What is Whole House Audio/Video?
Elements from the 3 methods described previously can be combined to customize the system for your requirements (eg. use a high power surround sound receiver for your home theater zone 1, add the NUVO 6-Source/6-Zone System system for the other listening areas).
The key to a successful whole house A/V system is making it possible to control the centralized equipment from each remote listening location. Without this you will have to run back to the equipment closet everytime you want to adjust the volume or change source. With the systems below, you can use remotes in each listening location to transmit commands back to the A/V equipment, just as if you were standing in front of the A/V equipment. There are several ways that this can be done:
Wireless RF - For Single Zone Systems
The easiest and lowest cost solution is to use wireless RF control systems. This can be done using the 8210 Powermid or 8220A IR Remote Extender. These devices convert IR signals to RF that transmit through walls back to your equipment. These devices can typically only be used for single zone systems.
Coax Video Signal Transmission
If the coax video transmission system to your TVs is laid out in the same pattern as your A/V zoning, you can use this same cable to transmit IR commands back to your system. You must have a coax cable system that is home run back to the A/V equipment location to do this. See 8195 IR Signal Coax Splitter/Injector, 8197 Xtralink 2, and 7717 Multiroom Video Distribution System. This method provides zoning capability and has better signal reliability than the RF method.
Hardwired Signal Transmission
This is the preferred method for new construction and retrofitting if it is possible to easily run Cable from each zone back to your equipment. Hardwired IR signal transmission provides the greatest system design flexibility and the greatest signal transmission reliability.
X10 and Home Automation Control
Computers, X10 Tabletop, Wallmount and Wireless RF transmitters can also be used to control A/V equipment. For more sophisticated control that can include macros, use an intelligent home automation controller. See 1132CUP PowerLinc Controller, 1350 HomeVision, or 1240 JDS TimeCommander/Stargate + 1232 IR Xpander for some of the home automation controllers and software that support IR A/V control.
The use of an intelligent home automation controller opens up many amazing possibilities. One touch can turn on a complex array of A/V equipment. You can simplify control of your equipment so that every member of your family can easily choose the music or video source they want without juggling a handful of remotes. Or, how about having music follow you around your home (as in Bill Gates home). Motion detectors can be used to automatically turn on music in different zones.