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Using 2 4 zone amplifiers


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I am currently in the process of installing HC-800 and i have 8 rooms where i need to ensure that i can listen to music in :). Is it better to have 2 4-zone amplifiers (as the 4 zone amplifier can have digital input sources) ?

Also i have the following questions if somebody can help me

1- Should i connect my iPOD, DVD player and CD exchanger to the Zone amplifiers or connect to the HC-800 (HC-800 only allow one analog connection)

2- IF I connected DVD and CD exchanger to one of the 4-zone amplifiers, could i be able to listen music from them in zones connected to the other 4-zone amplifiers ?

3- How should I control music in each room (on/off, volume control and select source either iPOD, DVD or CD exhanger) in each room without having the touch screen with me i that room ? could i use 3 button or 6 button keypads in each room for this? or should i use LCD keypad in each room ?

i hope some one to answer my questions which might seems strabge as i still have no experience in multi room music world :)

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2-4 zone amps - granted it saves you $100 at full MSRP, but i think the benefit of 8x8 out weighs having 4 digital inputs and having to Y sources to two amps - very messy. I would say get the 8x8 amp it also has twice the amperage per channel 50 vs 100. Plus the amp is converting the digital to analog anyways and unless you have very expensive speaker and audio cables then I doubt you will even hear the difference.

1. Digital inputs - Keep in mind the digital input will be delayed 2 seconds. This can work for the ipod dock but video sources will not be good. unless you ran out of inputs or need to digitally send the audio over IP to another location there is no need for the digital inputs. I would get the 8x8 amp and connect everything directly to the amp.

2. if you have 2 seperate 4 zone amps and you want to have the same sources in both locations you effecitvely have 4 Y cables and a 4x8 system. I dont recommend this - unless there is a big underlying reason.

3. Depending on your budget - Touch screens give the best interaction but an ipod touch, tablet or supported smartphone is what I use. You can use 3 or 6 buttons but you are limited in what you can do. I recommend to my clients a minimum of one TS in a common area (kitchen) if budget allows a second in the MBR. the rest should be controlled by handheld phones/tablets. If you have the budget there is a lot to be said for touch screens in independent rooms like bedrooms. You only need one UI or touchscreen in open area rooms. For example if your Dining, Kitchen, Family room and Deck is all connected to the kitchen I think it would be a waste of money if you get more then one Touch Screen for those 4 locations.

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Thanks a lot for your reply, you ansered all my questions and saved my a lot of internet search :D

What still makes me consfused why with the existence of HC-800 in the middle and having both 4-zone amp connected through ethernet to the network, we can not use devices connected for both of them to rout to any zone ?

another thing what is the benefit of having 3 Audio outputs in the HC-800 ? as per the C4 manual, these outputs are used to be connected to amplifiers ? how this will work and what benefit user get?

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The controllers have audio out so they can stream Internet Radio and/or Rhapsody.

They pull the data over their network connection, and stream it out the audio ports. The HC800 has more, so you can listen to additional independent streams.

i.e. you can have 3 streams at the same time in 3 different (or more) locations, as they're inputs into the audio switch.

IMHO, the biggest *minus* for 2 4-zone amplifiers is that you only have 4 audio inputs on them. The biggest *plus* is that the 4-zone amps can be configured to be 'green', where they shut down when not in use. The 8-zone amps cannot do that.

2 4-zone amps with a matrix switch (although more costly), gives you 16 inputs, switchable to any zone.

But yeah, that's more $$$... :|


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The Control4 Matrix amplifiers are just matrix amplifiers. While your thoughts are valid and noted by Control4, the IP connection on both amplifiers are for control only. The amplifiers do not have a built in IP audio decoder or encoder. Only the controllers and the speaker point have audio encoding and decoding capabilities.

The HC-800 technically has 4 audio outputs. HDMI, Digital SPDIF and 2 Analog outputs. They are all capable of producing audio from the Audio Input of any Control4 controller or speaker point, Rhapsody, Internet Radio, or any digital media storage location bound in Control4. Basically all Digital sources including any Digitized Audio IN (Delayed 2 seconds) are available on separate streams on the audio outs. So you could do a simple digital 4-zone audio system with a surround sound receiver and 3 amplifiers.

Unfortunately for what you want to do (from my understanding), you would be better off getting the 8x8 amp. This gives you more power and 8 sources to share. This is what I have in my home. 8 zone amp and an HC-800. Ryan brings up a good point I forgot about the 4 Zone amps being green. they should update the 8 zone amps. Hint Hint...

Disclaimer: I wrote this before Ryan posted, but I thought I had some good info, albeit some duplicated...

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am looking for advice for 8 zones in the house. Some are just audio (4 of these) and there are 4 more zones of audio and video (audio never needs to be different than video) here). So I am thinking of a 4 zone c4 amp, plus 2 receivers, each with 2 zone switching capability (denon 3313ci). Each receiver would get input from 2 4X2 hdmi matrices carrying inputs to these zones (blu ray, etc).

Does this make sense? Can anyone recommend 4X2 hdmi switches that might work well with C4?

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