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jonathan
Jul 3, 2005

by LITERALLY AN ADMIN


Have you considered using a vertical rack for your AV gear that is out of the way ? There really is no point to having all your gear under the TV. A mounted TV with the center speaker underneath on a pedestal stand, and the L&R speakers with nothing more in view looks pretty classy.

Then the AV rack goes off to the corner, or even behind the seating area. For my parents setup I did floating glass shelves that the gear sits on, with the cords cleanly routed and bundled. With a vertical rack you could get away with a single hdmi going to the tv, and it could be hidden at the wall trim, then ran up the wall up to the tv with a pain matched conduit, or fished up behind the drywall and then out behind the tv.

For example:



The only difference is you just point your remote off to the side to control stuff, or you get an IR repeater. My components aren't even in the same room.

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The Dave
Sep 9, 2003



EC posted:

Does anyone have any experience with Standout Designs?

http://www.standoutdesigns.com/

I've been looking for a quality home entertainment center for awhile, and stumbled across these dudes today. They are incredibly expensive, but have a bunch of stuff I like. Optional fans for the back, glass shelves, etc.

For that much cash I rather find something I like at Pottery Barn. They have a similar style: http://www.potterybarn.com/shop/furniture-upholstery/media/?cm_type=lnav

EC
Jul 10, 2001

The Legend


jonathan posted:

Have you considered using a vertical rack for your AV gear that is out of the way ?

My living room (and house) isn't really setup for it. That, and for better or worse I'm that dude that constantly needs to mess around with cables and what not.

The Dave posted:

For that much cash I rather find something I like at Pottery Barn. They have a similar style: http://www.potterybarn.com/shop/furniture-upholstery/media/?cm_type=lnav

My issue with that stuff is that isn't really made with the components in mind. They're usually too thin, or don't have enough space for components, or don't have decent air flow, etc etc. I'm looking at the end of the year when I'll (more than likely) end up with like 8 or 9 components in the drat thing. HTPC, Wii U, 360, PS3, PS4, 720, Sat box, turntable...

Thanks for both suggestions.

niss
Jul 9, 2008

the amazing gnome

EC posted:

Does anyone have any experience with Standout Designs?

http://www.standoutdesigns.com/

I've been looking for a quality home entertainment center for awhile, and stumbled across these dudes today. They are incredibly expensive, but have a bunch of stuff I like. Optional fans for the back, glass shelves, etc.

Both a friend and I have them and they are well worth the money. It is made with AV equipment in mind. I got the glass with the holes and the optional fan kits. I have mine loaded out receiver, ps3, xbox360, aTV, HDMI switch, power center, DTV DVR, and center channel and never once had any issue with overheating. Don't just think of it as something to hold your AV gear, it is a beautifully made piece of "Real" wood furniture that will last a very very long time. It is designed for good airflow even with the door closed. I opted for the smoked glass in the doors, so my gear is not visible. The cable management in the back is really nice. there is a nice area in the back middle of the unit which is inset, allowing you to place additional coiled wires and to clear any power outlets, allowing you to put it completely against the wall.

The only other thing I did was to get a piece of glass cut for the top, so as to not have to worry about scratches in the wood over time. Just be aware it comes as a complete unit minus the glass shelves obviously, it is drat heavy. But extremely solid.

I can't recommend them enough. I don't have any pics with me otherwise i would post them, ill see if I can take a few when I get home. I've had mine for two years now.

Barry
Aug 1, 2003
Hardened Criminal

I ordered one of those the other day. The Horizon N702XL. I've been researching media furniture since basically forever and that was the only one that hit all the points I wanted. I have a big center channel and none of the other usual suspects had anything that would fit it - they were always a half inch too short here or there. Plus it's solid wood, has all the features niss was mentioning above and is essentially the exact size I was looking for. The icing on the cake was that they had the one I wanted (Black Oak) in B stock for $500 off, so I paid ~$1600 with delivery. Can't wait to get it.

niss
Jul 9, 2008

the amazing gnome

Also if you can wait till around a holiday or major event they usually do x% off shipping or some such thing. I don't remember how much % I got but it was decent. I have even heard people missing it by a week for some reason and calling them up and still getting the discount.

I also have the Horizon N702XL, the only major decision was if I wanted the two drawer or I wanted my center channel in the upper center area. I chose the upper center area. I have swapped it around a few times, but ultimately settled on my center being in the unit. I also got the center channel cover, which is very nice and is attached by magnets to the cabinet.

EC
Jul 10, 2001

The Legend


Thanks for the details, y'all. Sounds pretty good. The wife looked at it last night and approved of it, saying almost exactly what you said Barry: it looks like a real piece of furniture.

How is the cable management with the fans, niss?

niss
Jul 9, 2008

the amazing gnome

EC posted:

Thanks for the details, y'all. Sounds pretty good. The wife looked at it last night and approved of it, saying almost exactly what you said Barry: it looks like a real piece of furniture.

How is the cable management with the fans, niss?

It is definitely a real piece of furniture, thats for sure.

There is one cable for each side, and it plugs into a power brick which I have stored in the back recessed area. The fans are really quiet, the only time I have every heard them is if I accidentally leave all my stuff on overnight and I wake up and walk into the room when it is dead quiet. My house is all tile, with just some area rugs here and there so sound carries a lot further in my house and that is the only time I hear them.

For each component side there are 3 holes I believe which have a split rubber inset which you route cables through. They are good size and can accommodate quite a few wires.

Will make sure and snap some shots when I get home.

EC
Jul 10, 2001

The Legend


Sounds excellent. If you have time to toss a few pictures up, I'd love to see them.

Barry
Aug 1, 2003
Hardened Criminal

niss posted:

I also have the Horizon N702XL, the only major decision was if I wanted the two drawer or I wanted my center channel in the upper center area. I chose the upper center area. I have swapped it around a few times, but ultimately settled on my center being in the unit. I also got the center channel cover, which is very nice and is attached by magnets to the cabinet.

My search for A/V furniture was completely based around having the center channel in unit - mine is about 8" tall and the screen on my TV starts probably 4" off the ground, so it either had to go above it or below it. I didn't really want to try and rig up some ugly stand to have it above it and nothing is going on my walls (that's reserved for paneling and artwork), so below it is. I'm debating about getting the cover, seems like a pretty good idea.

This is what it will be replacing, some old coffee table from Ikea: http://imgur.com/HmZvZRU

niss
Jul 9, 2008

the amazing gnome

Yeah I have the Def Tech CLR 2002 and it fits with plenty of room to spare. The screen is a nice touch, just gives it a much cleaner look, at least thats my opinion.

niss
Jul 9, 2008

the amazing gnome

Here are a few pics.. Sorry they aren't that good. I don't have much light over there and the dark walls don't help. I've never been able to get any good pics really.

jink
May 8, 2002

Drop it like it's Hot.

Taco Defender

EC posted:

Does anyone have any experience with Standout Designs?

http://www.standoutdesigns.com/

I've been looking for a quality home entertainment center for awhile, and stumbled across these dudes today. They are incredibly expensive, but have a bunch of stuff I like. Optional fans for the back, glass shelves, etc.

I have the Horizon N702 and I love it. Yes, it was expensive but it is specially designed for home theater equipment.

I bought the exhaust fans, center speaker grill kit and extender. It keeps my equipment cool and my Onkyo fits with ease. The build quality is top notch and the wood looks great with the Cinnamon Maple stain. I store around 30 Blu-ray discs in the bottom along with some remotes. Cable runs are easy and the rear panels come off with a single screw. The whole cabinet slides on the floor with it's casters... Incredibly easy to work on.

I understand the price being high but it's well worth it if you can appreciate those features.


Some photos of when I first got the N702 to today:

Barry
Aug 1, 2003
Hardened Criminal

My new Horizon arrived today... but my order from Monoprice full of cable management stuff and banana plugs and whatnot won't be here until Wednesday. Woe is me.

qirex
Feb 15, 2001



Salamander Designs has high quality stuff [at a similar price] as well, I've been using one of their synergy systems forever, started out plain but I've added sides, a door and eventually a TV mount.

Not an Anthem
Apr 27, 2003

I'm a fucking pain machine and if you even touch my fucking car I WILL FUCKING DESTROY YOU.


Conundrum/STB question

I don't have a picture available of my current setup, but this is it:

Samsung 55" HDTV
Mele A2000
Synology DS212+
Asus N66U

Marantz 2200
mediocre old turntable

My problem is this, I mostly use netflix and streaming stuff from the Synology ds212+. The Mele A2000 is good, but I use a custom flashed android build thats pretty old now and Netflix and HBO Go sometimes hang.

My brother in law is giving me HBO Go access, that's another thing to mention, so now priorities are HBO Go, Netflix, streaming lots of files including mkv which the Mele hates.

My friend 99% convinced me to get a WD TV Live, but I realized I do have DVDs I occasionally want to watch. Its really, really rare though, but now that I have an ultralight notebook I can't just hook that up to the TV if I want to watch a DVD.

I'm split between the WD TV Live, which can do all the streaming bullshit I want, and an XBox360 which could do Netflix, HBO Go, streaming and DVDs. Used, the WD TV Live is only fractionally cheaper.

Any ideas/input?

Barry
Aug 1, 2003
Hardened Criminal

I think not having an ability to play DVD's/BluRay's would be a deal breaker for me.

If you went the XBox route, your general streaming capabilities wouldn't be quite as on-par with a WDTV, and you'd be paying a monthly fee for the privilege of doing so.

Could you get a little standalone DVD player of some sort?

Not an Anthem
Apr 27, 2003

I'm a fucking pain machine and if you even touch my fucking car I WILL FUCKING DESTROY YOU.


I didn't even realize it- I'd have to get an xbox subscription just to use netflix/hbo go/stream?

Barry
Aug 1, 2003
Hardened Criminal

Netflix yes, not sure about HBO Go, but I would assume so as well.

Not an Anthem
Apr 27, 2003

I'm a fucking pain machine and if you even touch my fucking car I WILL FUCKING DESTROY YOU.


That is stupid. I'll get the WD TV Live and a crappy DVD player.

CheddarGoblin
Jan 12, 2005
oh

Play MKV files from (windows) network share
Netflix
HBO GO


Why is it so difficult to get a single box that does these three things? Does anyone know of one? I have an original boxee that won't do HBO GO. The Roku won't play files from a network share. WD TV has no HBO GO. Raspberry pi/xbmc won't do hbo go or netflix.

Dogen
May 5, 2002

Bury my body down by the highwayside, so that my old evil spirit can get a Greyhound bus and ride


Can't you play stuff from your share using Plex with the Roku?

edit: now with possibly helpful link

http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/topic/40686-getting-started-with-plex-and-your-roku/

Red Robin Hood
Jun 24, 2008

Motherfucking Space Shaaaaaaaaarks!


Buglord

I was considering picking up the WD Live box as well. I bought this: http://amzn.to/ZyfOq1 but didn't like the UI and overall clunkiness so I'm returning it. The WD Live looks good but I wanted to ask the opinion of the great Goon horde!

What I'll be using it for:

Mostly watching .MKV videos from my 3tb external HD
Would stream to it from my PC if it did not have to convert (I have a PS3 but it seems like the process of converting the MKV to something the PS3 can view makes it very chunky for 720/1080p video).
Would like to use it to watch Amazon Prime but it wouldn't be a deal breaker if I couldn't since I currently don't use it.

Does anyone have suggestions?

Dogen
May 5, 2002

Bury my body down by the highwayside, so that my old evil spirit can get a Greyhound bus and ride


Red Robin Hood posted:

(I have a PS3 but it seems like the process of converting the MKV to something the PS3 can view makes it very chunky for 720/1080p video)

Is your computer slow or network bandwidth not the greatest? Have you tried all the various (ps3mediaserver, plex, serviio) programs for this?

I'm not an expert on all things set top box, but I don't think many (any?) of them can play .mkv without a computer to do the heavy lifting.

Red Robin Hood
Jun 24, 2008

Motherfucking Space Shaaaaaaaaarks!


Buglord

Dogen posted:

Is your computer slow or network bandwidth not the greatest? Have you tried all the various (ps3mediaserver, plex, serviio) programs for this?

I'm not an expert on all things set top box, but I don't think many (any?) of them can play .mkv without a computer to do the heavy lifting.

I have a great computer and my computer is wired into my router which is wired to my PS3. Still lots of buffering when playing hd content.

Dogen
May 5, 2002

Bury my body down by the highwayside, so that my old evil spirit can get a Greyhound bus and ride


Red Robin Hood posted:

I have a great computer and my computer is wired into my router which is wired to my PS3. Still lots of buffering when playing hd content.

If that's true then it's probably something in the configuration of whatever transcoding program you're using. I'm streaming 1080p over moca (100mbish) from my 2500k powered desktop and it has no hiccups. Currently using plex but I've used serviio and ps3mediaserver in the past.

Red Robin Hood
Jun 24, 2008

Motherfucking Space Shaaaaaaaaarks!


Buglord

Dogen posted:

If that's true then it's probably something in the configuration of whatever transcoding program you're using. I'm streaming 1080p over moca (100mbish) from my 2500k powered desktop and it has no hiccups. Currently using plex but I've used serviio and ps3mediaserver in the past.

Huh... that'd be nice! I'll give that a try! I've only ever tried ps3mediaserver. I can use Plex with my PS3?

Dogen
May 5, 2002

Bury my body down by the highwayside, so that my old evil spirit can get a Greyhound bus and ride


Red Robin Hood posted:

Huh... that'd be nice! I'll give that a try! I've only ever tried ps3mediaserver. I can use Plex with my PS3?

Yes. My only issue with it currently is that I can't pause and resume when transcoding. Some people have been able to make it work with some fiddling. Also, no 5.1 passthrough. Other than that, works great.

Red Robin Hood
Jun 24, 2008

Motherfucking Space Shaaaaaaaaarks!


Buglord

Dogen posted:

Yes. My only issue with it currently is that I can't pause and resume when transcoding. Some people have been able to make it work with some fiddling. Also, no 5.1 passthrough. Other than that, works great.

I'll give it a try when I get home and report back. Thanks for the suggestion. I had almost gotten to the point of buying a new TV since a media player/streamer in my price range was $150 and I've got a $150 Costco gift card!

Not an Anthem
Apr 27, 2003

I'm a fucking pain machine and if you even touch my fucking car I WILL FUCKING DESTROY YOU.


the nicker posted:

Play MKV files from (windows) network share
Netflix
HBO GO


Why is it so difficult to get a single box that does these three things? Does anyone know of one? I have an original boxee that won't do HBO GO. The Roku won't play files from a network share. WD TV has no HBO GO. Raspberry pi/xbmc won't do hbo go or netflix.

Seriously. I don't like the apple tv or roku interfaces either, I like the WD TV Live interface, albeit a little garish/ugly.

CheddarGoblin
Jan 12, 2005
oh

Plex isn't free, and it's more because of the principle: why should I have to buy an app to transcode and stream file types that the box can play natively? Just because it can't see a network share? That's such a trivial thing to include, I don't understand why it's left out. Also these media server apps are never perfect, there's always something that doesn't work well in my experience.

Sorry for the derail.

CheddarGoblin fucked around with this message at 14:57 on May 9, 2013

Red Robin Hood
Jun 24, 2008

Motherfucking Space Shaaaaaaaaarks!


Buglord

the nicker posted:

Plex isn't free, and it's more because of the principle: why should I have to buy an app to transcode and stream file types that the box can play natively? Just because it can't see a network share? That's such a trivial thing to include, I don't understand why it's left out. Also these media server apps are never perfect, there's always something that doesn't work well in my experience.

Sorry for the derail.

I set Plex up last night and didn't have any issues after is synched up my library and I restarted it. My PS3 saw it immediately and played in wonderful quality. When you say Plex isn't free do you mean the phone apps? You don't actually need to use the phone apps for it to work!

Not an Anthem
Apr 27, 2003

I'm a fucking pain machine and if you even touch my fucking car I WILL FUCKING DESTROY YOU.


Honestly the DLNA stuff built into the Synology is impressive as hell, if it navigated any better and that's probably something I can work on, itd be the perfect solution if it only read MKVs.

Dogen
May 5, 2002

Bury my body down by the highwayside, so that my old evil spirit can get a Greyhound bus and ride


Red Robin Hood posted:

I set Plex up last night and didn't have any issues after is synched up my library and I restarted it. My PS3 saw it immediately and played in wonderful quality. When you say Plex isn't free do you mean the phone apps? You don't actually need to use the phone apps for it to work!

I think you have to buy the app on the roku, which is what he was talking about. PS3 just sees it as a DLNA server.

Red Robin Hood
Jun 24, 2008

Motherfucking Space Shaaaaaaaaarks!


Buglord

Dogen posted:

I think you have to buy the app on the roku, which is what he was talking about. PS3 just sees it as a DLNA server.

Ah... well in that case I'm sorry!

Thanks again for the suggestion. Definitely saved me $150~!

mcsuede
Dec 30, 2003

Anyone who has a continuous smile on his face conceals a toughness that is almost frightening.
-Greta Garbo

Not an Anthem posted:

Honestly the DLNA stuff built into the Synology is impressive as hell, if it navigated any better and that's probably something I can work on, itd be the perfect solution if it only read MKVs.

Many of the models can transcode MKV. http://www.synology.com/support/faq_show.php?lang=enu&q_id=577

Synology devices are insanely good and the company is very supportive of all the edge case uses people come up with for them.

KillHour
Oct 28, 2007






Dogen posted:

I think you have to buy the app on the roku, which is what he was talking about. PS3 just sees it as a DLNA server.

I have Plex on my Roku, and it's free.

It's also completely amazing. Get it. My only regret is that I only bought the 720p Roku, since I was going to use it in my bedroom. I liked it so much, I moved it into the living room, and it replaced my PS3 as my DLNA client of choice.

KillHour fucked around with this message at 19:28 on May 9, 2013

CheddarGoblin
Jan 12, 2005
oh

KillHour posted:

It's also completely amazing. Get it. My only regret is that I only bought the 720p Roku, since I was going to use it in my bedroom. I liked it so much, I moved it into the living room, and it replaced my PS3 as my DLNA client of choice.

So you have no problems at all playing mkv's with this setup? What about dolby digital/DTS audio? Is that passed through to your receiver?

Dogen
May 5, 2002

Bury my body down by the highwayside, so that my old evil spirit can get a Greyhound bus and ride


KillHour posted:

I have Plex on my Roku, and it's free.

It's also completely amazing. Get it. My only regret is that I only bought the 720p Roku, since I was going to use it in my bedroom. I liked it so much, I moved it into the living room, and it replaced my PS3 as my DLNA client of choice.

Man this just makes me want a roku. Is it that much better than using the PS3? Especially if it can passthrough or transcode 5.1 (google indicates it should be able to).

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KillHour
Oct 28, 2007






It works with MKVs just fine. I'm not sure about DD/DTS, since I've never looked, but I'd be surprised if it didn't.

I basically think of it like an Apple TV, except replace iTunes with Plex.

The best part is because of how small it is, it's easy to pack in your carry-on so you can watch Netflix in your lovely airport hotel after your flight gets cancelled.

Seriously, just buy one. They're 50-100 bucks, and you can just return it to Walmart if you don't like it.

Edit:

Actually, with Plex, you can stream from your NAS/Desktop TO your lovely airport hotel room. Doesn't get any better than that.

KillHour fucked around with this message at 00:07 on May 10, 2013

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