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HTPC - Dual audio zones? Possible?

798 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  kmusk01
I'm in the phase of developing a custom made HTPC.

One of the features I'd like to enable, is dual audio zones.

1) one audio output will connect to an external amplifier (100W) connected to a 2 way stereo speakers (100W)

2) one audio output will connect to the TV home theater system 5+1

User selectable zones within the pc, possibly including both zones at the same time

What would you suggest?
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If your advise will be selecting some sound cards, possibly a sound card that will not be affected from electric interference from the PC itself (very tough task!)
It is possible, but depends on what you are using as your front end. I am using XBMC and I can specify what audio source to use. I have 2 zones in my house and love it. Zone 1 is my 5.1 surround sound through HDMI. Zone 2 are my ceiling speakers throughout the house.

My HTPC is running Windows 7, so I have zone 2 set as default. Subsonic is running on my HTPC and I have it set to run a playlist. This way anyone can hit play on the remote and music will start playing throughout the house. I have a touch screen pc in the kitchen and normally use this to control music. Subsonic has what they call JukeBox mode so anything I select plays from the HTPC itself
Can even control it with my phone if I wanted to.

If I want to watch TV through zone 1, I simply turn the TV on and XBMC is always running. Just find the TV show or Movie I want to watch, and hit play.

Works great when neighbor kids come over and want to watch a movie while the adults listen to music as the same time.

I believe there is a way you can have 2 zones within Windows Media Center, but I find XBMC more user friendly and flashier.

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