Sunday, May 10, 2015

My Home Entertainment Setup

Hi Internet,

Today I am deciding to share my home entertainment setup in my apartment living room. It is not big and fancy, but I am happy with it, especially with how little time I spend using it as I am usually on my computer. Ignore the messy left side of my cabinet :-D

In random order, this is what I have:

Some notes on the choices above: 

The reason I got the Vizio Sound Bar was because I wanted it to seamlessly integrate with my Vizio TV. This way I have the TV speakers disabled and when I press my TV remote to change the volume, it turns the sound bar on automatically and adjusts the volume accordingly. The Polk subwoofer has a smart sleep mode that stays asleep until sound comes through and then it automatically turns on. The sound quality isn't the best, but I think it is good enough for my needs since I don't want to disturb my apartment neighbors. I turn off the enhanced bass option on the sound bar, make the the subwoofer just handle the lower frequencies so it doesn't sound muddy, and I placed thick cardboard underneath so as to reduce the amount of floor vibration.

I have the TV, HTPC, and Server all connected via LAN cables to my Airport router so that the connection is reliable and my Wi-Fi wireless spectrum is not crowded. The 2.4GHz range is already crowded from nearby apartments and the quality is pretty bad.

I used to have Debian Linux installed on my server, but I switched to Xpenology because I loved being able to control things from my iPhone using the Synology apps, having the automatic photo backup from my iPhone and iPad, and the way the torrent software automatically extracts downloads once they are done. The CPU is powerful enough to handle 720P transcoding in Plex, and I have found it powerful enough for 1080P transcoding too, depending on the source. Some videos cause micro-stuttering while others are fine.

I have my HTPC automatically booting into Kodi for my multimedia needs. I use either my iPhone, iPad, or my Pebble watch in order to control it. I have an Xbox 360 controller which can be used as well, but I hardly do.

If you have any questions about my home entertainment setup, let me know!


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