Oh, ok, I finally understand why you couldn't settle for only 23 zones.
Glad you understand, it was a struggle to settle for 24 for me.
I'm disappointed. You forgot sprinklers, garage door, microwave oven, and coffee machine.
Garage is very likely to end up on this list. I did forget to mention that the front door deadbolt IS part of the system. I would like to have a 'Goodnight' button which shuts off all the house lights, locks the doors, and puts down the garage door if possible. At the very least, a notice that the garage door is still open. My wife has a tendency to leave her car sticking out of the door a bit.
I've no idea how you do this stuff, so with that said I can't imagine the "architecture", and how you plan it all out (computer program? pencil and paper?).
Mostly on paper and with Word. I make a list of the rooms, of what I want in those rooms, and I put together ideas. I try to find cool stuff, which is reasonably priced, and start collecting it and searching on eBay. Those Rotel amps are VERY hard to come by and are still the best I've heard with incredible reliability. The wire list is the big thing. Floor by floor, location by location, every single wire gets named. I numbered them for my list, but ended up labelling them and using the different colors for easier identification.
I guess it is difficult to explain how many and/or which sources can be played in whichever zones, eh? It's clearly evident to the user in any given zone what they can play with? Or you're always choosing for them? How many remotes are floating around your place anyway?
All touch panels or something?
Every A/V zone has access to every source. Since almost all surround type sources include a stereo audio mix from the back, I use that into the distribution pre-amp, and I use the surround mix into a different switcher to handle that. The only dedicated source planned right now is a Panasonic 3D BD player in the family room. Can't swing an Oppo right now.
So, every room will have a MX-850 remote control (RF) which is dedicated to the room. Pick it up, press the button that says 'cable 1' or 'dune 1' and it starts everything up. Devices are only powered on as needed.
Audio only zones are controlled through a 12-button keypad in the room. Cable 1, Cable 2, Dune 1, Dune 2, XM, FM, and Blu-ray are the available audio sources, and you can track up/down, or channel up/down through the keypad, then control volume and turn it off in that zone.
Of course, I'm working on a full iPhone and separate iPad interface, and I probably will have a dedicated 15" touchpanel as well as a 8" wireless touchpanel in the home just for show and tell.
It would probably be pretty amusing to see your Monoprice invoices for wire mgmt, lol. Mono speakers too, for economy?
About $2,500 in Monoprice. Yes, all Monoprice speakers in-walls/ceilings. I had the speaker wire already, got a great deal on Monster CIPRO cable which is great stuff despite it saying Monster on it. Things like the video cables are using component HD distribution until I can afford the $10,000+ HDMI distribution will cost me. So, that's all Extron mini-high-resolution cabling which I terminate myself. HDMI is from Monoprice, and if I need it, HD-Base-T is from Monoprice.
Mostly, it is the labor of building these racks and wiring the home. Got into our home a week early to run the wires, and I think I got most of the tough wires in place. But, I still need to tackle the garage and I need to drop wires down the wall in the bedrooms in the attic. Only the kid's playroom has wires dropped and speakers in place upstairs. Master bedroom is next, then guest room, but I want to get it ALL in place, which will take weeks of real work - which means months for me to actually get done.
I'm psyched about it all for sure, but trying to pace myself on it.