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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
iRule controlled Dedicated Theater, Matrix fed video zones and whole house audio plan

Hello All,

I am ready to run some cable and want to plan my AV distribution. I am looking for advice on equipment selection, control plan and wiring plan. This is part of a finished basement with dedicated HT project.

I will continue to edit this first post with the updated plan until the planning is finalized.

Equipment List
AV Rack Equipment - Along Back of Closet
Rack - Tripp Lite SR4POST 25 25U ($293.62)
Rack Power - Cyberpower CPS-1220RMS 20 AMP 12 out horizontal ($66.99) and Cyberpower PDU20BV14F 20A 14 out vertical.
Rack Fan - 19" Rack Cabinet 1U fan unit w/ thermostat ($124.49)
Global Cashe 12 inch unit - 2 serial, 3 relay, 6 ir
Netgear Prosafe JGS524NA 24-port Gigabit switch Rackmount ($160)
HT AVR - Denon AVR X4300W or equivalent (Budget $1500)
HT Cable Box (Comcast)
HT BD
HT Roku
4x4 HDMI HDBaseT matrix - Monoprice (budget $1000)
Matrix Cable Box (comcast)
Whole House Audio - Niles MCR 6430 ($1199.95)
Whole House Audio - Niles nKP7 ($150 each x 5) $750
Onkyo TX-8255 2 channel A/B amp (Already own)
Insteon PLM - Dual-band (already own)
ISY-994 (already own)
NAS 1 (already own)
NAS 2 (already own)
Lorex 4 ch Analog security DVR (already own)
DVR for IP security Camera (Future upgrade)

Structured Wiring Panel - (on left wall of A/V closet)
UPS - CyberPower CP1500AVRLCD UPS 1500VA 900W AVR Mini-Tower 4 backup 4 surge protected ($139.99)
8 way powered Cable splitter (already own if sufficient)
Cable Internet Modem (comcast)
Cable Phone Modem (comcast)
Cisco-Linksys E4200 Dual-Band Wireless-n (already own)
Honeywell 14.4"x18"3.5" enclosure (already installed) upgrade to leviton SMC 28 inch unit ($59)
Netgear Prosafe JGS524NA 24-port Gigabit switch Rackmount($160)
Netgear Prosafe FS728TP 24-Port Fast Ethernet POE Smart Managed Switch 192W ($329.90)
Trendnet 24-port Cat6 Unshielded Wallmount or rackmount patch panel ($39.99) for Ethernet- ****only 250mhz****
Trendnet 24-port Cat6 Unshielded Wallmount or rackmount patch panel ($39.99) for POE ****only 250mhz****
Leviton47689-B 1x9 Bridged Telephone Module(with bracket)

Wire
Cat6 utp 550 mhz
RG6-6Q
16/2 Speaker Wire
HDMI

Matrix Displays
1) Bar TV
2) Guest Room TV
3) Master TV
4) Master Sitting TV

Non Matrix Displays
Epson Home Cinema 5030UB 1080P($2000) - HT AVR Zone 1
Poker TV - HT AVR Zone 2
Family Room TV - AVR 5.1 with dedicated sources located in FR

Whole House Audio Sources
1) HT AVR Zone 1 (If I have output)
2) HT AVR Zone 2 Via RCA
3) HT AVR Zone 3 Via RCA
4) HT Roku Via Optical to DAC RCA
5) FR AVR Via RCA
6)

Whole House Audio Zones
1) Pool Table Area
2) Poker/Bar Area
3) Front Porch
4) Back Deck
5) Master Bedroom
6) Garage and Weight Room Via 2 channel Amp

Control - iRule (iPad, iPad mini, iphone 6 plus)

Panel layout

Main
- Select activity (Video, Audio, Lighing, Security, HVAC)
- Select a Video Zone (HT, Poker, Bar, Guest Rm, FR, Master, Sitting)
- Select a Audeo Zone (HT, FR, Whole House Audio)
- Select a Lighting Zone(HT, Rec RM, 1st floor, 2nd floor)
- Security - (Foscam or link to security app, link to ADT pulse)
- HVAC - Insteon thermostat zone 1 and 2 via isy module
Video Source Selection
- Source selection for each zone which will link to controller
HT DVR, HT BR, HT Roku, HT Denon, FR DVR, FR BR, Poker HT DVR, Poker HT BR, Poker HT Roku, Poker HT Denon, Bar Matrix DVR....., panel for each source device at each location.
Lighting
Whole House Audio - Considering link to niles app

All source controllers have all sources listed on left, with links to those panels and controllers, minimal first page with gesture controls, followed by pages with all functions, controller page contains video out button which links to a page where you can select a display or two.

Lighting Groups/scenes - Add buttons on pages above as appropriate. Can also link to existing buttons, play, pause, stop...
HT (Entrance, Movie, Exit, Star Charging, all Off)
Rec Room (General, Stairs, Pool, Bar, Poker, all Off)
First Floor (Kitchen Recessed, Kitchen pendant, Foyer)
Exterior (Garage/Porch exterior, Garage, Deck post Caps, Deck)

HVAC control - Add buttons on pages above as appropriate
Zone 1 - First Floor and Basement
Zone 2 - 2nd Floor

Wiring
From Structured Wiring Panel to
Basement
- AV Rack - Data(2), RG6(3)
- HT closet - Data(1), RG6(1)
- Projector - Data(1)
- Poker TV - Data(1), RG6(1)
- Bar TV - Data(1), RG6(1)
- In wall iPad
- Pool kP7 Keypad - POE(1)
- Bar/Poker kP7 Keypad - POE(1)
- Bedroom 5 TV - Data(1), RG6(1), RJ11(1) to nightstand
- Basement IP cameras - POE (6), stairwell, Rec Rm, HT, Storage room, under deck x2 for egresses
1st floor
- Family Room TV - Data(1) place 5 port splitter, RG6(1)
- Kitchen - Data(1), RJ11(1)
- Office - Data(1), RJ11(1)
- Porch kP7 Keypad - POE(1)
- Deck kP7 Keypad - POE(1)
- First Floor and Exterior 1st story IP Cameras - POE(5) Garage interior, driveway, walkway, front porch, back deck
2nd floor
- Master kP7 Keypad - POE (1)
- Master TV - Data(1), RG6(1), RJ11(1) to nightstand
- Master Sitting Room - Data(1), RG6(1)
- Bedroooms 2-4 each - Data (1), RG6(1)
- Second floor and Exterior 2nd story IP Cameras - POE(6) hallway, foyer, FL corner, FR corner, BL corner, BR corner

From AV Rack Location to
Basement
- HT closet - Conduit 1.25", HDMI(1), Cat6(2)
- Front Left HT input - Conduit 1.25", HDMI(1), USB(1)
- Projector - Conduit 1.25", HDMI(1), Cat6(2)
- Poker TV - Conduit 1.25", HDMI(1), Cat6(2)
- Bar TV - Conduit 1.25", HDMI(1), Cat6(2)
- In wall iPad, Conduit 3/4", USB(1)
- Pool kP7 Keypad - Conduit 3/4"
- Bar/Poker kP7 Keypad - Conduit 3/4", HDMI(1), USB(1)
- Bedroom 5 TV - Conduit 1.25", HDMI(1), Cat6(2)
- Under Deck - Conduit 1.25"
1st floor
- Family Room TV - Conduit 1.25", HDMI(1), Cat6(2)
- Porch kP7 Keypad - Conduit 3/4"
- Deck kP7 Keypad - Conduit 3/4"
2nd floor
- Attic - Multiple future conduit runs (to supply 2nd floor)

Existing Questions
1. Need product recommendations across the board, but 4x4 HDMI matrix and whole house audio solution are at the top of the list.
2. Need help organizing/planning structured wiring panel and all associated equipment. Currently structured wire going in and out for network, cable, phone, are in 14 inch x 28 inch x 3.5 on left closet wall(AV rack will be in back of closet). The termination modules currely installed will not handle the expansion of the basement and will need to be replaced. I will also need larger switches for ethernet and POE. Where should I locate cable switch, internet modem, phone modem, router? Do they make quality patch panels to fit this 14.5 inch wide enclosure?
3. Help me organize my rack. Data, cable, audio and video cables for AV rack will be terminated on back of closet wall. Terminations from AV rack to home will also be on plates on back wall. So to be clear structured wiring panel will be on left wall and will feed data/cable to back wall for AV rack.
4. Terminating cable in keystone jacks and patch cables vs complete run. What is best? What about cat6 for video extention in particular?

Thanks for the help, All feedback would be much appreciated

-Jay
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
update

Equipment List
HT AVR - Denon AVR x4300W or equivalent
Whole house Audio - Niles MCR 6430 or equivalent
4x4 HDMI matrix - unsure

Control - iRule (direct IP control preffered or use of globalcache)

Video Zones

AVR and dedicated source video zones
Dedicated HT - 7.2 ch rec w/ 3HDMI out (dual zone 1 + zone 2)
- Sources - Cable Box 1 and BR in HT closet
Family Room TV - 5.1 receiver, BR and Cable Box 2 in family room

Fed from HT receiver zone 2
Poker TV - Display only

Fed from 4x4 HDMI Matrix
1) Bar TV - Display only
2) Bedroom 5 TV - Display only
3) Master Sitting Room TV - Display only
4) Master Bedroom TV - Display only

Sources for 4x4 HDMI Matrix
1) HT Reciever - zone 1 monitor 2 (access to connected sources)
2) Cable Box 3
3) Apple TV or Chromcast?
4) Available?

Zones will be wired but no av distribution at this time
Bedroom 2 - likely not needed but will be wired
Bedroom 3 - likely not needed but will be wired
Bedroom 4 - likely not needed but will be wired

Wiring - all wiring will be assumed from structured panel in closet under stairs unless otherwise specified

Conduit - HT AV closet - 1" x 2
- Poker TV - 1" from structured panel and 1" from HT closet
- Bar TV - 1"
- Bedroom 5 TV - 1"
- Family Room TV - 1"
- In wall iPad and all audio pad locations - 1/2" each
- Attic - Multiple (to serve master/master sit and bed 2-4)

HDMI - HT AV closet - x 2
- Poker TV - x 1 from HT closet
- Bar TV - x 1
- Bedroom 5 TV - x 1

Cat5e - I will have conduit so I will have some flexability
Cat5e for internet - x 1 for each device, display or volume control
Cat5e for video - x 2 for extention of HDMI over cat5e
Cat5e for audio - x 1 for extention of sterio RCA over cat5e

RG6 - x 1 to each display, x 2 to main closet and x 2 to HT av closet

Questions for video

So I am looking for a 4x4 switch, that I can control well with iRule. Looking for product recommendations. Not sure how expensive I need to go to meet my goals, the price range on matrix's is very wide.

Looking at a denon x4300w for the HT receiver. Can I run all 3 zones concurrent? Watch movie in HT on zone 1, pass the same zone 1 video onto the matrix, have 2nd zone video to poker TV or 2nd zone audio to whole house audio, and 3rd zone audio all at once? With any combination of same or different sources?

Audio
I am looking for whole house audio i can control via iRule. I am now looking at something like a niles mrc6430.

Audio Sources
1) HT receiver - Zone 2 Audio out (rca extended over cat5e)
2) HT receiver - Zone 3 Audio out (rca extended over cat5e)
3) Poker TV - Audio out (rca extended over cat5e)
4) Bar TV - Audio out (rca extended over cat5e)
5) Family Room Receiver - Audio out (rca extended over cat5e)
6) ?

Audio Zones
1) Front Porch - wired to existing family room receiver, I will run speaker wire and cat5e from volume control to central location
2) Back Deck - same as front porch
3) Master Bedroom - same as front porch
4) Basement Pool Table - speaker wired to hub and cat5e to keypad 5) Basement Poker Area - speaker wired to hub and cat5e to keypad
6) ?

Questions for Audio

What will it be like to control the mcr 6430 with iRule, is there a better option to control with iRule? Will I likely need to use an additional app to control? What is a userfriendly way to power the 5th and 6th zone?

I am planning on running all RCA audio over cat5e, does this seem like a good idea?

Is the wiring the same for most whole house units, is it just speaker wire from central location, and a cat5e to volume control? Does that cat5e connect to the unit or is it internet connected? Does the speaker wire need to pass through the volume control or not?

Thanks for the help, All feedback would be much appreciated

-Jay
 

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Looks like you are well organized and set up pretty well! I'm in a similar situation as you so i'll let the more experienced members comment on your questions.

Quick question... Why CAT 5e? Why not run CAT 6 to everything and be done with it? Good luck with your setup!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quick question... Why CAT 5e? Why not run CAT 6 to everything and be done with it? Good luck with your setup!
Thanks for the interest

I am not sold on the Cat 5e, gonna revisit that, in areas that will benefit I will prob run cat6, figured for planning purposes it was all the same.

May mix and match or just do all cat6, not sure.

Need to compare prices, (monoprice, showmecables, amazon...)
(Shielded cat 5e vs unshielded cat 6 vs shielded cat 6...), not sure what/where to get.

Here are my thoughts

I decided to run HDMI to most locations so HDMI extention over cat_ will be kept to a minimum, I also decided to downgrade my matrix plans and keep my critical viewing locations on dedicated sources. I prob will run cat 6 x2 for future proof video, or may just not run anything for now since I have the conduit.

My current network is cat5e as it is so I didnt know if it is beneficial to do cat6 in new areas, might be wise.

For some of the audio runs RCA over cat5e(if that is even a good idea), i thought cat5e would suffice.

I am now finding i need PoE to kP7 keypads for audio, do I just get a 8 port PoE switch? I figured cat5e would be fine for that.

So this is an area where I could definately use some advice, thanks for reminding me.
 

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No need to use iRule as the Niles already has an interface that can handle all of your audio zones, as well as a surround video zone.

Get a big gigabit POE switch, no matter how many ports you think you need you will end up needing twice as many. My favorite for the price is the 24-port Netgear ProSafe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am leaning toward iRule because I already have the app and have some familiarity with it. I have my family room TV controlled and inteon switches and a universal devices isy for lighting control. I am starting to build out my remote now, that way I will know ahead of time to see if I can control the planned A/V and if a device I am considering will not work well with iRule. That being said I am still having a hard time wraping my head around the control of the whole house audio.

I did see a HTD lync6 module for iRule so that may be a better option than the niles mcr6430, not sure. It seems to have some benefits, intercom, 6 powered zones, included keypads, 12 sources (6 central and 6 zone). I could always use a seperate app for the whole house audio if needed.


Appreciate the input on the POE switch as well.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I updated the plan a bit.

Trying to populate an equipment list.

Started building out iRule remote so I Listing out panels and control plan for iRule

I will continue to update the first post with the new plan and ongoing questions.

Thanks

-Jay
 

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I design systems for a living, and I could build you an equipment list.

You were very smart to nix that video matrix. It was going to present a whole host of problems with so many different EDID's to manage.

So, for your audio you should use the output of the Niles MRC-6430 (good choice) as follows:

1) Front Porch
2) Back Deck
3) Master Bedroom
4) Basement Pool Table
5) Family Room AV Receiver
6) HT AVR

The interface of the Niles will only allow the use of 1 AVR connected to it. It will actually output the audio and control the volume (which should be fixed anyway), but it will only power on a single receiver. The solution to this is to through an Elan g1 system controller on top of it. This will allow you the use of all 6 zones with full control and one single button pushes. If I miscounted your zones, and you have more, using the g1 to manage all of this will actually allow you 8 powered zones (10 unpowered) with no additional equipment.

This is a no an easy situation for the g1 system controller... you could use HR200 remotes for all of your controls too, and it's all WiFI IP comm to the system controller. It would actually get you the intercom functionality as well, which otherwise would not work. A few WiFi thermostats by Aprilaire, some doorlocks, integration to your security panel, and you're well on your way to a smart home without really much additional expense.

In this setup, or basically any setup with the Niles piece, don't use volume controls. Every zone can be independently controller by smart phone or touch panel. I usually recommend at least 1 touch panel, but it's not required.

I don't ever run conduit in jobs because it's too hard or a waste of money. I use structured cable 2 Cat6 +2 RG-6Q to go to each display. This allows for maximum flexibility. I've done lots and lots of big home and haven't found a situation where it's been insufficient. Definitely want the RG-6 though, and I know people will disagree with me, but I have used it many times as an audio return path.

KP7, TP7, TP4 all go into a POE switch. I use a Luxul AMS-2616P as my POE switch of choice. This should be enough POE for room to spare, and then put an AGS-1024 on the back of it for simple devices that only connect to the internet. I'd so go all the way and use the XWS-1310 for your wifi too.

When buying TV's, use something that has IP control, as the g1 only has 1 rs-232 output, which you'd like to save for something else that's truly 2-way.

I could go on and on, but yeah, send me a PM and I could do some more work :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi JT,

Thanks for the info

You were very smart to nix that video matrix. It was going to present a whole host of problems with so many different EDID's to manage.
I was going to distribute everything through a 8x8 Matrix, I decided to remove all areas with surround and just distribute to 4 TV displays. Do you still think I will be in trouble? Do you have any 4x4 matrix recomendations, 2 or 3 of the 4 outputs will need to be sent HDMI over Cat6. If I could find a few reliable cost effective products($400) I can take a look in iRule builder to see which is easiest to control.

So, for your audio you should use the output of the Niles MRC-6430 (good choice) as follows:

1) Front Porch
2) Back Deck
3) Master Bedroom
4) Basement Pool Table
5) Family Room AV Receiver
6) HT AVR
.
I dont know how much I value the FR AVR and HT AVR as whole house zones. They will both have dedicated sources. I am invisioning the HT being more or less its own entity, I would value using the FR AVR as a source for the whole house but not a zone. I think I would rather power the last two zones of the niles 6430 or if I select the HTD lync6 all 6 zones are powered. I know you like the niles but have you ever looked into the HTD lync6?

The interface of the Niles will only allow the use of 1 AVR connected to it. It will actually output the audio and control the volume (which should be fixed anyway), but it will only power on a single receiver. The solution to this is to through an Elan g1 system controller on top of it. This will allow you the use of all 6 zones with full control and one single button pushes. If I miscounted your zones, and you have more, using the g1 to manage all of this will actually allow you 8 powered zones (10 unpowered) with no additional equipment.
So elan G would control the home. Would you control the niles with elan G or control the niles through its own app. Elan G looks good but I would like to maintain control with iRule since I already have the system in place and the cost of expanding control will be minimal. I believe I have similar options available by globalcache which can be controlled over iRule(ip to ir, ip to rs232..) How would the g1 produce 8 powered zones, 4 powered off the niles, 2 channel off output 5, two channels off output 6 by use of my current recievers?

I am planning on placing a touch panel per zone, but I would like total control without.

As for the cabling
Cat6 - You recommend only 2 (I would assume this is on top of any Cat6 I am running for video distribution. So 4 Cat6 total? You vote Cat6 over cat5e for everything (to touchpads, for internet)? What type of Cat6(shielded/unshielded)?

RG-6Q - you recommend x 2 useful as audio return path from TV displays. How would you terminate? each end with a RCA and use both cables for sterio. I was planning on RCA over Cat6 with baluns, I might like your idea better, any thoughts? I also need to send zone 2 and zone 3 audio from HT Receiver to main wiring closet as source for whole house audio. These are sterio RCA as Well, do should I run Cat6 with RCA baluns, dual RG6, or other?

Thank you for the POE/Ethernet Gigabit switch recommendations.

I will get IP controlled TV's, but how would you send IR or RS232 to distant devices(50-80 ft) if you needed to?

Realy appreciate all the help
 

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I have to make the disclaimer that when I design systems I tend to stick to a very particular group of products. They tend to be expensive, but I know by using them I save myself truck rolls. Keeps the client happy too. I'm just saying that I might make a recommendation that doesn't seem price sensitive, but just know that there's other stuff out there.

I was going to distribute everything through a 8x8 Matrix, I decided to remove all areas with surround and just distribute to 4 TV displays. Do you still think I will be in trouble? Do you have any 4x4 matrix recomendations, 2 or 3 of the 4 outputs will need to be sent HDMI over Cat6. If I could find a few reliable cost effective products($400) I can take a look in iRule builder to see which is easiest to control.
I like the Atlona UHD-PRO3HD44M. It offers lightning fast IP control, and 4K HDBaseT outputs. It also de-embeds audio, which Atlona is very good at. This will actually eliminate a lot of your need for an audio return path. It works really well and the lip sync is a dead match.

The Atlona H2H-44M is a more basic 4K Matrix, but with hard HDMI's instead of HDBaseT and no audio strip.

You always have the lowest common denominator problem with HDMI matrix's. So, if all of your displays are the same you have nothing to worry about. In system design, I'm always conscious to make sure that anything connected to the matrix has a common EDID. Since there's about a hundred ways to skin a cat, you can usually find a good way of doing this while keeping your audio in tact. By keeping your theater off the matrix, you're headed in the right direction.

I have some other product recommendations too, but I like the Atlona because of it's reliability and control.


I dont know how much I value the FR AVR and HT AVR as whole house zones. They will both have dedicated sources. I am invisioning the HT being more or less its own entity, I would value using the FR AVR as a source for the whole house but not a zone. I think I would rather power the last two zones of the niles 6430 or if I select the HTD lync6 all 6 zones are powered. I know you like the niles but have you ever looked into the HTD lync6?
I usually don't usually connect the HT receiver as whole house zone unless it has available amplifier channels to amp what is otherwise an unamped zone. So, if has 11 amp channels that are flexible and you're only using 7 you can usually set at least 2 of them to play a zone 2. The zone made up of this output will be really high quality too, 130W x 2 or whatever the amp channels put out. I use Yamaha products, but I'm sure Denon is similar. If you're a purist (which I'm not) maybe you have an aversion to using the HT receiver to do work other than HT, and I would understand that.

Same goes for the family room. If you don't want it to be a zone, you can still use either the Zone 2 or Zone 3 and they will be very high quality zones. It's basically just another amp for you to use. Between the two receivers you have a fully powered Zone 5/6 and the niles. Even if you did this with someone that has 6 powered zones, it's actually still a good practice because instead of using the small amps of the audio controller you're using the more powerful amps of the AVR. The Niles controller without a g1 will be limited to use only 1 AVR (with 2 way controller), but you get the idea.

Another way to do this is to split relevant sources into all zone controllers (2 AVRs, 1 6x6). This would effectively

I don't know about HTD products, it doesn't fit with my product lineup so I've never tried it, or seen it. Just looking at it though, it looks like a new version of the classic per zone keypad controllers like the MZC-66, or the ZR-6 of days gone by. This type of control is antiquated for sure, but if you have designs on controlling it by other means then it really doesn't matter because you just need a simple matrix.

As far as using your AVR as a source, it depends on the AVR. If it has a zone 1 optical output you could use a DAC to through it into your system. If not, I think you'd be stuck on sending the 5.1 to the TV, tagging a DAC on the optical output of it and sending back to the controller that way. Or just use outputs from each source, but there are lip sync and delay issues when doing this. Delay is the worst, so be careful any which way you go.

Maybe after this post you can reply with a request from others to comment on the HTD equipment since I can't really help there.



So elan G would control the home. Would you control the niles with elan G or control the niles through its own app. Elan G looks good but I would like to maintain control with iRule since I already have the system in place and the cost of expanding control will be minimal. I believe I have similar options available by globalcache which can be controlled over iRule(ip to ir, ip to rs232..) How would the g1 produce 8 powered zones, 4 powered off the niles, 2 channel off output 5, two channels off output 6 by use of my current recievers?

I am planning on placing a touch panel per zone, but I would like total control without.
Elan g! is a full on automation system, and would control all of your receiver w/ full 2-way feedback. It's extremely robust, but has a really simplified user experience. Full 2-way over zone controllers means that it's listening for activity all the time, so you could actually manually select a different source on the front of the AVR and it would automatically bring up the control for the source you just switched to. Let's say you had a basic setup with just an AVR and a TV, and you manually powered off the AVR, the TV would go off too. Sounds silly, but the fact that it's constantly in tune with equipment really leads to high reliability. There's also the fact that it can do ANYTHING you want it to.

This website will never go live, it's a rough draft to a site that I'm currently working on, but I give a really great walk through of the elan system. http://live-tech.net/consultdemo/index.html. So, consider this interface and consider the splitting of sources into the AVR's and you can see how you would end up with more zones. I do this all the time where I have a 20 zone system but only a 16x16 matrix.

Global cache is a good product. I use it as an extender to my g! systems, but you're right I do believe it's an option for iRule. I like Global Cache.

I don't have any experience with iRule, I've always stuck with the bigger control/automationguys. Maybe requesting help in a different thread would get you the answers you're looking for.

As for the cabling
Cat6 - You recommend only 2 (I would assume this is on top of any Cat6 I am running for video distribution. So 4 Cat6 total? You vote Cat6 over cat5e for everything (to touchpads, for internet)? What type of Cat6(shielded/unshielded)?

RG-6Q - you recommend x 2 useful as audio return path from TV displays. How would you terminate? each end with a RCA and use both cables for sterio. I was planning on RCA over Cat6 with baluns, I might like your idea better, any thoughts? I also need to send zone 2 and zone 3 audio from HT Receiver to main wiring closet as source for whole house audio. These are sterio RCA as Well, do should I run Cat6 with RCA baluns, dual RG6, or other?

Thank you for the POE/Ethernet Gigabit switch recommendations.

I will get IP controlled TV's, but how would you send IR or RS232 to distant devices(50-80 ft) if you needed to?
Total of 2 Cat6 and 2 RG-6 to each TV. If you also have an HDMI, one cat is for network and the second for IR/RS232. If you using one of them for video, you can use the second one for network and the IR/RS232 (if necessary) goes through the HDBaseT extender, which is best practice anyway. You can over pull, but honestly HDBaseT is so good there's really no need to.

I use Cat6 exclusively just because I can bring a ton of it on a jobsite and not have to worry about my guys pulling the right cable to the right places. It's all the same cable so they can't mess it up! You'd be saving pennies, but you could just use Cat6 for all of the video and Cat5 for everything else. Anymore, everything should be unshielded unless you really have a reason to believe there will be noise. HDBaseT is much less susceptible to EMI than traditional baluns.

Please please please do not buy Cat6 from home depot that's 250Mhz swept tested. Make sure it's 550, use quality cable.

Terminate both RG-6 with RCA and connect to a DAC which converts the TV's digital output to analog. This is really the best way, although it requires buying DAC's. If the TV has an analog output that you want to use, make sure that it can be fixed and that's its quality. COUNTLESS tv sets have really awful analog outputs, and this isn't me being picky, they whine and hiss and it's just really really bad. I don't like audio over Cat5, too much noise. Maybe if it were shielded it would be ok, but I still don't think so.

I didn't realize your AVR's weren't in your rack. I'd put 1 1/4" Carlon back to your equipment from the AVR's. I think you said you had 1" conduit, that'll work too unless you need to pull HDMI. I have no aversion to HDBaseT, but you should still use a real HDMI cable if you get the chance. Just feels good, you know?

To your last question about length of IR and RS232. IR goes a long way over cat5/6. If it's over 150 feet, maybe pull a 22/2, 22/4, or 18/2 cable to it. RS232 is more temperamental. I haven't had a problem going 150' on Samsung Ex-Link RS232, but this isn't normal. If it's true 2-way you want to keep these under 50'. If using HDBaseT, you can get RS232 as far as your extenders can reach. If you really need RS-232 at long distances you can always use a serial brick or global cache to make the extension over IP.


I hope I answered all of your questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Hi JT, Thanks again for all of your help, if you could just help me understand a few more things that would be awesome!

As far as using your AVR as a source, it depends on the AVR. If it has a zone 1 optical output you could use a DAC to through it into your system. If not, I think you'd be stuck on sending the 5.1 to the TV, tagging a DAC on the optical output of it and sending back to the controller that way. Or just use outputs from each source, but there are lip sync and delay issues when doing this. Delay is the worst, so be careful any which way you go.

Family Room Receiver Denon AVR 590 only has surround back/front high analog preout, HT Receiver Denon AVR x4200W only has preouts for specific channels as well so I cannot use as I only will pick up that specific channel correct? For the family room I would prob need to run RCA from TV via DAC or pick up audio from the source? The delay issues would come from getting audio from the source correct so best to get from TV? For the HT receiver I would just use zone 2 or 3 and select same input as zone 1?

I did see that In addition to the 7 channel surround it seems that I have two more powered channels that are "assignable", I know there is a upgrade available for auro 3-D. Do you think that these would be available to me to power two more zones off zone 5 of the niles? Is that what you were referring to? My other receiver has no such channels available.

Terminate both RG-6 with RCA and connect to a DAC which converts the TV's digital output to analog. This is really the best way, although it requires buying DAC's.

So optical out of TV (or any source) optical cable to DAC then RG6 RCA back to main closet?

To your last question about length of IR and RS232. IR goes a long way over cat5/6. If it's over 150 feet, maybe pull a 22/2, 22/4, or 18/2 cable to it. RS232 is more temperamental. I haven't had a problem going 150' on Samsung Ex-Link RS232, but this isn't normal. If it's true 2-way you want to keep these under 50'. If using HDBaseT, you can get RS232 as far as your extenders can reach. If you really need RS-232 at long distances you can always use a serial brick or global cache to make the extension over IP.

Would I run IR over cat6 with baluns or a specific cable if not in equipment closet? What is best network IP control or RS-232? For example if I only select devices with IP control and known comands to irule would I have any use for rs232? I have no experience with feedbacks at this time.

Would you terminate these cables in keystone jacks and patch in or run through wall to device. Cat6, HDMI, speaker wire, RG6 what best? Clean install vs loss of quality?
Well I cant thank you enough, I didnt respond to everything because I have some more research to do, trying to minimize the nagging believe it or not.

I also attached a image and updated the first post.

-Jay
 

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In the FR it will probably be best to pass the audio through to the TV and use the coax to return an analog signal to the system. Make sure the TV can pass 5.1, I think you'll have issues if it can't. A lot depends on the TV, but this should eliminate your delay. It would help if your TV also had a lip sync adjustment.

The HT receiver, if it has two assignable channels, can be used to power zone 5. I'm not very familiar with Denon, but I would assume that you can't split these channels to use them to power zone 5 and 6 mono. It will be a very high quality zone though because it uses the amp of the AVR.

My advice would be to eliminate some of the unknowns from the family room and upgrade the AVR to something with a powered zone 2 and an optical output for all of zone 1. It's probably only a couple hundred bucks, and it will get you a powered zone 6 from the niles and minimized delay into your home audio system.

Yes TV optical to DAC back to closet. Best for lip sync.

As far as the IR, I would run it over your HDBaseT extender, because it's just really easy and there's no loss of quality. You can also use mono mini cables on the rack side instead of making splices. You could maybe even use mono mini on the TV side depending on the TV. If you are using traditional baluns and not HDBaseT (not recommended at all), then you should run the IR outside of the cat6 you use for that display. I never liked using the IR over traditional baluns.

IP Control is better than RS-232 over any sort of distance. If it's all one way control, so it doesn't really matter, whatever's going to be reliable. I generally use RS-232 on Samsung and Sharp, and recently IP control on Sony. Honestly, if it's one-way, IR's not that bad.. especially if you have an IR 3.5mm jack on the back of the TV (Sony, but pro tip, it actually needs a stereo mini cable for the seperation of the pins!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am thinking of moving all HT equipment to the main av closet except the br player. This would really decrease the amount of cable and conduit needed. Plus I may be able to share power supply, globalcache.... And have more future flexibility since the ht sources feed much of the home a/v

Cons

I will not have the equipment in the room for issues with controller programing,

I will not have access to hdmi, usb inputs unless I run into closet or HT room. The front left wall of the theater is next to the claim closet, putting a wall plate there would be easy, tuning to closet would require long runs.

The hdmi from br to avr will increase about 25 feet(under 40 ft total)

And the hdmi from avr to pj will increase by about 20 ft, also under 40 ft total.

Are these changes significant, I can get exact measurements if needed?

Any other problems I am not thinking of?

See pdf and plan in first post

Thanks

Jay
 

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I am thinking of moving all HT equipment to the main av closet except the br player. This would really decrease the amount of cable and conduit needed. Plus I may be able to share power supply, globalcache.... And have more future flexibility since the ht sources feed much of the home a/v

Cons

I will not have the equipment in the room for issues with controller programing,

I will not have access to hdmi, usb inputs unless I run into closet or HT room. The front left wall of the theater is next to the claim closet, putting a wall plate there would be easy, tuning to closet would require long runs.

The hdmi from br to avr will increase about 25 feet(under 40 ft total)

And the hdmi from avr to pj will increase by about 20 ft, also under 40 ft total.

Are these changes significant, I can get exact measurements if needed?

Any other problems I am not thinking of?

See pdf and plan in first post

Thanks

Jay
This is the way it "should" be done. I would even add the BDP to the rack if it were me. Based on your distances it doesn't sound like carrying a disc to the player would be a particularly long walk, and it isn't like you will be constantly switching discs. You will place one in the player, and then sit down for two hours to watch the movie.

No special planning really needs to be done, except to make sure that you have a plan to control each device, both those in the rack and the displays in the rooms. This could be wifi, RF, IR, etc. Just make sure you have the wire in place to do so and you should be ok. If you think you might want some equipment locally down the road make sure to distribute coax and cc to those locations, and provide a conduit from that local location to the display.
 

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Didn't see it mentioned, have you looked into dumping the matrix and going with Tivo + Tivo minis instead? The great refurb pricing on the roamios is over, but I would still recommend it over a matrix. That would get you live TV/Netflix/Amazon at each TV. The minis often show up on woot.com for $70 refurbed.


iRule should have no problems controlling what you have....you should check the database for that Niles unit. Are you dead set on keypads for the WHA? If not there's always Sonos. Since you're an ISY/Insteon user, don't overlook using some of those keypad buttons for control either.


I also always recommend looking into commercial audio DSPs for WHA. Buying new they're expensive, but they have limited resale value (check ebay.) 2x Nexia CS will give you 20x mono inputs, and 12x outputs. Half of that if using stereo. Or you can mix it up, there's no reason to run stereo in every zone. iRule control for Symetrix, Bi-amp Nexia, etc is easy and it never breaks. This is what I use at home - for WHA control I use a combination of iRule (some wall mounted tablets in there) and Insteon keypad buttons. Only caveat is the steep learning curve. I find ISY programming more difficult than programming these audio DSPs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This is the way it "should" be done. I would even add the BDP to the rack if it were me.
I think I am going to take your advice on this and move all equipment to the rack, Ill have conduit everywhere so I can always move it back if I dont like changing out discs (which wont be that frequent in all reality). The HT closet was more of a way to get access to some over head plumbing and a hose bib shut off if needed.

I just found a spot for some bean bag chairs!

Thanks for the advice

Never really thought of putting in a true rack but now I am going to look into it since the amount of centralized equipment is adding up.

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Didn't see it mentioned, have you looked into dumping the matrix and going with Tivo + Tivo minis instead?

iRule should have no problems controlling what you have....you should check the database for that Niles unit. Are you dead set on keypads for the WHA? If not there's always Sonos. Since you're an ISY/Insteon user, don't overlook using some of those keypad buttons for control either.


I also always recommend looking into commercial audio DSPs for WHA. iRule control for Symetrix, Bi-amp Nexia, etc is easy and it never breaks. This is what I use at home - for WHA control I use a combination of iRule (some wall mounted tablets in there) and Insteon keypad buttons. Only caveat is the steep learning curve. I find ISY programming more difficult than programming these audio DSPs.
I will take some time to look into the TIVO's, my only worry is the Poker TV and bar TV are directly opposite each other and I dont want to have sync issues if i seperate source. But I will put all wiring in and I will have a option to choose, still a while off from buying equipment.

The niles has control options in irule for other product lines, not the 6430 but I am hoping one of the choices will still work, I will use iRule when sending out audio from video sources already being viewed/controlled with iRule. But plan to use a link to niles app for standard WHA. With all of the panels and pages I have already built for the video zones I dont know if I am up for six source six zone audio over irule.

Ill check out the DSP's

What tablets did you use, what wall mounts?

I only programmed a few things in ISY to date. How would I use insteon buttons to control iRule? Very interested in that.

Lastly, how long has your system been in, have you had many insteon failures?

Thanks for all the help

Jay
 

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I don't have experience with it, but I'd be amazed if that Niles unit couldn't be controlled via 3rd party IP control (iRule or others.) I also see no reason not to add the functionality into iRule, seems silly to switch apps when you seem to have a handle on iRule programming.


iPad mini and a mount from simplewallmount.com (was cheaper buying through ebay.) For what you get I feel the mount was overpriced, but there wasn't a lot of flush mount options out there.


You would use Insteon buttons to control your equipment, not iRule directly. You just need to buy the network module for ISY, it's like $50. That gives ISY capability to talk to network devices.


I've had Insteon in for several years with no failures.
 
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