Hi there people,
I set up a home theater in 2001 and I want advice on source/processing components for an overhaul.
My current system has four full range speakers powered by 2 monoblock amps and a new JVC DLA-X30 projector. I am very happy with the audio part of the chain but until now my only means for volume control has been through the only head unit for the system, a high end (for the time) Technics DVD player (the DVD-A10, which has some buried preamp functionality).
Fast forward to 2012 and I now want to give myself the capability to play Blu-ray, DVD, as well as a library of video media files (.mkv, .avi, .mp4 etc.)
I haven't followed the evolution of things too much as I have been quite happy limiting my use of the home theater to watching DVDs (my A-10 was hacked to give an SDI output and this has been feeding an HTPC with an SDI input PCI card with onboard scaling done in the HTPC with Dscaler).
So when I think through my options I see:
Option 1: Buy a Blu-ray player that also handles large external hard drives and can play the media files I have. Take the HDMI out of this and run it into a cheapish AVR that can function as a preamp pass through to give me volume control for the audio and pass out the video to the projector over HDMI.
Option 2: Buy a Blu-ray player to cover my blu-ray and DVD needs, build another HTPC to handle my media file needs, and run both into a cheapish AVR that can function as a preamp pass through to give me volume control for the audio and pass out the video to the projector over HDMI.
Option 3: Something you up to date experts recommend that I haven't thought about yet.
Thanks to any and all to give me a start in going down the right path. I've seen last night I could pick up a Samsung BD-E5500 blu-ray player with a USB input for a large external drive which also plays media files, along with a Denon AVR-1312 or an Onkyo TX-SR309 for about 600 bucks. The Samsung and one of those AVRs could give me Option 1.
Option 2 would cost more as I would need to buy the components for an HTPC. Obviously here I could take advantage of the full capabilities of a PC to improve playback of media files. I have to say that on our bedroom system upstairs I have been outputting media files from a laptop into our LCD television and have been very impressed with the quality of playback of 700 MB .avi files after I installed a suite of shareware softs describedhere.
In a way then I sense that the Option 2 is the option that will give me the best technical result and make best use of the new DLA-X30 projector I am getting, but my old system with an HTPC was always a hassle for my wife to operate so I realize anything with an HTPC in the chain will be that much less user friendly. I am also kind of price sensitive....I'd like to get my source unit(s) and processing/volume control sorted for under 1,000 bucks if possible.
So sorry for the length of this post but to all you separates and integrated component geniuses out there.....thanks to give me a helping hand bringing me up to speed on my best way to go in 2012.