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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My current setup is this - I have a Nuvo Concerto (not the Grand) in my main entertainment center. The Nuvo receives input from 6 sources and sends audio to 7 zones. The 6 sources include an old Audiotron that pulls music off of my main computer in the study (the study is wired to the entertainment center by a cat5e cable). The Audiotron (with some programming) is able to play my playlists from iTunes and send the music to the Nuvo, which disbtributes it throughout the house.


A cat5e cable and 2 pairs of speaker wire run from the Nuvo to the keypads in 7 different zones. In each zone, there is another set of speaker wires that runs from the keypad to the speakers. This was done since I wasn't sure at the time whether the speakers would hook up locally to the keypads in their zones or to the central unit in the entertainment center.


In other words, for music from my computer, it looks like this:


Computer -> Audiotron -> A/V distribution -> Zone 1 keypad (one cat5e) and Zone 1 speakers (2 sets of speaker wire)


I'd like to move to something with touchscreen panels on the walls in the zones. I'm interested for now in audio distribution, but video distribution to the wallpanels (like from a security camera) and intercom functions might be useful in the future.


The main thing I want now is something that can display the playlists from iTunes (on my computer in the study) on the touchpanels in the different zones.


It doesn't matter if the A/V distribution system has to sync with iTunes to get the playlists, or if the A/V distribution system can just read the playlists from iTunes on my computer in the study and then cause iTunes to stream the music.


I've looked at Sonos, Creston, AMX, Control4, and a whole host of others. The thing is, while some of them like Request say they can sync with iTunes, I cannot tell if it is possible to customize the touchpanels so that I can see the iTunes playlists on the touchpanels. For example, if I select "Music," I'd like to be able to select artists, genres, or playlists.


So basically, I'm looking to see if anyone knows of a system that:

- Supports at least 7 zones and 6 inputs (even 6 zones with a controlled line level output is OK)

- Supports at least IR control of the 6 inputs (since some sources can't be controlled otherwise)

- Has touchscreen panels in the zones

- Syncs or otherwise has access to iTunes

- Displays iTunes playlists on the touchscreen panels in the zones

- Optionally, has video distribution and/or intercom functions

- Optionally, requires no local power for the touchpanels (powered over Ethernet since our current setup doesn't use local AC power for the keypads, although this can be fixed if the system has the other features).
 

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If what you seek exists, I'll bet it's EXPENSIVE.


Have you thought about your end state desire (at least the audio part) from the opposite direction? I used to long for touchscreens in every room, but I've found that since Apple gave us Remote, having an iPhone (or iPod Touch) in hand for complete iTunes/AppleTV control is the bee's knees. There's nothing quite like sitting on your deck, strolling through your music catalog...no need to get up and walk over to a wall to see what's what.


If you're not familiar with this option, the
application essentially extends your iTunes/AppleTV collection to an iPhone/iPod Touch over WiFi, so you can access playlists, individual songs, albums, artists, genres, videos, etc. in your hand.


I have a fairly simple 4x8 A-BUS whole house audio system, but lately, I've all but stopped using 3 inputs, instead relying solely on a single AppleTV as my main source; if I had to do it all over again, I'd just go with a 1x8 system and use the room keypads for volume control.


Granted, it's not what you're asking for, but it's a pretty cool option you might want to consider. At the very least, for a minimal investment (potentially zero if you already own an iPhone/iPod Touch and can do without an AppleTV), you can gain excellent control. It may not be as sexy as touchscreens in every room, but I think it's far more practical. YMMV.
 

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You could buy an itouch and a dock for every room and it would still be WAY less expensive than any of the systems that you list. In addition to playlists, it shows artists, genres, it shows what is playing, cover art, gives you pause, repeat, skip control, and on and on. Not to mention there are several other applications too that would be interesting. I have pandora internet radio, [email protected] lets me control lighting and HVAC, Shazam lets you id songs you might hear on the radio, Weather, stocks, you name it. It REALLY is a great touch screen controller and it's portable and cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by amillians /forum/post/15417258


Have you thought about your end state desire (at least the audio part) from the opposite direction? I used to long for touchscreens in every room, but I've found that since Apple gave us Remote, having an iPhone (or iPod Touch) in hand for complete iTunes/AppleTV control is the bee's knees. There's nothing quite like sitting on your deck, strolling through your music catalog...no need to get up and walk over to a wall to see what's what.
Quote:
Originally Posted by emcgrath /forum/post/15417448


You could buy an itouch and a dock for every room and it would still be WAY less expensive than any of the systems that you list. In addition to playlists, it shows artists, genres, it shows what is playing, cover art, gives you pause, repeat, skip control, and on and on. Not to mention there are several other applications too that would be interesting. I have pandora internet radio, [email protected] lets me control lighting and HVAC, Shazam lets you id songs you might hear on the radio, Weather, stocks, you name it. It REALLY is a great touch screen controller and it's portable and cheap.

I hadn't thought of using my iPhone, but my wife likes the wall panels (so she doesn't have to carry her iPhone around all the time).


I actually think ReQuest is do-able. They have "NetSync for iTunes" that syncs their media server with an iTunes library, and their touchpanels can display the playlists. They even have some component that allows you to control legacy devices via IR. Only problem is it's probably real expensive.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddoyle96 /forum/post/15440144


Only problem is it's probably real expensive.

I think ReQuest is expensive compared to the AppleTV/Remote/iPhone/iPod Touch route--YMMV.


List prices I've seen flying around for ReQuest iQ.IMS/iQ.IMA setups are $6,500-$8,000, depending upon server capacity, with the iQ.TS35 touchpads running $500 a pop (the TS.15 touchscreen controller is $1,500 and the wireless roving Freedom touchscreen is $1,200).


I assume you could get what you want without having to do a full-blown IMS/IMA solution, but even their cheapest audio-only single zone N1 setup is $2,500.


Even that would pay for a lot of iPod Touch/dock/velcro setups.
 

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Escient FP-1, for an iPod. Then additional FP-1 or ZP-1 for extra zones. The fireballs can provide on output stream each; but can all access music on your computer ( windows ) or on the iPod when attached to the dock. (FP-1)


They all have a built in web server and can easily be accessed via almost any webpad, pda. Additionally, there are RTI touch screen wall panels that will work as well. Alternitively, you can easily program macros to recall internet radio, playlist, artist, etc. These commands can be sent via IR or RF.



Or you can buy the URC mx-6000 and psx-1 and plug your ipod into it and enjoy.
 

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The touch route is going to be the easiest and what I would recommend for reliability. If you want to take a chance you can try looking at MainLobby. They are in the process of a beta iTunes plugin that works reasonably well. The major drawback is it is not an easy setup nor is it cheap. I am already running ML has my HA system so it wasn't too much of a stretch to add the plugin.
 

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The only issue with the itouch is that you are going to want to keep it charged. That means a dock and a wire. I have the same situation with my wireless phone system. My phones sit in a dock on a table or desk, not on the wall. If I were doing this audio thing with itouch, I would dock it right next to my wireless phone. It takes a little mindset change from a "wall mounted touch screen" to a "portable touch screen remote".
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LathanM /forum/post/15444656


The touch route is going to be the easiest and what I would recommend for reliability. If you want to take a chance you can try looking at MainLobby. They are in the process of a beta iTunes plugin that works reasonably well. The major drawback is it is not an easy setup nor is it cheap. I am already running ML has my HA system so it wasn't too much of a stretch to add the plugin.

I am also using the itunes plugin on MainLobby with good success. I was running MainLobby for DVD changer control and lighting scenes via Insteon as well. I always had music on my "wish list" so the iTunes beta plug-in was a great "hit".


I will second the comments above that the setup is not easy or cheap but if you into customizing your setup, it is a great option.


-T.Wells
 

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i went through all the research of doing the same, and in the end the price of admission was anywhere from $3-5k. quite a few companies make such products which are compatible with their screens. in the end, the cheapest solution i found to be is to go with a speakercraft controller, using their mode screens for control (displays all music stuff but not video touchscreen), using their existing dock with your ipod. all the other stuff like elan, request, amx, crestron are too expensive imo. their are more inelegant ways of doing it, but i think you want something nice like i was searching for with full out touchscreens around the house. cinemar or cqc may be a possible solution but require some tinkering and a pc to run the program on.
 

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If you have Crestron, AMX, or HAI it can be done using the modules from Autonomic Controls . Be aware that this is not a DIY solution and it controls iTunes on Windows only. If you have a Crestron, AMX or HAI system your dealer will have to install the modules for you.


Hope that helps.

James
 

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I like this topic, glad to see the great answers. This is why I chose to go with a Russound CAA66L. I didn't want the highly functional keypads, instead opting for a remote or a means of being able to easily select/control music. An iTouch with the remote application might be svelte! Bundle in an infrared program that can control the Russound system, and now I can use the iTouch anywhere in the house, simply using it over WiFi to control the system, and/or pointing it to a Russound keypad to change the radio station, or select different source.


Great idea guys!
 

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rumours about that apple is releasing a 10.2" ipod touch.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by semtex /forum/post/15475047


rumours about that apple is releasing a 10.2" ipod touch.

exactly - r u m o r s ! ! !
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddoyle96 /forum/post/15416283


So basically, I'm looking to see if anyone knows of a system that:

- Supports at least 7 zones and 6 inputs (even 6 zones with a controlled line level output is OK)

- Supports at least IR control of the 6 inputs (since some sources can't be controlled otherwise)

- Has touchscreen panels in the zones

- Syncs or otherwise has access to iTunes

- Displays iTunes playlists on the touchscreen panels in the zones

- Optionally, has video distribution and/or intercom functions

- Optionally, requires no local power for the touchpanels (powered over Ethernet since our current setup doesn't use local AC power for the keypads, although this can be fixed if the system has the other features).

Since cheap wasn't one of your requirements I will suggest NetStreams Digilinx system. This is the system that I use and I think it meets all of your requirements. Even the video distribution and intercom is integrated fully into the touchscreens. If you are looking for a DIY system than NetStreams is out, but it sounds like it can do everything you require without any special programming by a dealer. All of the functions you require can be configured rather easily by the dealer.
 

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Thanks to this thread, I've picked up a used iTouch 16gb from Ebay and am going to install iTunes on my home server, then start playing with the Remote software.


Will see how well this interacts with my Russound system to see the benefit/enjoyment of this setup. Thanks guys, I'll post my pics and results!
 

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Nuvo MusicPort will do all of what you're asking, except for the intercom functions.


when you say "touchpad", is the keypad for the grand concerto okay?


otherwise, the MusicPort has a flash-based interface that lets you select zones/artists/playlists/tracks/etc, and shows cover art.


if you have a 7.1-channel surround card in your PC, it will play 3 completely separate tracks at the same time.


it will use the database & playlists from itunes or WMP


I have a Grand Concerto, 6 source, 6 zone system with a Music Port running on it. I have a TC1100 that i have setup in the kitchen to be a 'touchscreen tablet' in order to easily change artists/playlists/etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by huntrm /forum/post/15473799


I didn't want the highly functional keypads, instead opting for a remote or a means of being able to easily select/control music.

My wife likes the wall panels in each room rather than carrying a remote between rooms. That's why we were looking at systems like ReQuest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony A. /forum/post/15472348


i went through all the research of doing the same, and in the end the price of admission was anywhere from $3-5k.

The ReQuest system (multi-room amp and media server with touchscreens) was around $10k. Yikes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmilin /forum/post/15490920


Since cheap wasn't one of your requirements I will suggest NetStreams Digilinx system. This is the system that I use and I think it meets all of your requirements.

I'll take a look. I think I may have looked at them before but would have had to do some re-wiring to get power to the wall panels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ace3 /forum/post/15500115


Nuvo MusicPort will do all of what you're asking, except for the intercom functions.

I actually like the Nuvo Concerto, but I think Music Port only works with Windows machines. While I could run Parallels on my Mac desktop, I'd prefer to stick with something that works with iTunes on the Mac.


Great replies. Thanks!
 
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