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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend asked me to post this here. Yes, it's a VERY SIMPLE setup -- and that was my goal. Total cost was $2K, well within my starter budget.


I already wrote up the whole thing on my blog so I hope you don't mind if I post a link:

http://simonwoodside.com/weblog/2008...3003627302630/

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So, right from the start I knew that it was going to be as much digital as possible. I don't care about live TV and I'm a ********** expert so I knew I wouldn't have to mess around with cable connections. But more to the point, being digital means you don't have to worry about analog components or duplication. For example, you can concentrate on having just a single Digital/Analog Converter (DAC)... a key component in your audio set-up. ... ...

I recently enjoyed seeing "2001" as a whole new experience :) :)


So .... what do you think??? Too simple??
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbwoodside /forum/post/15584146


A friend asked me to post this here. Yes, it's a VERY SIMPLE setup -- and that was my goal. Total cost was $2K, well within my starter budget.


I already wrote up the whole thing on my blog so I hope you don't mind if I post a link:

http://simonwoodside.com/weblog/2008...3003627302630/




I recently enjoyed seeing "2001" as a whole new experience :) :)


So .... what do you think??? Too simple??

Well thats fine and dandy that you have a mac with some desktop speakers but what does that have to do with home theater????
 

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Originally Posted by techlvr33 /forum/post/15586143


WTF! I have to agree with Video Master on this one. Sorry man!

I will also have to agree with Video Master. What does this have to do with HT?
 

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Simon, I am sure you are proud of your setup as we all are. We spend countless hours researching the perfect components within our budgets, and take great pride in what we are able to acheive within those budgets. I think the above post are a little harsh but I agree that your system is not what most would consider home theater. You may find that your post and your setup is better received on this forum under a different thread. Try posting it over in the HTPC section or the home automation and networking threads. Thank you for your post and please do not be discouraged by the unfruitful comments you may encounter here. This truly is a great site.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Wayne /forum/post/15590887


Simon, I am sure you are proud of your setup as we all are. We spend countless hours researching the perfect components within our budgets, and take great pride in what we are able to acheive within those budgets. I think the above post are a little harsh but I agree that your system is not what most would consider home theater. You may find that your post and your setup is better received on this forum under a different thread. Try posting it over in the HTPC section or the home automation and networking threads. Thank you for your post and please do not be discouraged by the unfruitful comments you may encounter here. This truly is a great site.

Got fruit?

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Wayne /forum/post/15590887


Simon, I am sure you are proud of your setup as we all are. We spend countless hours researching the perfect components within our budgets, and take great pride in what we are able to acheive within those budgets. I think the above post are a little harsh but I agree that your system is not what most would consider home theater. You may find that your post and your setup is better received on this forum under a different thread. Try posting it over in the HTPC section or the home automation and networking threads. Thank you for your post and please do not be discouraged by the unfruitful comments you may encounter here. This truly is a great site.

Fair enough. Picture below might help. It's definitely an HTPC, but I still consider it a "Home Theatre" in that it gives me the "theatre experience" (and will do even better when I add the surround speakers). My logic is, why complexify when I can simplify. If you're looking at a standard home theatre you've got many components: tv, DVD, blue-ray, CD, DVR, maybe a VCR, Tuner, receiver, amplifier(s), speakers, remote control(s), cabinet(s). Maybe record player, separate DAC, game console(s) and racks of discs. Now I'm an inveterate minimalist, and I can't stand the duplication present there:


* Many of those components have their own DAC, a major piece for sound quality, why not just have one

* You need a whole box(s) just to switch between signals

* All of the extra power supplies, analog or lossy digital wiring, means signal degradation and paying for extra equipment that you don't need

* Why store discs when you can rip and store digitally


Mac mini doesn't look like much, but it has the best qualities for my minimalist taste -- silent, tiny, attractive case. It can store (through my network) endless quantities of ripped movies & music. Using Plex (like XBMC) as my control centre I can use a very simple apple remote to select any of my media and play it back at 1080p, so I don't need any of the media readers or their transports. I compress it all down to a single video signal, through HDMI, and a single audio signal, requiring a single DAC. No duplication at all, and I can focus all my audio spending on upgrading the DAC to improve the quality of all my media simultaneously. I can throw away the heavy cabinet because I don't need a stable platform when everything is digital.


As for the AudioEngine speakers , they are underrated. They're bookshelf speakers, 150W peak output, and since I'm limited to an apartment I can't put them up that high anyway. One of the best things for my minimalism is that they have built-in amps. Not only does that clean up the system by eliminating an external amp(s) it means I don't have to spend a lot of time matching amps to the speakers to get the best sound!


So, yeah, a lot of thought went into this system -- specifically in how to reduce it to the simplest possible configuration that allows me to enjoy everything a multi-piece system has (except surround (for now)) with only four pieces.


Is that a crime?



 

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sbwoodside, there is nothing wrong with minimalist style, but there are many things to take into consideration. Had you wall mounted your speakers and TV, hidden all of the wires, created a creative solution for your mac mini, you would have been onto something. You CAN have minimalism, keep a budget, and have a great system, but IMHO the effort is not there. Get creative, clean it up and post some great pics!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Originally Posted by EVizzle /forum/post/15610395


sbwoodside, there is nothing wrong with minimalist style, but there are many things to take into consideration. Had you wall mounted your speakers and TV, hidden all of the wires, created a creative solution for your mac mini, you would have been onto something. You CAN have minimalism, keep a budget, and have a great system, but IMHO the effort is not there. Get creative, clean it up and post some great pics!

Hiding the wires and dealing with the look: that's a good idea. It's a disadvantage to have a glass stand, but I could run the wires behind the tubing maybe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EVizzle /forum/post/15610395


Had you wall mounted your speakers and TV

I'm definitely not going to wall mount the speakers -- that will kill the sound quality. You need distance between speakers and wall to prevent interference from the reflected sound waves, and to increase the soundstage. And if I'm not wall-mounting the speakers I can't mount the TV either -- it must be in plane with the speakers.
 

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it takes all types to make a forum like this work, thanks for sharing! I'm very interested in testing the Plex software...I've got an extra Mac Mini at work that I'm going to play with. I'm waiting for the next generation for me to purchase one for home (I'd love to see a 1TB drive in it!) but for now I've got a free one we don't use for anything at work (purchased for a previous text to screen application).


I agree, clean up the wires, makes it look a little ghetto, maybe a nice cheap stand from ikea? But I for one really appreciate you sharing! I wouldn't have known about Plex if you hadn't! Now to log off the Mac Pro laptop and play with the mini



Thanks!
 

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Oh, and do you know if there is any USB hardware out there to get better audio out of the Mini vs. using the the 3.5 port? Guess I need to go search the THPC threads...but thought I'd ask! Thanks again
 
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