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8 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 105703 8-Jul-2012 20:38 Send private message

Hi all,  a total newbie here!  We are building a new house and are finally getting near the point of buying new television ect, on advice when we ran wiring we ran 2 power cables and 2 Cat 5 cables to each tv point.
  Perhaps I should explain that in the lounge we'd like to have a flat screen tv on the wall and all other hardware in the hall cupboard, not worried at this stage about surround sound ect, but would like to have music playing in another room. I was recently told that all we need is an AV receiver, run an HDMI cable from tv to receiver and connect everything else, blu-ray, freeview ect to receiver, with a zone 2 for kitchen.
  Could someone please clarify that for me? and advice on which Amp ect would be great, bearing in mind we're on a budget.  Hope this all makes some sense!

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 652637 8-Jul-2012 21:00 Send private message

Can you clarify that you've run speaker cables?
If so, how many? And where to?

Actually, flag that...
There will be sooooo many options sound / ease of use / product options / brands / approaches...
Take your house plan into a specialist and ask the questions. Being able to talk through the options over a house plan will help A LOT. I've seen quite a few people get this wrong, and when you get it wrong, well, it's annoying, expensive and just plain unnecessary.
It doesn't need to cost the earth, but it does have to work... so yeah, time to talk to someone who has not only done it before, but done it many different ways.



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Wannabe Geek


Reply # 652638 8-Jul-2012 21:13 Send private message

Hi,  we've ran Cat5 all over the place, that can be used for speakers, right?  I did initially go to an Audio firm to look into them doing it all for us and their quote was $13,000 !Embarassed

  As I say, we're not after anything complicated, to those in the know!  

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  Reply # 652746 9-Jul-2012 09:08 Send private message

Yes you can use CAT5 as speaker wire, but given your question I wouldn't. CAT5 is for DIY'ers who are prepared to do the math on their amp, their speakers and distances. Its not as simple as it might sound.

In a previous house build I ran CAT5 everywhere - that’s because wireless hadn't taken off. In my last build I didn't - so much of my stuff will now run wireless (TV, blu ray and Tivo's)..

Dunnersfella has given good advice – and without seeing a plan its a bit hard to advise. Even advising on an Audio Visual Receiver is hard - without an idea of your budget. But here is a very rough guide which will need a fair bit of tweaking.


Figure out which cupboard you are going to put your gear in. You need to run power supply cables, aerial cables (Sky, freeview etc),  some cat 5 for Ethernet and phone and some kind of Remote Extender cabling (cat 5?) so you can use your remotes in the lounge and send a signal back to the cupboard.

Buy standard speaker wire (Dick Smith or Jaycar wire will probably be fine for you) and run five lengths from the cupboard to where you will want five speakers in the lounge. I know you aren’t that interested in surround sound but don’t be short sighted – run the cable now so it is ready for the inevitable time when you (or the next house owner) wants it. In the front this will be a left speaker, a right and a centre speaker. Somewhere at the back/rear side you’ll want a cable for the left and a cable for the right speakers. Run the cabel doww to teh skirtings - this will give you choise on wher to put yoru speakers later. This will be Zone A. Also run some subwoofer cable to wherever you might end up putting a sub. That’s your speakers kinda sorted.

Now run an HDMI cable from where you will have your TV back to your cupboard. Some say HDMI starts to fail after 10 meters. I’ve just run a 15m length and can run Bluray 3d over it You can now get  installers to run any length of HDMI and they will terminate (put plugs on) each end for you. You might want to run an aerial wire down to the TV as well (don’t forget the power cable). While I’m at it I might run two HDMI’s to the TV – one as a back up should one fail or use it from a second HDMI source. Either way I’d drill large holes and run a draw wire down them so you can use them to pull cables at a later date.

Some where you will want a remote extender. I use a Niles which sits in a centre speaker and that runs through cat5 back to the cupboard.

Now run two more sets of speaker cable from your cupboard to the kitchen. Or perhaps just leave a decent length coil sitting in the roof for a later date.

Somewhere you might want to run a aerial for your radio – usually the wire that comes with the amp will do the job – depends on your reception area.

As per usual with these types of forums, let us know your budget and we’ll happily spend it for you. If you have $1,000 or $13,000 there is probably a solution.

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  Reply # 652757 9-Jul-2012 09:43 Send private message

I'm increasingly of the opinion, for non techie types especially, that the kitchen should have it's own radio...

For me it's all about ensuring the operator finds it easy use and enjoys it so much they want to use it.  I've found the Zone 2 component of many (especially budget implementations) receivers has been lacking, or appears to be an after thought.  Things like limited control options, no ability to mic equalise like you can with the main speakers, limited bass/treble correction options, hard to assign operation and sources with a universal remote etc etc.  Not saying Zone 2 can't be done, just I don't think a lot of people would enjoy it as much as a nice simple, arty looking mini system.  I'm talking kitchen, possibly bedrooms here etc.

This sort of thing, much cheaper and easier to implement.
http://www.noelleeming.co.nz/shop/audio-mp3/home-audio/micro-stereo-systems/panasonic-sc-pm500gn-k-cd-micro-system/prod111758.html

I know this is not as modern, but I've seen a few people lately implementing full 'bose' based solutions and for the money I know I could do better in a non 'networked' or package based way.  The money saved could buy everyone an ipad and an ipod and some micro systems and freeview recorders and TV's in bedrooms.  Tie them altogether with harmony remotes so they appear to work as one and use something like spotify to stream music rather than buy it all and house it centrally.

Big Monday rant for you, but adding to what the others have said, CLEARLY identify what exactly you want from this first.  Don't go looking for a problem having found a solution first.

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  Reply # 653146 9-Jul-2012 20:07 Send private message

kate113: Hi,  we've ran Cat5 all over the place, that can be used for speakers, right?  I did initially go to an Audio firm to look into them doing it all for us and their quote was $13,000 !Embarassed

  As I say, we're not after anything complicated, to those in the know!  


13k is off the money...

7.2 receiver $1500
iPad to control is all $900
In-ceiling speakers for lounge (x2) $600
In-ceiling speakers for kitchen (x2) $450
Subwoofer for lounge $600
BluRay player $150
Baluns / Cat5 cable / speaker cable / labour... $1000

$5200 worse case scenario.
And I'm not talking 'searching Treadme for the budget rubbish of dubious quality, I'm talking about quality gear with an easy to use interface and decent sound.



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 653192 9-Jul-2012 21:41 Send private message

Arggh, I can't even manage this! I wrote a big reply and then lost it somehow!

Thanks for the replies and advice, Jaxson, actually you are quite right, I already have a squeezebox boom in the kitchen of the old house and listen to internet music and there's no reason not to continue doing that!

Also future proofing is a good idea I know, the house is already at the finishing stages and we have ran the wiring that was recommended but have also got conduit so hopefully will be easy to run more if neccesary.

Priorities are Tv for lounge, 42 in plus, capable of youtube skype ect, AV receiver, Blu-ray player, Freeview box, could we get away with that as a bare minimum? Speakers, subwoofers ect can come later. Budget around the $3k mark, less if poss.

So.. its really just the basics at the moment.

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  Reply # 653234 9-Jul-2012 22:22 Send private message

TH-P42ST50z Panasonic plasma -
Or a TH-P42VT30z Panasonic plasma (on clearance).

2 zone receiver (preferably something to help future proof your setup... are you going to ever run speakers to a BBQ area?) - choose your brand / model carefully. Sonic performance and ease of use are key.

If you want a 3D BluRay player, all the big players make a good one.
If you're after an 'okay' 2D BluRay player, avoid the new Samsung as it has no analogue outputs, meaning it won't send music to a second zone... whereas the likes of Panasonic's DMP-BD77GN will.

Oh yeah, I'd always invest more money into a receiver than a plasma...
They will only drop in price, receivers stay fairly static.

*Edit to add another TV option*

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  Reply # 653310 10-Jul-2012 08:55 Send private message

I like Samsung LED or LCD TVs, 55" is a nice size for a decent size house, but I kinda want to go to 65 or 75" for my slightly larger than average lounge.

Don't buy an Onkyo amp, they get real hot and your av cupboard would need lots of cooling. Their new ones are meant to be better, but why chance it?




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8 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 653327 10-Jul-2012 09:24 Send private message


Thanks Dunnersfella, yes I was thinking after, well you still go for a zone 2 because there is always the deck or even the bathroom! I'd already been considering the Panasonic tvs as I read somewhere they were the most reliable? and when in Noel Leeming the guy said it might be best to get the same brand Blu-ray player as you can then use the tv remote?

Timmay, yep the heat in the cupboard will definately be something to consider, even though it is a biggish hall cupboard.

Really need to get into one of the big stores and have a look at everything I suppose, we're West Otago Dunnersfella, close enough for you to come and set it up for us! lol

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  Reply # 653328 10-Jul-2012 09:27 Send private message

My Onkyo could fry an egg! You will probably need ventilation in that cupboard, perhaps a thermostat controlled exhaust fan going into the ceiling, but you can always retrofit it if required. It's easier to do before everything's finished though.




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  Reply # 653790 10-Jul-2012 22:31 Send private message

timmmay: My Onkyo could fry an egg!

 +1! Mine too

Remote wise I use a cheap Logitech brand harmony remote to control everything, so my actual device remotes never come out of their wrappers.

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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 655750 14-Jul-2012 23:53 Send private message

Check out the new in command receivers from Denon - http://usa.denon.com/US/Product/Pages/ProductLanding.aspx?PCatId=AVSolutions%28DenonNA%29&catalog=DenonNA_US&CatId=2011IncommandReceivers%28DenonNA%29

They allow you to play any source on up to 3 different zones.  Even better you can use your iPad / iphone as the remote control and play your itunes connection to any zone.

As an example, set up some speakers in your outdoor area and connect them to one of the zones on the Denon.  You can then sit outside and play your itunes collection on your phone to your outdoor speakers and control the volume using the Denon iPhone app.  Very cool.  At the same time someone else could be watching a movie in your main room.

I would also suggest that you make sure any new TV you buy supports DLNA.  No need for Blueray players anymore.  Talk so someone with a bit of experience in this area and they can convert all your old DVD / Blueray movies to files that can be set up on a media server.  You can then watch or listen to anything you like from any TV.   If you want to watch a new movie go out and get yourself an Apple TV.  video stores, DVD's, and Blueray disks are also old school ;)








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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 655829 15-Jul-2012 09:15 Send private message

 Thanks for that, I got quite excited looking at the prices but then realised it was US$ !  Where would you recommend buying one of these from?

8 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 655844 15-Jul-2012 09:51 Send private message

http://www.audioproducts.co.nz/NearestDealer.aspx?brandid=4

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