Bertrand blogged his A/V setup and asked if I would do the same. Keeping with the theme of "semi-geeky", I thought I'd talk about the way everything is installed and wired.
- Samsung PN-58B650 plasma television
- Onkyo TX-SR705 7.1 channel receiver
- Definitive BP-7004 speakers (front left/right)
- Definitive UIW RCS II speakers (front center)
- Definitive UIW RSS III speakers (rear left/right)
- TiVo Series 3 high definition DVR
- Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray/DVD-Audio/SACD player
- Toshiba HD-A30 HD DVD player
- Apple TV 40GB iTunes extender
- Xbox 360 Elite gaming console
- Oppo HM-31 HDMI 3 in/1 out auto-switcher
- Harmony One universal remote control
- Netgear HDX101 power line Ethernet adapter
- HP EX-485 MediaSmart Windows Home Server
- FiOS router and WiFi access point
My room is relatively small, about 12' long by 16' wide. Part of the width is unusable for furniture, because the front door to the house is in one corner, and there is a hallway which leads back to the bedrooms and bathroom. In reality, the usable space is more like 12' x 12'.
I've placed all the equipment on a rack in the back corner of the room to try to use up some of the dead space between this room and the kitchen. The display is mounted on the front wall. The two floor standing front speakers are next to the television, and the center & rear speakers are mounted in the ceiling, as the wall with the television also houses a fireplace.
The Onkyo receiver is wired for HDMI 1.3a, but only has 3 inputs. I have 5 sources for video (all which have HDMI), so I bought the Oppo auto-switcher, which gives an additional 2 inputs for 5 in total. The nice thing about the Oppo switcher is that, although it has a remote control, you probably won't need it, because it automatically seeks out devices when you turn them on. So long as only one device is on, it will figure out which device to show.
Since I knew I was going to always keep two devices on -- the TiVo and the Apple TV -- that made the wiring choices easy. They each got plugged into the receiver directly, and the other three "usually off" devices -- Blu-ray player, HD DVD player, and Xbox 360 -- got plugged into the switcher, whose output went to the third and final input on the receiver.
Since HDMI is both video and audio, that's the only cabling that was necessary from each device to the receiver.
My Internet access and TV signal both come from FiOS, so the cable coming in here is split to the TiVo and the FiOS router. My WiFi access point is here as well, and all the devices are hard-wired into the router & access point: Blu-ray, HD DVD, Apple TV, Xbox 360, TiVo, and television. Everything has a network connection these days; my TV has upgraded its firmware more times than anything else I own. :)
I have all my music and my standard definition DVDs (movies & TV shows) stored on the Windows Home Server, which sits in the office. I run iTunes to serve all the content to the Apple TV.
The office is connected to the equipment rack (and thus the Internet) via power line Ethernet. It's a lot faster and more reliable than WiFi. The office has a gigabit router, into which is plugged the WHS as well as my desktop PC (and laptop, when it's used at the desk).
I had originally put the WHS box in the equipment rack, but the fans in the device were audible. It's not quite as bad as the noise from the 360, but close.
Wires in the Walls
Seeing as the television wall also has a fireplace, wiring was a marginally interesting problem. The television is above the fireplace, so the wiring there ran through the attic (as well as for the ceiling speakers, of course). The front right/left speakers, on the other hand, had to run through the crawl space.
The television has a single HDMI cable from the receiver, as well as an Ethernet cable and wiring for the infrared re-transmitter system (which allows me to point the remote at the TV, while sending the signals to whatever device needs them). The ceiling speakers have traditional amplified speaker signals running to them. The floor speakers have both traditional speaker cabling as well as line-level LFE signals for the powered woofers.
I have some photos taken during the installation: