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Re: new home wiring questions

> okay for the requirement whole house audio.  My wife only wants 1 zone.
>  I have asked her a lot on this and she doesn't want more zones.

Wire it up as if there were more zones.  Add a zone controller later.  We've
got a Russound CAV6.6 and find we make use of 4 zones on a daily basis.
There's a Tivo on a zone and it's handy to use that to listen to the TV one
room away from a screen.  There's an FM tuner than sees regular use in the
bathroom for morning shower time and the kitchen during dinner prep.  Two
MP3 streams see use, mine down in the office and work area and hers up in
the living/dining rooms during dinner.  We don't actually use the DVD or CD
changer zones all that often.  The DVD, never actually as the theatre room
has it's own speaker setup and the bedroom TV has it's own player built-in.
Movies get watched off the Tivo otherwise.

It really does work well to be able to toggle through multiple sources.   I
can listen to what I want, at levels that work for me, without interferring
with any other listening.  Oh, and we can kick it into whole house mode for
parties.  Works great.

Just pull a CAT5 line to the wall control panel location.  Also pull a 14ga
4-conductor line to that same box.  Inside the box you then split it out to
two 2-conductor wires for the left/right speakers.  This way you're "future
proof" for ANY sort of system.

As for wattage, you need a lot less than you think.  Some systems have amps
built into the keypad.  They're only 20-35 watts.  You'd think that wouldn't
be enough but in an average sized room it works really well.  Since you can
crank the WHOLE HOUSE there's not a lot of need to have any single room be
all THAT LOUD.  And for the bigger rooms most systems have ways to use
supplemental amps.  I've got one doing that for the outside deck rock and
flower pot speakers.

> I plan on having a media/computer rack in a storage room on the first
> floor to be a control point for all my audio and ethernet needs.  Do I
> need special power run to this rack or just a few power strips plugged
> into the wall outlet?

Run a circuit just for it.  Use real rack mouting and don't use power
strips.  You want stuff to stay plugged in and not be a rats nest.

> Okay, this may be a mistake but right now I am not running coax

Yes, that's a mistake.  Coax will remain a very viable way to move signals
around for quite a while to come.  I'd put at least one into any place
you're expecting a TV to ever be situated.  Two if you ever want to use
satellite TV services.

> anywhere except from the outside box to the media/computer rack.  I
> don't see the need since I really really like the streaming video idea.

Streaming video often looks like crap and needlessly complicates the setup.
Use a video-out card from a PC and just pump it out as regular video.  That
way any plain old TV can handle the signal without anything fancy being
attached to it.  The media extenders still seem a ways off in terms of

> (I used to use mythTV server and client and really liked the results).

Eh, I don't like the maintenance aspects of using a PC as a stream client.
There's just too many things to maintain (fans, drives, etc).  I've found
central output and RF remotes controlling it works quite well instead.

> If no coax seems grossly a mistake let me know.

The walls are open and the wire's cheap.  Yes, it's a mistake to not install

-Bill Kearney

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