congrats on the new house... you are very close to custom AV automation/integration... however, most of what you want to do can be achieved via Denon's HEOS system, insofar as pushing the audio to all your zones.Up to this point in my life, I've never had the space, desire and/or money to put anything more than a 5.1 system, powered by an AVR at or below $500, in my home. I was a kid in a bedroom, then a college student in a cheap apartment, and even now in my starter home... simple 5.1 in one room is all I need. So my current receiver (Onkyo HT-RC180, about 10 years old) has a zone 2 and even a zone 3 pre out (which I don't entirely understand since it is only a 7.2 receiver, but I digress...) that I've never used.
In any event, with a larger house, more sophisticated media room in the works, numerous (5-10) potential audio zones, a bigger budget, and a rapidly changing landscape with regards to whole home audio has led me to investigate new solutions, because no longer will a single sub $1000 receiver do the trick (at least... I don't think one can, but I'm here for all suggestions!)
Keep in mind I will also want basically everything to be controllable by both apps and via voice commands (Alexa, Siri, or Google ecosystem more than likely). So I am curious what products will I need to accomplish the following task:
The media room will be running at least a 5.2.2, and more likely 7.2.4 atmos setup. It will more than likely have 3 displays... a projector + screen or huge flagship TV as the centerpiece, with 2 secondary TVs so we can keep up with other games, or maybe play some Xbox One. Regardless, I will want to be able to connect any of my video sources (Xbox One, Gaming PC with Plex server, Apple TV, maybe others) to any of my displays. And while I would want the audio associated with the main display to be the norm, if I so choose to want to listen to the audio from one of the smaller displays, that's my prerogative! Furthermore, if I want to send the audio of the football game to my bathroom or my pool deck speakers, in addition to playing in the media room, that should be possible too!
Based on this, I am assuming I need:
- An AV receiver with at least 3 HDMI outputs (Though it isn't critical to lock one down yet because by the time I'm ready to buy, a better option may exist but I've got my eye on the Denon AVR-X3600H; Realistically, I'll end up getting a 2020/2021 unit that has HDMI 2.1)
- Because I will want room for 7.2.4, this receiver alone (9 channels) is not going to be able to do it. I'll need a good quality 2 channel amp that can power my main left and right speaker, while the AVR can handle the other 9 channels.
- And while we are buying 2 channels of really solid amplification, I also need who knows how many zones/channels of lesser quality amplification. That's where this Monoprice 6 Zone Home Audio Multizone Controller comes in. I read I can put a ribbon between a few of these and link 3 together for 18 total zones, which seems like plenty to me.
Will this be enough hardware? I'll run all speaker wire to this device in my media rack (to the outdoor zones, this could be 100+ feet). How do I then output the sound from, say, a Roku streaming stick playing a football game which is in HDMI 1 or Xbox One which is connected to HDMI 4, to one of these 6 secondary audio zones? I am assuming I have to run some sort of stereo out(s) (red/white cable(s)? Just 1? Or 1 for each source?) from the Denon to the Monoprice unit. And then tell the Monoprice unit which zones to send that audio too.
Also, I noticed this product is from ~2013 and uses wall panels. While this is okay, I'd much rather be able to control a system like this via voice/app as opposed to just knobs or buttons on a wall panel. Are there newer products that integrate better with today's helpers like Alexa, Siri, and Hey Google.
Am I even on the right track?
distributing video is another animal altogether. Monoprice as a great selection of "matrix" switchers. 4x4, 8x8, etc...
BTW, I use multi-zone almost everyday
some random comments:
- multi-zone built into your current receiver: it is a pre-amp function, not an amp function. make sense?
- you'd most likely have to get the 4400/4500 - 9 on board amps, 11 channel processing. it will have 3 HDMI outputs: 2 for main zone(2nd is a mirror) 1 for zone 2.
- if using a 4400/4500, audio to zone 3 is going to be analog only - so using the source(Roku) will have to be converted to analog first, in order to get it to zone 3, and or other zones. ( as an aside: the first gen Apple TV had both HDMI and analog outputs. I could use both simultaneously( both Apple TV and receiver) to get Apple TV content to all zones!)
- one consideration is "zone control". if you just want to push a single source, that is much easier. if you want to be able to play discreet sources in each zone, then you would have to convert the source to analog first, or have a dual ( digital and analog) output. HEOS can do that but it will get somewhat pricey ( HEOS pre-amps list for 349. available on ebay, used/refurb in the 200-250 range) Denon also makes a rack mount 4 x unit ( HEOS super link ( 4 x pre-amp) and Super drive ( 4 x HEOS amp)
with some foresight and planning, you can DIY it. it really depends on the level of complexity you want to achieve.