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Topic # 50490 25-Nov-2009 08:11
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I'm looking at building early next year. These are my proposed AV components;

Family area, 37" LCD mounted on wall. Two large floor standing speakers (for music only)

Lounge area, 50" LCD mounted on wall, seven in-wall surround speakers.

Study, A/V cupboard containing MySKy HDi, AV Receiver (Onkyo, 4 hdmi in, 1 out), PS3.

What I want to do is send Sky to both TV's, music to the large floor standing speakers and the PS3 to both TV's.

The problems I am thinking I might have are as follows:

1. I will have Sky feeding via hdmi into the amp which in turn will decode the signal including audio and send it on from there. The problem with having this setting is the 37" TV will only receive the picture and not the sound as the amp is decoding it. The 50" TV will be fine as I will have the 7.1 system in that room. Same problem with the PS3 although I know you can send the composite signal out as the same time as hdmi so in theory I could send the composite signal to the 37" TV providing picture and sound but it will look like crap.

2. If I want to watch Sky on the 50" TV and my kids want to watch a DVD on the 37" TV via the PS3 how will this work, or not work?

The only solution I am thinking of would be to run two seperate systems by purchasing another AV amp and using hdmi splitters from the sky box and PS3 to feed a signal to both amps??

Is there an easier way to achieve what I want to do?

I will also be running IR repeaters etc to operate the components.

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  Reply # 276075 25-Nov-2009 09:28
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Few things to start the discussion:
The onkyo has a setting to allow audio to be passed on to the tv as well as through the receivers speakers. There are problems with this though, in that from memory it then only outputs 2 channel sound via the receiver, not 5/7.1 etc.

There is a similar option on the PS3 ever since the latest firmware upgrade, in that you can send 5.1 out via hdmi, but also 2 channel analogue sound at the same time. The problem/limitation here is that it can't do 7.1 out of the hdmi any more.

Personally I'm not a fan of Zone 2 systems etc, and think it far easier to get a cheap 2nd amp/receiver for the other room in your case. Likewise a separate DVD player for that TV which doubles as a cd player for that amp etc. I'm thinking like $50-$100 Sony DVD player on special with hdmi out to tv, coax/opt out to amp etc.

Really the only other problem is how to distribute sky. You could get an hdmi splitter for this I guess, but I have no experience with the hdi sky box so I'll let others discuss this. Not sure if the hdi box does simultaneous hdmi/component/analogue audio output for instance?

You could do it all with repeaters, splitters, zone 2, crap rf or composite distribution, but you have kids, family and wife who want to use it, (no offence intended either), just that it gets just so silly complicated to do some stuff like that, which could all be totally avoided, often for less $, by getting dedicated separate systems.

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  Reply # 276084 25-Nov-2009 09:45
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I concur with Jaxson's idea. Often than not, the Zone A+B system are expensive and you gotta get it all set up really well and that's still doesn't come short of some limitation. Dedicated cheap AV system and just the necessary devices attached is often cheaper and less frustrating.

As for sending MySky HDi to two TVs, you might need an HDMI splitter that support retransmit without causing issue with HDCP.




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  Reply # 276104 25-Nov-2009 10:33
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Could you use an hdmi splitter straight after the sky box, so you're sending an hdmi stream to the receiver, and another to the other tv. Would need to be an expensive splitter, hdmi ver 1.3(a?) complian, and then possibly hdmi distribution amp if your cable run is over 10m or so and you experience issues on the far tv.

Someone here will know and have experience with the sky hdi box. Can it do component output, and importantly hd resolution on component output? Does it do surround sound on the hdmi output or do you connect to a receiver via optical/dig coax for 5.1?

If you're feeling really rich there's always that my sky multi room thing, which is $25 a month for a 2nd decoder. So that's like $300 extra a year.

Also, home theatre in a box or a small dedicated philips/sony etc micro dvd system for the kids room.  Gives dvd player/ cd player, radio and tv output etc from one box without another 2 remotes for av receiver and a dvd player in there.

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  Reply # 276111 25-Nov-2009 10:36
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2nd MySkyHDi probably is a good idea considering you'll have ability to record more, and watching different channels in different zones without interruption at all... that kinda worth $25/month.




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  Reply # 276136 25-Nov-2009 11:27
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2nd MySkyHDi decoder aint $25 a month - its $25 a month + $15 for Decoder upgrade. $25 a month is for a standard digital decoder..




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  Reply # 276155 25-Nov-2009 11:56
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gtxboyracer: 2nd MySkyHDi decoder aint $25 a month - its $25 a month + $15 for Decoder upgrade. $25 a month is for a standard digital decoder..
+$10 to actually see anything in HD.  Man I love sky, oh no wait....  but yeah, 2nd box does allow for more than one channel at a time.  In your case though, do you need the same tv channel running on two tvs in different rooms at the same time?

Interested to hear how others are distributing hdmi signals these days.  I'm interested to see if it's possible to split the hdmi outupt after the dvd/bluray/my sky hdi box etc and have 5.1 on a receiver in one room and 2 channel from a tv in another room, at the same time.

marmel:Lounge area, 50" LCD mounted on wall, seven in-wall surround speakers.

Off topic a bit, but where are you getting your in wall speakers from, and what type are you going for?


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  Reply # 276169 25-Nov-2009 12:44
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gtxboyracer: 2nd MySkyHDi decoder aint $25 a month - its $25 a month + $15 for Decoder upgrade. $25 a month is for a standard digital decoder..


You don't pay the $15 a month if you pay the $599 upfront for the second HDi and also there is no $10 charge for the HD ticket for either STB's when you get MySky HDi multiroom.

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  Reply # 276173 25-Nov-2009 13:05
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Jaxson:
Interested to hear how others are distributing hdmi signals these days.  I'm interested to see if it's possible to split the hdmi outupt after the dvd/bluray/my sky hdi box etc and have 5.1 on a receiver in one room and 2 channel from a tv in another room, at the same time.


We have two MySky HDi's, with the one in the lounge Plasma with sound via optical into a cheap Panasonic HT system, have now fed that via a splitter to the bedroom Plasma ( no receiver only using TV speakers ) via CAT6 and HDMI wall plates, controlled with a NextGen RF Extender. We can't run 5.1 ( lounge ) and two channel ( bedroom ) at the same time as I found out. I had to change the Sky audio options from Dolby back to PCM to get sound to the bedroom TV as I could only get picture only.

So the lounge receiver gets all channel stereo unless I change the options everytime in the Sky audio options, no biggie really as we use the Gamesroom where the other HDi box and serious equipment is for the Rugby/Movie/Gaming time.

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  Reply # 276187 25-Nov-2009 13:38
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Thanks Clevedon, appologies for my ignorance on the my sky hdi pricing plans.  As I mentioned earlier, I have no experience with this device.

Yeah you've touched on a big issue there with the sound formats, in that the hdmi device can only output one type of sound.  This is not a problem when used as you have, but those wanting 5/7.1 for use in one room via receiver, can't then use that same signal split to a standalone TV in another room.

I've seen this as mentioned above on my Onkyo receiver, whereby if you select to send the sound as well as video on to the tv, then everything gets reduced to 2 channel, even the sound output from the receiver.  More expensive receivers might get around this, but i'm not sure.  The other biggy was zone 2 only being from analogue inputs which can be a pain if your main source device is digital only.

All of this may not be an issue, but it's worth knowing about it before a build in my opinion.

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  Reply # 276205 25-Nov-2009 15:05
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clevedon:
gtxboyracer: 2nd MySkyHDi decoder aint $25 a month - its $25 a month + $15 for Decoder upgrade. $25 a month is for a standard digital decoder..


You don't pay the $15 a month if you pay the $599 upfront for the second HDi and also there is no $10 charge for the HD ticket for either STB's when you get MySky HDi multiroom.


This is true - i personally would rather pay an extra $15 a month instead of a one off cost of $599 per decoder. What would happen say, in a years time they update the MySky with a better box? are you stuck with having to payout again for a newer model with more features?




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  Reply # 276213 25-Nov-2009 15:20
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gtxboyracer: This is true - i personally would rather pay an extra $15 a month instead of a one off cost of $599 per decoder. What would happen say, in a years time they update the MySky with a better box? are you stuck with having to payout again for a newer model with more features?


Na, won't happen. We paid ( well American Express rewards points did ) $599 for the original MySky 1 around three years ago and when MySky HDi came out last year in August, they upgraded us to the new HDi for free. Just had the second HDi installed three months ago and did the same again ( thanks Amex ) no install fee, no HD ticket fee as well as the LNB upgrade to both HDi boxes, just the same multiroom charge as we used to pay, nothing more.

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  Reply # 276259 25-Nov-2009 17:15
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You could use a matrix switch. I had one in my system before buying a second HT Receiver. It didn't cut the mustard for 1080p in my setup, but it was a cheap and nasty brand. I did consider one like this from RapalloAV. A matrix does add a level of complexity to the system that my family couldn't get their head around.

In my setup at the moment I have my MySkyHDi into a 4way hdmi splitter that then goes to;
1. Onkyo Receiver then to 50" plasma,
2. Pioneer Receiver then to Projector,
3. direct to a 42" plasma.

The receivers are connected to the MySky's digital audio outputs because when the MySky handshakes via hdmi it sees the 42" inch TV as well and sets the audio on hdmi to stereo pcm (as you suggested in the original post).
Your proposed setup appears to be a little simpler because it doesn't have item 2. above, but then introduces a whole new level of complexity by wanting to do the same thing with the PS3. I don't know how well a PS3 takes to being put through a splitter (handshake issues, hdcp, etc). It may be cheaper to just get a second PS3, that way you can have multiplayer via LAN (I think???)Undecided.




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  Reply # 276272 25-Nov-2009 18:21
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Hi everyone, thanks for the advice.

I certainly think for cost and simplicity it sounds like having a seperate system for each room would be the way to go. I also like the idea of having a second PS3 for gaming!

The speakers I am thinking of getting are something like the ones at www.monoprice.com. They were mentioned on another thread here somewhere.

The audiophile snobs will no doubt not approve but for a reasonable home theatre setup I think they will be excellent. At the moment I have a in-wall centre speaker which I hashed together from two surround speakers, it has no proper cabinet or anything and it sounds fine so I am sure purpose built in-wall speakers will be the same.

The in-wall speakers for sale on RapoloAV also look alarmingly similar to the units on monoprice but they are 10X the price.

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  Reply # 276436 26-Nov-2009 10:22
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For inwall speakers I priced up the monoprice 8" rectangular kevlar ones. This was a personal thing because I don't think 6 1/2" speakers bridge the gap well enough, from high frequencies all the way down to where subwoofer takes over. Anyway, they came to a nice price of like $350 US including the centre speaker. This was for 3 pairs of 8" jobs, plus a centre speaker.

Shipping though added another $600 US and really pushed the limit of what customs NZ would let through without slapping added duty on again, (may or may not happen, but best to budget for it). All up it came to around NZ $1300 I think, with no added tax. It's still a lot cheaper than anything here, just nowhere near the bargain it initially seemed, and with no come back if they sounded like crp/were damaged etc. (I believe the receiver auto tuning can compensate for a lot of budget speakers though, so that's kinda a fallback cover.)

As an aside, you can make the guts very economically for better quality, but mounting them becomes a pain as you don't have the nice and easy gib board clips etc. Does anyone know of anywhere that can provide a rectangular wall speaker cover alone, so I could make my own internals, and still have them with the proper pro and paintable grill appearance?!

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  Reply # 276480 26-Nov-2009 11:44
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I liked the look of the 8" monoprice ones as well but there is quite a big gap in shipping cost between them and the 6.5s (probably because of a weight tier). I bought a pair of Klipsch 6.5s locally for surround at $200 but from the images the monoprice would seem to be much better

They won't compete with geniune floor standers but the will sound good for a lot of people so long as you have a reasonable sub. They'll beat the pants off HT in a box. I plan to install a full set when I move to a new house.

Their shipping price has come down a lot and the US is pretty weak so you can probably get a decent deal.

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