So way back in September I wrote a review on my new S1Digital machine which is the core of my connected home.  That machine (which is still awesome!) is directly connected to my living room television (as seen below).



Not much with the system has changed since the review except I’ve installed Media Browser and SecondRunTV. I’ll do a review on those two plugins in a separate post.





In this post I want to cover my favorite room, my dedicated home theater.  When we moved into this house back in December of 2007, the room looked pretty bad.



The previous owners were using it as a studio/practice room for their band.  As you can tell they didn’t really care what it looked like and honestly either did I, I was just happy that we found a house that my wife and I both liked and that it had a room I could create the home theater I’ve always wanted in it.

I did all the work myself, with the exception of installing the drywall.  The project took me around 3 months of working as much as I could (and reading as much as I could on the avs theater design forums) on the weekends to complete.

While it’s not the most lavish or best looking home theater out there, I love it and am pretty proud of the work I did.















So what alls in it?  From a Media Center standpoint not a lot.  It took me awhile to do bring myself not to put in another full blown CableCard Media Center PC, at the end of the day it just didn’t make sense.  I wanted to be able to view my recorded TV anywhere in my home, and by putting in a 2nd CableCard machine I wouldn’t be able to view what the 1st machine had recorded in my theater or what the theater PC had recorded in the rest of the house because of the DRM all CableCard recordings are wrapped in.  So I opted for a DMA-2100 extender instead.  This was a good choice and one I’m still happy with almost a year later.

I also wanted the ability to bitstream all the new HD audio codecs to a receiver, which at the time a PC couldn’t do so I opted for separate HD DVD and Blu-ray players.  The overhead cans and the lights in the equipment room are both wired with Insteon In-LineLinc dimmers and controlled via a KeypadLinc dimmer on the wall, an IRlinc controlled by a Harmony 1000 remote and the mControl Media Center plugin.

Complete Equipment List:

  • Brilliant White 126″ Carada Criterion Series Screen
  • Mitsubishi HD4900 1080p LCD projector
  • Onkyo TX-SR705 7.1 channel receiver
  • Toshiba HD-A35 HD DVD player
  • Samsung BD-P1400 Blu-ray plaer
  • Linksys DMA-2100 Media Center Extender
  • Xbox 360 (used for gaming only)
  • Logitech Harmony 1000 touch screen remote
  • (2) Polk Audio Monitor 60 floor standing speaker
  • (1) Polk Audio PSW110 powered subwoofer
  • (1) Polk Audio Monitor CS1 center channel speaker
  • (4) Polk Audio Monitor 40 bookshelf speaker
  • (2) Insteon In-LineLinc Dimmer
  • (1) Insteon KeypadLinc Dimmer
  • (1) Insteon IRLinc receiver
  • Linksys SLM2008 8 port gigabit switch
  • Linksys WRT110 wireless router (used as an access point for my laptop or Zune)
  • Zune Home A/V Pack
  • APC AV H10BLK Home Theater 1000VA Power Filter and Conditioner
  • Row of 5 Producer Collection Leather Home Theater Seats
5 thoughts on “My connected home, pt. 2”
  1. Thanks cw-kid!

    DWAnderson the room is around 500 square feet, off the top of my head I can’t remember the dimensions.

  2. Mike,
    I love the set up. I had a question regarding your choice to go with the S 1 Digital Platinum machine. How does it compare to the Velocity Micro Grand Theater?

    I read from one of your previous post you had a Velocity Micro computer (not the Grand Theater) and was curious why you decided to go with the S1 Digital instead of the Grand Theater which is cheaper computer?

  3. TroyMason,,

    Thanks! I actually did own a Grand Theater from Velocity Micro and it was a nice machine, at the time I bought the S1Digital machine VM had no plans on supporting the TV Pack. I wanted 4 CableCard tuners and I also knew that any future upgrades VM would either drag their feat on or not offer at all so I bought an S1Digital machine, who was the first to offer the TV Pack and they’ve already announced a Windows 7 upgrade. After having both I can easily say the S1Digital machine is by far my favorite of the two.

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