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Sunday, 10 July 2011

Stuart’s A/V install project–Part 6 The Final One?

Hello welcome to part 6 the final post on my A/V install project. Today I have some pictures of the finished Living Room and Children’s Bedroom.

I’ve still got a few odd jobs to finish, I need to install an additional network point behind my lazy boy chair for the laptop and get a new aerial installed on the roof and hooked up to Media Center.

Living Room:

Windows 7 HTPC + Sherwood AVR + Nintendo Wii

AMD / ATI based HTPC using an Antec Remote Micro Fusion case.

I didn’t have any money in my budget for an AVR and 5.1 surround sound speakers, I was going to use my Denon stereo amp and a pair of speakers in the living room and purchase an AVR + 5.1 speakers at a later date. However I saw a local advert on Gumtrree for a cheap old Sherwood RD-7106R AVR + Eltax 5.1 speaker set, so I bought them! The AVR only supports SPDIF Optical in so I am using that for audio pass-through from the HTPC and HDMI direct from the HTPC to the HDTV for video signal.

I’ve not got a sub woofer at the moment either but the sound is still decent enough when playing movies in DTS and Dolby Digital, no HD audio support obviously. I am using a Logitech remote control with RF extender as with the equipment in the cabinet and the position of it the IR does not work when sat in my chair. The Logitech RF works better than I expected.

Wiring behind the Alphason App1000-blk cabinet.

My chair with laptop table and a Logitech Harmony 895 which is an older remote but I have to say it is excellent. I had to install an additional power socket behind the chair so I could easily plug in the laptop and remote control charger base without having wires trailing across the room from else where.

Logitech Harmony 895 Universal Remote Control

Wall mounted rear surround speakers, due to the odd shape of my Living room this was the only place I could really mount the speakers, I am very happy with the way in which the speaker cable just appears out of the ceiling to connect to the speaker!

Rear of the Living room with the stairs

Front and centre speakers, I did have the front left / right speakers on Gale speaker stands but I haven’t really got the room, so I put them in the bay window instead to give us more floor space. The cables for the speakers come up from underneath the floor!

LG 42 inch LED HDTV – Yeah it was cheap and the picture on black / dark scenes bleeds white in areas, but for the money I spent I am happy with it. 1080P Blu-ray movies in Arcsoft Total Media Theatre 5 look awesome. I purchased this TV from http://www.1staudiovisual.co.uk as they had a good price and I know the owner of the company who lives in Thailand.

I am toying with the idea of a ceiling mounted projector and motorized projector screen to come down from the ceiling and cover the bay window, maybe later if I am feeling flush!

My Movies 4.01

My side lamps in the living room and also the lamps in the bedrooms are controlled with Z-Wave Home Automation plug-in modules and the excellent mControl Home Automation software from Embedded Automation. I can also recommend PowerController MCE for Z-Wave in Media Center

You may also notice an Amulet Voice activated Remote Control for Media Center from Amulet Devices.

Eltax Millennium 100 front speakers and a Eltax Silverstone Center speaker.

Windows 7 Music Library – Now Playing

mControl MCML Media Center add-in for controlling the Z-Wave lights (Two pictures down). I also use the mControl mobile webpage on my iPod Touch to control the lights.

I have also just purchased an Aeon Labs MiniMote which I have not received yet and its late in the post: take note http://zwave-products.co.uk/ so I can control the lights when the WHS and mControl are in S3 sleep mode.

Another cool feature I have just figured out how to setup is for the side lamps in the living room to auto dim down and brighten up when I start / stop and pause movie playback in Media Center / My Movies.

Children’s Bedroom:

Kind of happy with this room, I would like a larger TV and some better matching Denon speakers but the kids are more than happy with their new TV setup.

Linksys DMA 2100 Media Center Extender and a Denon UD-M31 stereo amp

My Movies TV Series Library – Blue’s Clues

TunerFree MCE add-in – Cbeebies

Well sadly that’s it for part 6, I hope you have enjoyed reading this series of blog posts, its certainly different as you don’t see many posts on this kind of installation topic. I was thinking about maybe doing a part 7 showing my Media Center User Interface and all the add-ins I am currently using? I might do it if there is some interest so leave your comments and feedback below.

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2 comments:

Renny said...

I enjoyed this series you have put together. I suspect you are keeping the wall plate manufacturers afloat. May as well round it off with your WMC setup.

Hamish said...

Nice Blog.. mine is very similiar with Windows Media Centre stuff...

http://www.evoscan.com/home

maybe you could blog about my blog. so others can find my blog too.