Opinion? - DIY Media Server / Whole Home Audio
I apologize if this is in the wrong section, however it seemed to be the best fit.
I was hoping to get an opinion on a DIY setup that seems to be pretty inexpensive, but full featured.
For background, I am currently having a house built. I am running a good amount of Cat 6 anywhere and everywhere it may be needed. I am also running speaker wire throughout. It all terminates in the utility room in the basement.
My plan is to run a Plex server in that room, with attached storage holding all of our media. I will have Plex clients (either HTPCs, ATVs, ROKUs etc) at each TV, hard wired over Cat 6 to the server.
I think that is all pretty straightforward (but would love any other ideas / suggestions, if anyone has any).
When it comes to music, I have had a considerably harder time coming up with a solution that satisfies my requirements. Then, something occurred to me that seems so cheap/simple, that I thought I must be missing something.
I will have 4 different speaker zones - at least to start. I am not super familiar with the different receivers that are out there that could handle this, or their compatibility with the rest of my setup. So - how about this: For each zone, I will get an Airport Express, hardwire it into my network (in the utility room), have the audio out go to a small auto on/off power amp and have that connected to the speaker run.
Using this setup I should be able to control all of my media from the Plex iOS app, and send music to whichever zone (Airport Express) I want at any given time, or have them all play the same feed. The Plex server allows multiple streams at any time, so (provided the hardware running the server could handle it), I could have multiple TVs going, watching different content, as well as multiple speaker zones (with different music playing).
I am seeing Airport Express's on Ebay/Kijiji for ~$50 and suitable amps for $75...which seems like an incredibly low cost way of getting all of this functionality.
Does anyone think I'm missing something? Have any better ideas?
One thing I should have mentioned earlier is that ease of use (once setup) is a paramount consideration...as the wife won't let me get away with a system that requires her to use multiple apps...or remotes to control.