New home... new AV setup required

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by masopa, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. masopa

    masopa
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    Ok, it looks like we're moving. Well, we've rented out our house and it looks like we're about to put an offer in for a new one, so I guess that means we're off.

    So, this means I'll be wanting to kit out the new house properly for AV and IT etc. At the moment it is effectively unwired - there's a bit of cabling running some coax and some BT lines but that's it. The to dos are likely to include (a) Zero Handoff wifi - it's a three storey house and I like the idea of ZH; (b) AV install for multiroom HDMI and audio; and (c) appropriate controls back to base. I haven't decided definitively but it's like I'll install the hardware into a fairly sizeable cupboard (with appropriate airflow) next to the main AV room (aka the "family room"). Not sure what my budget needs to be but it can't be more than 4 figures (and preferably not even in the upper 4 figure territory) - and that's to include cabling install.

    Sources: this is the easy bit... I have two sky boxes and I will have a PC/NAS serving both stored films as well as Netflix etc. Not sure how best to control the PC so thoughts welcome. I will have a BD player, but it's likely this will just be for the family room, so makes sense to put it locally, I think. For audio, it'll all be off the PC with one exception (come to that later). Edited to add: IP camera(s) for front door and possibly back garden (so we can see the kids when they're playing). Picture-in-picture would be great if possible...

    Outputs: For HDMI, the sources will need to serve...
    Family room
    Kitchen
    Study (less of a priority)
    Bed 1
    Bed 2
    Bed 3
    Bed 4 (less of a priority)
    Bed 5 (ditto)

    Audio will need to serve all the above, plus:
    Living room - to be zoned with the dining room (it's an L-shaped connected space)
    Garden

    The family room is a decent size and will also serve as a bit of a cinema room. I have some old B&W 601 or 602s which work well but I'm willing to consider upgrading, especially if in-wall can work well (except for the front mains). I'd quite like a pair of good floorstanders for the front mains though, maybe up to £1k if it's worth spending that sort of £. AVR is currently an old Yamaha DSP-A2 which works, is not HMDI but seems fine. I'll be getting a reasonable projector for the family room instead of a TV. Not sure of the merit of getting a separate audiophile amp etc. for just listening to music... haven't really thought properly about that.

    AV to the kitchen is important as that's the other room we'll spend lots of time in. Only downside is it's a very long room (27') with the TV likely to be in the middle (ish) on the wall, with a swivel mount. Makes speaker placement difficult - in ceilings are going to happen here, I think.

    AV to Bed 1 is the next most important and fairly inexpensive in-walls will probably be the choice here, unless we just go with the TV sound (!) We don't spend that much time in the bedroom apart from sleeping (we have kids, you see...)

    Beds 2 & 3 are guest bedrooms so happy just to have HDMI and sound through the TVs there. Beds 4 & 5 are the kids' bedrooms and probably won't even have TVs in there for a few more years yet.

    Audio to all of those areas, but then additional audio for the living room and dining room (which are connected without a door in an L shape). We won't have a TV in those rooms, but will have a CD player which I'm thinking will need to be connected back as a source if it's to work with the system properly? Speakers will have to be in wall or in ceiling as these are formal rooms and we don't want any visible kit. Sound quality is somewhat important, but less critical than in the family/cinema room.

    Haven't thought about what our options are and what sort of controls we want, other than it needs to be easyish to use (non-techy wife-friendly) and pretty foolproof, so no botch PC job.

    The wiring for the house isn't going to be cheap, so I don't see the point in cutting every corner on the kit / spec if I'm spending quite a few £ to get cables run and speakers installed in walls/ceilings.

    Any ideas? Matrix or something more IP-based? As you can probably tell, I haven't really a scooby. I do have plenty of time to decide before pressing the "money out" button and very much want to make the right choice.

    Finally, no need for 4k or 5.1 in any room apart from the family room (maybe bedroom but that's a secondary or tertiary consideration and probably cost-dependent).

    Help! (and thanks in advance)
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
  2. PSM1

    PSM1
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    Centralised system can get expensive quite quickly.
    Since you are going for WiFi around the house would it not be easier to stream most of the content to the various rooms or do you want Sky in them as well? If just wanting music in some of the rooms then something like a Sonos system may be cheaper and easier. For movies from the PC you could then get a few streams or PS3/4. The only thing this does not do is Sky.
    To run HDMI to each room you are going to need to look at HDMI over Cat5/6 cable with some splitters in the system as well.
     
  3. masopa

    masopa
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    Thanks PSM1... unfortunately, we do want Sky to at least kitchen and Bed 1 as well as the family room (as a minimum). Conscious it is going to get pretty expensive, but if there's a way of keeping it under say £5k (including having the cabling installed) I'll be happier than if it's over that...

    The less I spend on the infrastructure, the more I'll be able to spend on kit (in wall speakers, floorstanders and projector). Not sure how feasible it is to get the cabling done by a pro as well as the control system for that sort of budget though?
     
  4. Member 581642

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    Where are you based ?
     
  5. masopa

    masopa
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    West of Glasgow - so Labour should be a touch cheaper than London ;)
     
  6. Member 581642

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    Just to give you a rough idea of cost based on HDMi Over Cat6 to 6/8 rooms

    The central HdBaseT matrix would be around £4000+ before cabling and any other component
     
  7. masopa

    masopa
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    Ouch... Sounds like my budget might be blown then! Will have to do a bit of digging to see what other options there are then :(

    Thanks for the heads up!
     
  8. Member 581642

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    Work on between £50 and £100 per Cat6 point for pro install

    So as you can probably see your 5K budget will be used up fairly quickly. There are other methods such as HD Modulators over Coax but they would be a compromise but could save you a a fair bit as just need coax aerial cables.

    better to maybe have a chat
     
  9. masopa

    masopa
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    Cool will pm you in a couple of weeks when I'm back from hols... Just flying back home from London now and need to spend the rest of the week catching up with stuff so will put this thinking on hold till end of month.

    Thank you and will definitely take you up on the kind offer of a quick chat.

    Cheers.
     
  10. Member 581642

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    Great, sure we can work something out to fit within your budget
     
  11. PSM1

    PSM1
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    Maybe cheaper to have Sky multi room and box in each room. In wall speakers can do a good job but tend to need sub as do not have the best bass extension. Also it does mean your room layout is fixed since hard to move In wall speakers if you want a move around.
     
  12. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    4K and 5.1 - with centralised kit we see most folk planning for one 'primary' Zone catering for UHD and multi-channel audio and Secondary Zones being 1080p and 2-Ch audio though with the rise in the popularity of Smart TV' s with onboard streaming and Apps it is not uncommon to plan for ARC enabled, HD Audio capable Soundbars in each of the Secondary Zones - which makes audio management for your centralised zones that bit simpler too.

    In-wall - can be 'budge't through to some very exotic, high end models so given the budget there is no need to not have a full 'In-wall' solution in the Primary Zone.

    With your indicated budget you would struggle with a fully 'integrated' solution from Crestron, Control4 or similar so it's going to be a hybrid solution with you deciding where you want then Audio, AV and Control systems to come together.

    Mixing Centralised and Distributed Sources is a good way to keep the budget under control.

    SONOS is the way to go for a budget Distributed audio system - you can plug you 'Legacy' Sources such as CD and AM/FM tuner in and share those around the house using the SONOS kit - I have an old Tuner connected to my system as Radio Scotland often don't have the on-line rights to stream certain football games on the web.

    Wi-Fi/IP needs someone who knows what they are doing to make it work well in a multi-storey, multi-occupancy, multi-network premise - it's something we end up taking on quite often as folk try the DIY route and end up with big problems.

    Joe

    PS West of Glasgow - happy to pay you a visit when you are back at home.
     

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