PowerHome & Home Theater Receiver


Active Member
First off... I apalogize in advance since I also posted this on the PH site (but CT generally get more traffic and hence maybe more input).

I am trying to determine which Home Theater Receiver would best suit my needs (there are a ton of them out there). Inputs and outputs are NOT where I need the advice. I need help concerning how to control the receiver. My HA set-up includes PowerHome, Elk, X-Lobby and SageTV. I would prefer NOT to add anything else into the mix.

I will have a PC near the receiver. The PC will be a source for audio, video (HD and SD) and hopefully receiver control. I am hoping that the receiver can be controlled via PowerHome’s DCC client that would be running on the PC. I would prefer serial or Ethernet connectivity for this control (rather than IR).

Which HT receivers have the best/most flexible/easiest control possibilities that I can access using PowerHome? To my knowledge, PH home has no native support or plug-ins for any sort of HT receiver; so, I assume I will have to write PH macros to control com port commands (right?).

Is there a better way of doing this? Am I missing something that would allow for better HT receiver control?
Let me re-focus the question.

I will have 4 or 5 TV’s in the house (no more than 2 on at any one time usually). Video sources (inputs) would be: analogue cable, SageTV DVR content from PC #1, Security Cam DVR content from PC #2, DVD Player, and OTA HD.

I am looking for a “video switch” capability so that I could send any one of my source video signals to any one of my TV’s (and yet control this source routing).

It seems that most of the HT receivers I have been looking at are designed to have ONLY 1 active output.

So, I guess what I am asking is....
What is the solution that will allow me to connect all my video sources and TV's to one "control-able box", and send different output to different TV's at the same time?
I have seen a couple of the higher end receivers that have two active video outputs, but generally the second output is a composite out.

Even if you could find a receiver that had two active outputs that met your needs, you would still need some sort of switch to get the output to the TV that is also active. So you can skip the receiver and just get some sort of video switcher with RS232. I am not familiar with PH to know if there are any drivers/plug ins that would integrate a switcher.

Some of the more common video switchers are from Autopatch, Extron, Neothings, and Key Digital.
You are going about this all wrong...

Get all your analog into Sage, add your modulated CCTV channel/s to the SageTV lineup. Buy some cheapo small thin clients or desktops (Dell GXs work pretty good!) and use a link client to SageTV. Ethernet to each TV and you can watch any TV show recorded on any other TV or CCTV. Then all you need is simple 2 or 5 channel amps for the audio. Your audio zones are only limted to how many of the nodes you add or audio sources you can get into the PC (crazy @$$ tons!). You might even try the Sage MVP client, if those work for you they are super cheap.

How is the Elk/Geovision intergration going? I have some deals on the IO parts if you ever want them.

Also check into some software called EventGhost, very good and cheap. If you like Girdner you should try it.