G'day from downunder
My current AV and stereo setups are a real mixed bag of kit from different eras that I've held on to. See http://www.borrett.id.au/interests/av-system.htm for a full list.
These days I mostly watch movies and TV in the main AV room. It's rare that I sit down and listen to music. Most of my music listening is done in the car, while I work, and in bed at night.
I'm currently in the process of updating the main AV system, plus working out a better way to house everything. So right now, most of my kit is sitting in a spare room. I expect that some of my older kit will wind up upgrading the systems in the main bedroom, my home/office, my office and the shed.
A Pioneer Kuro PDP-LX508A, 50 inch, Full HD, plasma television now takes pride of place at the front of the new home theatre room. Right now, all that's hooked up to it is a Panasonic DVD-RP82 DVD/CD Player. That's it. The TV speakers are being used for sound, which is not good. But the new leather recliner lounge suite is very comfortable.
My plan is to add a Panasonic DMP-BD35 Blu-ray Disc Player when they become available here in Australia. Edit: Just got one!
I'm still undecided as to what AV Receiver to get. Thinking about the Pioneer SC-LX81, the Onkyo TX-SR876, or a Yamaha solution. The Pioneer has the benefit of supposedly being able to access and my digital music collection, though I can't recall seeing any reviews where the quality of the DACs in the Pioneer were compared to other digital streaming solutions, e.g. Linn Majik, Sooloos. Plus the Pioneer still isn't available here in Australia, just the SC-LX90 and VSX-LX70. The Onkyo would be a cheaper option, but I'd then have to come up with a streaming solution. And I'm not what sure how the various Yamaha models stack up against the others.
I need new speakers. Ideally a 7.1 setup. I'm open to suggestions as to what is likely to suit. Room size is 3.7 m (12 ft) by 5.8 m (19 ft).
A few years back I ripped my collection of some 600+ music CDs to 192-320Kbit VBR MP3 files. The entire collection of 1200+ tracks is on all of my computers, plus the Apple iPod Classic 160 Gb player. One way or another, I plan to make those music files available via the main AV system. Plus I'm now likely to re-rip them to a lossless format. Will eventually do the same with my LPs, reel-to-reel tapes and Cassette tapes.
For video recording, I'll probably setup a media centre system rather than get a DVD or Blu-ray recorder. (I notice What Hi-Fi? doesn't seem to review Blu-ray recorders.) I'm planning to add a network attached storage unit to my computer network with a RAID 5 array of 3 to 5 one or one point five terrabyte drives. I've already run Cat6 network cabling everywhere. I just have to terminate it all and hook up the Netgear ProSafe 16-port Gibabit switch.
I strongly believe the future of AV is playing everything from digital files. And in due couse, we'll probably be able to buy studio quality lossless files online and store them locally. I doubt any new high-end audio media format will ever again become universal. But time will tell.
I also need to design/build/buy a suitable set of stands to house everything. Thinking of having a left stand for the cassette deck and reel-to-reel. A centre stand for the TV, AV receiver, blu-ray player etc. Then a right stand for the record player, phono pre-amp, DVD and/or CD player and stereo amplifier.
Lot's of decisions to make and heaps of choices out there. Your suggestions are most welcome.