My visual home media control & entertainment centre project

Discussion in 'Picture Gallery' started by dogtanian, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. dogtanian macrumors 6502

    dogtanian

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    #1
    Just thought i'd share a project I have planned for the house I'll be buying shortly...

    I'm currently using a 40" Sony Bravia with PS3, 360, Sony Surround sound and Sky+ 80GB PVR.

    I am desperate to get home audio network via Airport Express in the bedroom. bathroom and study so thought it would be pretty cool to be able to control this from a touch screen terminal and also upgrade the media centre.

    The plan is for a new 52" Sony LCD (X3500) and Sony G800 surround sound stand plus Apple TV, Sky+ HD & the PS3 serving up some media in the living room...

    Media Centre.jpg

    ...and an in-wall media controller in the form of a new mac mini (with 802.11n of course! *crosses fingers*) recessed behind a square cut out of the wall along with power sockets hidden also. Controlling the computer would be a 19" White Samsung LCD adapted with touch screen kit from eBay and a Logitech dial thingy (attached below LCD with wiring plastered into wall.) for scrolling through iTunes/Front Row etc. Covering the recessed part would be the LCD screen on a swivel VESA mount for access.

    Media Controller.jpg

    The media controller would be primarily used for relaying music around the house but in the future (when I could get round to it) also some basic and useful home automation.

    So what do people think? any draw backs for this? Any suggestions?

    BTW: diagram done in Powerpoint 2004 as have been using PP at work so kinda accustomed to it ;) Keynote still better for presentations by miles...
     
  2. GAS macrumors regular

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    #2
    For anything over 42" wouldn't you be better off with a plasma?
     
  3. silbeej macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Please, for the love of god, if you are going for a big time theater, do not get a sony surround speaker system. Go for something like JBL, Klipsch, or another floorstanding speaker setup. It will sound way better and be worth the extra money.
     
  4. dogtanian thread starter macrumors 6502

    dogtanian

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    #4
    I would have to agree but the design of the Sony G800 is primary as it is an all in one, obviously there is some sacrifice in audio quality but worth it... I hope.

    And in response to GAS: I find Americans often prefer Plasma's over LCD. If I listened to a certain people I'd have stuck with a CRT! lol. I see better blacks in plasma's but overall, in Europe, LCD's reign. :D
     
  5. silbeej macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Most americans like plasma cuz they are "BIG" however they use tons of power. I currently have an LCD, and i like it so much over a plasma, since the plasmas have the possible burn in.

    Overall tho it is a great design. I really like the idea of that touch screen.
     
  6. Aeolius macrumors 6502a

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    #6
  7. dogtanian thread starter macrumors 6502

    dogtanian

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    #7
    I was surprised that no-one (that I could find on the net) had not already tried something similar with the flat screen. Spose I'll be a guinea pig from the sounds of it.

    I have to admit myself and my other half are kinda eco-freaks so power consumption has always been a big deal. I have been tempted by Samsung's new 52" LED backlit LCD which is considerably less than the Sony, just brand loyalty I guess *sigh*
     
  8. dogtanian thread starter macrumors 6502

    dogtanian

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    #8
    Nice! but without fingerprint recognition it will not be complete :D

    I question the worth of home automation for someone able-boddied like myself but it's just so bloody cool!
     
  9. BBC B 32k macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I love the look of the Sony TV stand / surround sound system also. They have it as the main display in my local (Ruislip) Sony store. Would a 52" display actually fit OK on it - as in line up on the sides and not overhang the stand?

    Personally though I have my Mission m74 floor standers either side of my display and they give awesome sound with movies and music. Music is the thing lots of people overlook when choosing a home audio setup. Also have the Mission rear and centre speakers but have not set them up since moving to my new place.

    /SPEND EASTER SUNDAY SETTING UP HOME CINEMA/

    I am sure that your set up will be awesome. A nice way of controlling the Mac part is to use an old bluetooth mobile (I use a Sony Ericsson P990i) with <<remember name of software>>. Works really well and the phone I use has a touch screen and displays album artwork etc. You can even use it as a mouse.

    Hope you are enjoying the sun and sand this Easter. Have had many fun times in Bournemouth ;)
     
  10. timmillwood macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I have to agree and would recommend a pioneer
     
  11. iSamurai macrumors 65816

    iSamurai

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    #11
    hey, you do realise that will cost some £££ ;) pretty good set up.

    what makes you want to upgrade another 12" for the TV? also hook up eyeTV so you can watch stuff on your computer - Dunno if you really need it.

    and what did you use to make that diagram? my friend also made a similar one - or is it just from scratch?
     
  12. dogtanian thread starter macrumors 6502

    dogtanian

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    #12
    I used PP 2004 for the diagram. Will be a work in progress, won't be buying it all at once... however tempting.

    And oh, an extra inch or twelve can make all the difference ;)
     
  13. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #13
    Do Not go for the Sony kit. Get a Pioneer or Samsung panel, and an Onyko or Denon surround sound system.

    I would actually recommend a good stereo system over a medicore surround sound system though.

    Remember: Surround sound is not better sound, it's just more sound.
     
  14. dogtanian thread starter macrumors 6502

    dogtanian

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    #14
    I wish I could agree with you but when sat playing call of duty 4 with bullets whizzing past, it sure does feel like better sound...
     
  15. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #15
    I see what you're saying, but also bear in mind how limiting most budget surround sound systems are.

    If you get a decent stereo system, it can easily be adapted to surround sound later on.

    If you get a mediocre surround sound system, you cannot upgrade it to a better system without simply replacing the whole thing = a colossal waste of money.


    Believe me, get a pair of B&W speakers, a NAD or Rotel surround sound receiver and just run it in stereo for the time being. Then add on all your extra speakers later on, and you will be absolutely blown away by the sound. Forget anything you've heard in a cinema, this will blow it out of the water eventually.
     
  16. GAS macrumors regular

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    #16
    I'm in the UK. But Plasma has a far better picture than LCD. LCD is catching up, but most experts and reviewers agree, plasma is still far better picture quality wise. Pioneer Kuros are great.
     
  17. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #17
    Kudos to the Kuros - they're great displays...
     
  18. dogtanian thread starter macrumors 6502

    dogtanian

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    #18
    Not what 'What Hi-Fi' says...! Although everyone agrees the Kuros line is amazing. Wasn't assuming you were american btw!
     
  19. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #19
    What? HiFi is a waste of shelf space. Years and years ago it was a proper hifi magazine, where they gave mostly unbiased reviews of products.

    Now, it's The Sun of the AV/audiophile insutry.
     
  20. iSamurai macrumors 65816

    iSamurai

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    #20
    you do realise that sony and samsung co-operate and manufacture their TVs under the same roof? Well, actually sony uses samsung panels, not vice versa.

    sony has discontinued their plasma a while ago... this says a lot. plasma is cheap, and it has higher contrast (I heard 10000:1 for some), so colour is rich. LCD is improving and should be cheaper by the days, so just stick around. if you're going for a plasma, make sure it has FullHD.
     
  21. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #21
    Yes I do know they both use the same panels, but be aware that Sony has taken the strategy of using LCDs past 46" - at which point you might as well get a Plasma display as the image produced is of much higher standard (overall).

    Sony also cost a considerable amount more at all sizes than most other brands, and yet they only have the edge in terms of picture quality below 32" - and this improvement does not reflect the price difference.
     
  22. dogtanian thread starter macrumors 6502

    dogtanian

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    #22
    Lucky i'm not an audiophile it would seem ;)
     
  23. GAS macrumors regular

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    #23
    I thought it was called 'What Sony'.
    Seriously, it is extremely bias and just all round a poor magazine.
    www.hdtvtest.co.uk is a decent unbias review site, he buys all the screens himself, no freebies from manufacturers.
     
  24. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #24
    Note AV as well - not just for people who like to listen to music with a £10,000 cable up their arse...
     
  25. iSamurai macrumors 65816

    iSamurai

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    #25
    Ok i see your point... (haha you got that?...) they should have improved on the image quality by now (If not I hope so). They do, overprice their products.

    if you don't go for sony, there's others I think are quite good, namely sharp, poineer and panasonic (cheaper alternative). strange enough they're all japanese. for me though, I buy mainly sony and apple. something off topic; I prefer adidas over nike.

    when i look for TVs and screens, I usually consider these factors (not that I buy TVs every week) in order of importance:
    • price & size for budget
    • brand
    • picture quality, reaction time, colour, contrast, FullHD
    • sound
    • look of TV i.e. it musn't look crap when it's switched off
    • settings interface
    I really like philips' ambilight, but hey, they've patented it so it's not gonna be available for others. also it won't work well if your wall isn't white. <-- I <3 that alliteration.
     

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