Help me reduce the footprint of my home theater components. Any and all options welcome.
We have the perfect piece of furniture to hold our 42” flat panel TV in the corner of our living room, but unfortunately it’s not designed to hold components. It’s 100 years old, it has solid wood doors, a 4” strip of wood running down the middle, and it would be a total pain in the ass, if not impossible, to fit standard-size components inside. I thought about having a custom cabinet
made, but I think that’ll be too expensive.
I currently have the TV on the corner cabinet with all the components on a side table next to it. It looks like crap and I want to get rid of the side table and have a nice clean look to the TV, speakers and corner cabinet.
Configure and/or replace things until I can fit everything into the cabinet and keep the doors closed except when putting in a DVD.
Questions/problems I need to solve:
Eliminating the receiver:
- Samsung 42” TV 720p: Not a problem. Sits nicely on top of the cabinet.
- Giant Okyno receiver: Big, heavy, hot. Will not fit into the cabinet. I’d like to eliminate this if I can.
- HD TiVo: Probably will not fit into the cabinet. I could hide it under the cabinet. HDMI
- DVD player: Standard size. I would like to replace this with a smaller size player. I have seen a small Sony player. Component, would prefer HDMI
- Old school. Apple TV: Small. Will fit into the cabinet. Might run hot. Would consider replacing with the new Apple TV. HDMI
Squeezebox player. Small. Can fit in the cabinet or on a shelf. Needs to be hooked up to some sort of amp and speakers
- Wii. Small. Will fit in the cabinet. HDMI
- 5.1 surround speakers. I’m not currently using the satellite speakers until I come up with a permanent solution. I could do without surround if I had to.
- Harmony remote to control everything.
This might be the tricky part. My TV doesn’t have enough HDMI inputs for everything. What are your experiences with HDMI switches? What other options are there? How can I get 5.1 without a receiver?
Audio-out from the TV is stereo-only, it seems. Another problem if I go with 5.1.
Experience with small-footprint players? I don’t want to use the Wii to watch DVDs (if that’s even an option) because I don’t want to deal with another layer of menus and my Harmony won’t control the Wii.
I’d like to have 5.1, but I’m not sure it’s worth it. The corner configuration (at an angle to the couch) might make it sound like crap. I’ve been looking into soundbars as an option for both the speakers and to eliminate the receivers. I’m not an audiophile and the TV is close enough where these might be an option. Thoughts? Sony makes one where the subwoofer is basically an HD receiver but I think that’ll just be a mess of cables and look like crap. Others have wireless subwoofers. Thoughts? Recommendations?
If the doors were closed I’d need a remote extender to control the components. Recommendations? I’d rather not pay a fortune.
This holds my cablecards. I can hide this but I do like to see the two LEDs that let me know it’s recording stuff.
I can cut holes in the back of the cabinet for cables. Yes, I know it’s an antique and I shouldn’t do this, but it’s a corner cabinet and we’re going to keep it forever and ever.
What options haven’t I thought of?
I know there are entire forums devoted to A/V stuff but those places kind of overwhelm me.