Third and Final Attempt (at this venue)

wayneclements

Novice Member
So this will be the last attempt at some sort of HT before I leave my apartment, move to somewhere a bit bigger with scope for dedicated room. How long that will be depends on the wonders of the housing price market. My original effort on this forum is here...

Aside from Looking at changing the toshiba 47" LCD to a 50" plasma, I dont plan on changing anything any time soon.

Equipment list, then pics.

TV - Samsung 50" Plasma (updated 27/6/10)
AV Receiver - ONKYO 607
Tuner - SkyHD+ Box
Gaming - PS3, XBox 360
Music - Apple TV
Speakers - Q Acoustics (C, L, R and Rears), Acoustic Energy Sub and some old kef eggs for the RS and LS hidden under the couch)
HD - Sony s bdp 350 (which ive had region hacked and is an excellant upscaler as well as bluray player)
Harmony 885 (Easily one of the best purchases ive ever got)
TV Units - Ikea (besta, backs off)
Marmitek IR repeater - Amazon
HTPC - Which I built myself and it outputs audio and picture via HDMI into the onkyo. Ive also fitted an IR receiver so it can be controlled by the harmony (more about the htpc and xbmc further down).


The main goal was to be as minimal as possible. I dont want to show the kit off, but rather hide it all away nice and quietly using the IR repeaters. Using the one button activity presses on the harmony remote, I like to the confuse the bejesus out of people when they wonder how and where everything is. All the speaker cables are hidden under the flooring and skirting. And the 2 Q Acoustic rears are the ones that hide up in the corners of the ceiling. The feature wall is a standard wooden and mdf floating wall which I knocked together one weekend. Im also using the zone 2 output of the onkyo 607 to output the sound of either the sky box, music system or radio to waterproof speakers in my bathroom. (Using an ipod touch I can control the music system whilst having a poo, whilst someone else watches tv in the lounge).










Typical Aussies score whilst im taking a picture. Booooooo!!!


The real workhorse of my setup is my media pc and xbmc configuration. Many hours have been spent making it into the slick unit it is now. One activity button push on the harmony will fire up the xbmc software meaning thats all the end user will ever see. So the first screen below is the first screen they see once jumping from watching sky etc. Sub menus for movies and tv shows are also shown (I decided to leave all my music on the apple tv since I dont like xbmc music system and the apple tv is a far better unit for music browsing, plus all my music content is on itunes anyway). Using RSS feeds into the utorrent client, all my TV shows are always up to date and xbmc (running a modified aeon skin) will automatically catalogue all my new downloads and rips every day. I've also now got around 2TB of movies on one of my NAS boxes which ive mainly ripped from my huge dvd and blu ray collection. Infact when most people see my xbmc setup, they ask me to do the same for them. So ive probably cloned my setup about a dozen times for friends and family. I recommend anyone with a little bit of PC knowledge, AV desire and time on their hands get into XBMC has there's a huge support and skinning community and using a media PC is literally saving me lots of time and money by getting all my content in one place. I cant really go into the XBMC, RSS Feed and utorrent setup anymore on here as they typically censor it.






UPDATE:

Update. New arrival this morning.

SAMSUNG - PS50C550 50" Full HD Plasma TV




UPDATE 2:

Sony Floorstanders replaced with wall mounted Q Acoustics 2020's





UPDATE 3:

Upgrade: Replaced 3x besta units with a 1 piece besta burs high gloss white bench. Had to modify its 2 drawer sections to take a shelf each and open.
 
Last edited:

Dan Baker

Well-known Member
Looks great extremly neat and tidy definitely to my taste! I really like the look of the rear speakers what model are they? I've not seen them before and might be exactly what I'm looking for.

Keep up the good work and good luck with the house hunting!
 

wayneclements

Novice Member

SparksCW

Novice Member
Looks really nice! Where did you get those sidetables under the TV from?

Top work.
 

alz2605

Well-known Member
The flat looks great and has totally been transformed by the wood flooring and has really been opened out by the removal of the semi partition wall.

I remember seeing your thread a few years back and liking the use of a long panel behind your little tv. It always stuck in my mind and last year I did something similar in my lounge.

Nice work matey :smashin:
 

wayneclements

Novice Member
The flat looks great and has totally been transformed by the wood flooring and has really been opened out by the removal of the semi partition wall.

I remember seeing your thread a few years back and liking the use of a long panel behind your little tv. It always stuck in my mind and last year I did something similar in my lounge.

Nice work matey :smashin:
Its funny how £400 worth of laminate flooring (homebase 10% off weekend. 32 SQ metres covered with 2 packs left over) can make the whole room lighter, brighter and tie it to the kitchen. Just what im going for when selling it on. And those ikea units are the original ones as well. Cant recommend them for AV enough. I had to rerun the calibration on the AV amp though, as going from carpet to solid floors changed the acoustics of the room.
 

akhlaq768

Active Member
very nice, is the tv unit 3 seperate parts (purchased seperately) or is a single complete unit?

do u think they still sell them? is it a gloss white?
 

AV Happy

Well-known Member
Very nice, Its good to see someone else who like white speakers :smashin:
 

RichJD

Novice Member
Looks really good :thumbsup:

What is the plinth, that your sub is sitting on, made out of?
Does it reduce the annoyance to your neighbours?
 

daNutz

Standard Member
Hi,

Lovely setup you have there, i would be very interested if you could PM me some more details on the RSS feed you have into utorrent to keep you libaray up to date as ive been considering setting up XBMC for a long time now and after seeing yours im now motivated to do it.

thanks
 

wayneclements

Novice Member
Looks really good :thumbsup:

What is the plinth, that your sub is sitting on, made out of?
Does it reduce the annoyance to your neighbours?
Its actually the top of an ikea lack side table. And the building is solid concrete floors anyway, so ive not had issues with sound, but it does seem to stop any vibration in the lounge on particularly loud explosions.

very nice, is the tv unit 3 seperate parts (purchased seperately) or is a single complete unit?

do u think they still sell them? is it a gloss white?
3 x ikea Besta units (as written in the original post)
 

wayneclements

Novice Member
would u consider getting a popcorn hour, instead of the setup you have now?
Not really. The media PC has more power behind it than a popcorn hour box, the xbmc frontend is better (and customizable), i've got usb drives connected for automatic backups, and its really easy to add and change drives to beef up the storage space when I need to.

I also wouldnt be able to run the utorrent and rss downloading for TV shows on popcorn hour. As it stands now I have about 30 shows all updating and downloading a few hours after their US air dates and the xbmc library updates on each startup. Ripping from blu ray and dvd also has more scope for compression.

I think you could probably build a media PC with hdmi out and plenty of storage for a cost which wouldnt be that different to popcorn hour. Its obviously just a bit bigger and takes some knowledge to set up. I'd only consider popcorn hour if space was an issue.
 

akhlaq768

Active Member
totally agree with you, i would only go down the route of the popcorn hour because of the simple set up...

definately a media pc is more powerfull

so what do you use it for currently?

-torrent
-watching/playing movies/photo/music
what else?

do you have any pics of it...

What do you think about the Acer Revo?
 

Bizness

Active Member
Excellent stuff. I've love to have the money to move to the glossy white and black look.

Oh and any man who's an Entourage fan gets a big thumbs up in my book. :)
 

THE_FORCE

Banned
Still looking swift there Wayne ! I understand about it being a 'final attempt at this venue'. I think there comes a point when you can only do so much with a certain amount of space before it's time to move on. It's just finding that elusive property which will make the move worthwhile. Tough cookie, and we all want that 'dedicated room' ! :thumbsup:
 

wayneclements

Novice Member
Still looking swift there Wayne ! I understand about it being a 'final attempt at this venue'. I think there comes a point when you can only do so much with a certain amount of space before it's time to move on. It's just finding that elusive property which will make the move worthwhile. Tough cookie, and we all want that 'dedicated room' ! :thumbsup:
I think I'd settle for somewhere with a basement, loft or even a garage that I could hijack....im even slightly considering my second bedroom (which is only 4m x 4m) but I'd have to get very creative on storage but I'd be making compromises. Somewhere there must be a place with a 6x6 basement I could put screen, speakers, bar and stripper pole in. But just found out my apartment isnt worth what I paid for it in 2007, so I'll be here for a year or so as my pride wont let me move and take a loss.

totally agree with you, i would only go down the route of the popcorn hour because of the simple set up...

definately a media pc is more powerfull

so what do you use it for currently?

-torrent
-watching/playing movies/photo/music
what else?

do you have any pics of it...

What do you think about the Acer Revo?
Cant mention anything about torrents on here, but to watch tv shows/movies I use the xbmc with the aeon skin (and some mods) and photos and music I use the apple tv (essentially I prefer the front end for music on the apple tv, plus all my music is in itunes. And since I use a harmony remote, its only a matter of pressing the music activity button to switch. I think the sound output from the apple tv to the onkyo is great as well).

Here is a pic of the media pc. Built myself with an antec case. Cost was around £250. It uses an ATI graphics card that outputs both 1080p picture and 7.1 sound (no HD sound yet) which is handy. Its got a bluray drive in it which is useful for ripping as well. I use IR repeaters and leave the backs off the cupboards, so the doors never need to be open. The apple tv, usb backup drives and bluray player are in that same part of the unit as well.



As for the revo, a guy at work actually bought that to use as a media PC (I think it has hdmi output, its tiny and at a good price point) but he found that it was unable to play mkv or hd files (which is what you'd rip a bluray to) properly. From what we could tell (I work in IT, so we did full diagnostics) the small atom processor in it wasnt fast enough to actually run video at 720 or 1080 on his tv (the picture would get choppy and the audio wouldnt sync). So just be aware of that. We tried it on different TV's and hdmi cables, but the pc itself just didnt seem able to run windows, xbmc and play mkv files without chopping up.


Excellent stuff. I've love to have the money to move to the glossy white and black look.

Oh and any man who's an Entourage fan gets a big thumbs up in my book. :)
Actually its not been massively expensive. The ikea units are reasonable, the table and chairs are argos, the sofas dfs and other bits from dwell.
 

Blump

Novice Member
Looks great mate.

Decent flooring and fresh paint can transform a place so much, I suppose because the occupy 100% of the living space :)
 

Calaxo

Standard Member
Yep, looks like a good setup. Not sure that the patterned wall behind the TV works for me ------ just my honest opinion. It's not kind on the eye, and I like the clean, uncomplicated look ;)
 

DarkMatter33

Novice Member
3x ikea besta units, legs + doors (380x400x600). Handy because you can leave the backs off which keeps everything cool
I don't suppose you could put a link in for these on the website as I can only see these in black, not the white gloss finish?

I really like the idea of running XBMC, can you recommend any good sites for FAQ's on how to set it it with some of the cool features you have on yours?

Cheers. :thumbsup:
 

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