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eagleonthebeach
Aug 1, 2011, 08:07 AM
I want to create a sound system in my condo that utilizes existing, unused in-ceiling speakers, and I want to drive the system from an Apple Mac Pro as the audio source – e.g., iTunes, Pandora. I also want to locate as much of the electronics as possible in a central closet. Is there a mostly Apple solution?

Existing environment

• 7 Niles speakers split into 3 zones and wired back to a central closet.

• Wall plates throughout the unit with cat5 and coax wired back to the central closet.

• Cable modem and wireless router (Apple Time Capsule) are also located in the central closet.

• Mac Pro is located in the great room adjacent to the 41 inch Samsung LCD TV and a wall plate (cat5 and coax).

• Central closet is no more than 25 feet from all locations in the condo.

Audio Requirements

• Multi Zoned -- The system should be able to send music to one or more designated zones – e.g., music playing from speakers in great room and on porch at the same time but not into the bedroom.

• Single Audio Transmission -- The condo is small so there is no need for capability to play different songs in different zones simultaneously. For example, we would never be playing one song in the great room and a different song on the porch.

• Music and TV simultaneously -- If the TV can be hooked into the sound system, we will want the TV sound sent to speakers in great room only, and at the same time we should be able to have music playing in another zone – e.g., master bedroom. This requirement is a very low priority; should only be considered if easy and cheap to accomplish.

• iPad Control – In addition to managing the audio system using the Mac Pro, I want to be able to utilize an iPad as an alternate controller.

What am I seeking?

• I am looking for a “best approach” that is customized to my audio needs and home limitations. I am not looking for a robust home theater system.

• The solution may involve the use of more wireless components but must still utilize existing in ceiling speakers. In addition, suggestions such as installing more audio devices in each zone outside of the central closet would not seem to make any sense.



Papanate
Aug 1, 2011, 10:26 AM
Apple tv will do what you want. Plus it will add the ability to show your pictures on your tv - as a slide show or whatever.

You will need a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound receiver - that will allow you to zone your speakers.

Hook the Apple TV into the receiver - send your TV audio to the receiver ....the sync your computers to the Apple TV and you are done. A remote will allow you to switch speaker Zones - most 5.1s come with the remote.

In this scenario the Tv can be only in one zone which is a simple click on your 5.1.

eagleonthebeach
Aug 1, 2011, 11:25 AM
Thanks for the info. Do you have any recommendations for 5.1 surround-sound receiver?

I’m older and not very tech-savy, so please excuse me if I ask dumb questions. Can you give me some more details on your statement, “Hook the Apple TV into the receiver - send your TV audio to the receiver ....the sync your computers to the Apple TV and you are done. A remote will allow you to switch speaker Zones - most 5.1s come with the remote.”

When I read about Apple TV, I think I understood that Atv plugs into the TV and is recognized by the network. Is that correct? If so, how is Atv be hooked into the receiver? Do the Atv and receiver have adjacent to each other? Confused?

How exactly are the computers then sync with Apple TV?

ChrisA
Aug 1, 2011, 01:03 PM
There are many ways to do this. I think the following gives you everthing you ask for. I assume you only want the TV sound in the TV room but music in any zone.

Buy an Apple TV, and two "Airport Express" routers. Then buy three power amps. For this kind of setup I like the "Audio Source AMP-100" These amps cost about $100 each and you conect one to each zone. Then conect the Apple TV between the TV and one AMP100. This drives the zone in the TV room. Connect the audio out from the Airport Epresses to to the two other AMP100s.

The thwo Expresses and the ATV will show up as speaker options inside iTunes. You can select one of more of them right from inside Tunes. Apple remote will work.

Also if you have three macs or IOS devices each can reselt it's own zone and play at the same time.

The AMP100 units will switch themselves on/off when they detect input. If 50W is not enough then buy two AMP100 and run then in "bridged" mode for 150W output (and likely blow up your speakers)

All that said I dislike ceiling speakers for critical listening, they are never very good quality.

I want to create a sound system in my condo that utilizes existing, unused in-ceiling speakers, and I want to drive the system from an Apple Mac Pro as the audio source – e.g., iTunes, Pandora. I also want to locate as much of the electronics as possible in a central closet. Is there a mostly Apple solution?

Existing environment

• 7 Niles speakers split into 3 zones and wired back to a central closet.

• Wall plates throughout the unit with cat5 and coax wired back to the central closet.

• Cable modem and wireless router (Apple Time Capsule) are also located in the central closet.

• Mac Pro is located in the great room adjacent to the 41 inch Samsung LCD TV and a wall plate (cat5 and coax).

• Central closet is no more than 25 feet from all locations in the condo.

Audio Requirements

• Multi Zoned -- The system should be able to send music to one or more designated zones – e.g., music playing from speakers in great room and on porch at the same time but not into the bedroom.

• Single Audio Transmission -- The condo is small so there is no need for capability to play different songs in different zones simultaneously. For example, we would never be playing one song in the great room and a different song on the porch.

• Music and TV simultaneously -- If the TV can be hooked into the sound system, we will want the TV sound sent to speakers in great room only, and at the same time we should be able to have music playing in another zone – e.g., master bedroom. This requirement is a very low priority; should only be considered if easy and cheap to accomplish.

• iPad Control – In addition to managing the audio system using the Mac Pro, I want to be able to utilize an iPad as an alternate controller.

What am I seeking?

• I am looking for a “best approach” that is customized to my audio needs and home limitations. I am not looking for a robust home theater system.

• The solution may involve the use of more wireless components but must still utilize existing in ceiling speakers. In addition, suggestions such as installing more audio devices in each zone outside of the central closet would not seem to make any sense.

ChrisA
Aug 1, 2011, 01:08 PM
Apple tv will do what you want. Plus it will add the ability to show your pictures on your tv - as a slide show or whatever.

You will need a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound receiver - that will allow you to zone your speakers.

Hook the Apple TV into the receiver - send your TV audio to the receiver ....the sync your computers to the Apple TV and you are done. A remote will allow you to switch speaker Zones - most 5.1s come with the remote.

In this scenario the Tv can be only in one zone which is a simple click on your 5.1.

But the OP said he wants the option to play two different programs in two different zones. Say the TV soundtrack in one zone and music in some other zone. The surround sound receiver can't do that. That is why I suggested buying three stereo amps. He would then have six audio channels that could play three independent sound tracks. The down side is cost. the stereo amps cost $100 each

musio
Aug 1, 2011, 01:39 PM
I think this sounds that complex that you need to be talking to someone in a store for this setup as it might cost you some money. ChrisA has a good solution that i would have recommended too.

As for receivers, I have an onkyo one which is great. Some of them have internet connectivity and different zones built in. I'm playing things all thought the aTV which is the hub and it's perfect.

Papanate
Aug 1, 2011, 02:20 PM
But the OP said he wants the option to play two different programs in two different zones. The surround sound receiver can't do that.

Sure it can. You just turn off or turn down the zones you don't want.

And it is a lot simpler idea.

Papanate
Aug 1, 2011, 02:30 PM
Thanks for the info. Do you have any recommendations for 5.1 surround-sound receiver?

Just go to CostCo and buy the best one you can afford that also makes sense to you. I personally like Onkyo and Yamaha.

When I read about Apple TV, I think I understood that Atv plugs into the TV and is recognized by the network. Is that correct? If so, how is Atv be hooked into the receiver? Do the Atv and receiver have adjacent to each other? Confused?

Think of the Apple TV as like a VCR. It outputs audio and video. So you send
Audio to the 5.1 and video to the TV.

Apple TV syncs to your network - I am assuming you have a wireless
Setup...right? If so Apple TV becomes another device on the network...just like your computer. Then the Macbook and ATV talk to each other - and it streams your stuff in iTunes....pictures, audio etc...

Either way take a trip to the Apple Store (or just call them). They can explain to you how A-TV works with you MacBook. It is so simple you will laugh
At yourself for worrying about it!<g>

ChrisA
Aug 1, 2011, 07:07 PM
Sure it can. You just turn off or turn down the zones you don't want.

And it is a lot simpler idea.

Really? You can connect two CD players and a TV and play different music in each zone? How do you control it from the IOS device or from inside iTunes?

Maybe you can explain it. With the AV reciever hooked up and now I'm runnig iTunes on a macbook. How to I get my music to play in say "zone 2" Will there be a pull down in iTunes?

Papanate
Aug 1, 2011, 09:51 PM
Really? You can connect two CD players and a TV and play different music in each zone? How do you control it from the IOS device or from inside iTunes?

You can only have one source playing at a time...but you can turn off different zones so the media only plays in a given zone. If you want to be able to route inputs to any outputs that would require a physical or virtual patch bay ... And is well beyond the scope of this thread.

Maybe you can explain it. With the AV reciever hooked up and now I'm runnig iTunes on a macbook. How to I get my music to play in say "zone 2" Will there be a pull down in iTunes?

You control the zones via the speaker choices...you mute what you didn't want to hear. Just call Apple and ask them.

eagleonthebeach
Aug 11, 2011, 11:38 AM
I went to Apple Store and purchased Apple TV. I got help (instructions) on how to connect Apple TV to my HD TV using HDMI cable. Unfortunately they weren't much help connecting Apple TV to a receiver. I am about to go to Best Buy to look at (possibly buy) a 5.1. or 7.1 receiver but I have an unanswered question.

Question?
How will I connect Apple TV to the receiver? I have cat5 running from closet to great room. Will this work?

Keep in mind:
1. Receiver and speaker cable terminations will be in a closet
2. Computer, Apple TV and HDTV are in great room

Papanate
Aug 11, 2011, 07:50 PM
How will I connect Apple TV to the receiver? I have cat5 running from closet to great room. Will this work?

Keep in mind:
1. Receiver and speaker cable terminations will be in a closet
2. Computer, Apple TV and HDTV are in great room

You will have to run the audio out on the Apple TV to the input on your receiver. Depending on the length you may need a buffer amp to keep the signal strength consistent.