My HT configuration:
Toshiba model CN36H97 36-inch direct-view TV
Yamaha HTR-5240 tuner/amplifier
Four Yamaha NS-A327 (L&R front and L&R rears); Yamaha NS-AC327 center and Yamaha YST-SW45 sub-woofer
Toshiba W-804 S-VHS deck
Toshiba SD-2200 DVD player
The DVD player and DishPlayer feed the tuner with TosLink with component video from DVD player to TV.
Though modest compared to many systems I read about here, it provides us with beautiful DD 5.1, DTS, etc. including feeds from applicable DishNetwork channels. I have tweaked the system using AVIA. This system provides us with fine entertainment in our odd-shaped family room.
The entire system (except Front & Rear surrounds) rests in a solid oak cabinet (no doors where electronics are..just lots of space for air-circulation) custom-built for us from a local Oak tree by our neighbor. The cablinet is recessed in a large open closet. That "closet" was, for 33 years, home to a 19-inch TV fed by a 16th or 98th-rate cable system and a VCR. No more cable (for three years now).....We receive six regional TV stations via a VERY modest outdoor antenna strapped to the chimney.
Three years ago, we scrapped the 19-inch TV for a 27-inch and thought we'd died and gone to heaven when we wired in the satellite system. We knew we were in TV heaven when the 27-incher was replaced with the 36-inch Toshiba a year ago. Our move to "HT Heaven" was validated with the addition of the YAMAHA sound system DVD player and S-VHS deck a few weeks later. Our DVD collection is around 250 at this point and I keep adding S-VHS recordings of many classic movies from the satellite, using a second Toshiba S-VHS deck and DishPlayer in another room.
Although I made a set of mattes (using black foamboard with ideas gleaned from AVS Forums) we seldom use them when watching DVDs and other formats in LBX or OAR since we've become accustomed to watching the film and not the unused portion of the CRT. For guests, we use the mattes.
Thanks to AVS Forums for all the GREAT ideas and help. And, thanks for allowing this lenghthy post.
Amid the cornfields of Central Illinois