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Okay...really confused...trying whole house audio.

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    Okay...really confused...trying whole house audio.

    I'm in the process of building a new house, and am trying to do whole-house audio on the cheap. At this point, I'm most concerned about getting the wiring in place, and less concerned about buying equipment and making things work. My biggest fear is to close up all the walls and realize I forgot some wiring that I need.

    In addition to playing music througout the house, my major requirements are the ability to announce callers and security alerts from my ELK (will do both through HomeSeer). I'd like to have two different audio sources...the homeseer computer to play announcements and my MP3 collection and a stereo tuner to play the radio (I only need one station).

    My current thought is to use the AB8SS and later upgrade to the ESS line when available.

    What I'm thinking is putting an IR Receiver in every room that will have speakers. I'll then get some universal remotes to control on/off, the source, and eventually volume (when the ESS is ready). I'd also need IR out to my main TV room and to the basement (where the tuner is).

    I'm getting pretty confused at this point as to how the IR reception works. If I put an IR receiver in every room that has speakers, what would these IR receivers connect to? I'm guessing the best bet would be an Ocelot, but looking at the Ocelot, I can't figure out how to get all of the single IR signal cables into the Ocelot.

    So, am I crazy? Am I making this way more complicated than it needs to be? I was trying to avoid individual volume controls in each room, but maybe I should be looking to do that instead?

    I was trying to avoid individual volume controllers in each room in anticipation of the ESS. That way, if a phone call came in, or there was a security announcement, I could use HomeSeer to set the volume rather than worrying about what level each individual volume controller was set at. That being said, is anybody taking the output from the AB8SS and feeding them through separate volume controllers?

    I'm pretty much brand new to this stuff, so please be as descriptive as possible.


    Well for me I chose to put all the receivers in a central location (which happened to be where my HS PC is. Then you only have to run speaker wire to each room. All the IR is done locally and the wife doesn't have to see all the equipment. If you want true multi-zone whole house audio (where you can play a different music track in each zone at the same time) then I suggest you look at this thread. Its done about as cheap as you can and works great.



      Thanks for the response John, your post gave me a couple of things to think about. I'm still working on the final solution, but I think I'm pretty close. I need to get the AB8SS and play with the plugin to make sure that everything that I want to do is possible.

      I have slightly different goals than you did, so what I have decided to do is as follows:

      Put volume controls and IR receivers in each room where I want to have a zone.

      The IR receivers will go back to a Xantech CB18 Connecting Block. From the connecting block, the IR will be consolidated onto one wire and go to a Xantech 789-44 Connecting Block.

      The IR signals will control two separate receivers and a USB-UIRT hooked to the HomeSeer. One receiver will be hooked to the Homeseer computer to handleHomeseer voice outputs. The other will be tuned to a radio station (I really only listen to one station). The second receiver will also handle MP3 playback from a computer.

      The speaker output from both receivers will go into the AB8SS.

      Normally, all of the outputs on the AB8SS will be switched to the HomeSeer ouput and HomeSeer will have the speakers turned off. If there is a HomeSeer Announcement, HomeSeer will turn all of the speakers on, make the announcement, then turn them off.

      If I want to play music in a certain zone, I will hit a button on the remote which will send a signal to HomeSeer through the USB-UIRT and tell it to turn on the speakers in whatever zone that I am in and choose the other receiver.


        Thanks for the response John, your post gave me a couple of things to think about.

        I just spend 20 minutes writing it up, but somehow deleted my text before posting it. I'll try to post my tentative solution later.


          Hi Scott,

          Sounds like you've already given this a lot of thought and I don't want to derail you, but take a look at the Russound CAV6.6 system if you haven't already.

          I know that one of your first goals is to keep this project inexpensive and the best prices you can find on a CAV6.6 is around $2200 from an unauthorized reseller (no warranty).

          I bring this up because the CAV does everything you are asking and more, and is basically plug & play. You don't mention how many zones (rooms) you are planning, but I think by the time you add up all the IR stuff, volume controls, amps, universal remotes, etc. you may be spending more money than you realize and end up with a system that's not as capable, reliable, or easy to use.

          I mention this, because I have a home brewed a whole-house audio system and ended up spending more over time for a less capable/desirable system and will soon be tearing it all out to put in the CAV6.6.

          May still be outside what you want to spend on this, but you seem like a guy who enjoys knowing all his options. Also, if you have other things you prefer to focus your time on, the turn-key solution provided by the CAV6.6 may be worth the extra $$$?


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