The complete guide to multi-room entertainment

Option 3 - The ultimate multi-room system

For true multi-room - especially video - you'll probably need to invest in a dedicated system (a sizeable bank balance is also a requirement). These usually comprise a central server that houses all your music and movies and then shifts it around your home using CAT5 cables buried in the walls.

One great example is the £9,000 Living Control Studio6 media server, which is capable of delivering two Full-HD video feeds and four 24-bit/-96kHz HD audio streams at the same time.

Most bespoke multi-room systems comprise a mixture of in-wall or in-ceiling speakers and amps with remote control provided by free-standing or wall-mounted touchscreen controllers.

The great thing about systems like this is that they're reliable, robust and almost infinitely scalable. They also give you a lot more in terms of functionality - from delivering different music and movie selections on demand to integration with other home automation features such as lighting, blind and curtain control and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning).

The price you pay depends on how much functionality you want and how big your home is, but the bill can easily run from a few thousand to tens of thousands of pounds. Your best bet maybe to consult a local custom installer. The CEDIA UK website can help you find one.

Other multi-room AV systems worth checking out are the Kaleidescape Mini System (from £6,695) and the Imerge MS1 MediaServer (from £5,507) - both offer HD quality audio and video streaming from a central server to any room in your home.

FOR FULL HD: Living Control's Studio6 is a multi-room audio and video server that's capable of streaming two Full HD video streams and four HD audio streams around your home simultaneously. It works with the iPhone, too

HIGH END: Kaleidescape specialises in high end media server solutions - but its new Mini System is the first one that's reasonably affordable. Prices start at £6,695