This page last changed on Apr 30, 2014 by prak.

Hi All,

I've been looking at OpenRemote for a while now, while I have been remodeling my home. I'm finally starting to wind down on the remodeled and have created a very special room that I'm excited to start filling with wonderful new toys.

The great thing about the way my house was laid out is that it allowed for a room directly behind the media room.

this room has a lot of great qualities.
-it's right behind the TV wall in the media room,
-it's centrally located
-allowed for CAT 6 to be run from every room to this room
-also allowed for speaker wires to be run to 4 different zones in the home
-it has a separate sub-panel for electricity
-it's insulated and conditioned

My hope is to turn this room into my "Server" room.

I am hoping to use OpenRemote to control, for now, mainly audio.

Since construction is just now coming to an end, I have not purchased any of the components to make it happen. I was hoping for some suggestions for hardware. So here are my questions:

Are there any suggestions for a PC to act as a home Server? This is the machine I see OpenRemote operating from as well as functioning as a home server. Any suggestions of how much processor I'll need? Can I get any old desktop and make it work, or will I notice performance issues?

As a follow up, does Windows 8 play well with OpenRemote? I'll thinking of using it since Windows Home Server isn't been developed anymore.

And probably the question I'm most interested in:

Are there any suggestions for a receiver that can support 4 zones independently and play nice with OpenRemote? I'd love to find something reasonably affordable, I don't know if that's possible, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Or does anyone have a good suggestion for a combination of equipment to accomplish my goal (having 4 independently controlled audio zones)?

Hi I've got Openremote running on a dedicated low powered XP machine which I think is the most economical way of doing it because you will normally keep it running 24/7. I tried a Raspberry pi but the performance was not sufficient. You could also go down the Linux route depending on your preference.

For sound I have a Denon POA 3012 amp which does 12 zones mono or 6 stereo. I've got it working through a serial interface to OR, and I use Sonos with Spotify for music. You can control the Sonos through OR although the Sonos interface is already very good so hard to beat. This is one of the considerations you will always have with OR - do you try and recreate existing apps to control your devices or teach people to switch apps, not always evident.

The amp works well as it has a trigger in function so that you can leave a zone switched on and it will put that in standby until an audio signal is received. For example we have the Sonos used as an alarm and when it outputs a signal the zones which are switched on will fire up. If you wanted to have different music in each zone you could also do this with the amp but you would also need multiple audio sources. Another option would be to buy 4 Sonos zone players which have their own amps. In practice I think trying to manage multiple sources and zones can be tricky. The streaming services tend only to allow one stream at a time so this would also be expensive.

Good luck!

Posted by jules_bike at May 01, 2014 09:00

Thanks for the Info.

It'll probably save me some money on the computer to get a low powered XP machine. I like that, since I'm most likely not going the Linux route. In terms of the Sonos w/ Denon Power Amp, it seem that it only gives you the ability to stream 1 source to 1 or more zones, unless (like you said) you get 4 Sonos zone players.

I have found a couple of alternate options that have there own pros and cons.

Russound C-Series Multizone Controller Amplifier MCA-C5:
I found a video of someone using this with OR.
the biggest problem i see with it is that there are individual key pads for each zone. I don't know if those are required or not. I would likely not use them, since, the wiring hasn't been installed for them.

found it on Amazon for just under $600

Another option i found was on MonoPrice
6 Zone Home Audio Multizone Controller and Amplifier Kit - NO LOGO

around $700, it's controllable thru RS232

down side, without seeing it used, I worry I won't be able to get it to work.

Posted by prak at May 01, 2014 16:08
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