Premise DENON Receivers- Multi-Zone Workaround

Motorola Premise


Senior Member
I am currently working on serial-based drivers for the following Denon receivers:


The drivers are not that difficult to write as DENON has a very straight forward ASCII based serial protocol.

However, I am having a hard time figuring out how to implement the multi-zone functionality under the existing Receiver class. Does anybody have experience with this?

I have one idea how to do it but have not tried it yet. I was thinking of implementing the Zone2 as a separate Receiver class (e.g. DenonAVR3806Zone2) and linking it to the main receiver instance via an object reference property. The object property would enable me to control one receiver from the code of the other receiver. For instance, if somebody chose to listen to the Tuner on the "Zone2 Receiver" the code would turn on the main receiver and ask it to perform the necessary serial commands (please note than only the main receiver can have the ability to control the serial port on the DENON
hardware as you cannot share a serial port connection.)

I would appreciate feedback on this solution from other Premise programmers. I think it would work and it might integrate well with mSense.

I am also working on drivers for following:

- PANASONIC AE-1000U projector
- SONY DVP CX777ES - 400 CD/DVD Jukebox

I will post the drivers as soon as I am done.

If you implement the sony 777, would you also be implementing an internet cddb like lookup for the DVDs? The 777 does not do a good job of auto detecting title and cover art of the DVD in the slot.

You might consider thinking about starting with a multi-zone Switcher class. I'm not familiar with the DENON receivers you are trying to support. But, if they have the capability to drive multiple zones from different inputs simultaneously, the switcher is probably the way to go. You could bind different sources (internal and external) to switcher inputs. The switcher logic will take care of selecting what inputs get routed to a particular zone output. Then it's a simple matter of creating a MediaZone in Premise and binding the Denon "zone" to it. The DENON internal sources would probably need to be modeled as classes within your module although you could use some of the basic classes already in Premise to help you build them.

Damon posted the attached file some time ago that looks like a good place to start for a switcher. I'm also including a module developed for the Essentia by Marc-Etienne Huneau that might give you some clues as well. Finally, check out the old forum. There might be some stuff already there you can use.

Good Luck,


Note I have just uploaded the Module It contains the code for the multi-input / multi-zone switcher I use. I started with a generic switcher class but this might be a better example as I know it to work at least with one device.

The device uses a fairly simple serial protocol so switching it out for another device shouldn't be too complicated.

# of inputs & outputs is configurable at the device level which is handy if you don't use all your inputs & outputs. I for example configure it to the # of inputs actually connected and then have an Insteon button that will switch a particular output across the available inputs in a round-robin fashion without worrying about what the source is. In this way I achieve a set of "music channels" I can tune into from any room in the house.
To get multizone receivers to work correctly in Premise, you actually have to develop them as hybrid receiver/matrix switcher type devices. We've written a few of these over the years (Marantz, Integra, NAD, etc). I'll dig up some source code so you can take it and run. The only tricky part really is defining the schema correctly. The code is pretty straightforward.

I'm stuck in CO on "vacation" right now and don't have great access to the internet (and therefore to our CVS), but I'll try to get it placed somewhere where you can access it. If not, it'll have to wait until we get back to the office.

Also, we've written a Sony 777 driver which supports full control but only gets marginal disc information from the changer. Its protocol is not entirely conducive to getting extended meta about the contents. Actually, we get authoritative disc TOC information from the changer, but it's where to take that info that is the ultimate problem. We've looked into deals with some professional, all-inclusive meta providers (the most commonly used one is AMG "All Music Guide"), but the licensing is so high that we'd have to charge every one of our participating customers something like $500-$1500 per year (depending on the level and type of meta) just to provide the functionality. Alas, an area where hobbyists and small organizations have trouble with... Control4 for example gets their DVD and CD meta from them via volume licensing.

Anyway, you guys are free to the Sony driver as well, but the same above issue applies regarding getting it posted any time soon... ;)


An alternative to the sony 777 is the microsoft mediacenter with the sony 200 disk dvd/cd changer. The whole package is the sony vaio HL2.

I leave it to microsoft to be the experts in presenting on screen cover art and navaigation of dvds in the juke - so long as you don’t mind navigating the collection on screen - vs. I also read somewhere that they will have "sidekick" which will be a small remote of some sort for media center - with vista?
The Yahoo Groups forum let people attach files in the Files section but not in a message post. The only related file I can see in the Files section is the ADS SC4 driver (that's the one posted in the Premise Downloads section).
Thanks for checking 123. It is very clear that you care about the community a lot and are always willing to help :)

The Yahoo Groups forum let people attach files in the Files section but not in a message post. The only related file I can see in the Files section is the ADS SC4 driver (that's the one posted in the Premise Downloads section).