Home Automated Audio and Video

When you want to deploy your home for Audio you need to sit back and really think on how and what you will need.

I’ve done systems that a whole multi-million dollar home has audio in almost every room. So take it from a professional and enjoy the tips and tricks on this.

A lot of people seem to think “I need the greatest and best”, that can work however depending on your setup it would be a total nightmare on you and the installer if you’re going to have it installed by someone. Reason being different brands and such don’t really like to intermingle with each other unless there is something to bridge the gap with either say Amazon Alexa, Google Home and such. Same thing if you plan to Deploy a Remote Control system. Doing this sort of thing isn’t cheap and will cost at minimum about $2000.00 for the newest products. The easiest way is to find a product line that can coexist with everything.

Now for the typical house hold setup. Typically at most there is Two Zones. One for a room and one for either the Lanai or another room in the house such as the Master Bedroom or a Study. You just need a single AVR Denon receiver, just get one that will complement the number of speakers for your Surround Sound. One or two Amazon Alexa Echo Dots (depending if your second zone is another room or not). It’s also up to you to have Lighting Control or a single remote solution. If you want a remote I would get an URC MX-450 remote if you’re a tech geek. For the typical person a Logitech Harmony remote. If you’re in the market for a new TV I would go with an LG ThinQ from the W8, G8, E8, C8 and B8 series. Or just look for the LG ThinQ AI. With one of those TVs you shouldn’t need an Echo Dot.

So here is a Bill of Materials for a basic setup.
Denon AV-X1400H $299.00 (Discontinued, while supplies last)
Amazon Echo Dot 2nd Gen $22.99
Russound RSF-610 $68.26 X3
Onkyo SKW204 Powered Sub Woofer $133.85
Logitech Harmony Hub $69.99
Lenovo Tab 7 Essential $79.00

This is the cheapest way I can think of, not bad for $814.00 in equipment but that is not counting cabling and odds and ends that can run you up another $200.00. Also this doesn’t include on a new TV. The TV alone would cost a pretty penny but for a typical home user it’s not necessary. This list of hardware I have used plenty of times and know it works, except for the Tablet. I included the Tablet so instead of loading up your phone with a ton of apps you can use the tablet as the Home Remote Control.

Misc odds and ends that would be needed.
HDMI Cable 18gbps directional for better handshaking.
IR buds or even an whole IR Kit if you have a lot of devices.
Speaker Cable, go with 16AWG two conductor.
Wall scoops and plates.
Drywall Retro low voltage rings.
Zipties or Velcrow
Wire/Cable markers
Power distribution that protects power surges, brownouts and power conditioning
Cat5e Cable
Cat5e RJ45 connectors
Cat5e Keystone jacks
RG6 Coax
Coax to RCA fittings
Coaxial F connectors for RG6
RCA Audio cabling
Optical cable (if TV doesn’t support ARC)
Ethernet 100/1000 Switch (if you don’t want to use WiFi)

What I have provided here is a simple solution for having an Home Audio/Video Automation that can easily be upgraded or added to. So if you start out with the Receiver you can add more stuff down the road.

I’m going to close this out with a few tips.

Don’t bother using Banana jack/plugs. This imposes more resistance on the speaker cables. Same with HDMI, avoid using couplers. It can cause failed handshaking and video delay. Avoid WiFi as much as possible since Streaming Audio and Video can cause large bandwidth usage. Don’t expect every single wire/cable is going to be completely hidden. Don’t put your AV equipment inside of a Cabinet such as built-in cabinets. and do not use those cheap wired shelves. Buy a proper AV cabinet or if you have a closet then get a Media Rack. You don’t have to put your AV equipment in the same area as the TV, however you have to get longer HDMI cabling or use CAT6 to HDMI converters.


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