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Old 05-29-2006, 04:10 PM   #1
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I am currently in the process of redoing my house. I pulled the roof off and added a second floor along with gutting the first floor and opening it up. I have the rough frame done and it is all weather tight. My question is what would the best way to have surround sound in my family room and add a couple of speakers on the back porch and be able to play my mp3's from my computer through the whole system? I want to put all the wires in the walls and make it ready for upgrades at a latter date. Please suggest products to use and the best process for doing it.


Thanks for the help

Monty

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Old 06-23-2006, 04:04 PM   #2
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do a google search for 'wireless mp3 players' and such phrases. Windows media center allows wireless connectivity (not sure of hardware requirements).

I also recently saw a system that allows you to have a base unit (master) which acts as a broadcast platform, and then you add your slave units around the house as you see fit.

However, wireless stuff can be pricey. So probably best for a wired solution if price is a problem.

ahhh .. just re-read your post - to my mind, there isn't a way to do this in the 'wired' fashion. I was thinking along the lines of - you get whatevers playing inside on the surround setup, outside - if you know what i mean

Hope this helped ^^^

Any more info, please pm me or reply here.

Regards,

DoA

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Old 06-23-2006, 06:39 PM   #3
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I wired my living room for surround sound 4 years ago. Pay for good wire, at the time Monster wire gold was the best. I added some wireless speakers (Sony) that will sometimes get interference, so be careful about wireless. Your receiver should have a "a" and "b" channel so you can use the "b" for outside or for an area that will require you to turn it off.

Pay a lot of attention to the lay out of the room before you invest in the wire, Best Buy will help you with this (free in store info).

Note a "proper" theater/surround sound room is not a family room, you would have to arrange your couch and chairs in the middle.
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Old 08-02-2006, 12:48 PM   #4
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Monster wire is overpriced, IMO. I had our companies stuff tested and in many cases it tested better. Pretty much any large gauge speaker wire will suffice. Monster's will run you a minimum of $1/ft for 16ga or bigger. You can often find a knock off brand in 12ga for $.25/ft.


To answer the original posters question we'd have to know your budget. There's many ways to do it, but the quality and technology involved will depend on your budget. Most receivers off "a" and "b" speakers so you can have the surround sound on in the living room but not on the deck, or the other way around at the push of the button. Incorporating the mp3 player isn't much harder.
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Old 08-17-2006, 12:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fhivinylwindows
I wired my living room for surround sound 4 years ago. Pay for good wire, at the time Monster wire gold was the best. I added some wireless speakers (Sony) that will sometimes get interference, so be careful about wireless. Your receiver should have a "a" and "b" channel so you can use the "b" for outside or for an area that will require you to turn it off.

Pay a lot of attention to the lay out of the room before you invest in the wire, Best Buy will help you with this (free in store info).

Note a "proper" theater/surround sound room is not a family room, you would have to arrange your couch and chairs in the middle.
Don't buy the Monster wire, go to your local Lowes store and go to the wire section, you'll be amazed what they have. Get the thickest stuff that they have which i think is 12 Guage and you will never have any problems. I would also suggest buying the banana plugs for the speaker ends. Denon has some wonderful amps availiable and relatively cheap, Paradigm speakers are a great name brand with a good warranty.

Good luck,
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Old 08-17-2006, 07:07 PM   #6
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One of the nice things about monster wire is the durability and longevity of the sheathing. Cheap wire that has inferior sheathing will degrade and if your wires are run behind your walls you can have issues down the road. Yes monster wire is over-priced but unless someone can show me a product that will last as long or longer, I will continue to use it.

You can pay for quality once!
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Old 08-19-2006, 09:48 PM   #7
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While this doesn't directly address your question, I thought I'd just give this tip. Onkyo and other AV receivers will play two sources of music or video. Through the AV receiver, you could listen to an MP3 on your porch while other watch a DVD with surround sound in the living room.

Just F.Y.I.

John
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fhivinylwindows
Yes monster wire is over-priced but unless someone can show me a product that will last as long or longer, I will continue to use it.
How about some good SJOW(may be overkill for inside a wall). When I was doing live sound we used regular old 8, 4, or 2 conductor SJOW(type of extension cord) and that stuff will last you forever. I bet a month of the crap those cables went through would leave a monster cable looking pretty sad.

Monster cable is the biggest waste of money ever, there playing on the fact that most comsumers have no clue what there talking about. If a company can sell a $500 power bar or sell cable that costs $15 a foot you have to realize that there bull************ting you somehwhere.

Just my opionion, if you want speaker wire go to home depot but some 12/2 SJOW and you will set for life, especially if your running in walls.
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Old 09-01-2006, 05:43 PM   #9
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I've used both ends of the spectrum for speaker cables. Well not both ends because if you really want you can spend $5000 or more for some 6 foot speaker cables. I initially thought Monster was the best thing there was, then I had to re-arrange my home theater and didn't want to pay the price for the Monster stuff. At that point I just used 12 gauge wire from Home Depot. I had one of my friends hook up the wires without telling me which ones they were and I could not tell the difference, my version of a blind test. But after about 2 years the copper in the Home Depot cable had oxidized and turned all green and the sheathing is no longer as flexible as it was. This made it hard to hide the wires properly. After doing some research I bought wire from bluejeanscable.com, I use the Canare wires for the fronts which I added bannana plugs to and I am using the Belden wire for my surrounds. The Belden is very flexible and rated for inwall use. Both are much cheaper than any of the Monster stuff out there and in my experience the quality is much better. I think Monster is for cables what Bose is for stereo and home theater, they have made all their money on marketing and making people who don't know any better (myself at one time included) think that they are the best.
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Old 10-05-2006, 12:26 AM   #10
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Monster cables and equipment are seriously overpriced. Unfortunately they prey on uneducated consumers who shop at BB, CC, Frys etc. who have no idea there are equally or better products available at a fraction of the cost. For example, check out Axiom, Sonicwave or Blue Jeans for better quality at a lower cost. No affiliation...just a happy consumer.
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Old 10-27-2006, 08:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z4b4U View Post
Monster cables and equipment are seriously overpriced. Unfortunately they prey on uneducated consumers who shop at BB, CC, Frys etc. who have no idea there are equally or better products available at a fraction of the cost. For example, check out Axiom, Sonicwave or Blue Jeans for better quality at a lower cost. No affiliation...just a happy consumer.

so true, i cant tell you how many people I know that went out and paid hundreds of dollars for all there cables. haha i just laugh at them and ask if they have the receipt. a quick google will turn up some good results.

Last edited by newbhomeowner; 10-27-2006 at 08:23 PM. Reason: mispelling
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:52 AM   #12
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i cheated . i simply used http://www.optiplanhomestudies.co.uk/homecinemas.htm##
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Old 01-27-2007, 02:43 PM   #13
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I've got an 8 foot wide screen myself and just racks of amps (there's about 5k watts running to my couch to make it vibrate on the sub channel.) You want what I have as a head unit, the Onkyo, which has outputs for speakers in different zones, then you can use some RCA's from your mini-plug on your computer as an input to the Onkyo. There's other brands that do this too, but you'll be happy with the Onkyo.

If you can, run CAT-5 everywhere you have walls open. HD signal can only run about 50 feet over normal HD cable (DVI or HDMI) if you need to go over 50 feet with an HD signal, you need to convert the signal (Gefen makes a little magic box) to run over CAT-5, then have another little magic box on the other end of the CAT-5 to bring you back to DVI or HDMI.

As far as wires go, that's the biggest rip-off in the industry. I think the funny stuff is when they claim you need some high-end digital wire for sound or video quality to be better --- it's digital, it's either going to give you a perfect signal, or no signal at all. Just use your head when you're buying the wire, don't listen to the sales guy.
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Old 05-02-2007, 12:45 PM   #14
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Hey,

If you wanted to run a wireless connection from your computer to your reciever you are going to want to utilize a wifi router and a "network MP3 Player" or a "Wireless Media Adapter". The media adapter comes with software that you install on your PC (there are a few options for Mac - the Apple TV specifically). The software tells the box (media adapter) which sits in your component rack, all the available media that is stored on your PC / Mac. You can actually use these for audio or video.

Very cool.

The other guys here that mentioned using the "B" Channel on your reciever are right. You'll want to wire your porch for output "Front B". That way you'll be able to switch the porch on/off easily.

Hope this helps
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Old 05-04-2007, 12:33 PM   #15
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I used to do installs for "Installs, Inc" which is a best-buy company. Best-buy, CC, and Fry's all get kick-backs from monster to sell their stuff, which is another reason it is so expensive. You guys are right, there is NO difference in sound quality unless you are running a 50,000 watt pro system, which at the time I was doing installs, I was. I was a dj in a huge nightclub, 75,000 watt sound system lights, the whole shabang. Monster claims to use gold plating...you know what that does, absolutely nothing. just buy some 12ga speaker wire at lowes or home cheapo and save yourself a lot of money. The guys who buy monster stuff are just fools, or extremely uneducated

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