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Help with designing a perfect audio/video setup!


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#1
Vav00m

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OK, this is the setup.. if anyone has any suggestions, big or small, PLEASE post, it may or will help, and i have a large budget for this project ($200-$2000, more if it's worth it).... SO, this is where i stand.. My computer needs to feed audio to several sound systems, and possibly video to some lcd screens. this is what i have now:

My computer, audio (from Sound Blaster Live! 24bit) sent to 6.1 surround (Logitech X620 [in the computer room]), split from there to a 6.1 surround sound home audio amp (Panasonic SA-XR25 [in the living room]) and speakers, and split once again to a 5.1 surround mini-system (Sony 991AV[in the kitchen]), THEN, my video card (ATI 9600SE) has a handy TV out which has the S-video going to the digital projector (Hitachi PJ-TX10, which has VGA-in, not using...), and split to a 36" tv in the kitchen.. NOW, what i wanna do is have S-Video going to the kitchen, and use VGA-in on the projector, but i have to get an adapter, easy pickup at the local computer store, no biggie (i have 2 DVI on the vid card)..

THE CONFUSION:
10,000,000,000 wires in my house. Low quality sound due to splittage.

WHAT I WANT:
Use of optical cables, even if it requires upgrading the sound card to an audigy4 or higher, upgrading logitech speakers to the logitech Z-5500, upgrading the sony minisystem, and I want to stretch my audio signal to go to two more sets of surround, both downstairs. Wireless audio transer? Optical Splitting? Use of plain old magic? Should I get another PCI-based video card to send clones of my video picture to the kitchen and the basement? Maybe I should photoshop up my system in a diagram and repost it.. I've spent probably $15,000 altogether in audio/video equipment.. I just dont think it's up to par..

email me at xuolaiv69@hotmail.com if that’s easier..

THANKS for reading! Now tell me what you think!

if it helps.. here's my computer's specs..
CPU - AMD Athlon XP 2200+
Mobo - ASUS A7V880
RAM - 768MB DDR PC3200
Video - ATI Radeon 9600SE AGP 8x
Optical 1 - BenQ 52x CD-RW
Optical 2 - Liteon DVD-ROM
Sound - SB Live! 24bit
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#2
Vav00m

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here's a quick diagram

http://www.geocities...setupmedium.jpg
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#3
audioboy

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a monster frankenstein system! I see you have some of that mad scientist syndrome...

this really sounds like a job windows media center. you can buy the extender modules, which provide full A/V I/O at each module. connections between modules are over ethernet cable, I think, or possibly even wifi. this would likely be the more expensive way to go, but also the cleanest, both from a planning/layout perspective, and from an implementation/installation perspective (wires running all over the house).

another possibility is to get get distribution amps for your audio and video signals. Im sure they are available for such purposes, probably at higher end A/V stores/online retailers. I dont know what costs might be, but I would guess it would be lower. and you would have a problem with wires strung throughout the house.

another thing to consider with this, you are trying to make long runs with low level signals, especially the audio. this leads to the signal loss you described, as well as a good chance of noise/interference being introduced.
this points back to the media center solution, as it is kept digital, running through CAT5, or wifi.

hope that helps some!
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#4
Vav00m

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hey what kind of extender modules are we talking about? like ONKYO Net-Tune?
(http://www.us.onkyo....m?class=Nettune)
I like the idea of Apple's AirTunes.. ever tried that?
Is there a PC-oriented AirTunes-type idea with WiFi somewherE?
thx
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#5
audioboy

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here is a decent review of the media center extender technology. its a little old, so most of his complaints (pretty few and small complaints at that) should have been dealt with.

heres the official microsoft info on it.

go to MSN, do a search on media center extender, you get all kinds of hits on it and the extenders themselves.

wired or wireless, if you have the money to blow (which you said you do), this seems a slick solution.

a quick search on airtunes revealed they might be thinking of doing something along the media center lines, but it will be a while before we see it. who knows...
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#6
Vav00m

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thanks for the link.. maybe i'll get media center edition windows soon then.. these extenders look sweet.. $300us a pop is a li'l steep, but seems like a do-all solution, send wireless signal into every room, and call it a day. one plausable solution.
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#7
audioboy

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I agree, the price is a little steep. shop around some...I looked at a linksys model available thru dell.com, it was wireless, marked down to $270.
and like all things computers, wait a little while, the price will drop!

yeah, its one solution. there may be others, do some hunting...

radio shack has some interesting little wireless A/V devices. under $100 these days, they will do stereo audio, and component (rca plug) video up to 100 feet, thru walls. I use one to beam audio only from my office where the PC's are, out to my living room stereo. I can hear a little bit of the companding happening (signal compression/expansion used for VHF/UHF transmissions), but its not bad, it does the job well enuf. (remember my name, I know a bit about sound :tazz: ) the average person probably wont hear it.
you could use adaptors to convert between the mini jacks the PC and speakers use, to RCA plugs and back again on the other side. for the multiple splits you have going, DA's (distribution amps) would again come into play to ensure strong signal levels to each device/location.

so theres a more budget friendly solution, though it wont support the surround sound or VGA quality signals, only component video.
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#8
Vav00m

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what about getting a Sound Blaster Audigy4, splitting optical two ways, and running analog cabling to the kitchen stereo.. any signal loss when splitting optical?
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#9
audioboy

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no splitting of optical that I know of. I dont know if they make DA's for that...
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#10
Vav00m

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http://www.tvcables....nu=0/ml=50.html

will this not work? lower quality?
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#11
audioboy

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hey, there ya go! that should do it nicely. I didnt know about that- Ive been a little heavy on the computers lately, and not so much on the A/V stuff.

your on the right track, do some digging, find ways to make it work, save some money!
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#12
Vav00m

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what do you think about this device?
http://www.engadget....34000233044800/
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#13
audioboy

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interesting. at that cost though, its 2/3 the cost of a media center extender! and it will only do stereo audio. I think the reviewers point about USB overload possibilities is valid, especially if you hooked a few of those up. assuming thats even possible...
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#14
Vav00m

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well it's neat to have monitors on all rooms, usb cables are thinner than VGA, and easier to hide under the carpet . . .
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