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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi -

I'll be upfront and honest. I am royally confused when it comes to audio equipment and setting up a home theater system. I'm more comfortable in building computers than HTS. I'm obviously not an audiophile, but I know what sounds good when I hear it.


I'm trying to achieve the following goals:


- Stream from a networked iTunes or music library

- Stream Netflix, Pandora, Last.fm, etc.

- Mid-range receiver with network capabilities (is that possible? would I even need it?)

- Mid-range speakers 5.1 surround

- Multi-room abilities for future expansion

- HDMI pass-through and channel return.


I've looked at Onkyo's, Yamaha, and Pioneer for receivers. Is it worth getting an all-in-one HT-RC270


Or an LG BD590 that has Netflix and Pandora? Or just getting something like an XBox?


I have a large iTunes library that I'd like to stream including photos to my LG LCD HDTV.


I'm getting lost as to what components I need and I'm confusing myself by the minute. What types of boxes or components do I need to get all of the above?


I'm sure I'll have more questions, but I seriously appreciate any help you all can provide!


Thanks!
 

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The first letter in AVR stands for audio. So, select an AVR for audio capabilities and, to a secondary extent, video switching & conversion. Worry about networking in an AVR only for online firmware updates. For network streaming capabilities, get an appliance or HTPC that you can connect to the AVR. Do not expect your AVR to do it all. Otherwise, you are in for a world of hurt.


AJ
 

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Many receivers have networking features. Yamaha has not implemented them very well in the past - the interface on my Z7 is painful, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiWavelength
The first letter in AVR stands for audio. So, select an AVR for audio capabilities and, to a secondary extent, video switching & conversion. Worry about networking in an AVR only for online firmware updates. For network streaming capabilities, get an appliance or HTPC that you can connect to the AVR. Do not expect your AVR to do it all. Otherwise, you are in for a world of hurt.


AJ
Hey, thanks for the quick response! I do like the Pioneer VSX-1020-K, but it doesn't support HDMI pass-through and missing some other HDMI features.


When you say "appliance" do you mean a console or HT box (LG BD590)? What else could I get for network streaming capabilities? How many components would I be looking at?


Are HTiB worth the hassle, I feel like separate components are best in the long hall.


I appreciate the patience.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pommelhorse
When you say "appliance" do you mean a console or HT box (LG BD590)? What else could I get for network streaming capabilities? How many components would I be looking at?
A network streaming appliance is an Apple TV, Boxee Box, etc. Streaming capability could also be built into a video game system or BD player, though, again, beware of relying on any one component to perform too many roles. Confusion & incompatibility oft ensue.


For my money, the ideal network streaming device is a current generation Mac mini HTPC. It will cost you as much as an AVR. But it is small, quiet, and nearly future proof for the next several years.


AJ
 

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There's now a $99 Apple TV. I have not read much about it. Probably does most streaming you could want, but Apple is sort of proprietary and may not do Pandora et al.


Of course for audio only, the Squeezebox, the first major network streamer I heard of, still has it's fans, I think.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiWavelength /forum/post/19560452


AirPort Express is not "Mac based."


AJ

Very True....and the new iOS4.2 with Airplay has just revolutionized the streaming world.


For starters, either AppleTV or Airport Express would be the wifi recipient of your streamed iTunes content from your PC library. Use either an iTouch,iPhone or iPad as the controller with the Remote app. I use this setup with two Airports and an ATV. The Remote app has full iTunes control of your library just as if you were at the desktop.....including full cover art and flow.


For Pandora, get the Pandora app for idevices. You can stream DIRECTLY from the iDevice, change and create stations and view cover art and artists info......and buy the song if you like...all without the PC being on.


For streaming WITHOUT the PC on, you can stream content directly from the iDevice now so if you have an extensive collection on an iTouch,pad,phone you're in streaming heaven. I'd suggest the apple TV for it's added video features as you can stream photo's as well.


As to network AVRs, forget it at this stage of the game. They're a few G's away from meeting the functionality of the dedicated units already out there and the added cost for those models in the linup is simply more expensive than a stand alone unit. The Apple TV mentioned is Netflix enabled as well as rentals for iTunes. Certainly there's more to come.


So as a user, i can tell you that the audio streaming via Wifi works flawlessly for me and the Pandora functions via the new OS is amazing.It's enabled a whole new listening experience for me as there's music playing somewhere whenever i'm home. For the AppleTV i suggest a hard wired ethernet connection instead of wireless......some may suggest otherwise but i'll stick to my guns as it didn't work out for me.


Great deals on last years AVR models. if you're not interested in 3D or HDMI 1.4 (which is really really problematic!) seek out last years models such as the Yamaha RX-V1900,1065,2065, Denon 2310,3310,1910. The Rx-V1900 has an exceptional amplifier section is available from authorized dealers for less than $500.
 
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