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jet fixer
02-09-2012, 11:28 AM
My system is about 10 years old and I'm thinking of upgrading. I have not kept up on advancements so I have no Idea where to start researching new components or even if I can do what I'd like to see in a system. where to start?

My current receiver is a Denon 4802R, the rest of the system is Denon DVD and CD players, and a polk audio XM radio tuner. The speakers are Infinity SM255 front, SM85 Rear, and CC3 center.

What I'd like to do is get rid of the XM tuner and stream the radio through the system. I'd also like to down load all my CD's (600+) and store them digitally plus, be able to access them through one of the new smart TV's.
Is this possible?

Another thing I'm leaning towards is staying away from wireless can I hook up a modem inline with the cable box (cox) to get online content on a TV?

I'm currently looking at the Sony EX620 TV to add to the system. What else would I need to do what I want?

Last thing, Speakers how long do they last? mine still sound good (not great) should I replace them? I'd like some smaller but do not want to sacrifice the depth of sound I'm getting now. Everything I've recently demo'ed has either sounded tinny or distorted to me.

02-09-2012, 02:02 PM
First off, it sounds like you will need a Home Theater PC (HTPC) to cover all of the wishes. A HTPC will be able to hold your music collection and be able to act as a DVR and allow playback through a newer AVR that supports DNLA and Internet streaming. Once you tackle this the rest can be upgraded in phases:


And none of it has to wireless.

Mr Peabody
02-10-2012, 06:32 AM
Many receivers and HT preamps like the Marantz 7005 or new Onkyo provide streaming capability, not sure on a direct computer input but I would think so. Several models of TV's provide streaming and PC direct connectivity.

Your speakers should be fine as long as you don't notice any separation around the edge of the woofers. I used to sell Infinity, the SM was my least favorite but we sold more of it than anything do to the large woofers and high efficiency. What speakers have you auditioned? In my opinion it shouldn't be hard to find a brand that would be sonically an improvement, check Paradigm, Revel, Monitor Audio, more budget minded Wharfdale or Energy.

JoeE SP9
02-10-2012, 11:16 AM
With almost no exceptions smaller is not better with speakers. Keep what you have unless you actually hear something you like better.

02-12-2012, 12:50 PM
With almost no exceptions smaller is not better with speakers.

I don't know, I'm not so sure about that. Is the reverse also true?

I mean -- no offense, intended -- but those SM255s aren't exactly the last word in floorstanders.There are several variables to take into account here, but I'm pretty sure that if one had a mind to, one could put together some combination of monitors + subwoofer that would subjectively outperform his current Infinity setup. That's if he were unhappy with the Infinities.

Either way, if one is going to look for speakers, audition wherever possible and allow for break in period. My guess is that his dissatisfaction with new speakers has more to do with break-in (or lack thereof) as it does with his ears being acclimated to the more familiar sound produced by his Infinities.

jet fixer
02-13-2012, 09:22 AM
Thanks guys this is a good start. With the options I had the infinity's were the best I could get in 96 (overseas BX/PX). I was able to find a shop on the other side of town that is a dealer of some of the speakers mentioned, if I get the time I'll go give em' a listen.

Is a home theater PC the same as a media server? I'm not finding a lot of those, so far I'm liking the Okoro BX-100. I saw a few thread titles about building your own still need to do some reading before I can ask a proper question on doing that.

02-13-2012, 10:05 AM
Media Center software is the front end for your Home Theater PC to play movies, music, photos and much more via HDTV. While finding the best HTPC software often comes after trying several options, what are the popular media centers available. This list will simplify your task by highlighting the most popular media centers.
1. XBMC Media Center

XBMC Media Center (http://mymediaexperience.com/xbmc-media-center/) was originally designed as a media center interface for the XBOX game console. Today, it has evolved as a powerful media center for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X that is capable of playing most available media file types.
XBMC is a well establish and robust software for more advanced users which many people regards as the best media center available. XBMC has been the foundation for many alternative media centers. The user interface looks very elegant even without any customization.
To get started, read the complete guide to install XBMC in 15 minutes (http://mymediaexperience.com/how-to-install-xbmc-linux-in-15-minutes-with-openelec/).
2. Windows Media Center

http://mymediaexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/WMC_main_screen-300x168.pngThe music and music video streamers love having Windows Media Center (WMC) (http://mymediaexperience.com/windows-7-media-center-with-media-browser-plugin/) in their home theater PC. You can play music, videos, movies, and anything else you can stream off the net with this one program.
WMC is the most mainstream media center thanks to Microsoft’s advertisement and bundling efforts. There is nothing too technical about Windows Media Center and it plays most media formats out there.
It is not necessarily the most visually appealing or versatile, but it is still the most popular. However, there is a great plug-in to make the interface look stylish. Read more about this media aggregator plug-in here (http://mymediaexperience.com/windows-7-media-center-with-media-browser-plugin/).
3. Boxee

http://mymediaexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Boxee-300x166.jpgBoxee brings the social side to the media center. It has some unique features such as integrating online video content and a user recommendation system.
The development community is active around this application, so you better keep a close eye on this in the future. Boxee has already released some hardware around their platform called the D-Link Boxee Box.
Not sure if Boxee is right for you? Check out my detailed overview on whether Boxee is the right software (http://mymediaexperience.com/is-boxee-box-an-all-in-one-htpc-for-beginners/) for your needs.
4. Media Portal

http://mymediaexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Media_portal-300x147.jpgAnother good media center with TV tuner support is Media Portal. Media Portal turns your computer into a highly advanced media center.
It is an open source application similar to XBMC, but the key advantage of this software is that you can turn your PC into a PVR (Personal Video Recorder).
5. Plex

http://mymediaexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Plex-300x168.jpgPlex Media Center is a true media center alternative for Mac OS X and it is integrated with iTunes; so if you are well experienced with using iTunes for syncing music, TV shows, games, etc, the program would be perfect for you. The interface is visually stunning and it has a good integration with the iTunes media library. Read the full Plex review here (http://mymediaexperience.com/stunning-plex-media-center-for-mac/).
6. JRiver Media Center

http://mymediaexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/JRiver2-300x168.jpgJRiver Media Center is a jukebox-style media center like Windows Media Player or iTunes. However, it comes with a 10-foot interface optimized Theater View, which works perfectly with your HDTV.
The great thing about JRiver is that it supports even the most advanced codecs out of the box, and it is known to playback your music with excellent sound quality. It even comes with Netflix, Hulu and YouTube services integrated, so it is suitable for playing online video content, too. It is a perfect choice for you especially if you are an audiophile and like to play lossless formats of audio such as FLAC, APE, ALAC, WM and WAV files. JRiver costs $49.98.
7. Hulu Desktop

http://mymediaexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Hulu-300x128.jpgHulu Desktop is a 10-foot interface for the extremely popular video streaming website. Hulu contains the latest TV shows, classic movies and much more.
Hulu Desktop works with your windows media center remote control or Apple’s remote control, so it is very easy to cut the cable with this software. Just give it a try if you have not already!
8. MythTV

http://mymediaexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Myth_TV-300x168.jpgMythTV is the PVR of the Linux media center. You can record your shows and play them back at any time. It’s a great alternative to TiVo if you keep running out of space for all of your TV shows.
This one is for advanced users that want to set up their home theater computer to link to their television. Once linked, you will be able to record live television programs and store them on your PC. Then you will be able to play them at any time. MythTV has several variations for different Linux distributions such as a Mythbuntu and MythDora.
9. Moovida

http://mymediaexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Moovida-300x187.pngMoovida is an open source media center similar to Plex and other media centers. Moovida has two interfaces, Core and Immersed.
The Core is designed for the desktop PC usage while the Immersed is optimized for your TV. The Immersed interface offers a visually stunning 3D engine that is worth checking out.
10. Enna

http://mymediaexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Enna-300x116.jpgEnna Linux Media Center is probably something that most of you have not seen before. Enna is a user interface for the popular Linux distribution GeeXbox.
It has rather basic features, so don’t expect too much of it, but it is light weight and works even on an older computer. The great thing about Enna and GeeXbox is that you can simply try them with the Live Linux CD to see yourself before installing it to your computer.

http://mymediaexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/internet-tv-300x225.jpgAs you can see, there are several media center software available to choose from. Which media center is the best depends eventually on your needs for the media center. Are you interested in basic DVD playback and music listening capabilities or more advanced ways to play online and high definition video content?
For more advanced applications such as MKV format converters, DVD rippers and Blu-ray players, be sure to check out the list of the top 10 additional HTPC software (http://mymediaexperience.com/top-10-additional-software-for-home-theater-pc/) such as Blu-ray players and codecs for specific media formats.


02-13-2012, 10:12 AM
Here is a basic spec sheet to get an Ideal

CPU:Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5400 Wolfdale 2.7GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
Motherboard: Intel BOXDP43TF LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard
Graphics Card (NVIDIA):EVGA GeForce 9500 GT 512MB
windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
PSU:Thermaltake TR2 RX 450W (W0146)