May 03, 2010 by Arlen Schweiger
Because the speakers are all stereo pairs, the Yamaha unit is a stereo receiver, as opposed to a more robust but costlier surround-sound processor. Niles volume controls in each spot also make adjusting music levels a snap.
The multiroom video installation was just as simple, save for some trial-and-error on the Blu-ray distribution (see sidebar). From the Audio Authority piece in the rack, two Category 5 (Cat 5) Ethernet cables carry component video and audio signals to each TV (AVC even added extra Cat 5 and coaxial cable for future use). The well-labeled MX-900 remote in each room makes switching between sources easy. And unlike a fancy touchscreen, as Merz notes, if the handheld remote drops on the tiles and breaks, it doesn’t break the bank to replace.
Blu-ray on the Cheap, on the Fly
One A/V component that did not get rack-mounted in the basement is a Samsung Blu-ray player. The high-def disc player sits near the 46-inch Samsung TV in the living room armoire, where it can still be concealed.
Just because it’s not in the equipment rack doesn’t mean discs are limited to playback on the living room TV, though. Audio Video Concepts managed to route the Blu-ray content to other sets in the house, as distributed video was a big request of the homeowners. Getting the system right, however, took a few practice swings, according to Merz.
“We located the Blu-ray player in the living room so we could hook it up via HDMI for 1080p video resolution, but we also distributed it with Niles baluns and sent the audio down to the Audio Authority [matrix switcher] via component cable and that’s available around the house,” Merz says. The only issue? Other TVs receive the distributed video via Cat 5 cable that carries component video, so resolution is maxed at 1080i—still HD, just not optimized to the Blu-ray or TV resolution.
Finding the right disc player was challenging enough, says Merz, as others dropped the component video when they were hooked up locally for 1080p before AVC found the sub-$300 Samsung 3600 that could do the job.
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.
Audio Video Concepts
3,700 sq. ft.
Whole House Audio
11 Niles VCS-100
2 Niles WVC-100
10 pr Niles CM-610
1 pr Niles CM-710
1 Niles CM-710 SI
1 pr Rockustics Rocky III
1625 ft Proconnect 16-4
The connected audio sources include 2 HD Satellite receivers, a Samsung Bluray player, the integrated AM/FM tuner, an Apple TV, and the Mac in the kitchen
Audio Authority AVX-562
Audio Authority IR Injector
10 Audio Authority HD Wallplates
2 Niles Component Baluns
2 Niles Audio Baluns
LG 47” LCD Outside 47LG50
UT Pro 310 mount
Samsung 46” LCD in the Great Room 46A860
LG 37” LCD in the Master Bed 37LG30
LG 19” LCD in the Master Bath 19LG30
UF Pro 100 mount
LG 42” LCD in the Gym 42LG30
UA Pro 200 mount
5 MX-900 Universal Remotes
2 MRF-350 Universal Remote Base Station
Existing 46” Rear projection in Playroom
Monster HTS 1800
OmniMount 30 space A/V Rack
2 Direct TV HR21
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