Don't get a Smart Home!
Don't turn your home into a Smart Home. Smart Homes are not fun. In 2014 I built a smart home using the Control4 system. I was able to control the Temperature, Open the Blinds, Control Audio, and Control Video all from a single App. Well that only lasted so long until the partnership between Sonos and Control4 went South. I could still use most things but I would need to play music through an App on my phone.
When one wire goes down, everything goes down. How are you going to get your wireless blinds to work if your power goes out? Even better, how are you going to fix your system if one of your devices changes IP addresses. My infrared repeater switched IP addresses and my whole system went down.
To play Playstation 5 on my 4K tv in the living 8 years after installation I have to tell the remote to play PS3 in my living room. From there I have to tell the remote to let me control the TV where I turn the TV to HDMI 2. After that I have to use a browser and go to my new 4K 4x3 Matrix and tell it to play one of its 4 inputs.
Once I have this setup, it works flawlessly and I have 7.1 sound wired with speakers to match and HDR10 picture. The sound even lines up nicely. Its just that no one else in my house has any idea how to do any of this. It is also way to hard to explain so for the most part, my house watches an old Apple TV using 1080P. I have a whole smart house and it gets in the way more than it is smart.
In my new place I am doing a dumb home. I am using the Comcast Router and not upgrading with my own. Each TV has a Roku Stick which doubles as a Comcast box. Each stick is working wirelessly. If anything goes down, I know what is wrong and what to replace. I don't have to worry about silly things like my repeater losing its IP address. I am also moving away from Smart Digital music and going back to tapes and vinyl. I listened to a cassette tape through my old AIWA Walkman using a Sennehesier Headphone Amp and a pair of Senneheiser 800 headphones and I was blown away. I never new a tape could sound so good. I always used the shitty orange foam covered headphones that came with the walkman. If I upgraded, it was to a set of $30.00 ear buds. Getting the proper amount of application with a set of 300 Ohm headphones really brought out the tape.
The tape I tried out was my original Run DMC Raising Hell cassette tape which is so old that it came out before you needed parental warnings. When it goes to digital files, my player of choice is now a Denon DJ SCM6000. It has an awesome screen and it lets you stream from Tidal or use your own files. You can output it using RCA or Coax Digital. Unlike anything else on the market, this player also has two outputs and two layers. You can use a mixer and mix from layer A to layer B. A mini mixer, an SCM 6000 and some powered speakers and you are ready to go.
To keep things as simple as possible, I went with powered speakers and no in wall cabling. Each speaker has a 2000 watt amp and gets connected to the media source using XLR cables. I am relying on my mixer to do the D/A conversion or my headphone Amp. This makes sense because they both have the best D/A converters of my whole system. I then take the analog signal straight to the powered speaker. The days of passive speakers and a giant Amp are gone.
My dream home system would consist of my headphone Amp connected to 4 McIntosh Monoblocks and then Bi Amping a pair of B and W speakers. Well perhaps even better would be Tri Amping, but I think 4 monoblocks, a preamp and two speakers would do just fine. I can't wait to hear all of that 8 Ohm perfection.