I’ve been working a lot lately on customizing our home entertainment center after our old Sony receiver died.Â Â Here’s our setup:
A few things to note.Â First, in Hawaii, DirecTV + HD + Locals requires2 huge satellites.Â I believe they are 4 1/2 feet in diameter, each.Â Â The pictures are amazing, I can’t wait for DirecTV to release the 70 other HD channels and the locals in HD (as promised) in the next few weeks.
Secondly, the Yamaha RX-V661 is truly a great receiver.Â If you use the auto setup, it will tell you if your wires are incorrect, and auto adjust the sound levels using an omni-mic you place near your seating area.Â I had tried manual setup at first and I had some crossed wires that were causing the unit to shut down, live and learn.
If you are looking into the RX-V661 I will wan you, don’t buy it for video upconversion.Â It hard a hard time switching between SVIDEO input, Component, and HDMI for output on HDMI/Component to the TV.Â The Sharp had 2 HDMI and 4 Component input sources so I was able to work around this.Â Â If video upconversion is turned on, some sound modes are now available as it requires too much processing power.
The Harmony 880 is a very nice remote, but logitech’s interface for programming it is a bit annoying.Â This is likely because my day job involves programming and I would rather just map codes, but instead, you have to use wizards.Â Â Also, if you are using XBMC + the DVD Remote, be sure to google FakeChannelUp and FakeChannelDown so you can find codes that will allow page up/page down.Â Â The ones on the XBMC wiki for Fake Up/Down actually send a code that changes my sharp TV to TV antenna mode.Â Â I ended up programming it to the old remote codes from the Scientific Atlanta 8300 box that TWC offered out here.Â Â Those codes were 43 and 44.Â A few quick keymap additions to the XBMC xml files and I was back in business.
We have 5.1 right now,the receiver is capable of 7.1 but really, come on.Â Â First, we live in an open air environment with fans, outside noises, and really, space concerns about adding 2 rear speakers.Â The 5.1 mode works fine.
Before getting HDTV, I didn’t really think it was worth the money, time, effort, etc to acquire it. Â Standard Def TV has worked fine, I saw no need to swap. Â Boy was I wrong.Â My first real excitement was seeing the Cubs @ Giants game on in HD.Â Wow. Â The football games too!Â Now I find myself watching HD things I’ve seen before over new content on Standard Def channels… God what an HD snob.Â I make myself sick.
One last thing, its a rant.Â WHY on earth is Taledega Nights the ‘movie’ to test your HDTV setup against? Â CNet, Best Buy, and others all show or mention Taledega Nights in discussions of HD quality or Blu-Ray quality.Â Seriously…