So about a month back i got some of my holidays paid out. I was going to use this to do the paving around my house but unfortunately I went and visited a friend of mine who works at West Coast Hifi and ended up walking out with an Epson EH-TW3500…. WHOOPS! Oh well no matter the very first room of my house was reserved for a Home Theatre so it was time to now set this puppy up! In went the projector but I need some better front speakers (my surround speakers are still very good so I kept them). I went back and saw my mate again and purchased a set of ATS-5s . These are sensational speakers and compliment the rest of my set up nicely… The next on my list was the purchase of a new Receiver however the one I want wasn’t released in AUS until just last week. (Pioneer VSX-LX53)

After setting all this up another friend graciously lent me his old Onkyo, it suffered from heat issues causing the HDMI to cut out intermittently but it helped me in setting up the layout of my speakers and to test drive it with a couple of blu-ray movies. *yay*  Then a couple of days ago I get a call from my mate saying that the LX53’s are now available so naturally I bought one. I was apparently the first person in Perth to get one.  That is it was the first unit sold by Pioneer Australia.

After spending all weekend setting this up I ran into a few problems with HDMI out over Cat6 Baluns.  Firstly I am using Baluns that do not require power, they worked fine connected directly to say my PS3 or laptop and they worked fine connected to the Onkyo until it started suffering from heat exhaustion.  I just couldn’t understand why….
So I took another trip to West Coast Hifi, grabbed a set of powered Baluns (the really annoying thing about these is that they require power on the projector side). Anyway I plugged it in and still no joy.  I am assuming the problem is related to some handshaking between the projector and the Receiver.  Given that this didn’t work I had another friend pop over with a HDMI 2-way splitter. This also requires power but on the receiver (oputput) side.  So we replaced the powered Baluns with my original ones, plugged in the splitter and voila we have HDMI outputting correctly!! With this in mind we headed down to Jaycar and picked up a HDMI repeater/extender to see if this would work.  But unfortunately it did not.  So currently I am borrowing the 2-way splitter and it has been working fine.  Doing a bit of research and there are powered Cat6 Baluns that take power on the output side so I am interested in trying some of these. (Jaycar sell em) but at $110 a pop I don’t really want to be throwing money at a solution that may not work.  Sure I could keep the 2-way splitter in but I would prefer to have something smaller/more concealable.

Anyways the Home Theatre is progressing nicely, all that is left is to get a HTPC, connect the projector and Receiver up via serial and write some GSD for Linuxmce to control them.  Once this is done I will install some motorised draps and some Z-wave lighting and the Home Theatre room will be fully automated. 😛

Here are some pics taken of the setup thus far.  Please excuse the quality as they were taking rather quickly and with the iPhone….