Hey Gang, this might be better off in the help forum but I think you folks are more likely the people I need to talk to.
In short, I want to create a fully connected home theater. My current set up is pretty much a 42" Samsung LCD, a Yamaha HTR 6160 amp, HarmonKardon speaker set (5.1 currently), PS3, 360, Wii, and Airport Express.
I have a Macbook Pro I can throw into the equation and I'd love to be able to stream media beyond just audio. I've been looking at Apple TV but I'm not really sure if it's what I need. I'd also like to wire some of the other rooms up with speakers and stream audio content to those rooms as well.
Is this even remotely possible? Any tips or tricks you can suggest to help enhance my setup would be fantastic.
Your receiver supports Zone B, which means it can send an audio signal to those speakers separately. I am not sure if this means the same audio to your 5.1 as to zone B, different audio from your 5.1 to zone B, or just audio to zone B bypassing the 5.1. Either way, use your zone B inputs.
Get a bitchin' universal remote (Logitech's Harmony line is the go to).
Replace your light switches with switched that can be controlled via IR remotes.
Build a HTPC.
Hell, go RF with everything and start getting into home automation.
Buy a bigger TV.
I use my laptop and share a folder using Windows Media Center. This allows both my 360 and PS3 (I usually use the PS3 because I have it hooked up to my TV using HDMI) to access those folders and play media from the network on my television. Both the PS3 and 360 have some pretty solid codec coverage if you rip your media or obtain it in some other way and even the one big omission (mkv) can be quickly converted to .vob (less than 5 minutes).
QEDMF xbl: PantsB G+
Sorry, I meant receiver - we were talking amps here in the office when I posted that.
These are some great suggestions though. My understanding of the Zone B thing was that you can stream different audio to the different zones but I'll definitely need to verify that.
I'd actually love to be able to stream different audio to various rooms within the house. I thought I had remembered seeing a product that had an ipod-based interface that did this. More research must be done on my end I believe.