A couple weeks ago I went to our annual Street Of Dreams here in Seattle. It’s a showcase of custom homes that feature new products, interior designs and nice gardens. Since I’m the designated geek of the bunch, I am the one that checks out the kind of systems they put in these homes (to see how they compare to my setup) — I really wasn’t impressed. However, a couple homes did have a HAI OmniPro II for automation, which earned some points in my book, but a few also had a Sony Audio/Video System rather than a Russound CAV6.6. When I first noticed the Sony controllers, I thought maybe they were new old stock Sony multiroom gear from 1997. I remember Sony dabbled in this space years ago and thought they bailed. But this system looked updated, newer. So after a little Google time, sure enough the package I saw installed in the home was a CAV-MS1000ES Multi-Zone Distribution System. The package consists of a six-zone control amplifier with line level audio and video distribution outputs and eight audio and video inputs. The main controller/amplifier retails for about $5k (which includes a two-way 5.1-inch LCD touch-screen). Then depending on your installation requirements, you can install up to six wall-mount remote control units (pictured) at about $400 a pop (or $2400 for six).

If you are a Sony lover and are brand loyal, this package may be for you. I however, still prefer the Russound CAV6.6 over the Sony.