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What is a multiroom AV system? | Simplify My Home
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Q: What is a multiroom AV system?

Based on commands deployed from room-based controllers, a multiroom AV system grabs chosen music and video from a variety of sources, including media servers, DVD and CD player, iPod docking stations, computers and radio tuners and distributes the content to speakers and TVs throughout the house.

Besides the obvious benefit of having all of your entertainment sources at your fingertips, there are many other good reasons to invest in a multiroom AV system:

Less Clutter

The system transmits music from a single entertainment rack that can be hidden away inside a closet or utility room. Consequently, the only parts of the system that remain visible are the speakers (which can be rendered less conspicuous by mounting them flush with the walls and ceilings) and the keypads and touch panels that transmit your commands to the distribution processor.


No trips to the stereo system are required. Instead, you can select a CD (or radio station or satellite music station) by touching the buttons on in-wall keypads that are located in whatever room you're standing in. Or, you might grab a handheld remote to fire up the system from the couch.


Some systems can transmit different pieces of music and video programs to different rooms simultaneously. This feature is extremely beneficial to households with kids, because no matter how cool you think you are, your children are never going to like your taste in music or video. Having this capability will preclude family arguments over what to watch or listen to.

Cost-Cutting Tip

There are two main types of AV distribution systems: Single-source, single-zone systems can play one song throughout the house, while multisource, multizone systems can play different songs simultaneously in different areas. Single-source, single-zone systems may not offer the versatility and flexibility of multisource, multizone systems, but they are much less expensive and perfectly adequate for households that play music primarily for ambiance and listen primarily to one source, like a satellite music station.