I'm looking into setting up a multi-zone audio system during current renovations to my home. All my walls are open so it's ideal time to run wires. Been looking for systems capable of handling different music in different rooms--so far, only brand that I've seen or heard is the Yamaha Music Cast; for $2,200 plus $500+/- for each console needed to control each room I want to listen to diff. music. Does anyone know of any other system out there which is in competition with this brand/model? Also, salesperson is prodding me to go with Sonance ceiling speakers (which actually sound pretty good), monitor floor speakers, and a Yamaha receiver so I can play AM/FM in multiple rooms, too. I was also thinking about going the computer route with media server, but techie I know says it's not a reliable for my purpose as the Music Cast. Anyone have any thought/suggestions for me? Greatly appreciated.
I've been starting to look into music servers as well. For my purposes it's primarily to store my CD collection on a drive instead of contantly swapping CD's or using a monster mega changer instead of distributing music throughout the house.
Frankly, I think all the dedicated systems I've found are rediculously priced for what you get. Maybe I'm missing something with them. Aside from the Yamaha unit there are systems from ReQuest (http://www.request.com/us/), Meda Systems (http://www.medainc.com/) and others. I think a recent Sound and Vision had a write up on 3 or 4 systems.
Given the price of the dedicated systems and my need for a new PC anyway, I'm going to give the media PC idea a try. I'm a bit skeptical of Microsofts ability to send quality sound around from their OS, but I won't be losing much since I need a new PC at home as it is.
And as the media PC catches on there will only be more and more vendors selling products to work with it which should help lower prices and increase audio/video quality.
Other than possible OS crashes I don't know why a Media PC wouldn't be reliable. You can use wireless technology or wired systems (given your walls are open a hardwire would help the reliability).
Now cut the price of the Yamaha unit in half and increase the HD to 200GB or more and I would pick one up. The one time I tinkered with it in the store it was incredibly easy to use.