Any web controlled multiroom recievers/amplifiers?

Any web controlled multiroom recievers/amplifiers?

Post by Copperno » Thu, 23 Dec 2004 16:30:08

We are still in the design phase and i have the chance now to put
in-wall wiring.

I will be running cat5/Rg-6 to all rooms and speaker wire to the
majority of locations.

For distributed audio i was going to use an old pc with large HD's and
LAME encoded mp3s on it. Next step was using a squeezebox as interface
with the PC and HiFi.

Here is my question: i can view all my mp3s on the pc remotely with a
PDA (connected to the LAN via Bluetooth or WiFi) but is there a
reciever that can be controlled via web interface?

Any web controlled multiroom recievers/amplifiers?

Post by wkearney9 » Thu, 23 Dec 2004 22:43:51

Few receivers have any interface capabilities at all. Most are solely IR
controlled. Some have a hard-wired control input but basically that's just
IR and not bidirectional.

What you could do, and what I do, is have your PC run a program like Girder
and attach a USB-UIRT. Then you can use a program like NetRemote on the
handhelds to control it. NetRemote -> Girder -> USB-UIRT >>> IR-controlled
A/V equipment.

For simplicity of use, however, you might want to consider something like a
Russound system. A simple keypad on the wall is a lot less tedious than a
PC or web interface. That and dealing with volume control to multiple
amplified zones via IR is often a bit of a pain in the ass. One zone at a
time is fine but lots of action all together makes for 'interesting' control
problems. When you've got a hard-wired keypad on the wall (or an in-room
mp3 player) it's a lot easier to deal with.

As for your wiring, CAT5 to the keypad control points and home-run speaker
wire to the amps are a good idea. Also consider running speaker wire from
the keypads to the speakers in the even you use something like a Russound
A-Bus since the keypad does the amplifying.

-Bill Kearney


Any web controlled multiroom recievers/amplifiers?

Post by Copperno » Fri, 24 Dec 2004 06:36:09

On Wed, 22 Dec 2004 08:43:51 -0500, "wkearney99"

Thanks I'll look into it

But will the Russound system display the mp3s on the PC/music server?
And if so at what cost? The big advantage of the PDA system is that
you only need one that you carry with yo into the various rooms.

I seem to be caught. Whole house systems like Russound, and other
brands want to sell you the music/mp3 server when an old pc will do,
and lcd displays in each room seems to be a very expensive solution.

Any web controlled multiroom recievers/amplifiers?

Post by wkearney9 » Fri, 24 Dec 2004 14:29:14

> But will the Russound system display the mp3s on the PC/music server?

You say this now. Try lugging those expensive little things around for a
few months. A $15 universal remote from RadioShack is a helluva lot more
durable than the glass screen on a PDA. That and the tactile buttons on a
remote or wall pad are much easier to operate than having to fish around
with trying to see the touchscreen while also making an IR link. Don't get
me wrong, I love the /idea/ of using a WiFi PDA for everything but in
practice simple things like wall keypads and cheapier *** button remotes
are a lot more practical and reliable.

Systems like russound support external inputs from any audio source. A PC
with mutliple sounds cards can be some of those. That way more than one
zone can have mp3 playback or it can be shared. The Russound wall pads
speak IR to the controlling PC. It, in turn, takes those IR signals through
Girder and controls the appropriate software. Several solutions exist but
J.River's Media Center is looking pretty good at this point in time. That
and NetRemote on PPC handhelds are pretty good at controlling it.

The freebies on linux continue to be far too much of a pain in the ass to
configure. Especially when you start wanting to mix-and-match a lot of
different pieces.

Do not think just any old PC will be able to hack it. Pumping out mutiple
streams of data while also having decent database lookup response times is
surprisingly demanding on the machine. I've found it requires at least a
800Mhz machine to do this without running risk of stuttering MP3 playback or
other latency issues.

Crestron does all this and more but at a price-point few folks are willing
to spend. Granted, the intergration of all this is not trivial. The buying
public continues to become more technologically savvy. I'm of the opinion
that the current mid-range systems like Russound (and others) are going to
see tremendous growth in the coming years. More complex systems like
Crestron might be "better" but the public isn't going to fork over that kind
of money when they can do 'enough of it' themselves with considerably less
expensive solutions. It's really not all that "hard" a technological puzzle
to solve. It seems more like there's not enough customers so they gouge
them with ridiculously high prices. Trouble is that attitude also stagnates
the sort of growth that would jumpstart the economies of scale cost savings.
It's also "too expensive" to support selling this stuff to DIY consumers.
Nobody has to run an 800 call center for extension cords or simple
electrical stuff. But start selling systems that require complex
programming and permanently installed wall plates and you have a nightmare
of tech support calls on your hands.

Thus it'll probably be some marketing slime like Bose that crack open this

-Bill Kearney

Any web controlled multiroom recievers/amplifiers?

Post by Mike Barne » Fri, 24 Dec 2004 17:58:52

I use WiFi PDAs (big ones with 600x800 screens) and they work very well
in practice. Selecting audio from a 500-CD collection with a *** -
button remote would be extremely tedious in comparison.

We find that the remotes spend most of their time propped up on the
furniture where they can easily be seen and found, and plugged into the
charger. Perhaps that's because any remote with a decent-sized screen is
too bulky to have "just lying around", but then again perhaps we'd think
differently if it had a battery life measured in weeks rather than
hours. As it is the PDA functions like a wall-screen most of the time
(we walk up to it and use it where it is, which is no problem every hour
or two) and we only take it away and use it on batteries when doing
something more intensive. BTW the volume and on/off are on a separate
conventional remote, and we quite like it that way, though having the
controls on the PDA would be a good idea as well. Which is why I'm
following this thread...

Reliability-wise, the PDAs need a knowledgeable enthusiast to set them
up but then they just work. Obviously with a device as complex as this,
things can go wrong, but a hard reset and a repeat of the set-up
procedure will fix any glitch, and the knowledgeable enthusiast needs to
be on hand for that purpose.

Mike Barnes

Any web controlled multiroom recievers/amplifiers?

Post by wkearney9 » Fri, 24 Dec 2004 23:32:51

> I use WiFi PDAs (big ones with 600x800 screens) and they work very well

Oh I certainly agree. I'm of the opinion that for the selecting activities
using a remote would most certainly be a pain in the ass. Unless you used
something like a TV in the room with a Tivo-like interface it would be
pretty painful to use a regular universal remote to handle it. And devices
like the Pronto, while an improvement, don't usually offer the sort of
two-way database integration really needed.

Yes, as a former Newton developer I can certainly grasp battery life issues.

Yes, this is my thinking as well. The idea of using wall pads or remotes
with simple button controls is to handle the simple functions like source
selection and volume controls. If I know source A is the FM radio and the
server automagically tunes to the local news stations at 6am then I'd much
rather just hit a *** button on a wall pad in the bathroom to hear NPR
while taking a shower. Having to 'fiddle' with a PDA for this seems like a
bad idea. Especially when considering the hard granite countertop, tile
floor and water as hazardous to the PDA.

Likewise if I know a playlist is already keyed up on the server for source B
then I'd much rather hit a wall button to start it and adjust it's volume to
hear some nice music while eating dinner. Realizing, of course, that the
playlist handling would NEVER be workable on most simple button remotes or
wall pads.

So my plan is to use some touchscreen devices to handle the fine-grained
actions like handling playlists and such but leave the simple volume and
source selection to wall keypads. The PDA will still be *able* to do this
but for most situations it'd just be easier to use simpler buttons.

Agreed. I've done PDA development for many years and know the issues
involved. I also know what introducing overly tedious geeked-out devices
can do to relationships with the significant other. She just wants music
and doesn't want a lot of jumping through hoops to get it.

-Bill Kearney

Any web controlled multiroom recievers/amplifiers?

Post by Copperno » Sat, 25 Dec 2004 05:49:12

On Thu, 23 Dec 2004 00:29:14 -0500, "wkearney99"

How on earth can you select amongst 400CD's with no visual feedback?

Thanks I will look into these

I don't need multiple streams (or at least not more than 2). it is an
Atlon 2700 and a pair of 5400rpm 120GB HDs

I still have a pair of Series III 901s back when Bose was just a very
good speaker manufacturer....

I agree with most of your las paragraph. My requirements are actually
quite simple: there are only two of us so we do not need different
streams to diffeent zones, our playback devices will be two: mp3s on a
PC and radio (possible cable/sat music feeds). More than anything i
want to ensure I wire the house correctly now rather than later

Any web controlled multiroom recievers/amplifiers?

Post by Copperno » Sat, 25 Dec 2004 06:07:26

On Thu, 23 Dec 2004 09:32:51 -0500, "wkearney99"

This hits the nail on the head. with no immediate visual feedback in
selecting artist then song my SO will NOT use it. My ideal situation
would be to be able to also select a radio station from the same unit.
Vloume i would still control in from wall units

Any web controlled multiroom recievers/amplifiers?

Post by Robert L. » Sat, 25 Dec 2004 12:46:06

> But start selling systems that require complex

I've worked with Russound for many years. Besides selling it online I also
installed their stuff in a prior lifetime. I get orders for their
multi-zone systems, especially the CAV6.6, on a regular basis. Based on the
dearth of tech support calls, it seems very few DIYers have trouble setting
them up.


Robert L Bass

Bass Home Electronics
2291 Pine View Circle
Sarasota ?Florida ?34231
877-722-8900 Sales & Tech Support

Any web controlled multiroom recievers/amplifiers?

Post by wkearney9 » Sun, 26 Dec 2004 01:16:22

gt; This hits the nail on the head. with no immediate visual feedback in

Indeed, my S.O. is similarly interested in seeing track information. Thus
I'm going with several touchpad computers running NetRemote. These
interface via 802.11g to a server running J.River's Media Center. The audio
is output from the server itself on different zones. This way I'll be able
to interface the output zones into a Russound system and get simple volume
and source selection wall plates in the rooms. The idea being that a
touchpad can be used to select a playlist or other material (web radio, fm
tuner, tv, mp3) for a zone and then any wall plate in the system can select
that zone and hear its audio. Handy for using the touchpad in the kitchen
for selecting the playlist for the sunroom or deck which won't have their
own touchpad controller.

This also frees me from having to use a central multi-zone amplifier and
speaker cable runs from it to each room. I can just run CAT5 to the keypads
since they have their own amps built into them. Then it's just speaker wire
from the keypads up to the in-wall/ceiling speakers. I'm not ignoring the
fact the keypad amps are relatively low powered. In the rooms they'll be
used they will be more than sufficient. For anything requiring greater
amplification, like the outside deck and rock speakers, I'll be able to use
a single amp for it. Adding one or two simple amps is, frankly, quite a bit
less expensive than getting a big multi-zone amplifier. And since I'll only
be needing 'more sound' in just one place it makes more sense economically.

The one downside to using simple A-bus keypads is their volume can only be
controlled from the keypad itself. You cannot send signals to the keypads
to alter their volume level. At least not from the central end on the CAY5
line. You can send the keypad IR signals from a remote to adjust it. It's
not really all that critical for us to have central control of the volume
levels. At least not critical enough to spend the considerable greater
amout of dollars to get into bidirectionally controllable keypads or
centrally amplified systems that would allow it. Worst case I could simple
tack on a Xantech IR distribution network and send IR from central location
out to the rooms and control them that way. But I really don't forsee the
need for it.

I could, eventually, use a handheld PDA with NetRemote PPC and a WiFi card
to do many of the same things. But I've generally found using them is more
trouble than it's worth. They're too fragile, too expensive and their
battery life makes them too much of a maintenance issue. That they can be
used from "anywhere" doesn't really matter all that much for the sort of
usage we'll be putting it through.

Now, if and when the S.O. grasps the entire concept and expresses a desire
to have a more flexible handheld control then everything will already be in
place to make it easy to implement.

It's tough to balance everything, factors like ease-of-use (not being a pain
in the ass), cost and on-going maintenance are my biggest concerns. While
it might be worthwhile to consider something like a Crestron, the stories I
hear of on-going upgrade and setup change costs, combined with the vendor's
tendency to harshly discourage DIY work, make it something I'd rather avoid.
Setting up my own stuff using NetRemote, Media Center and the like might be
a bit of an adventure it's something I'm

Any web controlled multiroom recievers/amplifiers?

Post by Copperno » Sun, 26 Dec 2004 06:59:02

On Fri, 24 Dec 2004 11:16:22 -0500, "wkearney99"

First of all, thanks for all your information and time dedicatred to
this thread.

I have looked up many of the products you have mentioned. If you can
bare with me I have some further questions:

1) Why J River and not Girder?

It seems NetRemote + Girder make good bedfellows. What i particularly
love about this solution is how it is only a $40 bet.

Also how much for each touchpad computer? you are going wireless
anyhow so i can't understand the advantage of touchpad PC versus PDA.
Maybe I haven't quite understood what you mean by touchpad.

I am beginning to think there is method to this madness.

Each amplified keypad KP6) is $190

I am thinking a 6 room system. so i would need two 4 room hubs AH4

What will your setup be?

Any web controlled multiroom recievers/amplifiers?

Post by Dan » Sun, 26 Dec 2004 07:42:18

Check out this new thread:

Some people are showing off their installation, some use MainLobby and
such, but jwilson56 uses the netremote combo, and has done some really
impressive work, check his interface screenshots out, he posts them all
the time, and they can be downloaded too.


Any web controlled multiroom recievers/amplifiers?

Post by Copperno » Mon, 27 Dec 2004 04:13:52

onion, finely chopped
5 cloves minced garlic
4-6 ounces bamboo shoots
chicken broth
oil for deep frying (1 gallon)
soy & teriyaki
minced ginger, etc.
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in a little cold water
1 egg beaten

Make the stuffing:
Marinate the flesh in a mixture of soy and teriyaki sauces
then stir fry in hot oil for till brown - about 1 minute, remove.
Stir-fry the vegetables.
Put the meat back into the wok and adjust the seasoning.
De-glaze with sherry, cooking off the *** .
Add broth (optional) cook a few more minutes.
Add the cornstarch, cook a few minutes till thick,
then place the stuffing into a colander and cool;
2 hours
Wrap the rolls:
Place 3 tablespoons of stuffing in the wrap, roll tightly -
corner nearest you first, fold 2 side corners in,
wrap till remaining corner is left.
Brush with egg, seal, and allow to sit on the seal for
a few minutes.
Fry the rolls:
325?if using egg roll wraps, 350?for spring roll wraps.
Deep fry i

Any web controlled multiroom recievers/amplifiers?

Post by Dan » Mon, 27 Dec 2004 05:37:37

by George LaMort

Ye shall make no idols nor graven image. (and) Ye shall keep my Sabbath.
Leviticus 26: 1,2

Ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters ye shall eat.
Leviticus 26:29

Roast Child with Cornbread Stuffing

Turkey may be substituted for this classic holiday feast.
Although time consuming, this dish seems to take longer than it actually does;
as the entire house is filled with such a heavenly aroma,
the waiting becomes almost unbearable.

1 whole child, cleaned and de-headed
1 batch cornbread stuffing (see index)
?cup melted butter

Remove the giblets from the infant and set aside.
Stuff the cavity where the child?s *** s and *** were located
using ?cup per pound of meat.
Tie the arms flat to the body, then pull the skin flaps up to close the cavity.
Now tie the thighs up tight to hold it all together.
Place *** side up in a large metal roasting pan.
Bake in 325?oven covered for 2 hours.
Remove cover, stick a cooking thermometer deep into one of the
baby?s buttocks and cook uncovered till thermometer reads 190?
about another hour.

Pro-Choice Po-Boy

Soft-shelled crabs serve just as well in this classic southern delicacy.
The sandwich originated in New Orleans, where an abundance of *** clinics
thrive and hot French bread is always available.

2 cleaned fetuses, head on
2 eggs
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 cup seasoned flour
oil enough for deep frying
1 loaf French bread
mayonnaise, etc.

Marinate the fetuses in the egg-mustard mixture.
Dredge thoroughly in flour.
Fry at 375?until crispy golden brown.
Remove and place on paper towels.

Holiday Youngster

One can easily

Any web controlled multiroom recievers/amplifiers?

Post by wkearney9 » Mon, 27 Dec 2004 06:20:42

Irish potatoes
2 large carrots

This is a simple classic stew that makes natural gravy,
thus it does not have to be thickened.
Brown the meat quickly in very hot oil, remove and set aside.
Brown the onions, celery, pepper and garlic.
De-glaze with wine, return meat to the pan and season well.
Stew on low fire adding small amounts of water and
seasoning as necessary.
After at least half an hour, add the carrots and potatoes,
and simmer till root vegetables break with a fork.
Cook a fresh pot of long grained white rice.

Pre-mie Pot Pie

When working with prematurely delivered newborns (or chicken) use sherry;
red wine with beef (buy steak or roast, do not pre-boil).

Pie crust (see index)
Whole fresh pre-mie; eviscerated, head, hands and feet removed
Onions, bell pepper, celery
?cup wine
Root vegetables of choice (turnips, carrots, potatoes, etc) cubed

Make a crust from scratch - or go shamefully to the frozen food section
of your favorite grocery and select 2 high quality pie crusts (you
will need one for the top also).
Boil the prepared delicacy until the meat starts to come off the bones.
Remove, de-bone and cube; continue to reduce the broth.
Brown the onions, peppers and celery.
Add the meat then seas