Media Room Update: Denon 2313 and Steam Big Picture
Since my old Denon 790 decided to self combust (my fault), I decided it was time to finally finish our media room. The TV is the excellent Panasonic ST50 which I wall mounted a while ago. The extendable arms are a godsend when you are messing with wires and plugs highly worth it over the standard mounts.
From my Study I ran a 15 meter HDMI cable and a 15 meter USB cable which is connected to the TV. As you can see, poking through the wall here is a powered HDMI splitter/extender which was required to eliminate Sparkle caused by loss of HDMI signal strength:
Unboxing the Denon 2313.
Shiny new Denon 2313.
The new AUDYSSEY XT Calibration is even better than on the 790 model, I didn't have to tweak anything.
The Study acts as the information hub with network cables running all through the house, during the build stage I also ran a 15 meter HDMI cable and a 15 meter USB cable (with booster) specifically for PC connectivity. These keystone wall plates accept standard cables and can be interchanged simply by replacing the type of connection insert.
And the end result is a seamless Steam Big Picture console type experience for under $50 for the wall plates and cables:
XBMC on the Transformer Prime
As you may know, XBMC has officially been created announced for Android with the Source code available for those willing to compile and test on their Android devices.
The following video is XBMC running on the Transformer Prime with media shared from my main HTPC box wirelessly. Impressive Stuff!
XBMC Remote App works
Aeon Nox Skin works (with Remote)
No Hardware acceleration currently.
Couldnt get FLAC to play, Ogg and mp3 work great.
Denon AVR 790 Unboxing and setup
Recently purchased this little beauty, The Denon AVR 790 as an upgrade for my aging Pioneer.
It is interesting to note as per this AVS forum post from user Batpig that:
Q. What is the difference between the three-digit models (e.g. AVR 790) and the four-digit models (e.g. AVR 1910)?
A: Essentially, NOTHING. Denon puts out two parallel receiver lineups, with four-digit and three-digit model numbers. The four-digit models are generally sold by high end stereo shops and custom installers, and the three-digit models are the "consumer" version sold in retail outlets like Circuit City and Fry's.
However, there is ZERO difference in terms of power, specs, sound quality, build quality, etc. between the two lines. Denon has been doing this for years, it is exactly analagous to the Yamaha HTR and RX-V parallel receiver lines.
Batpig also has a very handy DENON-TO-ENGLISH DICTIONARY Setup Guide and FAQ. Definitely worth checking out as he has put a significant amount of effort into helping with the Denon setup process.
The Quick Specs
The AVR-790 features the latest high resolution audio decoders, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, and is one of the first to include Dolby Pro Logic IIz, which provides front height channel effects for an incredibly expansive front soundstage.
The video section features the latest Video Reference Series processor from Anchor Bay Technologies, providing analog-to-digital video deinterlacing and upconversion to HD, with both component and HDMI outputs, and features 1080p 24Hz/60Hz HDMI pass-through, allowing a single HDMI cable run to your HDTV.
Audyssey’s advanced MultEQ room acoustic measurement and correction system analyzes the speakers and the listening room and automatically corrects the response for the smoothest, most natural tonal balance.
Audyssey Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ are provided to ensure rich, natural tonal quality at any volume level, and with no annoying volume jumps during commercial interruptions.
On to the unpacking:
My old Pioneer Receiver, never failed and has been fantastic.
Plugging in my HTPC, TV and Wii. Everything is pretty straight forward at this stage. Just one HDMI cable to the TV.
The automatic calibration using the Audyssey Setup Microphone is simply amazing - especially if you have not witnessed anything like it before. The official Audyssey FAQ can be found here.
Here is a screen of the setup taking place:
I thought my old Pioneer was good but never realised how under utilised my Subsonic speakers were until testing some HD music and the Batman Blu-ray. I raised the volume for the Bike scene in The Dark Knight and was completely blown away by the sound quality. No distortions with the volume up and the surround separation from the Main listening position 1 was spot on. I pushed it to the point the woofer was blowing the curtains and vibrating the roof but then dropped the volume - kids bedtime 🙂
The sound is as precise as I was after and it is also excellent for stereo and even standard mp3's. The Denon upscales all analogue sources to 1080p which was a straightforward process and works well for the wii console I have connected. Denon dropped last years Faroudja scaling method in favor of Anchor Bay and proprietary video processing chips - and it shows. The pulldown Jitter I was experiencing seems to also been eliminated.
The Denon AVR 790 gets a big 9.5 out of 10 from me.
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Power DVD Coupon Code
Power DVD 9 10% Off Coupon
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Finally got round to finishing my HTPC room with a nice bargain entertainment unit from Dare Gallery. Had a few issues with trying to get the HDMI cable into the HTPC - was a bit too short though finally managed to squeeze the damn thing in.
Here are some pics of the destruction in action:
Now to cut into the wall.... Again!
Looks like fun dad
Making a mess
Thanks for our new cubby house dad!
Almost done - testing HTPC with a JJJ x264 rip of Lily Allen.
DVD Test - Yes its Bob the builder.
All Done! The PC HDMI cable was a pain - Too short.
Enable ITC Processing with ATI CCC?
ITC Processing has been available on ATI graphics cards since Catalyst 9.2 though it can have a positive or negative impact depending on your display device.
Enabling ITC Processing for DTVs
ITC processing is a feature that enables display processors to use the appropriate pixel data processing algorithms based on specific content type to ensure video quality.
With ITC processing, the graphics driver enables the display to use its own video quality processing algorithms for movies played in full-screen mode on HDMI™ displays.
Note: This feature is available only for DTVs connected with HDMI cables and may not be available for all systems.
How to enable this in the ATI Catalyst Control Center
From the Graphics Settings tree, expand DTV.
Select or clear Enable ITC Processing as appropriate.
Select—Enables ITC processing for HDMI displays that are capable of the feature. When movies are played in full-screen mode, the display’s processors can be used to ensure video quality.
Clear—Disables ITC processing. Video quality is ensured by the graphics driver for all types of contents displayed.
How to automatically log on with Vista
If you have a HTPC or media server, getting your box to automatically log in is extremely convenient. Luckily it is quite a simple process:
Click Start and type netplwiz in the Search field. Hit Enter.
Uncheck the Users must enter a username and password to use this computer option and click OK
Enter the password for your user account you wan to auto log in with and follow the prompts.