1. Ideally I would like to hook speakers up outside to this receiver (second zone) but I have no idea how this would work. The receiver will be in the basement right below the area where we have our deck. Can you explain or refer me to something on how this works? Is it possible to control the receiver from outside? Is such a setup expensive?
Of your choices, the NR525 offers Zone 2 and the Yamaha 575 offers "Zone B". Zone B is the same audio in both locations.
Zone 2 is separate audio source in the 2nd location. But the 525 requires the other zone to have "self-power". So, you could use a wireless speaker.
There are numerous ways to control the AVR outside. Your Apple and Droid phones, if your network extends to this area...will control whatever is on the network. Networking has been out for a decade now.
How expensive do you want this to be? It can be done under $100. Or you could spend thousands.
2. Do all the receivers I mentioned above connect to the internet wirelessly? We have a wireless modem but I could also connect a receiver with an ethernet cord if need be.
None of them are "wifi" out of the box. Some of them are USB wireless where you buy a dongle, proprietary or not is told to you in the manual of each. You could also buy, for any of them, a LAN wifi dongle. Netgear WNCE2001/3001 are the ones I use. Every manufacturer of a wireless router has made LAN dongles for a decade. I bought the WNCE because I have a WNDR4500.
3. How do receivers connect to android phones, ipads and ipods? We have an old HTIB that connects with a cord but I'm not sure if this is done wirelessly now?
Via the network. As in why I already said Ipod/Ipads and droids could be the remote control.
The "front USB" feature would allow you to bypass Apple's legendarily crappy DAC. Yamaha and Onkyo specifically mention this on all of their receivers that have Apple compatible USB. You can't miss this feature.
4. If I understand correctly, all devices besides the TV and speakers would be inputs, correct?
Correct, the AVR is the brain of the operation. The only AVR you can connect the Wii to and have its video ride along to the TV over the HDMI is the NR525. Every other AVR you would just connect the Wii to TV, then connect the TV audio out to the AVR and treat the TV as "just another input".
5. What does "Do you want height or wide eventually? (look for DPL IIz or Aud DSX)" mean?
You can forget height/width. None of these AVR offer it. I thought the 525 did(oops on my part) cause last years 515 did.
6. I think you are correct about the 10565 being the Take Classic but I can't find confirmation. There really isn't much info online yet (they aren't being released to the 10th of September and there are no reviews yet. I contacted Monoprice but they basically said they can't compare different systems. They did say that the subwoofer has a peak 200W.
The prior MP 5.1 speaker set was nothing more than the E:TC. I think MP and Energy were "sorta embarrassed" that people figured it out. I bet they've done something cosmetic to try and cover that up.
7. Would it be best to mount the Monoprice speakers to the walls with brackets?
Don't know yet. I think the E:TC has a keyhole in the back(probably been 2 years since I've looked at the speaker set, other than what it was selling for) to just put a nail in the wall and hang it like a picture. If it has that, just do that.
Otherwise, pick a bracket that holds them however you wish.
Thanks in advance!