• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

New Build, multi room Audio & Video, help needed

mark88

Active Member
I'm building a house and have started to plan the multi room audio/video. Quite new to me this so not entirely sure of some things and will probably be posting here quite a lot next few months. It's important to me that the system is simple and easy to understand(I'll be installing it). I just want to make sure I can all the cabling in first so I can expand in future.

Downstairs is large open plan so the kitchen/living/dining are like one disjointed zone. I have an AV cupboard/network room under the stairs for all the equipment and will be spider wiring cat6 cable to this location.

Can you please check my diagram and provide comments? :)

Behind each wall mounted TV
------------------------------------------
1 x WF100
4 x Cat6 (2 for HDMI extender, 1 for internet, 1 extra)
1 x Octava Cat5/6 HDMI Extender
1 x Fused Connection Unit

- The only place I will have 5.1 is the living area and this i where I'm struggling most. I couldn't work out how the AV receiver fits in with the rest of the A/V distribution in the house. On the diagram you can see I have put HDMI splitters from the sources to split the HDMI to the matrix and then to the receiver. Then the output of the receiver goes to the main tv. Here, I guess I could have taken the output to an input on the HDMI matrix but not sure if that makes sense as the matrix is already distributed all those sources directly.
- I had a similar problem with the audio in the living area. Because the speakers there are connected to the receiver I guess the only way to output sound from a Sonos player is to connect one of it's outputs to the A/V receiver? Where as the rest of the house is using a different amp. I couldn't work out how to switch to this amp in the living area.
- I'm using cat6 extenders to distribute hdmi. These also have IR. The hdmi matrix has 4 x IR outputs but the transmitter I'm using to send to the living room only has 1, how does that 1 ir emitter send signals to all the source equipment in the rack as well as the av receiver?
- There only be one Sky+ HD box to begin with but it makes sense to run extra cables to the dish for future proofing, how many cables do you think is sensible to run? I know you can do max of 8
- Is WF100 the correct cable to run to the Sky dish?
- Similar question for the TV aerial, do I just need to run 1 cable there?
- The plan has always been to centralise as much equipment as possible so there is just TV's in the rooms on the wall. How will this work out with the PS3? Will I need bluetooth extenders?
- I don't have a Wii but assuming I wanted to buy one at some point, how can this be placed in the av cupboard when it requires a sensor bar and has a proprietary hdmi cable?
- Is it normal to install wall mounted speaker volume controls? all the ones I've seen look ugly and would rather not have to if I don't need to. At this moment I don't see why I would need them?
- At this stage, I haven't chosen to have a projector+screen. Assuming I changed my mind I assume it just plugs into one of the outputs on the receiver?
- I really want all the 5.1 speakers in the living area to be ceiling speakers, don't really want a wall mounted woofer either, is it advisable not to have a sub woofer?
- What kind of cat6 cable should I use? UTP or FTP/STP? and should it be the same for the extenders as it is for the network cabling?
- Haven't really decided on amplification for the sonos. I know devon, arcam etc make 12 channel power amps but can you plug ZP90's directly into a power amp? wouldn't this mean the only volume control is that on the sonos system and could be quite easily to slide the slider a little too high.?
 

Attachments

  • multiroom video.jpg
    multiroom video.jpg
    111.8 KB · Views: 3,895
  • final-ground2.gif
    final-ground2.gif
    72.6 KB · Views: 1,243
  • final-first.jpg
    final-first.jpg
    125.4 KB · Views: 836
Last edited:

DannyTucker001

Active Member
mark88 said:
I'm building a house and have started to plan the multi room audio/video. Quite new to me this so not entirely sure of some things and will probably be posting here quite a lot next few months. It's important to me that the system is simple and easy to understand(I'll be installing it). I just want to make sure I can all the cabling in first so I can expand in future.

Downstairs is large open plan so the kitchen/living/dining are like one disjointed zone. I have an AV cupboard/network room under the stairs for all the equipment and will be spider wiring cat6 cable to this location.

Can you please check my diagram and provide comments? :)

Behind each wall mounted TV
------------------------------------------
1 x WF100
4 x Cat6 (2 for HDMI extender, 1 for internet, 1 extra)
1 x Octava Cat5/6 HDMI Extender
1 x Fused Connection Unit

- The only place I will have 5.1 is the living area and this i where I'm struggling most. I couldn't work out how the AV receiver fits in with the rest of the A/V distribution in the house. On the diagram you can see I have put HDMI splitters from the sources to split the HDMI to the matrix and then to the receiver. Then the output of the receiver goes to the main tv. Here, I guess I could have taken the output to an input on the HDMI matrix but not sure if that makes sense as the matrix is already distributed all those sources directly.

I would use a better matrix with discrete IR outs and use it to send the pic to all sets inc the lounge. Use the SVR for audio processing only.

- I had a similar problem with the audio in the living area. Because the speakers there are connected to the receiver I guess the only way to output sound from a Sonos player is to connect one of it's outputs to the A/V receiver? Where as the rest of the house is using a different amp. I couldn't work out how to switch to this amp in the living area.

Digital Out to AVR and Analogue Out to Stereo Amp

- I'm using cat6 extenders to distribute hdmi. These also have IR. The hdmi matrix has 4 x IR outputs but the transmitter I'm using to send to the living room only has 1, how does that 1 ir emitter send signals to all the source equipment in the rack as well as the av receiver?

This is where a better Matrix comes into play.

- There only be one Sky+ HD box to begin with but it makes sense to run extra cables to the dish for future proofing, how many cables do you think is sensible to run? I know you can do max of 8

You could do this 2 ways. Either run as many as you like, might as well be 8 but are you likely to have 4 HD boxes? Alternatively you could run 4 and then should you ever need more you can change the Quad LNB to a Quattro and buy a Multi-Switch and you have as many as you need.

- Is WF100 the correct cable to run to the Sky dish?

Yes.

- Similar question for the TV aerial, do I just need to run 1 cable there?

One will be fine. If you wanted to add FM and or DAB radio you would use a combiner up near the terrestrial rig and all come down the 1 cable.

- The plan has always been to centralise as much equipment as possible so there is just TV's in the rooms on the wall. How will this work out with the PS3? Will I need bluetooth extenders?

Not sure about this one, sorry.

- I don't have a Wii but assuming I wanted to buy one at some point, how can this be placed in the av cupboard when it requires a sensor bar and has a proprietary hdmi cable?

Wii Sensor bars are simply 2 IR lights, one at each end. You can buy wireless Wii Bars that you turn on when you want to use them. There is no need
for a physical connection to the main unit. As for the image you would need to convert the composite/component to HDMI if you wanted it anywhere in the house.

- Is it normal to install wall mounted speaker volume controls? all the ones I've seen look ugly and would rather not have to if I don't need to. At this moment I don't see why I would need them?

You don't. Use the Sonos for volume control?

- At this stage, I haven't chosen to have a projector+screen. Assuming I changed my mind I assume it just plugs into one of the outputs on the receiver?

Indeed. You would want to run trigger cables however in case you wanted to automate this when starting the amp etc.


- I really want all the 5.1 speakers in the living area to be ceiling speakers, don't really want a wall mounted woofer either, is it advisable not to have a sub woofer?

You will want a sub especially if you are insistent on wall / ceiling speakers. Look at a small powerful sub, something like the Cambridge Audio Minx
is ideal. Comes in white too.

- What kind of cat6 cable should I use? UTP or FTP/STP? and should it be the same for the extenders as it is for the network cabling?

UTP is fine. Just do not run along electrical cables. If you must leave a 4"-6" space. Cross at 90' angles and a use coke can radius on bends.

- Haven't really decided on amplification for the sonos. I know devon, arcam etc make 12 channel power amps but can you plug ZP90's directly into a power amp? wouldn't this mean the only volume control is that on the sonos system and could be quite easily to slide the slider a little too high.?

Look on to Sonance for 12 channel power amps an option. Yes it would be the only volume control but you set a max volume by turning Sonos volume to max and then dialling it up with the stereo amp if it allows. Alternatively don't turn it up too loud :-D



My answers are below each of your queries. Some of my responses are very brief but should give you something to look into. Feel free to ask more if you need. Looks like a nice system though.


Dan.
 

mark88

Active Member
Thanks for the reply.

I would use a better matrix with discrete IR outs and use it to send the pic to all sets inc the lounge. Use the SVR for audio processing only.

What do you recommend as a better matrix? I thought the octava was pretty good? Also what i liked about it is I know they're releasing an updated version this year that sends power to the receivers so a 5v DC adaptor isn't required behind each tv.

- I had a similar problem with the audio in the living area. Because the speakers there are connected to the receiver I guess the only way to output sound from a Sonos player is to connect one of it's outputs to the A/V receiver? Where as the rest of the house is using a different amp. I couldn't work out how to switch to this amp in the living area.

Digital Out to AVR and Analogue Out to Stereo Amp

That's what I'm doing on the diagram, but the thing is the connection to the speakers, the living room speakers are connected to the AV amp, my question was how would i switch it so that I could get the sonos sound through the audio amp out of the same speakers, if I wanted to. I seem limited to using the AV for music listening.
 

DannyTucker001

Active Member
I would look into something like Wyrestorm Pro range. That would suit your requirements. the baluns on these can be powered the TV's USB
slot eliminating the power issue.

With the Sonos & avr/amp switching that would be best avoided and simply use the avr to power the speakers. There would be no discernible difference between it and the amp. An additional benefit of the avr would be all channel stereo inc the sub or any of the presets. I don't see
A downside. Do you have a specific concern?
 

mark88

Active Member
I don't have a concern, just bugged me that I couldn't work out how to do it.

The Wyrestorm stuff looks good, the idea of powering them through USB is great, thanks.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Octava have been supplying optional USB/DC cables for the last 12 months - it works well with most but not all USB equipped Display devices!

The Octava Receiver units have also been slimmed down a fair bit too make them easier to hide away.

The next release of the Octava 4x8, 4x4 and a new 4x2 Twisted Pair Matrix all power the Receiver units over the Twisted Pair cables so no need for a local wall plug or USB TV - the units also now include a fifth 'global' IR port (handy for controlling an AVR) in addition to the four routed IR ports plus we've thrown in a USB port to simplify custom EDID updates .

Keep in mind Sonos adds a 70ms delay to External Input signals - this may be a problem in terms of keeping video and audio in sync.

Joe
 

NonPayingMember

Previously Liam @ Prog AV
You need to consider first are you expecting to play TV audio via the ceiling speakers or the TV speakers? In which case you need to put in an audio matrix switch or a multichannel amp with switching.

Secondly what you are badly lacking is any kind of control. At the moment you have TV remotes to switch sources on the TV, Sky remotes in each room to switch Sky channels, Octava remotes in each room to switch the Octava source, Sonos controllers in each room to control the Sonos music. Even worse if you are wanting Sonos to do TV audio.

The cheap option:

- consider Sonos and the ceiling speakers as a seperate system. You can use ZP120s (or Connect:Amps lol) wired directly to each ceiling speaker, or you can use ZP90s (or "Connects") if you want to use higher grade power amplification.

- consider the TV network as it's own system whereby the TV speakers are the sound output for the sources (except the AVR in the main room). You can maybe use a cheaper brand of programmable remote control that will store SKy, DVD, Octava codes on it and use the IR blasters on the Octava kit to control the central sources. Pretty decentish solution.

The better option:

- you want the ceiling speakers and the TV sources to all be matrix switched and power amplified centrally
- have as sources the Sky, Blu-Ray, PS3 and also a media server like the Autonomic Mirage or ReQuest or Escient or something (the mirage is absolutely brilliant) as another source into the audio matrix side of things
- use a more elaborate control system (RTI, URC, Control 4, Crestron, unfortunately no such thing as pronto anymore) and have the single controllers in the room have Sky, BD, PS3 control as well as controlling volume on the central power amp, browsing music on the server, Spotify etc etc. Maybe drop a bit of lighting or CCTV loop in

And above all else, seriously consider getting someone who knows what they're doing do this for you. Last thing you want is to try and take it on yourself and have a nasty to use system with twenty remotes that nobody in the house but you knows how to use, pictures that blink on and off, volume that is controlled from a different remote to the TV remote and that is out of sync with the picture. Of course I would say that being it's my job, but trust me the worst thing for me to see in someone's house when the wife has got a Sky remote running off a magic eye because the installer (ie you) couldn't make it easy enough to use with the control system lol!!!!!
 

mark88

Active Member
You need to consider first are you expecting to play TV audio via the ceiling speakers or the TV speakers? In which case you need to put in an audio matrix switch or a multichannel amp with switching.

Secondly what you are badly lacking is any kind of control. At the moment you have TV remotes to switch sources on the TV, Sky remotes in each room to switch Sky channels, Octava remotes in each room to switch the Octava source, Sonos controllers in each room to control the Sonos music. Even worse if you are wanting Sonos to do TV audio.

The cheap option:

- consider Sonos and the ceiling speakers as a seperate system. You can use ZP120s (or Connect:Amps lol) wired directly to each ceiling speaker, or you can use ZP90s (or "Connects") if you want to use higher grade power amplification.

- consider the TV network as it's own system whereby the TV speakers are the sound output for the sources (except the AVR in the main room). You can maybe use a cheaper brand of programmable remote control that will store SKy, DVD, Octava codes on it and use the IR blasters on the Octava kit to control the central sources. Pretty decentish solution.

The better option:

- you want the ceiling speakers and the TV sources to all be matrix switched and power amplified centrally
- have as sources the Sky, Blu-Ray, PS3 and also a media server like the Autonomic Mirage or ReQuest or Escient or something (the mirage is absolutely brilliant) as another source into the audio matrix side of things
- use a more elaborate control system (RTI, URC, Control 4, Crestron, unfortunately no such thing as pronto anymore) and have the single controllers in the room have Sky, BD, PS3 control as well as controlling volume on the central power amp, browsing music on the server, Spotify etc etc. Maybe drop a bit of lighting or CCTV loop in

And above all else, seriously consider getting someone who knows what they're doing do this for you. Last thing you want is to try and take it on yourself and have a nasty to use system with twenty remotes that nobody in the house but you knows how to use, pictures that blink on and off, volume that is controlled from a different remote to the TV remote and that is out of sync with the picture. Of course I would say that being it's my job, but trust me the worst thing for me to see in someone's house when the wife has got a Sky remote running off a magic eye because the installer (ie you) couldn't make it easy enough to use with the control system lol!!!!!

You did see the diagram? It's pretty much exactly what you describe in the 'cheap option'. i am on a somewhat of a budget.

re the last comment, that's a bit harsh I think. There's no magic eyes! I thought it was quite a simple setup, that would work quite well.

Onto the subject of getting TV audio sources through the ceiling speakers. I did wonder about this, it's not high on my list of priorities but knowing I can add it in is always a plus. I assume I could easily add an audio matrix, but it would need quite a few inputs? as there's 5 sonos's and 3-4 video sources. (who makes one?)

So, if I were in bedroom 1 and wished to watch a blu-ray and have the audio come out of the ceiling speakers I would programme the universal remote in that room to switch both the hdmi matrix and audio matrix to the br player for that specific output.
 

cjwood555

Active Member
Audio matrix - Kramer or Autopatch (AMX), without going to silly money.

Personally I'm with Liam - you need a proper control system. IR routing has no way of blocking or storing/relaying commands from multiple remotes at the same time. Also e.g. a Harmony will get very confused if reality no longer ties up with its understanding of things. You may also find it 'interesting' convincing the Harmony to do everything you need it to in the right order. "What do you use to watch tv?" "Well, all of them"....

I promise, it'll be the best £3k you'll ever spend on AV. If you need to only have one Sonos box to afford the control, DO IT!!

Chris
 

mark88

Active Member
I must admit that when considering this setup, control was an afterthought and clearly that shows. I just assumed it could be sorted out afterwards with universal remotes etc, if all the IR distribution and cabling was in place.

Of all the systems mentioned above, control4 seems most appealing. Can this be integrated into the setup above easily enough? I need to read up on it really.

What I wanted to try and avoid was having anything installed that I didn't understand how it all works and fits together.
 

cjwood555

Active Member
The downside to your approach that you'll be the ONLY one who understands it how it all works. Wife, kids, the grandparents will get tired of it very quickly.

I'd do it with an RTI XP-6 centrally and a T1-B in each TV room, with an iPad or two for roaming media browsing / music control. Estimated cost with programming / commissioning was what I cited as an example above.

Chris
 

cjwood555

Active Member
Also,I'm sure any installer would be happy to talk through the programming with you if it's something of interest. :)
 

The latest video from AVForums

Guardians of the Galaxy Xmas Special, Strange World, Bones and All, and Cabinet of Dr Caligari in 4K
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom