Multi room hardware and approach advice needed!

sukigill

Standard Member
Hi all, I’d appreciate some of your expert advice on picking components for a multi room set up. I’ve read all the multi room posts and whilst all are very helpful they don’t quite fit what I’m after.

I’d like to have:

Living room:
Have got: 5.1, (5 v. good kef speakers) and a good Sony HD LCD, a few years old but not replacing this, sky HD and Virgin HD boxes.

I need: A new AV receiver, possibly/probably a media centre pc, a NAS

Kitchen/Diner:
Have got a fairly standard sony HD tv
I need speakers (not sure whether to go for active or passive).

I also want speakers in the bathroom / garden and possibly an outside room separate from the house.

I’d like the ability to send separate HD to at least 3 sources (may wish to add a bedroom at a later date) along with either the accompanying audio to the 3 sources as well as separate audio only to a 4th source.

I also want the ability to control the whole lot via a user friendly iphone app, send audio only locations wirelessly and finally keep the budget under 3k.

I’ve been looking at multi zone receivers with 2 hdmi outputs and 3 powered zones (Yamaha 3067) but it has only 2 hdmi outs so should I ignore the multi zone functions on receivers? One feature i do want is 4k upscaling to all hdmi outputs.

I’ve also looked at and discounted sonos as I don’t want a box in each room, I’d rather have good ceiling speakers, plus this is an audio only solution. I could use sonos for the outside room but I’d rather have one solution for the whole house.

I’ve also looked at Cambridge audio incognito and the reviews all seem to say the speakers are rubbish plus its not iphone friendly.

Finally I’m not going down the squeezebox route as the server side is supposed to be a nightmare and again this is audio only.

Help!
Thanks
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
I need: A new AV receiver, possibly/probably a media centre pc, a NAS

Kitchen/Diner:
Have got a fairly standard sony HD tv
I need speakers (not sure whether to go for active or passive).

I also want speakers in the bathroom / garden and possibly an outside room separate from the house.

I'd like the ability to send separate HD to at least 3 sources (may wish to add a bedroom at a later date) along with either the accompanying audio to the 3 sources as well as separate audio only to a 4th source.

You're probably looking at an HDMI matrix and cat5/6 balun for distribution. Go and visit the cables forum as that is where the experts and retailers hang out.

I also want the ability to control the whole lot via a user friendly iphone app, send audio only locations wirelessly and finally keep the budget under 3k. [

If you are going to send audio wirelessly you will need something on the end of it to receive the signal. Squeezebox, Sonos are cheap multi-room options. Applex Express isn't true multi-room in the sense that you cannot play different audio in the different rooms. Apple TV also an option. Obviously if you need to stream video, then Boxee, Popcorn Hour, PS3 etc. are all capable of achieving this.

I've been looking at multi zone receivers with 2 hdmi outputs and 3 powered zones (Yamaha 3067) but it has only 2 hdmi outs so should I ignore the multi zone functions on receivers? One feature i do want is 4k upscaling to all hdmi outputs.

Multi-zone on AV Receivers only work with analogue sources so any sources you want to output to other rooms would need to be connected up via phono. The HDMI option on the Yamaha will pass both audio and video to both HDMI outputs but they will both be the same.

Why do you want 4k upscaling? It's a marketing gimmick to be honest. By the time, we have 4k displays and content, we will be travelling to work on rocket propelled pogo-sticks. Trust me, before they come out, there will be another 'must have' feature so you will upgrade for that anyway.

I've also looked at and discounted sonos as I don't want a box in each room, I'd rather have good ceiling speakers, plus this is an audio only solution. I could use sonos for the outside room but I'd rather have one solution for the whole house.

If you don't want a box in each room, how do you propose that you will receive the music (and movies!) for each room/zone? It sounds like you want the holy grail of multi-room but don't want to pay for it ;) It might be worth discussing this with an installer. There is an installers forum here. The budget might need to be increased though....

I've also looked at Cambridge audio incognito and the reviews all seem to say the speakers are rubbish plus its not iphone friendly.

Finally I'm not going down the squeezebox route as the server side is supposed to be a nightmare and again this is audio only.

Help!
Thanks

The Squeezebox server is not a nightmare. It can be problematic to get it to work on a NAS but if you do your homework and research beforehand, it should be fine. I have used two Squeezeboxes in a multi-room setup for years and never really had any issues.
 
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sukigill

Standard Member
Davepuma, thanks for the info!

Didn't know about HDMI matrix switches, thanks for the heads up.

I was thinking active ceiling speakers to recieve wireless audio but not sure how this works with sending video via cat 5/6 in terms of them staying in sync. Also as it sounds like a multizone reciever is not the way to how what should I use to distribute mutliple audio signals at the same time, some of which may be from a sky/virgin box, others may be from a nas/iphone? can a squeezebox do this? I thought this is where i# need a decent media centre pc? But as you can probably tell I'm no expert.

i'd also rather not go down the apple tv route as I dont want to be too reliant on one manufacturer that may decide to drop a product in the future.

Thanks again for your help!
 

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