Distributed Audio in 2015

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Rufuss Sewell, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. Rufuss Sewell, Jul 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015

    Rufuss Sewell macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #1
    So, last year we bought a house with a massive ReQuest IQ distributed audio system installed. It's something like 12 rooms with an amp and speaker system for each room.

    Up until iOS 8.4 the iPhone app worked great and I was able to plug an iPod into the dock in the kitchen and control the various volumes around the house with the app.

    Now with 8.4 the app is frozen and customer service says they no longer support my hardware and I need to buy new hardware... not going to happen and these planned obsolescence companies will never see another cent from me.

    Plus I'm sure there are better, more iPhone friendly solutions out there.

    Presumably the speakers and amps will work with anything. I just need a new brain.

    Or perhaps a hack to keep my current system alive.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. HobeSoundDarryl, Jul 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #2
    I would stand by for a while. 8.4 is very new. Software update is probably coming. Sometimes customer service knows next to nothing about future plans/updates and commissioned sales/service will lie to try to drive new sales today (not saying that's the case here). And iOS is too mainstream popular to be ignored by a company like that (wanting to sell others what is probably the very same system).

    Else...

    Call Request back and climb the customer service ladder (supervisor, manager, higher). Sometimes a good company will go the extra mile.

    Is that iPod maybe the Touch model? If so, DON'T upgrade it to 8.4 and use it to control the system.

    Do you have any old iDevice laying in a drawer (because you upgraded to a newer iDevice)? Could it be the system controller (that you never upgrade to 8.4)?

    However, I suspect you don't need to do any of that. Just stand by and give their programmers time to update the app for 8.4. iOS compatibility will be important to THEIR customers with systems just like yours. That's a lot of unhappiness to try to milk into new system upgrades if what you were told by some CSR is actually true.
     
  3. Rufuss Sewell thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #3
    Just to clarify, we bought the house last year, but the ReQuest system looks to be from 2009. The CSR said my system hasn't been supported for over a year and that I would need to purchase the new Maestro system for the iPhone app to work.

    There was also this nugget from their support page when i put in my serial number:

    Serial Number *
    This device is no longer covered by the manufacturer warranty. Support questions may be billed at $125/hour. Device repair services may require a non-refundable deposit of $200 prior to issuing an RMA. (Sold: 2/18/2009 - 2331 days)
     
  4. jdag macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #4
    Sorry about the troubles. I am not familiar with this system. Can I ask the approximate cost of replacing with the new Maestro unit? And, is it "simply" a means of distributing audio throughout the house to different rooms or is there other functionality?

    The reason I ask those questions is that with today's technology, for whole-home audio, solutions such as AirPlay, Sonos, Denon HEOS, and Bose SoundTouch can accomplish the job at a very reasonable cost.
     
  5. Rufuss Sewell thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #5
    Yeah, that's what I was getting at with my question. Is there an AirPlay solution that will let me use the amps and speakers I already have installed?
     
  6. HobeSoundDarryl, Jul 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #6
    Do you have input sources somewhere, either at the amps or at some kind of central, master box? Can you plug any sound source into those inputs and get them to play manually now?

    I'm going to guess that audio sources plug into some kind of central hub/box and that then flows through individual room amps(???) to power individual room speakers.

    So if the amps don't have an input for a sound source, it will come down to the ability to plug any source of sound into the central hub and manually get it to play in the various rooms. The problem might be that you won't be able to get that central hub to work anymore without manually pushing a button(s) on it (if they don't update the software to be compatible with 8.4).

    Else, if the amps do have their own input(s) for sound (source), you can buy products like AirPort Express to move sound from iTunes to the amp (and thus to the speakers). Sonos Connect http://www.sonos.com/shop/connect is another great option to accomplish the same thing (and then some) leveraging the existing amps.

    I'll again point out though that if it all worked fine prior to 8.4, you might want to get a dedicated controller (an iPod Touch, retired iPhone or iPad) that isn't upgraded to 8.4 and just use that for running the system as is. That will retain ALL of the functionality that you are now missing at the price of having to reach for a different "remote" when you want to make changes.

    If you want to replicate the functionality just lost and they aren't going to update their software, you might be able to swap "brains" if the amps don't have some kind of proprietary link to their "brain" unit. If the amps can work with anything, there are many possibilities for a replacement "brain" unit from many manufacturers- just do a web search for 12-room distributed audio and similar.
     
  7. Ritterwrites macrumors newbie

    Ritterwrites

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2015
    Location:
    Ontario
    #7
    I agree with HobeSoundDaryl, check out the sonos link he posted. Also checkout Obythings- http://obything.obycode.com/ That might work too although you might need to contact their customer support to ask on how to configure that.

    Like jdag said, a Bose Wave Soundtouch music system can accomplish all this at a reasonable cost, so keep that one in mind. I bought it from Bay Bloor Radio here in Canada, and it has airplay, so it's pretty easy with my iPhone.
     

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