Multiple Zone outputs on PC

Hi guys not sure if this post really belongs in this section but since the item in question will only ever be used in a multi room audio/video job it seemed logical to put it here.

Recently I have been looking into DIY HTPC's as source equipment for clients more and more. It makes sence as a good alternative to audio/video servers and there are obviously significant savings to be had by choosing this route over dedicated units such as imerge etc.

Installing Mediaportal along with some codecs onto a pc with a half decent spec will result in a machine capable of playing 1080p mkv images to cater for the customers HD libary.

Right now I mearly built a pc per zone required and they all share from a NAS drive, all of that lot is located in the customers rack, but obviously if the client wants 4 zone playback 4 pc's can potentially take up allot of room.

Are there any companies out there that make software/hardware to allow multiple zone outputs from a single machine? As doing it with multiple graphics cards and sound cards Isn't an option as you have no real means of control, aswell as problems with not being able to run several instances of a progam.

I haven't researched this much at all and was just wondering if people can point me in the right direction

Cheers All


Active Member
won't it have to have some real serious processor power to cope with that sort of workload... eg 4 1080p films, being pulled from storage and sent to 4 cards etc...
if the cust has an av rack isn't it pos to modify a mount/rack to hold 1 or 2 pcs. most pc's are big for air flow etc and drives etc. so 1 rack could carry 2 pc's side by side sharing air flow etc.


Standard Member
Hi there, no you are not the only one of us looking in to and thinking of this solution. and i have been down many routes of achiving it over the last two years to many to mention, but eg , media streemers, XBMC on apple tvs, NAS drives, etc but control is always the issue.

when i started out i wanted to offer a service that brought all the benifits of multiroom audio video , and just tech in gerneral to the masses without charging a fortune and have had alot of success. but as the years have rolled by i have become more wise and now understand why it is better to leave the design to companies that have the budget for R+D and the man power and resources to build kit, and then we install it and use our expertise to spec the correct kit for the coustomers uses and budget.

this way you make more money (always a good thing) and you offer a better solution with easy to use and reliable kit and have happier customers, as they are not calling you to fix it all the time.(at their cost)

dont get me wrong HTPC with XBMC is very slik and there are times when you get customers that are IT savvy. but in general you would be better to spec somthing like IDYL (closed off windows xp in a box) its reasonably priced, and works out the box for whatt they want. the new ones here soon and does HD and maybe does bluray ripping , but in the air at the moment.

as for surfing the net on tv, you have to look into how people really live. in our opinun a £300 net book on the table or sofa arm rest is a far better everyday (real living) solution and cheeper than HTPC on tv. no mouse and keyboard to hide, and eveyone in the room doesnt have to do the same thing. there are other ways of getting and controling media content from nas drives etc on tvs when really its only media from pc,s that you want on tv's at the moment as IP TV is not here yet or anywhere near usable to the masses.

happy to chat anytime



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