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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another new home build advice thread for a guy just learning this stuff.

NewHouseDistro.pdf 14k .pdf file


I included the above attachment to show what I was going for. Basically, I need to know if I am going in the right direction or if i should be looking at another way of doing this.


My builder is not allowing me to do my own cabling, so I am trying to limit runs a bit. I want to do single Cat6 over HDbaseT Extenders. I like these:
http://www.atlona.com/HDWP.html with http://www.atlona.com/HDTX.html because it is simple and clean with PoE, although, very pricey. I count having to have a minimum of 4 of these pairs. That is around $1500 and up just for the extension of HDMI. Any other less pricey suggestions that WILL work properly are appreciated. The house has included cable and data wiring so I really don't need HDbaseT with Ethernet.


I figured I would go with standard HDMI switches and splitters, and just use the HDbaseT for extending from the AVRs, and one from the splitter.


I hadn't figured out the IR distribution or volume control for audio only zones. Any help in that area would be great.


All of the components will be in a rack in the basement. I realize the problems with the Kinects and such. Some I can work through. The Xbox One I will wait until there is a solution. I was going to have, at least, one conduit run from Zone 1 and Zone 2 for these possible connections later. TIA
 

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What AVRs are you putting in?

 

Many of the AVRs are 6x2 or 6x3 switches.  Thinking of the Sony 1800 and 2800 which I have experience with.

 

All those layers of HDMI switches on switches are going to cause problems with handshakes etc.

 

They are also going to cause problems for the surround sound signals to the Family Room and Theater as in both locations the audio will have to handshake to the TV and the TV will downsample and stream out stereo for the stereo connected devices.

 

This will also create contention of who is using what device, so what remote is in charge of the device.

 

There is also no music / audio media on this plan (what is going to the Master Bath / Outdoor Patio etc?)

 

Where are you based?  What country / State?

 

What TV Boxes are you using?  The 5.1 and 7.1 zones are wired back to the basement?

 

What control logic are you thinking of using to message that say AVR3 needs to set to Input 2 and 4x4 Switch needs to set BD in to output 3 etc?

 

My head is hurting looking at that diagram.  Can you back up a bit.  How many live there, how many visit, how often is the guest room used.  How often are you really moving all the controllers etc of the xbox, xbox360 and wii from room to room to play in a different room?

 

I'd simplify, simplify and then simplify some more.  Are you US based, can you use Tivo Roamio and TiVo mini to replace the TV boxes?  This also has a lot of Roku type functionality so means you can stop trying to distribute that.

 

Is it better to buy a 4x4 switch or another BD player.

 

Are you on TimeWarner, can you use the Roku app at Guestroom TV instead of a cable box splitter?

 

What are the must have connections in each of those rooms?

 

e.g Family room must have TV and BD and Xbox

 

Patio must have

 

Basement Theater must have BD and Roku

 

and so on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK, sorry to hurt your head. LOL.


I am in the US. I will be using DirectTV or Comcast cable.


In my current home I have a Yamaha RX-V673 for the main theater room (If you can call it that). That receiver is 5x1 and can do 7.1. I also have a Denon AVR-1312 which is 3x1, and can do 5.1, but with no second zone. I figured I might be buying a receiver or two to be able to meet my needs. Unless I can figure a way not to.


Currently, we have 3 Comcast boxes. A DVR in the main theater room, one for the bedroom, and one for a TV downstairs split to the guest bedroom. None of my components are in a rack, and none are shared with other rooms.


Maybe, I have it wrong how things should be set up. Since I had the opportunity, I thought I could get the functionality I wanted moving forward. With a guest and kids, we often watch 3 different TVs. Sure, I might not need a Roku anymore, but I have one in my bedroom now. It was just another component to draw upon for video sources.


If my diagram is an exercise on how NOT to do things great. I need to figure out how to do it.


I really want to not have components in the rooms. I would like to keep them centralized.


I want 7.1 in the basement and 5.1 on the main level. I want to be able to watch TV separately from my kids or guests on the weekend without sharing a source. I want to share the Xbox One between the Basement and the Family room. I need an audio only zone for my patio, and another audio only zone in the master bath. The Xbox 360 and Wii must be in the basement. I wanted a Disc player in case the Xbox One is in use. I wanted a single in wall IR by each TV that could run to any of the components being used for that particular room.


I wanted to come up with a plan that future proofed the wiring so if I change out components or upgraded I will have that capability. Not sure if that helps explain my situation. I guess I am confused at how some of these extenders and switchers are supposed to operate within a specified system. I looked around for decent diagrams, and it is really hard to find examples of proper setups to understand how this distribution thing works. Thanks for the reply, and any help.
 

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You need to think about the plumbing (how to connect everything like in your diagram) and the control (when there are shared resources there should be some shared control).

 

To plumb as you dream with everything in a central cabinet you really need an 8x8 HDMI matrix. As you are planning to put sources through an HDMI matrix into an AVR you need a suitably specced matrix to make that happen.  A cheap HDMI matrix will just tell the source to send the lowest common denominator signal to the end device so if you are trying to send to a 720p Stereo TV and a 1080p 7.1 DTS, both would get the 720/stereo signal.

Then you need a control system that wants to play nice with the matrix and the devices and the tvs etc.  Not sure you are planning that kinda budget?

 

Instead, I would suggest.

Ditch the Comcast boxes, get a Tivo Roamio and 3 Tivo Minis.  Connect the Roamio to the primary TV (Family Room) and the Minis to each of the other Screens.  Buy lifetime service for the TiVos.  Thats a fair bit of $ upfront but it will repay in savings on your cable bill for renting each of those 3 cable boxes etc in a couple of years or so.  Seriously it will, I'm guessing 3 STBs at $15 each plus $10 for the DVR so that is knocking $55 plus a month of your cable bill.

Handy for you comcast has got with the TiVo program and you can still get all your on demand from them.

http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2261

You'll also save on the electric bill.  A TiVo mini draws about 3W, a STB much 30W or more.

 

For the guest bedroom and master bedroom these devices are small enough you can tuck them behind the TV connected by Coax/RG6 ir Ethernet.  That gets you live TV, DVR, Netflix, Pandora and many other services to those screens.  Now ask do you need more than that to those screens or can you say job done?  You would be missing the ability to have gaming devices or BD to those screens.  Control for these screens can be with the TiVo remote which can control the TV screen as well.

 

Basement, connect the Wii and Xbox 360 to the AVR, connect the Tivo mini to the AVR.  I think your plan is to buy an IR repeater and connecto to the TV and run to the basement.

 

Family room, connect the Tivo Mini, Roku to the AVR. I think your plan is to buy an IR repeater and connecto to the TV and run to the basement.

 

The XBox One has only one HDMI and kinda needs to be local so figure out which system you are plugging that into for now.  Likely need to run a second HDMI from local down to the basement and plug it into the AVR.

 

Then you have the audio question...

 

Probably the easiest solution would be Sonos.  You could run a SONOS connect to the Denon AVR-1312 and then use zone 2 for say the bathroom and get a Sonos AMP and use that to run the garden zone.  Or with the right speakers and physical switches you could run both from the same Sonos AMP.  You could also use different outputs of the Sonos Connect to hook into the two AVRs, give one the optical and the other the analog or coax depending on the connectivity on the AVRs.
 

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Putting HT zones into a matrix environment gets complicated and as you have two of your six zones as HT (and gaming) it gets tough to recommend a more consolidated solution.  A cheap HDMI matrix will just tell the source to send the lowest common denominator signal to the end device so if you are trying to send to a 720p Stereo TV and a 1080p 7.1 DTS, both would get the 720/stereo signal.

 

How do you want to control all of this.  Are you still happy having multiple remotes in each location.  Do you want to consolidate remotes into Harmony One type remote at the HT locations?

 

You could control

Theater Harmony One setup

Family, similar

Bed Tivo

Guest Tivo

Bath and Garden with Sonos App on i/droid devices.

 

Otherwise you start thinking about whole home control.

 

I think the above and this post would run you

Tivos - I'm calling this a wash because the upfront is saved with the ongoing savings on the cable bill.

SONOS Connect $350

SONOS AMP $500 (or you could get two Sonos Play 1/3/5 for the garden / bathroom)

Some IR handling or

Harmony 1 x 2 = $500.

 

So spending about $2k with the other cables etc.

 

If your budget is nearer $10k then something like the Control 4 HDMI Matrix and a HC250 controller and 4 zone matrix amp and 4 SR250s would be the way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@SMHamon

Thank you very much for the input. You gave me a different perspective on the situation which helps tremendously (let me know where to send the check). I am going to talk this over with my better half, and see where we want to go from here. I am somewhere in the middle between 2k and 10k, but I will be buying some speakers as well, (or better window coverings, not my choice) so I have to take that into consideration. I'll post something when I have a a more solid foundation.
 

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You are welcome, by the way, you need window coverings.  Think of it as an opportunity to install automated shading.  With the right control system you could have the shading work in concert with the theater / family room or even to keep the temperature in the bedroom more consistent.
 
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