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How to integrate audio|acacia into two rooms each with 5.1 surround via Arcam AV888 Receivers?

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I am very interested in setting up a hardware server for multi-room audio use in my home. However, I have two rooms that have surround sound 5.1 setups each using Arcam AV888 receivers. It looks like the Plethra audio-server has stereo output only. If I send one of those stereo outs to my surround processor, it will only play 2 channel audio I assume?

I don't want to dedicate the receivers solely to multi-room audio. When watching a movie or tv, the preamp will be used to distribute multi-channel audio. I may play audio only through that system. On other occasions I will want to use a|a to control audio just to that zone [I guess only to 2 speakers] and on others I will want audio to sync [via a|a] to other zones.

If a setup with my receivers is possible, will there be sync problems? For example, with Sonos I have heard that there can be delay issues by running a signal through another processor for syncing multiple zones.

What do you guys recommend?

asked Jan 15, 2013 by user287 (19 points)
edited Jan 17, 2013 by user1
Just to clarify: Are you wanting to setup a way to switch between using audio|acacia and using your 5.1 surround for movies/video in your two rooms? Or are you wanting to dedicate those setups to a multi-room music system?
This question is vague and not very informative of the type of setup being used. As a result, it makes it very difficult to make any recommendations. Please edit your question and title to be more descriptive.
You still haven't told us if you want to share the 5.1 receivers with audio|acacia or if you want to dedicate them to multi-room audio (basically as an amplifier). Also, what are the make & model's of the receivers being used? More information is still needed.
I am not clear what you mean by share the receivers with a|a.  I don't want to dedicate them solely to multi-room audio. When watching a movie or tv, the preamp will be used to distribute multi-channel audio.  I may play audio only through that system.  On other occasions I will want to use a|a to control audio just to that zone [I guess only to 2 speakers] and on others I will want audio to sync [via a|a] to other zones.  I am using an Arcam AV888.

I've edited my question and title to be more descriptive.

2 Answers

0 votes
 
Best answer

To continue to use your two Arcam AV888 receivers as 5.1 channel surround setups in your two rooms, as well as be able use them for distributing audio with audio|acacia, I would recommend the following:

The Arcam AV888 receivers appear to have 8 channels of discrete analog inputs (labeled as "MCH INPUT" on the back of the units). Since you are only using the receivers for 5.1 channel surround, this means you have 2 extra amplified channels per receiver to use for multi-room audio speakers. I haven't looked at the receiver's manual, but assuming you can set, say the SBR& SBL discrete inputs to a different zone (ZN2 or ZN3), you could actually setup dedicated multi-room audio speakers that will work even when the receiver is playing 5.1 audio from a different source.

The speakers that are already setup for the 5.1 surround rooms themselves could use L&R inputs from "MCH INPUT" to route to the Left & Right speakers in the rooms. Then to switch between multi-room audio and 5.1/7.1 surround for your rooms, you'd simply switch the receiver's input from "discrete", to whatever source you wanted audio from (i.e. SAT/PVR/DVD etc.).

Multiply by two receivers and this gives 4 possible rooms. 2 Rooms dedicated for multi-zone audio and 2 rooms that can switch back and forth. (This assumes you'll be able to route cables to both receivers from one audio server).

Since you'd be using the discrete audio inputs (i.e. no digital processor), there should be absolutely no perceived latency involved that would cause sync issues.

In the end, you now have 4 rooms of multi-zone audio without having to pay for any extra hardware (assuming you already have speakers). Not too shabby. ;)

answered Jan 17, 2013 by user371 (46 points)
edited Jan 17, 2013 by user1
wow... never thought of that. Nice idea!

You think there would be a delay issue if you had to add another amp for another zone to sync all zones?
I edited the answer slightly since you can't use the speakers in the 5.1 setups in both a single room and multiple rooms. ;)
In general, traditional amplifiers do not add latency.
0 votes

The audio|acacia server allows for stereo audio only. If you are wanting to use 5.1 systems then it might be cheaper to use an airport express base station.

The airport express base stations have a 3.5mm analogue/optical jack so you can connect that to your receiver to make use of the 5.1 surround.

You could use the audio|acacia server however the sound would be stereo only. To make use of those extra speakers you'd need to use something else (such as the Apple Airport Express Base Station). Using this sort of setup will allow you to just change the input on the receiver to enable audio to play via the AirPort Express.

answered Jan 15, 2013 by user357 (55 points)
edited Jan 17, 2013 by user1
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