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I am trying to figure out how to setup audio and TV in a new home. I've got my TV in the family room. I want to buy a surround sound system for that room. I'm guessing i need 5.1 channel speakers for that. I also have 4 rooms in the house that have 2 speakers mounted in the ceiling. The wires for those speakers come out to where the TV is in my family room. What kind of receiver/amplifier do I need to power the TV 5.1 speakers and the speakers throughout the house? I'd like to be able to have the TV on and be listening to something else like the radio in the other rooms. Just need to know what to buy to hook it all up.

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Off Topic. If you need help with running wires, then we're the the right place. This question deals with audio equipment, which falls outside our scope. –  Chris Cudmore May 16 '13 at 20:32
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There are a million options out there. The main thing that you need in this setup is finding a receiver that has really good output control - in that you can pick exactly which outputs you want the sound to go to and be able to save those settings... So if you want to go to all rooms you would have an all-room criteria saved, and so on. You need the receiver and the monitor/module that controls it - usually sold together. Everything else is all about tastes and how much money you have to spend, and how many controllers you want - you could station wireless controllers around your house.

Don't want to get too off-topic for DIY... You need to be looking at multi-room or multi-zone receivers. Here is an example. I am not telling you this is the exact fit for you. You have a lot of researching and figuring out your requirements. There are receivers that have monitors that you could station in every room and every room could hear its own thing... lots of $$$. I would say you need at least 2 zones - living room and bedrooms... Also can you control the sound level in the bedrooms do they just have the speakers wired to the living room? If you want different sound levels each room will be its own zone.

Also 5.1 isn't a must. There are tons of surround options from 3 to 9+ speakers. 5.1 was the standard a while back and is fine. Any multi-room/zone receiver will give you surround abilities (most high end ones do 7.1 or 7.2) in your main living space.

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