Digital home theater setup options?
Posted on 2007-11-13
I am setting up my Home Digital Entertaiment from scratch and I want to set it up so it is viable in the future. The future I believe will all be 100% digital (Music, Movies, TV, Games etc)... therefore I don't see any sense in buying and setting up DVD players, HDD Recorders etc. My ideal setup would be something like the following:
1) A Centralised Digital Storage Device.
REASON: to store all Music, Movies, TV programs, Games, Photos and anything else that might be accessed via digital mediums.
POSSIBLE SOLUTION: I am thinking a PC would be most suitable for this.
2) An Everyday Visual Display.
REASON: for everyday use like watching broadcasted TV shows, as well as veiwing stored digital mediums.
POSSIBLE SOLUTION: most likely a Digital LCD TV.
3) A Home Theatre Display.
REASON: for watching Movies, playing games, watching Sporting or other special events.
POSSIBLE SOLUTION: most likely a Data Projector.
4) A Audio Sound System.
REASON: to provide sound support to the visual mediums in points (2) and (3).
POSSIBLE SOLUTION: a 5.1 Home Theatre sound system of some sort.
Points of Concern/Questions:
a) I would like the above setup to be as neat/clean/asthically pleasing as possible... minimum wires, having a PC sitting in my lounge room next to the LCD TV doesn't look to good.
b) How to easily access say a PC and select the digital media to be played... again having a keyboard and mouse hanging off a PC in the lounge room doesn't look good.
c) Playing broadcasted TV channels through a PC to a display, can this be done?
d) Record broadcasted TV shows onto the PC to watch at a later time... like we use to do with VCRs... can this be done?
The closests examples of a suitable setup I can think of are:
1) Use an XBOX 360 instead of a PC. This as its own HDD to store files on and play back. PROS: The 360 looks neater and tidier then a PC. It appears to do most of what I need it to do. CONS: HDD is limited on the 360, I would want atleast 1TB HDD and a PC allows for that. I don't think a 360 can play or record broadcasted TV.
2) Use APPLE products. The iMac and iTV in combonation to synch digital media and play it in my Home Entertainment setup. PROS: Apple products look very neat and clean. Are supposedly easy to use. CONS: I have never used APPLE products except iPod and iTunes on a PC. iTV I believe also has HDD limitations of I think 500GB and it updates its data from the iMac (or iTunes on a PC... not sure how well that works).
Sooooooo ... there you have it. I have only just began researching into this. I know what I ideally would like... I am just not sure on if it is possible with minimal hardware devices and wiring.
I would appreciate any comments and suggestions about how I might achieve my desired setup.
Thanks in advance.