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AVForums Multi Room discussion thread

Discussion in 'Streamers & Network Music Players' started by amcluesent, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. amcluesent

    amcluesent Moderator

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    TBH, I'd go in the direction of Apple then. Apple TV for the home cinema, then Airport Express and some active speaker (i.e. Audio Engine) for the small room, then maybe a Airplay compatible dock for roof terrace.

    Mac mini would make sense as the store, if your itunes isn't into the multi-Tb size.

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/stre...play-apple-airport-express-apple-tv-help.html
  2. edmarriott

    edmarriott Member

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    Thanks v much. Why is a mac mini better than a NAS? (which would be cheaper, I think) My library is not that big
  3. amcluesent

    amcluesent Moderator

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    For Apple Airplay to work, you'll want iTunes running, so that'll need either a Mac or a Windows machine - most NAS like Western Digital, Synology, QNAP, ReadyNAS etc. run Linux, which rules them out.

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/stre...avforums-apple-airplay-discussion-thread.html

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/stre...32-devices-native-support-apple-lossless.html
  4. edmarriott

    edmarriott Member

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    ah ha- thanks again
  5. edmarriott

    edmarriott Member

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    Final 2 questions

    (a) if i get a mac mini, I dont need apple tv to view content on the tv, and stream music to the tv and the connected cinema speakers?

    (b) if I am doing the above, can I stream the same music to the airport plugged into my powered speakers elsewhere?

    thanks for bearing with me
  6. Andi Licious

    Andi Licious Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Never done anything like this before so my knowledge of even the basics is very limited!

    I have living room that is getting a surround sound system run from the DVD player.

    I will be installing speakers and a tv on the wall in kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.

    Im looking for them to operate as individual rooms with speakers playing audio from the tvs as per the surround sound does but I would also like to be able to select the speakers to play audio from my library with the tvs off when having a party. Ideally controlled from my iphone or ipad when in party mode. Think Plex might be the link for me on this?

    Is this doable?

    Could I use the surround sound speakers as just speakers from the library? or would these need to be stand alone surround sound for TV only and another set of speakers be needed to play music?

    I currently have no ceilings and minimal walls so now is the time to get the cabling in!

    Also I have my understairs cupboard to put in as much equipment as is needed to power this setup! It is also in the centre of the house ideal for this.

    If it can be done can anyone recommend any equipment to use, even down to the types of cable you recommend as I have only ever put electrical cables & data cables in!

    I know its a long shot but I have the house in bits and its now the perfect time to get the cables in, even if I cant afford all the AV equipment now I can sort of plan ahead.

    I have had a quick play with Plex and I like this app so if you can utilise this?? I set this up on the mac and my samsung smart tv and liked the interface so I would like to replicate this if possible?

    I also have iMac in the office, Time capsule and external HD connected to this which holds all my media.

    Thanks

    Andy
  7. Andi Licious

    Andi Licious Member

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    Should of said I only want living room & kitchen to play audio in party mode. dont need the bathroom or bedroom included on that bit!
  8. amcluesent

    amcluesent Moderator

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    Have a look at the Apple TV and Apple Airport Express, and possibly an Airplay compatible dock (i.e. B&W range)
  9. jjrobb

    jjrobb Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I am new to all this stuff so please bear with me, I am looking for a home audio system that can do the following:

    I would like to install ceiling speakers in each room hard wired I think as am in the process of rewiring and renovating the cottage anyway and I believe they are generally better sound quality? Tho I would like to have wifi speakers in the garden/garage.

    I want to be able to stream the music I already own on some kind of hard drive and have access to the music on my PC (if possible) also I would like to stream from spotifi ect and internet radio.

    I would like to be able to control the system via my Ipad as opposed to bought controller.

    I would like to be able to "turn on/off certain rooms.

    Hope this is not out of reach.

    My mate has sonos and swears by it but other than that I have no clue.

    Meduim budget not looking to spend thousands.

    Any help is much appreciated.

    Thank you,

    JJ
  10. amcluesent

    amcluesent Moderator

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    Sonos is likely the least expensive option to do what you want. However take a look at Roomplayer. If you drop mutlizone feature etc. then Apple Airport Express is very low priced.
  11. rorton

    rorton Member

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    sonos is the way to go really. If you plan to have speakers in the ceilings, then you need to get the Sonos COnnect Amp units, which run at £400 each, but include an amp, so have a number of these in a central location, and run your speaker wires out from there to each of the rooms.

    Can add in 2 different wireless units, a play 3 and a play 5 which you could take out into the garden (just need power)
  12. jjrobb

    jjrobb Member

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    Ok thanks, I've had a look at the sonos site and can't see the amplifiers ect that I think I would need, do they do everything I need including speakers and hard drive?

    Cheers.
  13. rorton

    rorton Member

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    just search for the unit called a 'Connect Amp', thats the unit you need.

    They dont do the hard drives, you need to have your music collection on a pc/mac which sonos can stream from, or an existing NAS drive.
  14. rorton

    rorton Member

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  15. quantumAV

    quantumAV Active Member Assured Advertiser

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    How many independent zones do you want to run?
  16. sexytom

    sexytom Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm looking at setting up a 4 zone audio system and I'm getting quite convinced by the look of the Sonos system. I was thinking about the following setup with 3 Sonos Amps (ZP120) at a central hub location driving ceiling speakers in the first three zones. The fourth zone is a conservatory so I was considering the Play:5. I was thinking about the Emphasys IC60 Ceiling Speakers as they are currently in a bundle offer:

    SONOS CONNECT AMP Ceiling Speaker Bundle - Sonos Bundles - Ceiling Speaker Shop

    And some standard 42 strand cable as it will only be going 10m to 75w speakers:

    Speaker Cable White 42 Strand Audio Wire Per 50 metres | eBay

    Does this seem like a good solution and is that an appropriate choice of speakers and cable for the money?

    Thanks
  17. therixonator

    therixonator Member

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    Depends what you're trying to gain really. Not sure of a reason to put the connect amps in one central place and run a lot of speaker wire. The boxes are small and wireless (in terms of network connectivity) so you get a stronger, wider network with them spread out.

    In ceiling speakers are good for being out of sight. But sound quality wise you'd need to spend mulitple times on them to compare to book shelf\floor standers and they're never in the optimum position for audio playback. Good for offices/cafes etc but I prefer the old fashion variety for the home.
  18. sexytom

    sexytom Member

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    Thanks for your input therixonator. I wanted to keep the boxes in a central cupboard out of the way, but I appreciate your point about spreading out the network, so I'll now consider spacing them out into each zone.

    Regarding speakers, I wanted them to be out of sight and not taking up any room. I could go for floor standers in the lounge but in the dining room and kitchen I really wanted the ceiling speaker effect. As far as ceiling speakers go, are the Emphasys ones reasonable quality?
  19. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand Active Member Assured Advertiser

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    I guess the Sonos ‘Mesh’ is becoming less of a requirement for folk as they move away from using a dedicated Sonos controller (which use the Sonos Mesh) and instead use an iOS or Android device which utilises Wi-Fi.

    I find distributing the Zone players handy in our house as it gives me an option for Networked streamers in areas where Wi-Fi is poor and I’m not ready to pull cables plus in some Zones I have a local source connected to the Line Inputs on the Zone Player.

    Joe
  20. sexytom

    sexytom Member

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    Quick question, when you use the line input on one Sonos device, does it let you play that input on all the zone devices?
  21. Big_Si_Owen

    Big_Si_Owen Member

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    Yep, sure does!
  22. sexytom

    sexytom Member

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    Cool. Sonos is looking more and more tempting! I demo'd the Play:5 the other day and the sound was pretty impressive for a standalone device.
  23. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand Active Member Assured Advertiser

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    As above Yes - and additionally you can select any Line-In from any Zone so you don’t have to listen to the Line Input in the Zone its connected to when you want to listen to it elsewhere in the house!

    Joe
  24. therixonator

    therixonator Member

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    Another great little feature of line in is autoplay. You can set it up so that if a box detects a line in signal, it will auto play on any zone you choose at a specified volume.

    For example, when my sky box comes on, it automatically comes on at zero volume in the kitchen. So if I'm out there doing something and missing the tv, I just turn up the volume on the connect amp on top of the fridge. And also we often leave the kitchen playing the radio for long spells in the day, but if I want to watch tv I want the radio off. This auto kills the radio the second I turn the sky box on. A neat little bonus!
  25. ahdinko

    ahdinko Member

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    Apologies if this in the wrong section! I've been reading here for a while but only just registered to post the questions as I've just bought my home.

    I am looking to do a 4 room audio setup. I have looked at Sonos but when its almost £2k just for the sonus connectors alone without speakers, I am wondering if there is a cheaper way of doing it?

    I currently have a 5.1 sony cinema system in the living room which I am happy to use as the room audio, and a 7.1 sony cinema system in a bedroom which I am also happy to use as that room's audio. I'd just need a way of interfacing with these existing systems

    Then the final 2 rooms are kitchen & 2nd bedroom. Ideally I would like to be able to wire my own speakers into this solution so I can decide to later upgrade/change if I want more bass etc.

    For info I work in IT and am quite happy running audio cable, CAT6/setting up networks. Network storage is pretty much free for me as I have several old computers and hard drives lying around.

    As for what I am looking for in the sound system:
    I'm not fussed about playing music from devices other than the network storage. All the music on my phone is just a copy of the music on my PC anyway.
    I would like to have a remote, OR have the ability to use a phone as a remote just so I don't have to walk to a computer every time I want to change song.

    Can any of you knowledgeable folks recommend me a solution that might fit the bill?
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  26. amcluesent

    amcluesent Moderator

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    Two Apples TVs hooking up to the AV systems and two Apple Express for the other rooms or Airplay enabled boom-boxes. Or use some active speakers with the Express, like AudioEngine

    You won't get anything cheaper, but then it hasn't the flexible multi-zone capability of the Sonos.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  27. ahdinko

    ahdinko Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply Amcluesent.

    I don't have an Apple phone so does that leave me out on the "using my phone as a remote" part? ( I should really know the answer as I was an apple technician for a few years haha) I've got an android phone and an Android tablet for info

    Infact given my previous work experience with apple, I'd rather avoid it where I can!

    Just to get it straight in my own head, am I right in thinking that:

    Multi-room = ability to play from ONE source to different rooms, selectively.
    Multi-zone = abillity to play from multiple sources to multiple rooms?
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  28. ahdinko

    ahdinko Member

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    I've just read up on the Jongo stuff. Has anyone used any of the kit they have out right now? Is it any good?
    I've just read about this: Jongo A140B
    Apparently coming out this year and says it will do what I want and at a good price too. Could be ideal as I'm not moving into the new place for a couple of months
  29. amcluesent

    amcluesent Moderator

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    Pretty much, although I'd say streams rather than sources. For example, Sonos you have flexibility to stream different tracks off the NAS to each player concurrently, or group them in any combination. And an analogue input to one player can be fed to any/all other players.

    Apple Airplay is getting better, but iTunes can only feed one stream and all the players get it. IIRC you can also setup point-to-point links from an iOS device like an iPad to a single player.
  30. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand Active Member Assured Advertiser

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    Have Sonos launched a new ‘High End' system and not told anyone?

    A ‘basic' Sonos system to meet your requirements would be 1 x Bridge (£39) + 4 x PLAY:3 (£259 each) – total - £1,075.00.

    If you want a system utilising existing or new loudspeakers you require 1 x Bridge (£39) + 4 CONNECT:AMP (£399 each) – total outlay £1,635.00.

    Plus all manner of permutations between those two options.

    Multi-Zone = Multi-Room – the only differential you could have being that within a Zone you may have more than One pair of Speakers connected to a Sonos Zone player – a typical example would be a Master Bedroom + Bath/Shower/En-suite all being fed by a single Sonos Zone Player.

    Sonos offers a Free App for iOS and Android devices along with a PC or MAC – you can have as many control devices as you want around the house.

    Where Sonos trounces all others is in the user interface - anything else is always second best!

    Joe
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013

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