Looking for advice: New home cinema setup

The plan for the new year is to completely re-do our living room technology. Right now, we have a big fat 16:9 tube TV, a Panasonic DVD 5.1 kit, a Nintendo Wii and a digital cable receiver.

The main goal is to go completely digital, i.e. get rid of CDs and DVDs in the living room by moving them onto a hard drive, and to get rid of lots of cables in the process.

The easy part is picking a new TV. Right now I’m looking at a LG 37LC51.

In terms of amp and speakers, I’m thinking of the Yamaha YSP-1000. It got great reviews, and it’s certainly the best way to get rid of cable clutter.

Then it gets difficult. My wife mentions that she’s like to pop in a plain old CD or DVD now and then, which would ruin my hard drive approach. But I guess I could always have a backup DVD drive somewhere.

One way to store media is the Apple TV. As all my MP3 are in iTunes anyway, and I’m a die hard iPod user, this doesn’t sound bad. Then again, it would require me to convert all my DVDs to MP4. I also don’t need the YouTube stuff, as this can be covered through the Wii.

There’s a multitude of multimedia hard drives, i.e. external USB drive enclosures that allow media playback on a TV. One of the more interesting ones is the TViX M-4100SH. It will play just about any kind of media you throw at it, and it can even host a TV module and act as a PVR.

So, that’s the current idea. What does your setup look like. Any other alternatives I should be considering? What about a good remote control?

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