AV layout within new extension

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by RossDublin, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. RossDublin

    RossDublin
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    Afternoon all,

    Builders have just started on my house building a single storey extenstion to the rear. All going well it will turn out within budget (two chances) and as outlined in the attached floor plan.

    I am now busy looking at the networking, AV side of the build with a view to instructing them on this.

    The primary living space in the downstairs of my house will be the large open plan living area at the back, to give you an idea, the shaded area in the attached picture is approx. 10 x 5.3 meters. The back wall of the extension will be all glass from floor to ceiling leading out on to a decking area.

    I plan on having a home 5.1 theatre setup with LCD screen in the lounge area pictured. The LCD screen and front speakers will be recessed in to the wall and the rear speakers will be contained on the shelving behind the sofa.

    I was thinking of powering this with an amp such as the Sony STR-DA5200ES.

    This amp would allow me control 3 sets of speakers i believe i.e. my 5.1 setup and two other stero speaker sets.

    I want to be able to play music across this entire extension when having parties or when I just want to listen to the radio. As such, I am thinking of installing in-ceiling speakers within the kitchen and dinning area. Would this 10 meter span be covered by a single pear of stero speakers (one a metre or so from each side wall) or would I need two sets of stero speakers, one set above the kitchen and one set above the dinning table?

    If anyone has suggestions on what speakers to use this would be appreciated very much indeed.

    Going back to the home cinema setup. We are aiming to recess a 42-52 inch LCD in to the wall. Rather than running every cable within my wall from the side/back of the LCD and leaving them sitting on my equipment shelf in case they are ever needed, does anyone produce a wall panel that allows you replicate the connections on the side/back of your TV at a point on your wall? This would seem to be a neater setup.

    Also, i was half thinking of putting a couple of outdoor speakers on the deck area - nothing too big for the sake of the neighbours. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    I hope the above makes sense and appreciate any help you can give.

    Cheers,

    Ross
     

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  2. DigitalJase

    DigitalJase
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    Apart from the Home Cinema bit, your requirement is to listen to music in one zone ( area ) and/or multiple areas. Have you looked at/considered SONOS.

    KEF do a good range of ceiling speakers including outdoor ones, depending on the speaker spec, you could do a single pair, a pair of stereo, or 2 pairs.

    Personally I would not put the faceplates in, unless on full show, you could use brush plates or plasterboard hatches etc, depending on the build of AV Unit/ False Wall.

    Where abouts do you live, or does the userid give a clue :)
     
  3. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello RossDublin

    The fewer the number of loudspeakers you use to cover an 'open plan' area the greater the volume imbalance you get between close to the Loudspeakers and further away from the Loudspeakers.

    If you want a consistent volume level across a large area the more speakers you use the better - keep in mind if you want to be able to hold a conversation you don't want to have music blaring out near to where your standing (ears five/six foot of the ground) or sitting (ears three foot of the ground).

    Think about where you do and don't want 'direct' sound within the open plan area and plan your speaker positions around where your 'audience' will be not some arbitrary 'wall to wall' symmetry; its much the same process as planning out your lighting.

    In terms of choice of loudspeakers its down to budget and audio expectations.

    Joe
     
  4. RossDublin

    RossDublin
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    Thanks Joe and DigitalJase.

    First off, DigitalJase, the username certainly gives it away - i am in Dublin, Ireland.

    Joe, I hear what you are saying about potentially drowning out the conversation by not having speakers in the correct place. Essentially you are suggesting I keep the speakers so they are not directly above where the audience would typically be located?

    If i was to go for two sets of stero inceiling speakers how would you configure them? For example, if one set is to go over my open plan kitchen area, would I put them in a North/South configuration or an East/West configuration if you get me, or does it matter?

    My audio expectations would be for something that gives a "good sound" but does not have to be exceptional - I think the finer points would be lost on me. I intend these speakers to be in place for some time so I don't want to go too cheap - something in the middle range I think. I don't have any idea of speaker costs but would GBP 200 get a decent pair of in-ceiling speakers?

    DigitalJase, I have looked at SONOS but really don't want to go down the route of a proprietary system. I am wiring the house with Cat 6 cable and will have a central server with my music and DVDs on it. I plan to stream music from this to my different zones using a Mac Mini - I love the interface Mac have developed for the Mini, so I plan on controlling that through my LCD screen.

    I might also look to see if anyone has developed software to allow me control this remotely using a PDA.

    Cheers,

    Ross
     

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