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timbooo

C4 / Sonos / Airplay / Shairbridge

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Hi there. Hopefully this will be something someone has tried and can tell me if it works. I have a client who has 12 zones of audio all via Sonos Connect Amps. Trouble is he really just wants to use Airplay for all his musical needs. I would like to know how clever C4 is when it comes to streaming through Sonos.. I believe it recently got a bit cleverer in that we now have some control over the line-in so I'm hoping that will extend to what I need to do.

If I were to put in an EA3 / EA5 / however many streams via however many processors, then connect the audio outs of those to some random line ins from the many Connect Amps, would the system be clever enough to route audio into a line in and through the Sonos system to the relevant endpoint. I would like to create a Shairbridge instance for each room which would 'auto power' that room. Each room will of course contain a Sonos Connect Amp driver. In theory it seems like all the parts are there, but I just don't know if the logic exists in the drivers.

eg

EA3 line out 1 -> Sonos Living Room line in
EA3 line out 2 -> Sonos Kitchen line in
Shairbridge driver in Master Bedroom, auto power on Master Bedroom, Sonos Connect Amp exists in Master Bedroom
Customer airplays to "Master Bedroom" shairbridge driver: will the EA3 start a stream, pipe it into the Sonos Living Room line in, then tell the Sonos Master Bedroom to play from the "Sonos Living Room line in"?

Massive thanks to anyone who can offer advice on that :)

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Alternatively I get the C4 24x24 matrix (why oh why don't they do a 16x16 anymore?) and stick as many streams as I have from the EA (be it a 5 or a 3) into that and then 1 output to the line-in on each Sonos amp, effectively using them as little single zone power amps. Of course it would be neater to stick in a couple of Triad multizone amps but the Sonos boxes already exist.

This approach would definitely work, I think.. but I'm still not sure how the drivers would work out multi-room, whether it would default to doing it in the matrix or doing it with the Sonos grouping functions... if I created a Shairbridge target for "whole house", for example, I kind of presume C4 would do the grouping and would pump it out into each Sonos line-in individually, would that then give me potential sync issues?

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I would use the matrix switch solution rather than relying on Sonos to distribute the audio.

You'd more likely have interruptions in a whole home scene using Sonos to distribute across the network than using a matrix switch with audio cables to each Sonos.

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In the few hours since I've already convinced myself to just go end to end C4, 24x24 matrix and 12 zones of triad amp, I can recycle the Sonos boxes and I'll give some money back for them. I reckon it's worth it for the headaches I think it could save me.

 

I'm far too wary of things potentially not working properly. The Sonos drivers are pretty clever these days, probably too clever to be messing around with them like I would have. Or I'd have to mess about with the path drivers which just seems like too much faff.

I'm already throwing out a bunch of Crestron kit (satan's control system) so I don't think the client was too bothered about dumping a load of Sonos as well.

 

So I'm really not pushing any envelopes at all. 😂

 

Now in a week's time we'll get the newsflash that C4 will no longer support Airplay. Sorry everyone, it'll be my fault.

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  • Beginning Oct. 2019, SnapAV will be anational distributor of Sonosproducts, including the new Sonos Port, Sonos Move, and Sonos One SL. The full Sonos line will be available through snapav.com, as well as each of the company’s affiliated local branches in the United States – Allnet, Volutone, MRI and Custom Plus. Sonos is currently supported through SnapAV’s OvrC Pro platform, providing dealers with remote monitoring and diagnostic capabilities.

better integration coming?? 

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On 9/16/2019 at 2:38 AM, timbooo said:

(why oh why don't they do a 16x16 anymore?) 

they did an analysis of the systems in use and a majority of systems need 8 or less audio ones or more than 16. This is true for many of our systems. The 24x24 may seem like overkill for 12 zones but if you have some surround zones and multiple digital devices you end up maxing out even the 24 fairly quick.

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On 9/18/2019 at 10:59 PM, tdougray said:
  • Beginning Oct. 2019, SnapAV will be anational distributor of Sonosproducts, including the new Sonos Port, Sonos Move, and Sonos One SL. The full Sonos line will be available through snapav.com, as well as each of the company’s affiliated local branches in the United States – Allnet, Volutone, MRI and Custom Plus. Sonos is currently supported through SnapAV’s OvrC Pro platform, providing dealers with remote monitoring and diagnostic capabilities.

better integration coming?? 

Does that mean native sonos integration similar to Crestron??

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30 minutes ago, Mike_S101 said:

Does that mean native sonos integration similar to Crestron??

I would not hold my breath. I'd expect that old full native integration to be 100% gone forever.

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9 minutes ago, Dunamivora said:

I would not hold my breath. I'd expect that old full native integration to be 100% gone forever.

bugger

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Crestron only pretends to be completely native anyway, they have their own custom version of the sonos app running on the touchscreens. It might be better now but some time ago their update lagged Sonos by a long time and completely broke integration.

With C4 getting more muscle from SnapAV, plus with Sonos allegedly 'targetting' CI with the rack friendly form factor of the AMP, I think there's still hope.

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