Home A/V for multiple locations [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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07-18-2004, 03:15 PM
I would like to have speakers in my family room (probably surround sound), living room (simple left/right stereo) and outside (two to four speakers). I have a nice 32" TV in the family room that I would use as a monitor. I have a vcr that I could as an input for cable TV. I also have a DVD/CD player. Is there a receiver that I can plug all this stuff into? I would need separate volume controls for all three locations. Ideally, I would like to have the option of watching TV in the family room and listening to CDs in the living room and/or outside. Obviously, if I am watching a DVD I will not be able to listen to CDs at the same time with just one DVD/CD input. At a bare minimum, I want to be able to listen to the same CD in all three locations at three different volume levels. What components am I going to need?

07-21-2004, 04:37 PM
I think that's pretty much what all of us would like. Unfortunately, there's no cheap or easy way to do it. I know of no receiver that can power surround sound speakers in one room, a pair of speakers in another room and a pair of speakers outside at separate volumes and with separate sources going to separate rooms, and I'd be shocked if one exists.

I see two basic paths you can follow. The first is to go to a high-class a/v store in your area and pay exorbitant consultant and installation fees. You'd be talking about separate keypads to control volume and source in each room and a stack of electronic components that would fill a closet.

Off the top of my head, the only way I can think of doing it on the cheap is to put separate receivers or integrated amplifiers in each of the three locations and to run the two satelite locations from the "tape out" output from your main receiver (or a similar output). This would allow you to change the volume in each room by using the receiver in the room, and it would allow you to run all three locations with the same CD player. The best way to play CD's in the living room and watch TV in the family room would probably be to spend $60 on a separate CD player for the living room.

A couple caveats are that you can only run RCA interconnects (the standard red and white plugs on the back of home a/v gear) 50 feet or so before the sound quality suffers noticably, so you might have to consider using three receivers with XLR (professional) inputs and outputs. This could easily become prohibitively expensive.

Another idea would be to use a 2.4Ghz wireless setup between receivers. You can find an a/v wireless transmitter/receiver set at Radio Shack for $100 or so. If you're lucky and there's not a lot of interference in your area, the sound quality might be just fine. I tried one of these wireless systems and was dissappointed in my location.

Anyhow, that might give you some food for thought.

Best of luck,

07-22-2004, 10:23 AM
There's a thread on this page right now called "multi-room setup options" that demonstrates that I dunno s#!t from shinola when it comes to this topic. Apparantely, there are very cheap ways to get this done!