My First Home Cinema - Thoughts please?



Hi all. Title is a little misleading as I have had systems for a number of years, but I am looking at my first custom installed home cinema system in the house I have moved into as we are renovating it. I am looking to bury all cables (all solid walls unfortunately) and have most of the kit in a hall cupboard. I will also be installing a cat5 network. The secondary purpose of the system will be for multiroom audio. For downstairs, I was tempted to use the same amp for this in order that I can have cds playing in either room, then using one of the many cat5 or wireless capable systems to access my MP3 collection elsewhere. Currently my thinking is this:

Hall Cupboard:
Media Centre PC with DVD / FFDShow for upscaling etc
Seperate DVD (just because MCE crashes so bloody often!)
Probably a yamaha 2600 or something similar with upconversion, HDMI in / out.
Single HDMI cable out from the amp to the TV which will be:
Samsung LE40R74BD

One thing which I am not sure is whether to use the zone 2 from the amp to power speakers in room 2 and just have 5.1, or use the passive zone 3 features which would require another amp. One thing I have never had the pleasure of is 6.1 or 7.1. In most peoples opinion, is it worth the extra speakers? Am I correct in thinking that 6.1 and 7.1 are not a true dolby digital format but a "pseudo" surround?

What other problems have people had with cabling a system in outside of the cinema room like this? I know IR is one thing I need to think about and I am probably thinking of using my cat5 network. Anyone recommend a decent (cheap) IR distribution solution?

Any advice on the dos / donts greatly appreciated!


Hi and welcome to the forums, for the amp question you would be best asking in the integrated amps/receiver part of the forums :) You will get a more speedy and relevant response there.

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