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Whole-house audio and Homeseer - Help spend my money

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    Whole-house audio and Homeseer - Help spend my money

    I would like to get a whole-house audio system that works well with Homeseer.

    Here are some of my important criteria:

    -Must be IP-based - I am generally doing everything over wired and wireless networking
    -Must work well with Homeseer - IP-based will help this
    -Must support multiple zones
    -I would like it to be two-way. I hope to one-day get around to speech recognition, and I would like the audio system to allow the individual rooms to have mics which I can route back to the computer for voice recognition
    -Must be able to play music reasonably well, although audiophile quality isn't a must
    -Remotes aren't a problem - I have a few Pocket PCs I use for remotes over 802.11b back to the main server. They can control it. Great remotes are a plus
    -Cost is not a major factor
    -I have a single Cat 5 to each room, running 100M, Ethernet
    -I also have 802.11g
    -I want to be able to do voice announcements over the system. Caller ID, etc.

    So far, I have considered:

    -Barix Annuncicom - looks interesting, but a little clunky. Anyone used them?
    -SqueezeBox - Not two-way. Paging would be hard
    -Sonos - Looks very cool, but again, not two-way
    -Maybe just put a small, fanless PC in every room? Hard to syncronize the audio

    Any and all thoughts welcome.

    is that all that you ran to each room ... cat5?


      The reason not too many have replied to your thread is you have given requirements that normally aren't listed when it comes to whole house audio. Whole house audio is normally distributed via speaker cable not ip based. You may also want to split out the speech/voice questions vs the voice recognition questions. These are rarely covered in the same vein either.
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        OK, that is what I kind of figured. There may be no good way to do this, although putting a PC at each location probably comes the closest. This does seem like overkill though.

        What if I give up on the two-way & speech recognition part?

        Looks like the squeezeboxes might be a good option, however, using them for voice announcements might prove tricky.

        Any thoughts on this?


          Whole House Audio

          To do everything you want to do, you would almost HAVE to have a PC in every room.

          Initially, I set up my house with an old Stereo Receiver in every room. All were connected via Tape2 IN to my PC with some REALLY LONG RCA cables. Appliance Modules controlled each amp. The sound was AWESOME, each room had volume control and each could also have alternative channels (AM/FM/Tape/CD) should they choose.

          Next I ran the PC output though an Amp and IR controllable Cassette tape player in my wiring closet. Using those IR pyramids, I could control the volume that went out to all the other amps.

          It all got pretty complicated and I found I RARELY ever had different audio programming in different rooms/parts of the house. SO, I scrapped it all and got an AB8SS. I have one old Vintage 1978 200W amp running 8 sets of speakers and all are controlled through the AB8SS. Speaker switching is QUICK and controllable with either X10 or IR. WinAmp and TV-Audio goes to one Sound Card and VR goes to another. The AB8SS allows for quick switching between the two. Motion detectors allow for "sound" to follow people throughout the house. ...and it was SO much easier to set up and control.....

          I found that reality was different than what I THOUGHT I wanted in a home audio system. I'm not saying you don't know what you want. ...just thinking about you spending for more than you will actually use.....




            How do you handle different volume levels in different rooms ?



              my version

              My house is a little different than most with a great room construction where almost all of our time is spent. Therefore it has its own audio feeds from two music sources, although all of the music played is the samet hrough three sets of speakers in the great room (about 2200 square feet) The in wall conrollers control the music. The sources are an Audiotron playing from the Homeseer system where ripped CD's are stored (not using homeseer) and an XR radio sat system for just background by genre. I use the sat system a lot, My girlfriend uses the audiotron becuase she wants more control over what she palys.

              Every other room (and the great room itself, but not the theater has a single in ceiling speaker under homeseer control. This is used by homeseer for messages. Each speaker has its own amp (10 watt ELK), and its speaker connected through a Homeseer contolled relay. Not stereo, just mono. the house chimes, doorbell, greetings, CID, etc play through these speakers. there is no reason I could not add background music through them also, just have not bothered to.


                I have a 5 zone whole house audio system that I designed. It has worked out very well for us. I used inexspensive 2 channel receivers centrally located for four auxiliary zones and the a Sony ES system is the main system used in the home theatre center. Using J River's Media Center along with Netremote and Homeseer each zone can play a different CD as well as from its own idependent tuner. The setup was relatively inexspensive to do. Each zone has its own power, mute, volume, bass and treble controls most of which can be controlled from each zone. The only thing that was physically located in each zone was the actual speakers. I control all the zones through my Now Playing interface as show below. This runs on Fujitsu 3400's, PC's, Laptop and PocketPC.

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