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Many questions about how to setup my 5.1 surround system. (1 Viewer)

mdub330i

Auditioning
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
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2
Real Name
Michael
Alright, so I am a total noob and this is my first post. Trying to start building a small home theatre/ media center in my condo. The tv is a Sharp 32 LCD that was my girlfriend's (I refuse to upgrade until I can afford a Pioneer). I will try to set this thread up in an organized fashion so if you have experience with one or more of the topics and feel like sharing I would appreciate it. The equipment that I currently have or have ordered are as follows, above mentioned.
Equipment
TV - Sharp 32 (720p) can't remember which model right now.
RECEIVER - Yamaha RX-V1900
SPEAKERS (all Klipsch Reference): L/R Bookshelf RB 61, Center RC 52, Rear L/R RS 42, Sub RW 10d
GAMING CONSOLE - Xbox 360
COMPUTERS - 2 Macbooks
ROUTER - Linksys WRT54G

ROOM LAYOUT AND SPEAKER PLACEMENT

Below are some photos of the room I am working with.

http://www.me.com/ro/michael.wiltz/G...12277041540001
http://www.me.com/ro/michael.wiltz/G...12277041600001
http://www.me.com/ro/michael.wiltz/G...12277041570001

So, obviously the room I am working with is less than ideal. My first questions are on speaker placement. I didn't get the tower style because, as you can see, I don't have room for them.
What I am thinking is that if i take the second shelves from the top out on either side of the "entertainment center' I could place the L/R fronts on the shelf that is level with the TV base. I could put the center channel on the shelf below the TV.
Where I get lost is where to put the sub and the rears. Tearing up drywall is not an option right now, so i am thinking of getting some of that track stuff (don't know what it's called) and running it along the top of the base board. Any suggestions on what to get and where?
I figure i will have to get some stands for the rears but don't know where I could place them for the best overall sound. I usually sit in the corner of the couch and don't really want them blowing my ears out, but I could move my seat if needed for a better experience.

SPEAKER WIRE AND CABLES

I work for Best Buy and I can get Monster speaker wire (XPHP CI100, maybe) fairly cheap, I can't remember the exact type that we have, but I figured I would go with that unless anyone else has a better suggestion that I can get at a price comparable to my employee discount.
What would everyone recommend for sub cables and for hooking up other components, i.e. Blu-ray, set top, media center computer, gaming consoles?
TO BLU-RAY OR NOT TO BLU-RAY

That is the question. Is it going to make it? BD looks stunning on my dad's Pioneer 6010. I know the Sharp is not even in the same league, but I still think it looks pretty good on a 720 set. I was thinking about doing a PS3 for this because there is some software that I like for setting up and streaming content between mac and PS3 called Medialink, put out by Nullriver.
Regardless, what does everyone think? On this, get a standalone BD or a set top box? And then if Blu Ray, which one if not PS3?
MEDIA CENTER

Before we go any further into this I should note that I use macs exclusively and REFUSE to get a PC. I realize I am limiting myself here. I am trying to figure out the best way to stream media to the system. Should I just use the Medialink and PS3, or should I keep looking into getting a mac mini and just use Front Row? Or should I use an Apple TV? My issue with that being its limitations when it comes to supported file formats. I have heard a little bit about boxee, but was under the impression you have to be invited to get a copy of it???
If you have any experience setting up a mac media center I am all ears as this is the ultimate goal.
Also if anyone has any reccos on a new router, preferably one that supports USB NAS as well as support for Wireless printing capabilities that would be amazing. Oh and maybe if you have had a good experience using an external as a NAS drive as well.
UNIVERSAL REMOTE

I don't need anything ridiculous. I'm thinking Harmony ONE unless someone can talk me out of it, or the Harmony 670. I don't need RF as you can see my place is wide open and nothing will be hidden. I also have a KEF Kit 100 in my office that I hook my laptop up to when working in there I would run off of this remote as well.
POWER CENTER

Last but not least, power centers. I'm thinking that I will probably just go with the Monster Power MP HDP 1800 or the MP HDP 2500. Again, don't know much about these items either. I think I could probably be just as good with the MP HTS 100, but the others look way nicer in the setup. Maybe not worth the extra cash though? Some advice here would be AMAZING!


Again, as a disclaimer, i work at Best Buy and can normally get really good prices on most items, thats why I have chosen most of the products I have. If anyone can offer me some better ideas as to what they think would do as good or a better job than what I have picked and it would be at a similar price to my discount then I am all ears.
I apologize if this is too long, but I have a ton of questions and am already kind of thinking that I rushed the receiver/speaker purchase and should have consulted some more people first. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

michael.
 

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