new Home Cinema Setup with a PC media center (or a MAC!?)


New member
Jul 14, 2007
Visit site
Hello everyone,

I am in the process of designing my ideal Home Cinema setup for my new house, trying to get the best possible equipment within my budget.

Although WHFSV is an amazing source for finding and comparing ideal Speakers, Receivers etc, I can't find anything in regards to using a PC or MAC as a media centre and the trouble is that I can't find reliable sources elsewhere either.

Basically what I am planning to do is slowly built the following:

1) an AV Receiver of around £1000 (currently keeping my eyes on the new Onkyo TX-SR 875 and eagerly awaiting for the forthcoming review in the next issue

2) a 5.1 speaker setup (with the possibility of later upgrading to 7.1) Waiting for the review of the new B&W 600 series! Come one when is the next issue coming out!

After some time I would like to replace my current old style CRT TV and a huge tower pc which I use for a DVD player and sound source with a new TV (havent though much of which one yet although I really like the Sony Kdl40w2000) and a new source of media player

That source is what is puzzling me most. I know that the best is to get good quality separates (DVD player CD player, tuner each) but that would cost too much and is not as exciting as a media centre PC. Can a top quality PC(or MAC) offer similar results? I was checking out the new Sony VAIO Range that comes with dual tuners and blue ray drive! It looks great for the living room too! However I can't find a serious review from true audiophile people to see how close it comes to their tastes. It is only reviewed in computer sites that rave about it's features and not the quality of the AV.

And then there is MAC. The new MAC pros look fantastic and supposetly are used by pros to produce sound and video. How good are they for playback in a Home theater environment though? Are they cabable of playing HD sound? How about 7.1 surround sound?

Further more a media center PC (MAC) offers the possibility to store family photos and videos, use it for quick light surfing (checking a review of an upcoming movie on cable?) or getting directions just before living home over the Internet?) etc.

Did any of you guys came across articles and reviews of the above systems to be used the way I would like to?

Do you have any comments yourselves?

Anyone did the same?

I am somewhere in between the two edges: lots of features vs. excellent sound and video quality



thinking exactly the same things. I was going to buy an xbox360 as a media streaming centre - but have decided to go down the mac route. A colleague has a mac mini doing this at the moment. he has ripped his DVD collection onto the harddirve. I don't have that many DVD's and no CD's - so I'm doing something slightly different...

I'm also looking at the onkyo 875 - i like the idea of having up to 3 zones driven by this baby - and the upscaler will be sweet!

I have an imac and a macbook pro so i'm going to buy an appleTV to attach to the onkyo via HDMI so I can stream wirelessly all my itumes libraries and as they update the video catalogue - hopefully start to buy my movies of the itunes server.

I have Virgin Media HD box as a main source

I also plan to have a PS3 as a further hdmi source

I haven't decided on speakers or TV yet - i'm not buying until october so things could develop...



Latest posts