An update to the old thread "Stone-Age Home Theatre help/advice, please" from last June.
Yes, it takes me a while to get projects done, or even started.
Here's my equipment run-down:
42" Panasonic Viera (TC-L42E50)
Denon AVR-3312CI Receiver
Comcast-leased Scientific Atlanta Explorer 4250C cable box
Panasonic DVD-S68 NTSC/PAL auto-detect and convert Region 1 and Region 0 (All) DVD player
Panasonic DMP-BD75 Blu-ray player
Magnavox ZV457MG9 Digital Video Disc Recorder & Video Cassette Recorder (bi-directional dubbing, though why anyone would want to dub DVD to VHS tape escapes me)
Roku2 XS (Model # 3100R) streaming box, which will be ethernet-connected to my Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station, which, in turn, is ethernet-connected to a Comcast-leased Motorola SB5100 Surfboard Cable modem, and to a mid-11 -- (most current, AFAIK
) 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5 27" iMac.
The Comcast cable feed comes into the basement on the extreme northeast corner of my house, where it is split by a typical RatShack-quality diplexer into two RG6 cable paths. One path runs diagonally through the basement, about 36' to where it pops out of the floor and connects to my cable modem and Airport Extreme Airbase.
The other RG6 cable path runs another 12', to where my basement ends, and the cable comes up through the southwest corner of the step-down to the family room, which is built entirely on a slab between the otherwise fully-basemented main part of the house and the slab-based 2-car garage.
Right now that RG6 cable that comes out of the slab-based family room step down runs just another 6'-8' to the north wall of the family room, and connects to the Comcast HD cable box.
What we're doing now is mounting the Viera TV on the south wall of the family room, directly across the room from where it is now. This will necessitate any kind of cable run that comes out of the slab-based family room step down to travel around the perimeter of the floor to the new TV mounting, which will add a total of 40+ feet to the cable length.
This what I want to do: get rid of the Comcast cable box, AND the RG6 cable that goes to it, AND the splitter, so I have just ONE, unbroken run of RG6 from Comcast's service-in the 36 or so feet to the cable modem and the Airport Extreme Airbase, which has three extra RJ5 Ethernet cable ports (one of which hardwires to the 27" iMac), and run 40-50 feet of Ethernet cable, not RG6, to the Denon AVR-3312CI Receiver in the family room, which has more HDMI ports than I'll ever use. The ethernet, obviously, will be for streaming. Whether I'll be streaming through the Denon A/V receiver, the Viera TV, the Roku box, the Wii, or one of the 2 or 3 DVD/Blu-ray players that ALSO have streaming capability. Oh, yeah -- I also have an Airport Airbase Express that I use as a repeater and, of course, to run music on my iMac through.
To make up for the lousy 5 or 6 channels we'll lose from Comcast's Subterraneanly Basic package, I'll be using a Leaf or similar flat antenna (which my son-in-law uses quite successfully in Kansas City), which will be enough to get our 4 basic news channels: PBS, NBC, ABC, and CBS, plus ion and a couple other oddball local stations.
So that's the plan. I'm sorry to leave the forum with such an open question, but any advice on different hook-up schemes, or any other ideas, comments (polite, please!), or where I may be having unworkable ideas, and how I can make my ideas better. All I want is to be able to watch DVDs, play music (I'm not even going to mention the subject of the speakers I'm using -- that's all too much of a personal preference and esoteric subject), watch a minimum of local TV, stream movies and video/audio content from both my iMac and online sources like Netflix/Hulu/Vudu/DuDu, play some games -- you know, the stuff we put home theaters together for.
My most particular area of ignorance is streaming -- though I've done it thousands of times on my Macs, I've never set up a system like the one I'm contemplating, with so many diverse choices for streaming. For example (here comes my ignorance!), I believe the Panasonic Viera TV can stream Netflix, but not much more, I know the Denon receiver, Wii, Roku, and a couple of my DVD players can also stream, but I don't know how to figure out which devices can access what, including really limited, or really specialized (I'm a huge fan of vintage sports car racing, for example) content.
Hope some of you can give me some good advice, especially if you see me going down a wrong path with any of this stuff. I know this is a lot to divest, but I'm one of those cranks that has to research buying shoelaces, and there's just too much stuff in this project to confuse me.
Thanks very much for your time and -- I hope -- help.