AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sorry if this question has been answered many times, searches didn't yield quite the answer I was looking for, but it's possible that I just didn't recognize it when I saw it.


I've got a MythTV machine that I'm considering turning into a more of a whole house entertainment solution. My problem is I know so little about stereo equiptment that I'm not sure the questions to ask to start planning.


I currently have a cheap Fisher stereo with two RCA inputs. I've got a 1/8" to RCA converter out of my computer's speaker port to attach it, with a splitter to the rca inputs of my TV. What I want to do is replace the stereo with decent equiptment, and I don't know what that equiptment should be.


For starters, should I replace the sound card on my computer? All I use is onboard sound at the moment, so I'm sure I can do better relatively cheap. Do I need to have a digital connection of some type to power a multi-channel receiver? IE, If I play a DDS DVD through those RCA plugs, I will lose all the channels, right?


Also, if I plan on piping the sound into my family room, but I also want the system to be able to play music on speakers around the house, do I need an amp instead of a receiver, or amp AND a receiver, or what the heck is the difference anyway?



Any help sorting this out for a neophyte would be greatly appreciated!


Thank you,


Ryan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
803 Posts
Ive been asking this for months without getting an answer. There is only one solution I have thought up and its not feasible. Get a receiver for each room, and run a direct audio composite cable from the output of the HTPC to receiver 1, then from receiver 1 output to receiver 2 input, and from 2 to 3, etc. The problem is not only having many receivers, but also those audio composite cables are thick, expensive, and I am not sure they come in lengths needed for this setup. Keep in mind that each receiver can be an A/B and allow dual sets, so essentially one can control two rooms.


I tried using 2.4GHZ Leapfrog to send audio and it sounded like crap from only 10 feet away with perfect LOS, even after I unplugged my 2.4GHZ phone, router, and microwave.


I tried using Apple Airtunes router and the audio doesnt sync correct so it sounds like crap when you walk from one room to another.


I tried setting up an internet radio station internally, and putting an HTPC next to each stereo receiver, and again, the various stations dont match up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,313 Posts
Here's what I did to get whole house audio. Hopefully this helps you think about what you want to do and what questions you may have.


My Desired Outcome:

- Have music in living room/dining room/kitchen/family room[home theater]/patio.

- Have either the same or a different audio source in home theater vs patio vs rest of house based on what I feel like at the time.

- No current need to drive music in bedrooms


My breakdown:

Zone1: Home Theater

Zone2: Living room/Dining Room [will eventually add Kitchen]

Zone3: Outside Patio


Option A) Use Xlobby/multiple sound cards to drive a different audio amp for each zone. Too complex for me.

Option B) I got a Denon 3805 3-zone receiver. It has 7.1 sound, but also allows you to use the 2nd set of surround backs for a different zone. I also got a 6-channel Rotel amp off eBay for cheap.


- My HTPC [I prefer JRMC, my wife prefers iTunes] is hooked up to the Denon via both optical & analog [headphone]. The reason for analog is that Denon won't pass optical to Zone2/3. It's connected to the "VDP" input source, so if I want all Zones to listen to the HTPC, I select VDP for them. ACtually my fancy remote is automated to do that on one button push, so it's pretty simple. If I want to listen to a different audio source in a different zone, I just select that. In my case, I have a 2nd HTPC hooked up to the "CD" source, so it's pretty easy to setup a different audio source and still select any song in the whole collection.


- The Denon amp-out is hooked up to the Rotel. The 6ch Rotel amp drives my Zone2 [living room].

- As I only have a 5.1 HT setup, I used the 6th/7th speakers on the 3805 to drive my Zone3, as I only have 2 speakers on the patio.

- A totally optional item, I got an MX-800 Universal Home Theater remote with RF capabilities so that I can use the same remote around the whole house. This is easy to setup, hard to describe, so I won't go into it unless this interests you. The remote is $250 on eBay, but well worth it from a simplicity perspective. I use the play/pause/next buttons to drive the USBUIRT so no matter where I am in the house, I can turn any zone's volume up/down/off/on, and skip songs/etc.


I put in a Niles volume control on the patio so that I don't have to take my $250 remote outside.


For you, the first suggestion that springs to my mind is to go in stages:

Step 1) Get a decent multi-zone receiver . I got the 3805 for $900 open box, and they're cheaper now. Use the inherent multi-zone capabilities to setup your HT and 1 set of other speakers before you move on to step 2.


Step 2) Get a decent 6 or 8ch amp [based on how many other speakers you'll have] off eBay. I got a 6ch Rotel for something like $225 or so.


Step 3) Once the plumbing/functionality to drive your whole house audio is there, worry about the usability. Consider a solid remote or PDA based on your preference for tactile response to input [i.e., i like hard button response rather than looking at a PDA for the volume button].
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top