Hard wired remotes...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DanWeyant, Jan 1, 2002.

  1. DanWeyant

    DanWeyant Auditioning

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    Hi,

    I am working on having plans drawn up for a house that my wife and I are going to build. We are going to put a media room in the new house, but I would also like to be able to put in wall/ceiling speakers in several other rooms in the house, and have one central closet that contains all of the electronics for the house, server, security, phone, etc.

    My question is, what options do I have for units that will allow me to change volume and other basic things from the various rooms in the house. I would prefer something hard wired, i.e. like a light switch form factor, that way I always now where it is, and don't have to worry about the remote wandering off.

    Thanks,

    -Dan
     
  2. Marc Rochkind

    Marc Rochkind Second Unit

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    If I understand the question, it is very easy to run cable (4 wire) to a room for two speakers but run the cable first to a wall box where you install a volume control. Get a good control (I think they are around $20 - $30) that maintains impedence, etc. Then run the wires from the box to the two speakers.
     
  3. DanWeyant

    DanWeyant Auditioning

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    Marc,
    Thanks for the reply. I would also like to be able to change channels on a radio, and change tracks/CD's on a CD changer. I know I have seen units that will let me do this sort of thing before, but I can't seem to find them now that I need them [​IMG].
    Thanks,
    Dan Weyant
     
  4. Chris Muellen

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    Dan -
    Let me begin by saying that I have been waiting for a question such as yours - a question where I can answer with authority - to be asked for quite some time. I have been reading the home theater forum for many months. I have always believed it important to contribute something to any online forum before I ask something of its members. Thank you for giving me that chance.
    There are several ways to handle your application. I think what you might have seen in the past are solutions from Russound (www.russound.com). They offer multi-zone/multi-source distribution centers that handle amplification of several zones and switch between several sources. These distribution centers easily integrate with Russound's own controllers that allow you to switch from CD to the football game your watching in the theater room with ease.
    The Russound system makes it easy to add surround speakers in rooms that might not typically get surround sound. You can easily integrate audio sources from any room with surround speakers by running RCA cables from your source to a wall plate in the same room. This is perfect for the master bedrooms but is probably unnecessary for the guest bathrooms.
    Here is a review of one of Russound's systems in Home Theater magazine entitled "Russound A-BUS A-BK1 Four-Zone Music-Distribution System" (http://www.hometheatermag.com/showarchives.cgi?92)
    You may wish to save a few bucks by choosing Kustom. I have no experience with Kustom but you can see the exterior similarities to Russound by checking out the FutureHomeSystems.com Web site that resells both (http://www.futurehomesystems.com/a100.shtml).
    There are other solutions. It is possible to use the X-10 family of products to get what you want. By chucking the totally elegant systems offered by Russound and Kustom, you can go for a supra-geek-cool system that can control your ceiling fans, room thermostat and even your drapes. You can save money by using several inexpensive receivers to power each zone. If a receiver can be controlled by remote control, it can be controlled by X-10. Check out the line at Smarthome's Web site at (www.smarthome.com).
    BTW, Smarthome is a great place to get supplies for a whole-house speaker distribution system. We got our Monster cable for the speaker home runs from them.
    You may not want to discount IR repeaters that can be had for a little more money. These rally help if or when you decide to step up to the next level in distributed sound. By ordering Russound's wall control plates with the IR repeaters, you can help protect yourself from future upgrade fevers.
    Final tips:
    * If you are working with a contractor, use their builder's discount to save you a bundle.
    * Consider speaker placement carefully. By taking your time, you can achieve a seamless sound as you walk from one end of the home to the other. Don't neglect hallways and bathrooms.
    * Inexpensive speaker distribution boxes can make your amplification go far.
    * Pick the best in-wall speakers you can find. The range of manufacturers making in-wall speakers surprised me. In-wall speakers are made by a range of manufacturers from the low-end Bic, mid-range Infinity to high-end Definitive Technology.
    * Don't be afraid to use your resources. One really great reason to choose a local AV reseller is because they can sit down with you and walk you though any possible fowl-ups. Smarthome has a tech support line staffed with surprisingly knowledgeable people. During my time here, I have found the HT Forum to be full of AV wizards that can solve many highly technical problems.
    Dan, don't forget to update us on your progress.
     

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