This may be a little complicated to explain but, I'll give it a shot. I want to do whole-house audio. Well, kinda. I have six rooms that I would like to have in-ceiling speakers with in-wall volume controls in. One of the rooms is our family room that I would like to be able to use six speakers for a home theater system. Now, I would also like to be able to listen to the speakers in the family room along with all the other speakers in the other rooms when I want to listen to music. So basically to have the speakers in the family room serve a dual purpose... 1) as home theater room when watching movies, 2) as whole house audio when listening to music through out the rest of the house. What components do I need and what set-up do I use? I need to have enough power for six rooms and I need to be able to use the theater room exclusively, when I'm watching movies. Will some of you A/V Gods come to my rescue, please?
Not easy, quite expensive generally (low value for money for the sonic performance in my view) and requires an experienced and capable installer! There are quite a few systems available that will give you this kind of functionality. The most important factor however is the installer. I'll supply some names of kit that does the multi-room thing but you need to find a local dealer who will be able to identify your needs, give you a decent quote, install the systems and program them up and then give you after-sales service when the thing goes wrong (they do occasionally).
Here's some names of manufacturers who make kit that does this kind of thing. Remember the prices vary enormously and all of them are incompatible with each other (sooo frustrating) so you need to get it right. There are bound to be others too so don't take these as gospel. This is a long term project likely to take at least a few months to finalise and install:
QED Opus Cyrus Linn Living Control Channel Plus Crestron AMX
Paradigm makes good inexpenise volume controls and good inexpensive ceiling speakers. Avoid Speakercraft! aka speakercrap. but the installed is key.. proper placement and wiring is important. do not go cheap on this portion!
I might recommend OWI or Atlas Sound. I also recommend Bose Freespace Models 16 or 32. Yes, these are commercial speakers but you can also use them in a home system. Check them out with the links below.
Why didn't you just ask how to build a Ferrari? It would have been a simpler answer.
1) Have you visited any of the dealers in Houston?
2) Has anything caught your attention and what is the budget?
3) Are you planning on doing this install yourself from start to finish?
4) New or existing construction?
5) About how much do you understand about HT and whole house audio distribution?
Niles has a "whole house" receiver. You can vary how much control you get in each zone by how intricate the key pads are. Speakercraft also has a similar receiver. If you cant prewire your house, these options will be very tedious and expensive to install. Integra also makes a volume control with a built in amp that is supposed to be ok. If your house is already built there are infrared options that I dont know too much about. Ive done a ton of research and the Niles system is really nice(a lot of flexibility) but also pretty expensive. You can get them on ebay for a substantial discount(not b stock) but with the caveot that niles wont warranty internet purchases. Good luck, Jim