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I am in proces of upgrading my audiovisual kit to the 21st century Lounge. Have researched Media Center on web and am confused as to whether I can get it custom configured to meet my needs or whether its a good Idea. Any help appreciated- I will outline my current thinking and requirements.
To start with I am planning to get the following kit: 1)Pioneer 42" PDP 436 XDE Plasma TV (come with digital tuner and HDMI capability)
2)Yamaha RXV-4600 Reciever (Looks fantastic for decoding, delivering high quality home cinema audio/video (DVI/HDMI) and can drive 3 audio zones allowing extension from lounge to kitchen and dining room) 3) Bose 15 6.1 speaker set-up (Great satellite speakers/subwoofer with great sound)
Will link to current wired ethernet home network (4 pc's), sky digibox and samsung dvd/vcr combo unit (to allow family vhs collection playback).
What I want from a Media Center or other equipment combo is the following:
1)Tivo recording/playback, my pictures, my videos, my music capability.
2)Ability to browse internet
3)Ability to play digital video downloads from my home network DVD's, mpeg,avi, DivX formats etc from the home network onto the big screen and home theatre setup
4)Ability to playback TIVO content from lounge on home pc network
5)High quality/definition progressive scan multi-region DVD playback (but using the pioneer TV and yamaha reciever audio visual output capabilities
6)Ability to playback independent streams of music (multi-zone music control capability) on the 3 yamaha reciever channels simultaneuosly
7)Integrated remote control capability (probably using yamaha's supplied learning remote with something else to control music playlists?)
Ability to use subscription Cam satellite tv cards
I have reviewed the key media centers available in the uk Armari's Media Fusion, Evershams Ebox,
Entertainment pc's Fidelity 2, Alienwares DSP2, Elonex's Artisan, Tranquils T2emp, Acers Aspire and various shuttle offerings but have failed to decipher clearcut answers to all of the above issues (even after calling some not all of them yet!) Also I have not got a clear understanding of the configuration I need that will enable me to optimally utilise the hardware I am planning on getting and thus not pay for media center capabilities I don't want or will not use.
The next big issue is than what are the alternatives and would that be a better use of resources currently whilst media center finds its feet? In the alternatives I was looking at getting a 1) Panasonic DMR-E500H 400 GBHDD DVD recorder with ethernet compatibility that streams back content to PC network 2) Phillips SL400i streamium or Buffalo linktheater wireless media player. These stream back content from home network to TV and home theater setup. Other potential options is to use Pinnacles Showcenter (to enable TIVO capability from TV to PC network) and Bardone system from Summitteetr for cost effective distributed multiroom music.
Any help advice on getting through this jungle would be much appreciated.
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