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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,


I'm just beginning to think about a home audio distribution system. I'd like it to be controlled by a small wall panel in each room. In short, I'd like access primarily to digital music stored on a central server, direct output from two components in my living room, and a local audio source plugged into the front; and secondarily to internet music streaming, AM/FM radio, and Bluetooth streaming.


Below is an ideal list of attributes.


Since I'm just starting to look into this, I don't really know what's possible or available - this is just what I would like to do. How simple of a system is this? Are there any commercially available systems that will do most of what I am looking for? I know a lot of wiring would be required, but if I can get the electronics, I can make the wiring happen one way or another.


Thanks for any help or direction you can provide!


Regards,

Scott



Wall panels:

- Basement

- Deck (just inside back door)

- Dining room

- Garage

- Guest BR

- Kitchen

- Living room

- MBR


Inputs:

- 3.5mm stereo jack on front

- Antenna

- Power

- RCA (L+R) from media player

- RCA (L+R) from receiver

- RJ45


Output:

- Speakers


Signal sources:

- Files on server

- Direct media player output

- Direct receiver output (tape out)

- Analogue audio out from local device (ex - mp3 player)

- Internet radio - native client

- Bluetooth from phone

- FM/AM broadcast - native client


Control:

- Override for selected rooms from any room (i.e. - push what's playing in one room to other rooms)

- Remote control

- Touch screen

- Web interface for programming


Mounting:

- In-wall, flush

- Small recessed pocket for mp3 player
 

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Look at distribution systems from Russound, Speakercraft, NuVo, etc...They'll get close to what you've listed here. Can't recall having ever seen the 3.5mm jack as an option, but you could reproduce that w/ a 3.5mm to stereo (using an input on the back).


In-wall iPod dock is 'iPort'...


Most require a separate tuner for AM/FM/XM, which can be controlled by the main-unit/keypads.


I think NuVo has an interface for streaming music from a WMP or iTunes machine? Have not tried it. Don't know which if any can do internet streaming...


Been a few years since I've done one of the above systems, but none of them provided a web-interface at that time...
 

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Yes, NuVo has the MusicPort for connecting a PC to their systems and utilizing iTunes and/or Window Media Player libraries for playback (with metadata). And that unit is being replaced with a new MusicPort Server, a self-contained digital music server...


Jeff
 

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I'd start with Russound and Nuvo, and see if you can be satisfied by one of their systems.


It will be expensive.


You should also give Sonos a hard look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sorry for the late reply...


Thanks for all these suggestions. Like I said, I'm just starting to think about doing this project, so it probably will be a while before it happens. But it's great to have these suggestions as a starting point.


Thanks,

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So, I've been rethinking my approach to my home audio distribution. Instead of a dedicated, separate system for audio, I'm thinking about a PC client-server based system with touch screens for each zone. This seems like a much more flexible and expandable set-up.


What are your thoughts on this system?


Some questions I have:

1. What is available to take audio-in on a PC and stream it to the LAN?

2. Recommendations on touch screens (~7)?

3. Recommendations on diskless client PCs with the necessary ports?

a. LAN

b. Stereo in

c. Stereo out

d. Min 3x USB

e. Video out compatible with whatever standard is used on touch screens


Thanks!

Scott
 

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Squeezebox and Sonos can stream music from both your computer and the internet over your network (wired or wireless).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by larrystarr /forum/post/18169235


If you used Squeezebox.. would the audio be in sync in all the different zones?

If you are listening to the same music in different zones than normally you just connect the inputs of all zone amplifiers to one Squeezebox receiver so, since they all receive the same signal, they all will have to be in sync.


If you are listening to the same station from two different Squeezebox receivers then, in general, I suspect they will not be in sync.
 

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I am looking for a very similar system. I have 5 pairs of Parasound in-wall speakers already installed in the house and 3 pairs of outdoor speakers (Parasound, Mirage & Stereostone) with Niles volume controls in each zone (with each outdoor pair its own zone). I had been successfully running all of this via the zone 2 output of my Denon receiver and powering it with a Parasound Zamp - until I blew out the Zamp. Yeah - I know I was on borrowed time with the Zamp and all of those speaker pairs but I rarely ran more than 2-3 pairs at once. Anyway - now its time for a replacement amp and I want to do this right. I have an HP MediaSmart server (with a built in iTunes server) that will be the primary source for music. I would also like access to internet radio, the music stations from a DirecTV receiver. I would like to put the equipment in an equipment room I have created in my basement that currently houses the MediaSmart and a DirecTV receiver and so my needs include the following:


- 16-channel amplifier (or receiver with the needed qualities and 16 channels of amplification.

- control unit (if the amplifier is separate) - the control unit would need an RJ-45 input with the ability to see and control the iTunes server on the Mediasmart and with internet radio capabilities

- a few keypads and a remote


The Niles ZR-6 looked like it offered nearly everything I needed in a simple single box package. It is 6 zones but they are stackable and so I can add the other two. Problem is that the RJ-45s it has are for the keypads only. I don't see a way to have it interact with the MediaSmart server or to provide internet radio. These are the two most important parts of my system. I expect to be utilizing the MediaSmart about 90% of the time with the other 10% split between internet radio (I'd like to include Pandora, Lastfm in this group) and the DirecTV music stations.

Can anyone steer me in the right direction?

-
 

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Rik as a newbie Im not up on what a MediaSmart server is... if its just a computer like i have I use the squeezebox for internet radio+all my itunes music if my ipod is not plugged in to the zr-6.


its a fail proof 1-2-3 system for newbies like me
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercury /forum/post/18178961


Rik as a newbie Im not up on what a MediaSmart server is... if its just a computer like i have I use the squeezebox for internet radio+all my itunes music if my ipod is not plugged in to the zr-6.


its a fail proof 1-2-3 system for newbies like me

The HP Mediasmart Home Server runs Windows Home Server and has plenty of features and add-ins. It has a built in iTunes server and as such will serve music to any networked device in the home capable of receiving it. The more I look into the Squeezebox as a solution the better I like it. I have 8 pairs of speakers and I need to power those speakers. Can I feed the Squeezebox directly into a 16-channel amp?
 

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For about $250 per location plus the cost of 2 cat5 runs you could add touchscreens with this L130 Model and pick up a 7" touchscreen on ebay.


I am currently testing out a L130 and it couldn't be any easier to set them up. If you have computer running 24/7 anyways this might not be a bad way to go.


I have 5 zone audio system in place going to be 6. I use a delta 410 sound card that goes to receivers for each zone. You can find them cheap used if you look a bit. The Russound and Nuvo stuff is nice if you have the money ... easier to setup.
 

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Intriguing. So how would that work jumbodogs? The touchscreen connects to a virtual desktop which in turn connects to the server? How would one connect multiple? I can see multiple touchscreens - each with its own virtual desktop but then how would all of those virtual desktops connect back to the server? The Mediasmart has an iTunes server built in and so I suppose I could control that iTunes server from the touchscreens and then online services like Pandora, Lastfm, Slacker etc via a web browser. Still seems kinda cluge when compared with the simplicity of the Squeezebox.
 

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I wonder if i can use one of the ncomputing thinclients to run in my setup... to have multiple HStouch apps running on the same PC in different sessions with their own ELO touchscreen.


this would be a huge $$ saver and power saver if it works correctly.


hmm could be cool. I might buy the $80 version that is USB to try out
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Adidas - this is what I had in mind in my 2nd post, rethinking my approach. I think this route would give much more flexibility and expandability than any dedicated system. And at the same price, or lower.


I see it as a lot more work up-front and maintenance though. Now I just need to learn how to configure and manage a thin client system and find a good front-end programing environment.


A good resource might be over at mp3car.com. Front-end touchscreen programming is nothing new to them.


-Scott
 

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Sorry for late reply I thought when you post you auto subscribe ... anyway those nComputers are basically there own computer. You just install whatever software you want to play music or watch videos. XBMC is a very nice front end .... Boxee is another.


There is really nothing to configure. I installed the nComputer software on my main computer that I have running all the time. That computer holds my Movies, Music, Pictures plus runs my home automation software for controlling lights and other things.

On this computer you will create a new user that you will use to sign on with the L130 device.


I then plugged the L130 device into my network and it will assign its self an IP and look for the server computer. Once it finds that you will get a sign on prompt. Logon and run the software front end of your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
jumbodogs - thanks for farther explaining your set-up.


If I'm reading your first post right, the audio output is coming straight from the server, and not from each client. Is this correct? Is there any reason you didn't use the local audio-out from the L130?


Is the L130 a thin client, or is it something more than that?


Thanks,

Scott
 
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