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Beware...incoming novel....

I just wanted to run this set up by you folks to make sure I'm on the right track. The main objective is to get music (background music mostly) to the back porch/patio from the living room, where the HT resides. I'm looking for a 2 speaker setup, where the speakers would be mounted under the porch. The living room and back porch share a wall, so running speaker wire is not a big deal. Not worried about neighbor interference.

I am currently eyeing the Pioneer VSX-1020-K. The main features of this AVR that I need are: 2 zones (5.1 + 2.0, although do I really need 2 zones if I will likely have the same source on each zone?), native ipod/iphone support, plenty of hdmi inputs, RJ45 connection for internet radio (Pandora), future proof (??) and reasonable price.

Ideally, I would be using a variety of sources to get the music to the back porch (TV, PS3 media server, Pandora, iPod, etc). However, in my research I have found that zone 2 cannot output from a digital source. Being that my PS3 and TV would be connected to the received via HDMI, would zone 2 not be able to play output from those devices? Or did I understand this incorrectly and I would be able to play digital sources, as long as zone 1 was on the same source?

My budget is around 700$. This should cover the AVR and the outdoor speakers. I'm no audiophile, so I'm not looking to get top-notch components. I already have my indoor HT speakers and all other components.

Might I be overlooking at option given what I am looking for? I've seen a bunch of outdoor speaker recs here, but is there a set that would be on the lower end side that might keep me happy? Any suggestions for controlling the volume on zone 2 from outside?

So that's my version of my wife's question ("When are we gunna get music on the back porch?"). :foottap:

Thanks for the help.
 

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Looks like you've got the right understanding of receivers. My receivers have all been only able to amplify or send an analog signal to the 2nd zone, so I output my computer in analog to it. The other way that I use for a '2nd zone' is using an older receiver that I have, it has both A & B speaker pair outputs, so I simply connect the 2nd zone speakers to the B outputs, works great, just cannot run different sources at once.
 

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You are correct on the analog/digital dilemma for Zone 2. I just went through this with my NAD T775 and some outdoor rock speakers I had hooked up to Zone 2. You can play any digital source in Zone 2 as long as it is also playing in Zone 1. If you want them to play independent sources, Zone 2 is analog only. I was mainly using my Squeezebox for Zone 2 so I just switch over to analog for it.
 

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You are correct on the analog/digital dilemma for Zone 2. I just went through this with my NAD T775 and some outdoor rock speakers I had hooked up to Zone 2. You can play any digital source in Zone 2 as long as it is also playing in Zone 1. If you want them to play independent sources, Zone 2 is analog only. I was mainly using my Squeezebox for Zone 2 so I just switch over to analog for it.
That is very helpful! So I can play digital on zone 2 as long as zone 1 is playing the same source? Is that standard for AVRs or a specific feature of yours? Can anyone chime is as to whether this is the case for the VSX1020K?
 

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That is very helpful! So I can play digital on zone 2 as long as zone 1 is playing the same source? Is that standard for AVRs or a specific feature of yours? Can anyone chime is as to whether this is the case for the VSX1020K?
It should be standard. Most receivers at this level only contain a single DAC which is why only one digital signal can be processed at a time. It looks like to 1020 works this way as well. Page 30 of the manual states:

This receiver can power up to two independent systems in separate rooms after you have made the proper MULTI-ZONE connections.
Different sources can be playing in two zones at the same time or, depending on your needs, the same source can also be used.
 

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Look into the Sony STR-DA5500ES receiver that came out in 2009. It has 3 zones and the second zone can be from a digital source. The list price was $2000 when it was released but you can find it for less than half that on the net. It even has a second remote for controlling zone 2.
 

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I ended up going with the onkyo NR807. The PS3 now has the ability to output sound via both HDMI and analog at the same time, so when I want the PS3 on both zones, zone 1 gets input from HDMI and zone 2 from the analog inputs. And it works perfectly, plus Pandora works great too :)
 

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On the Low side: Go to a yard sale and find a cheapo AVR and your good to go

On the Mid side: Find a new AVR with radio remote control so you won't have to keep going into the house to change settings

On the High side: Start building a whole home distribution system with controls, patio first of course
 

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I have the VSX 1020 and it is an awesome mid range receiver. Yes it has the second zone spearker output. Not future proof though. Is anything?
 

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Along the same lines of indoor AVR to outside speakers...

Are there any considerations other than decent amp - and weather proof/resistant speakers?

I'm always leery of low voltage cable from inside going outside to speakers. I don't know why. Fear of lightning or some other irrational fear.

Sorry - don't mean to threadjack.
 

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Why not try a wireless option. I have yet to start my zone 2 as I have invested alot in the Receiver and front three speakers. I will tell you about the most nifty gadget the Apple Airport Express. It functions as a wireless N WAP and has the 3.5 mini jack on it so you can connect to your avr. Then stream your i tunes music wireless ;D
 

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The airport express will work tho they arent perfect, I would wait for more AirPlay enabled receivers before going that route.

Yes you just need a receiver with zone 2 capabilities and the built in amplification available (5.1 for main and 2 ch for zone 2) or a separate amp. And you are right about the digital to zone2 is rare and even when there is digital to zone 2 it usually only supports PCM so on the source side if trying to play a movie in zone 2 you only get L/R and lose center and surround information.

There should be no more likeliness for surge with speakers on the patio than with electrical outlets or light switches, I've seen more lightning damage that came thru from Cat cable than speaker.
 

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I recently purchased some Yamaha NS-AW350W 2-Way Indoor/Outdoor Speakers, havent yet hooked them up but will be soon. Running a DENON 1910 AVR, zone 2 and controlled via an inline volume knob.
 
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