receiver for zone 2 and iPod

Discussion in 'GENERAL AV Discussions' started by cjschrot, May 16, 2013.

  1. cjschrot Audioholic Intern

    cjschrot
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    I'm looking to set up a 3.1 system in the living room and use the surround outputs to connect to outside speakers on the patio (could also do 5.1 in living and use the 7.1 outputs the same way). Want to be able to watch TV in living room while listening to iPod out on the deck. Looking for the lowest cost receiver that would support this functionality.


    Is this possible? Can the iPod play through the receiver wirelessly or does it have to be plugged in?

    Have had Denon before and OK staying or switching.

    thanks for any help.
  2. macddmac Audioholic General

    macddmac
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    1.It might be doable if you have a powered 2nd zone but you'll need a device like an Apple TV to connect to one of the denons optical inputs.
    2.Your iPod would need to be a touch model ( not sure which generation)
    3. Atv, and iPod need to be on your wireless network
    4. Rigging up this way gives you the ability to stream most streaming music sources and your iTunes library ( PCM) through apples AirPlay
    And lastly, I'm pretty sure the 2807 will output PCM signals to zone 2- verify first.
    Cheers, Mac
  3. avengineer Banned

    avengineer
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    +1 on point #4. The one big glitch to Zone 2 has been the limitation that you can only output analog signals to Zone 2. You have to download the manual and read it...sorry, no easy answer. As of this year, digital sources to Zone 2 is now becoming more common, showing up in Denon products for example, probably others.

    If you are focused on a model a few years old without digital source to Zone 2, there is a work-around: use an analog iPod dock. You might give up remote control, but at least audio would work.

    The other work-arount, which actually is pretty good, is to use an AirPort Express, and it's analog output. You'll have full iTunes library streaming, and control with the Remote app on your iPod Touch or iPhone.

    Current Apple TV has no analog out.

    AirPort and Apple TV are close to the same price. But, if you're getting an older cheaper AVR to save money, then spending $100 on one of those devices, you might consider paying up a little a current model that has built-in AirPlay, and will do it to Zone 2.

    As to answering "What's the cheapest..." you have to figure that one out by reading manuals to find the unit that works for you, then checking prices. It's not something most people would know unless they've done that research project themselves.

    I tend to not recommend the cheapest of anything, though...it usually has some hidden limitation not discovered right away.

    Look at Pioneer for built-in AirPlay capability in lower cost units, though I always recommend Denon first. Last I looked at entry level Onkyos, the didn't seem to hit all the required features.

    Always check for built-in WiFi too, unless you can wire to your net. It's often listed as a "feature" when it's actually an add-on. Wire to your net if you can, it's better anyway. Always research the Zone 2 capabilities.
  4. macddmac Audioholic General

    macddmac
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    On further review, the 2807 will not output digital to zone 2.
    options are:
    1. Go with airport express and use the analog out like Avengineer suggested.
    2. Buy an inexpensive dac along with the Apple TV and send the digital output through the dac and back into one of the receivers analog inputs ( I have used this solution with my old 2105).
    3. Buy a new receiver that supports all of this functionality ( AirPlay receiver ) note: you'll need a wired network connection to most airplay receivers.
    4. I'm sure there are other ways to skin this cat :)
    Cheers, Mac
  5. cjschrot Audioholic Intern

    cjschrot
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    thanks to all...looks like I have some work to do on this one, but greatly appreciate the direction

    CJ
  6. BMXTRIX Audioholic Spartan

    BMXTRIX
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  7. avengineer Banned

    avengineer
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    The economy may still work better to get an AirPlay capable AVR that also accepts digital to Zone2/3. Add-ons are great, but even the cheap stuff adds up, and sometimes limits functionality.
  8. Grador Audioholic Field Marshall

    Grador
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    The only receiver on the market I'm aware of that supports digital on zone 2 is the RX-A3020. That's a little more of a price jump than a decent receiver + accessories.
  9. BMXTRIX Audioholic Spartan

    BMXTRIX
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    You also don't get video or all the other features that are built into AppleTV. In the case of Denon receivers, as soon as you turn on Airplay it takes over the MAIN zone which is not just a hindrance, it can be an outright frustration if people are trying to watch 'the game'.

    I have used Airplay built into receivers, and manufacturers just don't have it figured out yet. AppleTV, when it is selected as your source, handles Airplay automatically, as it should. But, my receiver should ONLY change inputs when I tell it to.
  10. 3zones Enthusiast

    3zones
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    For my multi zone system I'm installing I just ordered the Amazon.com: C&E Digital Fiber Optical(To slink) to Digital Coaxial (S/PDIF) Converter: Electronics as well. I want to hear tv through out the house but of course you have to go very high end to get a built in DAC for zones 2 and 3 and even then there are limitations that zone 1 doesn't have. I simply ran a 40 foot toslink cable from the TV (it has no analog out) to the headend and will run it through the DAC to the analog inputs of my AVR. Since I use the audio return channel function of the TV and AVR, I was forced to do this. When you get into HT and it hits you that even the highest end AVR's can't do what zone 1 can do it makes you scratch your head especially as they are starting to increase the HDMI inputs and reduce the analog inputs. Amazingly, I still have an old school dvd player that the AVR upconverts and so I can hear movies around the whole house but not tv until the DAC arrives.

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