A look at

My Modest Home Theatre

Even though it doesn't actually look like it, that image on the TV is real, this is the photo as it came out of the camera.



So, everyone else gets to do one of these, why shouldn't I? Here is my current very modest 'Home Theatre' setup. It may not be the most glamorous, the most expensive, or the most powerful, but it fits in pretty nicely with the home decor, has a really great image, sounds great and can be used by myself and my wife very easily, so we like it!

The Gear

These are the components of my home theatre. I do have a set of rear speakers (Sony SS-SR35s) but they are temporarily not attached while I wait for some wall drilling to occur in order to wire and hang them in the new room this setup has moved to. Also, no, I do not yet have a subwoofer :( So, yes at this very moment the sytem is a 3.0, and the best it currently gets is a 5.0. The mains do have pretty nice bass though, so I'm not hugely put out by not yet having a sub.

I aim to create individual reviews for all of these items, currently I only have a couple done.


Teac 3233A 32" HD LCD TV

MaxTron KB-9820 Infrared Keyboard


Sony RM-VL710 Universal Remote

Welling GA-8283 Mains


Welling GA-512 Centre




Sony DVPNS76H HDMI Upscaling DVD Player
Mediastar 920 SD Dual Tuner PVR
  Keyboard IR Receiver


PC Remote receiver for Universal remote control

Pioneer DV466 DVD Player (Retired, just not moved yet!)
Sony SDR-DE835 DD/DTS Receiver
Home Theatre PC running Media Portal software


The Setup

So, the setup is designed to be as easy as possible to use, as such it can almost entirely be driven by the quite simple to use Universal remote, including the Media PC (via the remote pretending to be a Sigma RealMagic remote from an old Hollywood Plus DVD decoding card I had laying about). There are a few functions that cannot be easily handled via this remote (such as entering new schedules in the PVR), but by and large, day to day tasks are handled well by it, including being able to hold down one button to have the TV switch input and the amp switch on and to the correct source for, say, DVD.

The DVD player is hooked up via HDMI directly to the TV as the receiver is from 1999 before HDMI existed! The PVR is hooked up via component, also directly to the TV and the PC is connected via VGA. As such the receiver is now only doing audio switching as the best it can do video wise is SVHS, but by using the macros on the remote as mentioned before, this doesn't really impact the ease of use of the system.

I have had the question asked, why don't you hand all DVD playing and PVR duties to the Media PC? I could, it would be capable of that if I gave it a tuner card, but I just don't find pcs and the HTPC software to be that reliable yet. It does a great job of what we use it for (various video files, and our music collection), but for day to day DVD and PVR usage, I'll trust the dedicated machines to give a better experience for now. This may change down the track, if things improve in the HTPC world, but for now, this 'hodgepodge' is what I'm using :)



I go into great depth regarding the performance of the TV and the DVD player in my individual reviews of those units. As for the overall effect of the whole lot together, I am very, very happy with it. While Welling is hardly a hugely regarded speaker manufacturer, I have found these models to be very easy to listen to, with great bass and, to my ears at least, very nicely reproduced movie sound. The TV produces a great image, especially when driven by the given sources (although none are true HD inputs as yet), and has gathered quite a few admiring comments.

Until the day I can give over a dedicated room (this is our loungeroom), I am happy with this setup as it stands, although a subwoofer would not go astray!