Multi room audio at a budget..


As per title really.

I'm renovating my office in the next couple of weeks. I've got my pc in there and use sky broadband with a netgear router which xfers by way of hard wire to my home cinema for the 360 and htpc.

Since i'm renovating the office i was thinking of going future proof by spreading some cat5e across to the hallway upstairs and down and kitchen so i can listen xfer music across from the office which will have the main pc acting as a server.

I'm also interested in installing some cctv, cat5 again?.

I'm after something with an 'inwall' control in both the hallway and kitchen so i can play some music if and when required. I am going to absolutely honest and indicate that i really don't have the foggiest save for my basic knowledge of pc's and cat5.

I dont have a massive budget at this stage and would probably opt for something basic with the option of upgrading later. I am looking to pay mp3's essentially and nothing more. Only audio is to be xferred. I've got Sky+ in my reception rooms via sky multi room which is hard wired. Video doesnt need to be transferred.

In the most amateur fashion i'll explain what i was intending to do. Speaker cables going out from office to hallway (upstairs and down) (looped cables?) Cat5e cables from office to downstairs (assuming it'll be required for a controller), speaker cable also from office to kitchen.. and a cat5e to the kitchen for the controller. I'm looking to depend on my pc to act as the server and dont mind switching it on to access the music.

In respect of my big brother cctv system i was looking to feed cat5 to each of the rooms from the office. Again, i'm clueless and as you can imagine there's quite some research to do but all i know is the project starts next week.

In terms of speakers i was looking at in ceiling maybe Monitor Audio or B&W? 60-70 quid per pair.

CCTV - cheap as chips preferably.

Could anyone please make any recommendations here on or direct me..

very kindest regards, i look forward to being educated by you guys. :hiya:


over 30 views and nothing.. :rolleyes:

Further research favours the squeezebox.

Will be putting ethernet cable through the floor since the router is in the office and i'm gong to be laying down some wood flooring. Any advice as to best place for cheapest cat5e cable?

Any advice massively appreciated. Project begins witin 15 hours. i'm starting to clear out the office now!


Novice Member
And excellent alternative to Squeezebox is the Sonos system, which can be wired or wireless and the controllers are so simple to use.

Cat5e should be about £50 retail, less if you can get it trade through your business contacts.

CCTV - look at Geovision which is a pc card that allows you to accept analogue CCTV images and record them onto the harddrive.

Personally you might struggle to find B&W or Monitor Audio at the budget you might struggle.

Hope that helps.



Novice Member
I can recommend the sonos wireless system as long as you don't mind itunes AAC-quality sound (as opposed to CD quality). We use an external Ethernet hard drive connected to our Negear router to store the music files. Our PC acts as a the distribution hub and the Sonos software utilises itunes to rip/download and manange tracks.

We have eight zones around the house, controlled using three nice LCD touchscreen remotes (in wall -mounted chargers), although we only purchased six receivers and four zones are "split" using a wall switch.

The system also streams internet radio, which is nice and you can have different tracks playing in different zones at different levels, although the PC needs to be switched on for the system to work.

In terms of speakers, in the living areas the system is routed through the amp and therefore the encumbent Kefs. We also use KEF CI 130.2FR in-ceiling speakers throughout the rest of the house, which are not wonderful, but absolutely fine considering the source quality (as long as you don't go too loud). Can pick them up for £80/pair.



i'm put off sonos by the fact that you have to buy a receiver for each zone. works out too expensive for me. I find squeezebox cheaper. Thanks for the advice though. :thumbsup:


Well-known Member
Squeezeboxes are excellent, but you can check for Pinnacle soundbridge too. I've 3 Squeezeboxes and 1 sound bridge served music from NAS [linkstation]. Cheapest place to get CAT5e's are blackbox.co.uk, minitran.co.uk etc. Other ethernet wiring stuffs are cheap in minitran, i've bought most of the stuff from them.

BTW, you can use CAT5e as cheaper alternative to speaker cables as well.


Novice Member
just one bit of general advice. Design your system, work out your wiring requirements. Then add a HEAP load more. I have run out of wires in the three cat5 cables i laid in the wall running upstairs to downstairs. I keep wanting to add more (to send pc sound downstairs, to send rf signals to pc, to send pc s-video out to tv downstairs etc, things I hadn't even thought of when I laid the cables). The list keeps growing, and the cable system just isnt flexible enough and I can't add more, as it involves taking the ceiling down and running big channels in a concrete wall. Don't make the same mistake I did, put as many cables as your space/budget/patience can afford, at the time when it's easy to do so (before decorating etc.)

Just my tuppence worth. Hope everything goes well.
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