We installed an audio/video distribution system (Crestron) in our home. Behind each TV we have a set of wires that includes RGBWY, and 2 coax lines. In addition, we have 2 wires to support IR and future backup. Each TV has an IR to control one of the 3 Tivo's that is located in the basement. We also have ceiling speakers in each room that are controlled by either a volume control or keypad.
We are in the final phases of this implementation and just discovered 2 major issues:
1) The audio distribution is ONLY to the speakers in the ceiling and NOT the TV as well. Therefore, we'll have to listen to the TV audio via the ceiling speakers.
2.) Since the TV audio is only distributed to the ceiling speakers, the audio volume will need to be controlled via the volume control or keypad.
We expected the audio from the TV where the volume could be controlled via the Tivo remotes. The ceiling audio was not envisioned as the primary TV audio and therefore we didn't plan for ceiling speaker remotes.
We are being told that we can get sound from our TV's but it will cost 15K using ML-500 remotes, gateways and other equipment.
Does anyone have any other solutions that can help get sound to our TV's and control it via Tivo remotes without additional wiring?
The equipment that is being installed is:
2 - Crestron Channel Audio Amplifiers CNAPMX-16x60
2 - Audio Distribution Processors(8 room) - CNX-PAD8A
2 Video Distribution Switch CNX-PVID8X3
1 Control Processor CP2E
3 Types of TV's - Component (RGB), Composite (YRW), Coax
What might be possible is to have the Tivo remotes, or cheap replacement universal learning remotes, send the right IR codes through to the Crestron to make it simple. That way the remote would send the various Tivo-related IR commands in Tivo format but the volume control in what the Crestron understands. Most universal remotes can selectively program and/or learn commands to do this sort of thing.
That is, if the IR sensor network can pick up the IR and feed them to the system controlling the ceiling speakers. It seems like a pretty reasonable assumption.
What probably /won't/ work is to use the plain Tivo peanut remotes. I don't think the built-in codes for volume control understand how to speak Crestron. But someone from Crestron could probably better answer this (and not someone from Tivo).
The other alternative(s) might be to feed line-level audio (over new wires probably) to the audio inputs on the TVs or to watch them on RF channels.
That is, if the Crestron can supply a line-level audio signal when it switches the sources then that signal could be fed to the TVs. Then the TV's own amp and speakers would handle watching it. This might be good for times when you only want the limited sound that comes from the TV instead of the 'whole room' effect ceiling speakers gives. As in, late at night when using the ceiling speakers would wake everyone else in the house.
Or if take signals from the Tivos directly and feed them both to the Crestron and also to a quad RF modulator. Then feed RF coax to the TVs and watch the programs on an RF channel. I do this here. Just with a DirecTivo, a regular DirecTV tuner, a DVD and the video output from the home threatre PC.
In the main theatre room I feed the TV with an s-video signal and audio to a home theatre surround sound speaker setup. I also feed the signals to a Channel Plus modulator and then to the TV over RF coax. I can either watch TV using the better quality s-video picture and the full effect surround sound speakers or I can just tune to the RF channel and listen on the TV's built-in speakers. For a lot of watching it's actually easier to just use the TV instead of firing up the surround sound stuff. That and the RF signal goes to other rooms so I can watch each device on it's own RF channel. I use radio remotes to send the signals back to the equipment instead of an IR network. These RF remotes are sometimes less effective than what an IR network might pickup. It varies based on construction material and RF noise, YMMV.
Note for RF distribution I'm suggesting you pull the video from the Tivo's BEFORE it's fed into the Crestron. This way the Tivo's are always on the same RF channel (one per Tivo) instead of being switched around. It's six-of-one/half-dozen of the other. You either feed the Tivo's each onto channel and switch the TV to watch the right one OR you always feed a given TV on a given RF channel and feed the Crestron switched signal into that channel.
As in the Tivo's are on channels 15,20,25,30. Any TV can watch any Tivo simply by flipping from video to RF and switching to the appropriate channel; no interaction with the Crestron required. Or the Crestron outputs for each TV are fed intothe modulator on channels 15,20,25,30 (pick your own) and each TV stays tuned to it's own channel. That way you'd have use the Crestron to control the source selection but you'd only have to flip the TV from video to RF input and not go the extra step of changing a channel on the TV. Any other TV could also watch the same signal merely by changing the RF channel.
It might be more cost effective to consider the RF distribution route. Sure, the picture quality is less than direct video but it'll certainly cost a lot less than $15k.
1) Both of the above responses required new wire for the audio portion of your problem. You have a nice complement of coax going to the TV's. You could use the WY set for LR audio when the monitor is run via RGB. Y video (composite) yeilds more spares. Perhaps the two coax are available, unless they are already allocated as RF sources.
2) Control can always be via the existing IR link. You may have to route or switch "modes" with IR to avoid using the ceiling speakers when watching TV, or to control their volume in tandem with the TV speakers.
Good luck, and try to hold your dealer's feet to the fire for the design oversight.