the audio from the programming on that to go to the speakers in the same room.

The speaker wire and HDMI for TV video is all run to a rack indoors, as is the wiring for an IR eye in the outdoor room.

Most of the receivers I have found in the price range all seem to have the second zone only play the same audio as in the first zone which defeats the purpose of having a second zone. Unless you want to hear the TV in a room where you can’t see it.

I want more flexibility to, for example, stream Pandora to the pool controlled by an app on an iPhone, while at the same time Airplay 2 or Bluetooth or Dish TV to the outdoor room.

It seems like the price point for that is closer to $600 - 800 which is more than I can afford now.

If nothing cheaper is available, is there a single zone receiver for around $150 - 200 that you would recommend? I.e., buy two of them.
 

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You can get pretty close.
For 10% over your target, the Yamaha RX-V485 has 2 zones (5.1 AVR that can do 3.1 Zone1 and 2.0 Zone2) and streaming apps as part of the MusicCast ecosystem. It's also AirPlay 2 compatible.
You'd have to check the manual as to whether You can stream to 1 zone and do AirPlay 2 to the other. Many AVRs have limitations about sending digital inputs to Zone 2.
It's not immediately clear if simultaneously playing the internal streaming apps and/or AirPlay 2 would be a problem for the RX-V485.

Consider making use of an inexpensive streamer - specifically the Play-Fi compatible Phorus PR5. It's very inexpensive and can be added to any receiver or amplifier via analog RCA jacks.

An inexpensive 2.0 stereo receiver (Yamaha, Sony and Insignia (looks like a Sony)) at Best Buy, paired with a PR5 could get you to your target price point of $150/room if you buy 2 sets. The potential problem is the lack of HDMI/ARC when you get the TV later.
If the pool will never play the TV audio, and the wiring goes to a central location, consider an auto on/off amp powering the pool speakers, and adding a PR5. It would wake the amp when music plays, and time out after. A stereo receiver needs to be turned on/off by hand or remote.
If the pool area is isolated, then any inexpensive new or used AVR could drive the outdoor room. You could also add another PR5 to that AVR and group it with the pool unit like Sonos or AirPlay 2

You could actually add a PR5 to the Yamaha RX-V485 and it would definitely play in Zone 2 as it's an analog input, but it would be at least 2 (some combo of AirPlay/2, MusicCast, Play-Fi, Yamaha Remote), if not 3+ apps on your phone to drive 2 zones.
You may be able to find a cheap Play-Fi compatible Onkyo/Pioneer AVR with zone 2 and play-fi, then add the PR5, meaning only 1 app (Play-Fi) on the phone, while having streaming capabilities to both zones.

I am looking for a receiver to control 2 fully independent zones for around $300 - pipe dream?
I have 2 pairs of outdoor speakers, one pair in an outdoor room and another pair by the pool. The outdoor room will have a TV in the future and I would like the audio from the programming on that to go to the speakers in the same room.
The speaker wire and HDMI for TV video is all run to a rack indoors, as is the wiring for an IR eye in the outdoor room.

Most of the receivers I have found in the price range all seem to have the second zone only play the same audio as in the first zone which defeats the purpose of having a second zone. Unless you want to hear the TV in a room where you can’t see it.
I want more flexibility to, for example, stream Pandora to the pool controlled by an app on an iPhone, while at the same time Airplay 2 or Bluetooth or Dish TV to the outdoor room.

It seems like the price point for that is closer to $600 - 800 which is more than I can afford now.
If nothing cheaper is available, is there a single zone receiver for around $150 - 200 that you would recommend? I.e., buy two of them.
 
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