Home Theater Setup

I’m tracking this primary for my own reference, but it should be helpful to others as well.   This has gone through multiple iterations from Windows Media Center what currently an NVidia/Plex setup.

Audio/Video Equipment

Can’t say enough good things about the HD Fury AVR Key. Their support was extremely responsive, and once I put the right power supply on it, I’ve forgotten it’s there. This is what solves the problem of the lack of HDR pass-through on the TX-NR3030 by splitting the NVidia single HDMI output into separate audio and video feeds. The Sony BD player came with two HDMI outputs, so that problem was solved out the the box.

At my previous location I had installed ceiling speakers, but the new house being 90 years old, I have no interest in cutting into the curved plaster ceiling. So I went with the freestanding speakers with the upfiring elevation speaker to create a 5-2-4 system. I’m sure some sound engineer would have fits about the curved ceiling’s effect on the ATMOS mix.

The Harmony 650 is still a workhorse of a remote, and you can find it now for <$40. Harmony has replaced it with the 665 which appears to add color to the LCD! (umm. OK I guess) . The downside is it’s IR only, which is why I needed to install the FLIRC device on the Shield, but doing so opens up a number of additional commands on the Shield device, especially if paired with the Refresh Rate app. Still waiting for the Universal Remote which includes a microphone to talk to the specific device. “Alexa, tell Harmony to tell NVidia to play the latest Mandalorian on Disney+” just doesn’t fly…


This was originally a Velocity Micro CGT™ I used as my primary source via Windows Media Center. I still have it hooked to the TV, but now primary use it as a Plex server.

The motherboard is getting a little long-in-the-tooth. USB 3 was just released at the time, and even with Windows 10, the behavior is a little flaky. Cut the cable once I moved to a location where Sonic provided fiber which alleviated the need for the Ceton and HD PVR.

PC Software

  1. Windows 10
  2. Plex Media Server
  3. PlayOn
  4. MCEBuddy

Using Plex for recording OTA via the WinTV-quadHD. Have to confess after being a deep WMC user, I’ve been pretty disappointed with the Plex UI and integration. PlayOn has been useful since I still have a Comcast/Xfinity account via a rental property. Unfortunately, Xfinity is draconian about not allowing you to stream to large screen devices outside of your home. Even sideloading the app on the NVidia, it still detects the screen size and refuses to play content. So I use PlayOn to record any content I can’t get through Netflix, Amazon or Disney+. Very much looking forward to the Peacock free service. I downloaded MCEBuddy mostly for converting old MCE recordings, but it seems the Plex/WinTV combo records in TS format, so MCEBuddy is handy for converting those back to MP4. Still miss the non-destructive auto-commercial skipping I had built into WMC. MCEBuddy will generate a file of detected time coordinates, but I have yet to find a player that will allow auto-skipping and/or replay when the detection is wrong. MCEBuddy does have an option to create chapters at the commercial breaks, but I now watch so little commercial content, I haven’t taken the time to try to make that work.