We have moved at community.getvera.com

Author Topic: Audio Support  (Read 14422 times)

Offline nolos

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 191
  • Karma: +0/-0
Audio Support
« on: October 24, 2008, 02:57:03 pm »
I have been checking into Audio distribution and came across this. http://www.nuvotechnologies.com/essentia.htm#essentiaVII I gave them a call and told them I didn't want to install an in-wall keypad in every room but to control the distribution with a HA system.  They told me that I could use the RS232 for that and gave me the protocol for it.  I was wondering if there was anything you could do with it?  Also, as far as Audio Distribution goes for Vera, they might be worth getting ahold of since they focus on being green too :)

Offline digitaldan

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Audio Support
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2008, 04:47:30 pm »
Russound also has a great product.  I have two CAM 6.6 (6 audio sources, 6 audio Zones) hooked up to a HAI omni pro through an rs232 connection.  While most of the 12 zones have keypads, I have one zone (patio) which I just control via my iphone or through the omnipro's touch screens.  They openly publish their protocol as well.  Both the Russound and Nuvo's can be very pricey plus they discourage DIY installation (Russound won't even warranty thier product unless installed by a dealer).   Slim servers are probably a better DIY solution and would be easier to integrate with micasaverde .

Offline NuvoTech

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Audio Support
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2008, 04:50:12 pm »
I was the Tech that spoke with NOLOS and he recommended I come take a look.  I like what I see.  We currently have 2 Multi Room Audio Amplifiers that have received the Energy Star rating and plan on several more products that will do the same.  Many exciting new things are going to happen within the next 3 quarters of business year.  I would like to hear more about the Vera and speak of a partnership as far as our system working along side of your's.  Please feel free to drop me a line and I will pass it on to our engineer's.

Good Luck To you all
Ted Brasier
Nuvo Technologies Tech Support

Offline nolos

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 191
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Audio Support
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2008, 05:08:59 pm »
explain slim servers  :)

Offline 325xi

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1101
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • V1, V2, still V2...
Re: Audio Support
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2008, 05:09:56 pm »
they discourage DIY installation (Russound won't even warranty thier product unless installed by a dealer).   Slim servers are probably a better DIY solution and would be easier to integrate with micasaverde .

While there's nothing wrong with integrating Vera with "installer" systems I hope it won't be the primary approach. I also believe SlimServer is the best existing solution at the moment, given its openness to DIY community and audiophile sound quality* on affordable hardware.

*Outboard DAC required to achieve best fidelity

Offline 325xi

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1101
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • V1, V2, still V2...
Re: Audio Support
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2008, 05:11:18 pm »

Offline nolos

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 191
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Audio Support
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2008, 05:43:17 pm »
what are we looking at for initial setup price and a per room setup for the slimserver though? $150 for the receiver, and then do I have to buy a power amp for each room? Can we turn the receivers on/off via the software?  what about a power amp that we can turn on/off with either some software or with vera?  That's a lot of energy to be sucking down with a power amp in every room running all the time.  I might be missing something though.  I have six zones to control. That's $900 for the receivers and I have not a clue how much a power amp runs (say $50) x 6 is $300. plus speakers  U can get a new six zone system with with 6 PAIRS of ceiling speakers on ebay for under $1800. Probably a lot cheaper if you buy them used and separate Every zone could be controlled with Vera, there is only 1 thing plugged into a power source(Green), and you could turn it off with vera as well....plus hook it up to your phone system or doorbell and it will auto mute.

Offline 325xi

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1101
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • V1, V2, still V2...
Re: Audio Support
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2008, 08:51:57 pm »
There are few good options beyond getting a dedicated amp and speakers
High quality powered speakers http://www.audioengineusa.com/
Slim Devices Boom: http://www.slimdevices.com/pi_boom.html

It's really about the question of whether you want actual all-house audio distribution with low quality sound (which is totally fine if all you want is background music), or high quality audio managed via Vera delivered to where you actually need it.
Real world cost of Slim stuff is much lower because it's designed to work with existing equimpment - your home stereo/HT, mini systems in bedrooms....
Coupled with Audioengine speakers it can provider very good background music for non critical listening, and this is all over Wi-Fi, no wires, move it as you want.
Their Boom is all in one client with very good sound and unlimited mobility in WiFi range.

SlimServer can run on virtually any computer, any OS, and on some small boxes. It can stream any non-DRMed music with no loss in quality. Tons of plugins exist, and it's as hackable as Vera itself.

See, it's about a different perspective on audio comparing with classic all-house audio distribution systems.



« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 08:54:13 pm by 325xi »

Offline ksquared

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Audio Support
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2008, 11:40:12 am »
I have to put in a plug for Mac-based Airport Express distribution systems.  The iPhone Remote application is fantastic, and allows remote management of which zones are on/off.  Each Airport Express is ~$100, and has the added benefit of providing a local ethernet port and/or USB print server.  It still requires amplification at each site, though.  Apple TV units can also stream audio, and have HDMI output and can be used to view video (photos, TV shows) in addition to outputting graphical menus of audio source material locally.

I have both structured audio distribution (an AMX Matrix audio system that distributes over speaker wire with local keypad control of remote sources) and Airport-based audio distribution (over Airport Express units and Apple TV) and each have their advantages.  The Apple solutions are more easily constructed and far cheaper.  Any iPhone or iPod Touch serves as a beautiful remote, which in my view is a great advantage.

Offline 325xi

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1101
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • V1, V2, still V2...
Re: Audio Support
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2008, 09:58:01 pm »
Speaking of Slim, I just received Squeezebox Boom, and I have to say - given its form-factor and minuscule size - sound quality is not less then phenomenal!
Sound is big, clean, and punchy.
Clearly some extreme engineering involved - both in speakers design and in DSP processing.

This thing alone make integration with SlimServer worth the effort. :)

Offline gsg5

  • Sr. Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 44
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Audio Support
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2008, 12:04:06 pm »
I have to put in a plug for Mac-based Airport Express distribution systems.  The iPhone Remote application is fantastic, and allows remote management of which zones are on/off.  Each Airport Express is ~$100, and has the added benefit of providing a local ethernet port and/or USB print server.  It still requires amplification at each site, though.  Apple TV units can also stream audio, and have HDMI output and can be used to view video (photos, TV shows) in addition to outputting graphical menus of audio source material locally.

I have both structured audio distribution (an AMX Matrix audio system that distributes over speaker wire with local keypad control of remote sources) and Airport-based audio distribution (over Airport Express units and Apple TV) and each have their advantages.  The Apple solutions are more easily constructed and far cheaper.  Any iPhone or iPod Touch serves as a beautiful remote, which in my view is a great advantage.


I have to agree with you here. The apple remote running on iphone/touch is a really nice setup and reasonably priced. I have an airport express + bose wave radio in the master bath and it is great.

There are two downsides to this set up though. The signal streamed from itunes is the same to all zones. If there was a way to have multiple sources going to seperate zones it would fantastic.  Also no support for streaming of sirius or XM. The squeezebox can do this via plugins. I also like the fact that you can push display messages to the squeezebox for weather or other uses.

Sonos has a really nice setup especially since they just added an iphone/touch controller but the sonos systems are priced WAY too high. $1000 to get started plus another $350 per room.

Or build your own with Open WRT ...
http://devices.natetrue.com/musicap/






Offline 325xi

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1101
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • V1, V2, still V2...
Re: Audio Support
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2008, 02:57:57 pm »
Yes, SqueezeCenter allows streaming to multiple devices independently or synchronized.
It also can be fed from iTunes for those who prefer it this way.

Don’t forget that Apple’s attitude towards this stuff is “lock it down – make ‘em pay”, and I don’t even mention their approach to DRM.
I don’t mind to pay, but I don’t like the locking part. Squeezebox can’t play Apple DRM-ed music because Apple doesn’t allow it.
Why would anyone want to lock itself into this?

Squeezebox on the other size is traditionally kept community friendly, which is why so many plug-ins have been developed.
It keeps project open for innovations from outside – and it actually listens to its users.

Besides, Stereophile mag evaluated both Airport Express and Squeezeboxes and concluded that sound quality wise Airport looses big time even on analog outs, let alone SPDIF.

Offline derailed

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 11
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Audio Support
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2008, 10:19:48 am »
Interesting thread...

Is there a way to hook up a usb drive on vera that contains mp3s and being able to stream music via vera and control it from another device using the rest api ?