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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been checking out this board for quite some time. I date back to one of the early-adopter TiVo fans -- about which time I found this wonderful board. As with many, one question answered by this board just leads to thousands more. One of the problems I am finding is that I cannot compare technologies/products easily because I can't find prices anywhere since I am just an end user.


I have been under several different names, but mostly a lurker. I am now in desperate need of help. After going back and forth with the builder of the condo I am about to purchase, they have finally allowed me to run some additional audio wire prior to putting up the drywall. Only problem, I have to start tomorrow and finish by Tuesday night.

My Goals:


1 central media center from which I want to power the following:


a local home theater surround sound (I will be prewiring for 5.1 surround).


and an audio distribution network which will include:


remote zone #1: kitchen (with one dual-tweeter in-ceiling speaker) + dinning room (with two ceiling speakers);


Zone #2: master bedroom and master bath (each with two in-ceiling speakers); and


Zone #3: office (with two in-ceiling speakers).


For each zone, I would like to be able to control volume as well as be able to manipulate the sources (CD, MP3, Radio, etc.) from wall panels.

My current plan:


I am planning on wiring Cat5 from the media center to each wall panel and then twisted pair speaker wire to each controlled speaker. Is this sufficient? Should I run a second Cat5 to each panel? By the way, the technologies I am looking at all use Cat5 to get the audio from the media center to the wall panel, so I am not planning to pull 4/16.


I am in a condo and don't need outrageous amp-power or the top of the line products. I am also operating on a somewhat-limited budget. I am planning to spend money on the prewire (in the hopes of adequately future-proofing), but don't think I am really in the market for Crestron or the like.


The builder's design center specialist has encouraged me to pursue "A-Bus" and OnQ product lines. I don't think these offer me the functionality I want (namely, the ability to manipulate the source from the remote wall panels). I am also looking at Oxmoor's ZON systems -- any thoughts would be appreciated (especially concerning similar/alternative technologies and whether one wall panel (ZAC-60) can govern more than just two speakers)?


I am also looking at Radio Ra for my lighting and the builder has suggested I use a HAI system for my HVAC and security. I've read the forums on HAI topics, but would be interested to hear how people have integrated Radio RA, HAI and their distributed audio together into one interface (Does the Philips Pronto work well?).


Again, any thoughts on any of this would be appreciated. Thanks again to all the contributors to these forums. I am one of many countless and silent newbies that you help on a daily basis.
 

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I would strongly suggest you run both CAT5 and 4/16 to all the locations you want keypads as well as all locations you'll want speakers. It costs a little more to run both (you can find cabling that contains both in one), but I think this will become the standard method for ensuring you can adequately power each room as well as control the sources.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
I would strongly suggest you run both CAT5 and 4/16 to all the locations you want keypads as well as all locations you'll want speakers.
I have read this before. However, I have also ready that most new technologies today are just using CAT5. Again, I am a relative newbie so I could be way off. How much of a difference in price do you think pulling 4/16 will add (per foot)? I was just approved for all of this and given my time frame, I don't think I am going to be able to find the CAT5-4/16 in one jacket in time to complete the job by the deadline.


Thanks for the response.
 

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The problem with just running CAT5 is one of current flow. You just can't push much juice through such skinny wires. If you can't find a siamese or jacketed CAT5~4/16 then pull both individually.

Otherwise I think you will be dissapointed in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the response. I'm going to look into it, first thing tomorrow morning.


I'd appreciate any thoughts people have on the Zon and my other questions.


Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Buzz. I incorporated the 4/16 into my pulls. Unfortunately, I came up with one more pull I wanted to make this afternoon (in my living room, I am still unsure where I want to place the tv, so I have pulled audio cables for two separate locations -- problem was, I forgot to think about getting the component video over to the location away from the media hub (if I place the television there)).


I called over to the site and the drywall had JUST gone up in the room. Argh!


In any case, thanks again to Buzz and the many contributors to these forums. It is much appreciated.
 
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