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Re: [vox-tech] multi-media center
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Re: [vox-tech] multi-media center



Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> Hi all,
> 
> I'd like to build a multi-media system attached to a TV and stereo.  It'll
> hold all my audio and video files.  I'd like to run mythTV on it.
> 
> This is probably a good to buy a TV and new stereo/speakers, too.
> 
> I don't really know much about TVs.  Haven't owned one in years.  What kinds
> of features should I be looking for when I purchase a TV? 

I'm no expert, the one thing that seems to be entering the market is the
ability to do active stereo.  Currently that limited to LCDs and projection
based TVs.  Hollywood is investing (and currently filming) in 3d.  You didn't
mention a size, but the projection TVs are in the 40-60" range or so at the
normal prices for such sizes.  They tend to be 2 feet deep or so.

> Any specific
> TV recommendations?  I've never hooked a TV up to a computer before, so I
> don't really know what's involved or what features are available to me.

You could get bogged down in tons of technical trivia, if it looks good and
does 1080p HDTV I'd recommend it.  One thing that often differentiates TVs is
black performance, some TVs end up with dark gray instead of black.

> Same question about stereos and speakers.  I have about 200GB of mp3s and
> would like to play them on a stereo system with speakers in the kitchen,
> living room, and bedroom (3 pairs of speakers).

You didn't mention a budget, but I'd at least take a peek at:
http://www.slimdevices.com/

It scores very high on the wife friendly score, simple remote, nice display,
can use music repositories on a machine, or even connect to a NAS.  You just
run network to it, then a digital audio cable to your stereo.
> Are there any
> features/ports in particular that I should be looking for when purchasing a
> stereo that I intend to use primarily with a Linux box providing an audio
> stream?

AMPs are all basically perfect as far as audio quality goes, so pick on looks
or functionality.

> It would be nice to be able to conveniently switch the audio stream
> to headphones or my workstation's speakers instead of the stereo speakers,
> too.

Ah, check out linuxMCE:
http://www.torrentreactor.net/torrents/1124151/LinuxMCE_0704_Demo_Video_2mbit-wmv
http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/3764646/LinuxMCE_0704_Demo_Video_2mbit.wmv

Warning it's 420MB, but IMO worth a view.

> I've hooked up my Linux box to my stereo in the distant past, and the
> results were unacceptably "tinny".  Not sure if it was because of a poor
> soundcard, wrong type of connection, etc.  It was awful.  I'd like to build
> a system with lots of power and high quality sound output.

Well anything that manages digital out should sound exactly the same, in
general folks seem pretty impressed with the slimdevices, even when using
analog out.

> I really am a newbie at this.  Any guidance would be appreciated.  I don't
> mind spending a bit on a TV and stereo that makes me happy.
> 
> After purchasing the TV and stereo, I plan on piecing together a multimedia
> system.

I'm curious about the responses as well, currently I just use my desktop.
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