Our Home Theater, 2004 Version
Click Here to see the 1999 Version

Our living room system is my 5th generation home theater, since I got interested in HT in 1984 with laserdiscs and CDs.  Now, for the first time I can watch big-screen high-definition TV in my living room, which has been my goal ever since 1987.  I was on a business trip to the enormous Telecom '87 trade show in Geneva when I first saw HDTV.  Then, it was the Japanese MUSE system,  a purely analog system which just blew me away.  I have to say it looked as good then as anything I've seen since.
I prefer to call this a living-room system rather than a home theater, as it is not built into a dedicated room.
 Not being able to always control ambient light and seating position, plasma was my choice, the screen looks great from any viewing angle horizontally and vertically, and ambient light doesn't bother it much either,  although we do dim the lights when we want to get down to some serious viewing.

As woodworking is one of my hobbies, I decided to build a custom cabinet to house my components when I changed to the plasma display, mostly because I couldn't find any cabinet that would hold my center channel speaker which is a little bit too wide for the standard equipment racks.  So I priced a few custom-built cabinets, and was quoted $2-3K depending on the configuration.  That's when I went to the lumberyard, and for about $400 worth of African Mahogany and other supplies, and 4 weekends of work, I built my own. 

Click here to see more pictures of the cabinet construction and other details of the setup.

Larger view

System Description                

 Audio Components

 Video Components

Yamaha RX-Z9 9.1 Receiver
Sony CDP-CX250 CD Jukebox
Sony TCR-303 Cassette Deck (not shown)
Sony PS-FL7II Linear Turntable /
     Shure V15HR Cartridge
(not shown)

Panasonic TH50-PX20 Plasma Display
DirecTV HR10-250 HD DVR
Panasonic DMR-E100HS DVD Recorder
Sony SLR-1000 SVHS VCR Sony EVS-7000 Hi8 VCR

Sony EVS-7000 Hi8 VCR
(not shown)
Pioneer Elite DVL-91 Laserdisc/DVD
(not shown)
Sony DVP-CX777ES 400 DVD Jukebox  (not shown)

The "not shown" equipment is hidden behind the wall in the adjacent garage.  In addition there is a 6500 degree Kelvin
remote-controlled light mounted behind the plasma to properly (gently) illuminate the rear wall for optimal night viewing.

 Remote Control

 Philips ProntoPro TSU-7000


 Speaker Systems:

Mains: B&W 600 Series 3
Center: B&W LCR 600 Series 3
Front Effects
, Rear Surrounds and Rear Center Surrounds: Monitor Authority CM-1
(these are not shown, the front effects speakers visible in the picture are part of a set of Bose AM-15 which I've since scrapped)
Monitor Authority is a second-label from Monitor Audio.  Great speakers at a low price.  Google them for more info....

Subwoofer: Velodyne HGS-15
(on left wall beside the sofa -- not shown)
     Read my review at Epinions.com
    Read my review at AudioReview.Com

More Pictures

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Recommended HT Books and Videos
  VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever Highly recommended!  Movie buffs should keep this one on the coffee table! [cover] Defining Vision : The Battle for the Future of Television Joel Brinkley

Video Essentials (DVD): Optimizing Your Audio/Video System  Must-have tool for setting up your system
AVIA Guide to Home Theater (DVD) Another great tool, similar to Video Essentials (perhaps better)
[cover] The Home Theater Companion Howard Ferstler [cover] Home Theater for Everyone Robert Harley
Basic Home Theater Gordon McComb
The Complete Guide to High-End Audio Robert Hartley, Keith Jarrett

My Favorite Home Theater Links
 Home Page

Last revision: February 5, 007
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