Okay, I finally sat down tonight and figured out what I *think* I need (at least it’s a start so the experts have something to start with) to do centrally distributed audio/video for the house.
So I’m thinking every room (minus bathrooms, except for master) should be an audio “zone” as well as the pool house and then 3 zones for audio outside (front yard, back yard and golf area). That works out to 20 audio zones. Three of those should be 7.1 surround (living room, home theatre and master bedroom) with everything else being 2 channel stereo. So after figuring that out, now what in the hell sort of equipment do I need to make all this work? Maybe this (this is all Crestron stuff)…
- CNX-BIPAD8 (3 of them) – CAT5 24×8 distributor (24 possible sources in, 8 rooms out) any room could be on any source so 3 of these will cover 24 “rooms/zones”
- CNAMPX-16X60 (2 of them) – 16 channels x 60 watts each (8 rooms per amp, 16 rooms total)
- CNAMPX-2X60 (1 of them) – 2 channels x 60 watts each (1 room)
- CNAMPX-7×200 (3 of them) – 7 channel x 200 watts surround sound amp (3 of them for the 3 rooms I want 7.1 in)
- C2N-DAP8 (3 of them) – 7.1 surround sound processor
- AAS-4 – Digital Audio Server (250GB of MP3s, able to output 4 independent streams as sources to the distributors)
- CEN-IPOD – iPod dock
So in the end what would that give me? I would have the ability to pipe any of the 5 sources (4 unique streams of MP3 and music from an iPod) to any specific zone, plus with the ability to hook up 11 additional sources, you could pick up the audio output of a computer for example and use it as another source.
So this is where it gets even more complicated. I want all TVs to be running digital signals (HDMI/HDCP) where possible. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like Crestron has any equipment to run HDMI signals. Another problem is the HDMI signals are going to be coming from the server room, so you start to run into a cable length issue. So… enter Gefen.
- EXT-HDMI-444 (2 of them) – 4×4 HDMI switch (4 sources switchable between 4 outputs. 2 of them should give 4 sources switchable between 8 outputs)
- EXT-HDMI-244 (2 of them) – 2×4 HDMI splitter (2 sources switchable between 4 outputs. Need this to split the 4 master sources to the 2 4×4 switchers.)
- EXT-HDMI-1000HD150B (3 of them) – 150′ HDMI fiber extender
- EXT-HDMI-1000HD100B (4 of them) – 100′ HDMI fiber extender
The lengths are just guesses, but that setup would let me run HDMI signals over fiber at full 1080p resolutions (1920×1080).
What would really simplify this would be if there was a 4×8 HDMI switcher available. But I couldn’t find a company that offers a HDMI switcher/matix except for Gefen. I didn’t even attempt to go digging for a dual link (Type B) HDMI switcher. hehe
At least this gives me something to start with when dealing with the home automation guys… now I don’t have to meet when them and just be like, “Duuuuhhhhhhh… I don’t know what I want/need.”
It also made me realize I want conduit running to every place a TV could be.