Retro How-To: The Setup is more than the sum of its parts (Pics)

After a bit of a hiatus (where I was just too lazy to take pics before I cleaned my living room) I'm finally getting around to posting my home setup.


 

So that is my setup I decided to focus solely on the TV stand and its residents for this post; after we go over games and storage I'll show off more of my collection. So what you are seeing here is mainly my Magnavox 42" 1080p LCD TV, while Magnavox may not be everyone's first choice for cutting edge tech it does have a wonderful picture and was a pretty good deal. My only complaint is that it has a "dynamic refresh rate" that will scale the screen's refresh rate based on the input, when I am playing PS3 games or a Bluray the refresh rate sticks at about 90-70hz but it normally is a much lower number, the only time I notice a difference is while watching Broadcast or DVR and can tell when the refresh rate decides to kick it up a notch. No big thing and if I wasn't a tech geek and TV professional I wouldn't ever notice. Also displayed in these pics is the TV Stand itself. I love this stand my old stand was basically a squat black box that didn't really do anything for the feel of the room. This one has a nice warm tone to the finish and isn't too glossy. The stand is also quite tall and keeps the screen up higher giving TV watching a more relaxed feel, like being in a theater. The biggest bonus for a game collector when it comes to the stand is that top open air shelf, my DVR, Gamecube and PS3 live up there and the constant airflow keeps both DVR and PS3 pretty cool.

 

 

Here is a closer picture of the systems themselves. Starting with the top shelf and working down;

·       DVR  - This is an absolute essential nowadays and I don't think my wife and I could live without it. The main downside with a DVR is heat production, you do not want to keep this inside a stand because it will cook everything else in there.

·       Gamecube  - I was not a Gamecube fan until well into the new console generation; I originally picked it up so I could play my GameBoy Advance games at home as well as on the go.

·       PS3  - My PS3 really does triple duty as my main game system, my main video player and easy access to my home music library. Coupled with MediaMall's playOn software Sony's latest black monolith is quite the behemoth. Downside is once again heat output. I've had to send my PS3 back to Sony after a fan failed it kept overheating. You'll want to keep your PS3 out in the open and make sure to clean dust out of it regularly,  do not do the power trick! (Also the PSEYE is now on top of my TV. I had to move it up there for the MOVE)

·       Wii  - A wonderful wedding gift my wife gets the most use out of the Wii but I also play a few Virtual Console games and "The Legend of Zelda: the Twilight Princess" seems to be perpetually in my to-play stack.

·       Video Switch  - There is that cheap video switch I've been blabbing about, the NEX, Sega and Gamecube are hooked up through here.

·       Generation NEX  - My default NES stand-in the Generation NEX is the best NES emulator console you can buy. While it only does NES games it will accept Famicom carts and has the highest compatibility rate on the market. And yes that is a copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 in there.

·       Sega Genesis / Sega CD  - Not pictured here is my 32X because it wouldn't fit nicely enough. Always make sure to leave enough slack in the cables so you can pull top-loader systems out while using them, you don't want to have to cram your carts around inside a TV stand.

·       RCA 5.1 Surround Sound Receiver  - This was a system-in-a-box that I got as a gift. I spent awhile researching different models and this one came out on top because unlike other "in-a-box" systems this receiver will take after market speakers from other manufacturers if I ever have the whim for better speakers that will be a plus. The only trade off is that this system did not come with a powered sub-woofer and does not decode DTS audio signals.

So there you have it, my system. Remember when running cable be sure to reduce as mush clutter as possible so you can increase air flow and keep the systems cool. Not pictured our my Atari 2600 and original NES. The NES is on a bookshelf in my guest room and my Atari is in storage at my parents. The Atari has some broken points that need to be re-soddered and I don't think I'll get around it anytime soon.

   (This is once again a re-post of my content from a previous gaming website. I didn't expect the pics to just copy and paste over but they did.)
19 Comments
19 Comments
Posted by Punk1984

After a bit of a hiatus (where I was just too lazy to take pics before I cleaned my living room) I'm finally getting around to posting my home setup.


 

So that is my setup I decided to focus solely on the TV stand and its residents for this post; after we go over games and storage I'll show off more of my collection. So what you are seeing here is mainly my Magnavox 42" 1080p LCD TV, while Magnavox may not be everyone's first choice for cutting edge tech it does have a wonderful picture and was a pretty good deal. My only complaint is that it has a "dynamic refresh rate" that will scale the screen's refresh rate based on the input, when I am playing PS3 games or a Bluray the refresh rate sticks at about 90-70hz but it normally is a much lower number, the only time I notice a difference is while watching Broadcast or DVR and can tell when the refresh rate decides to kick it up a notch. No big thing and if I wasn't a tech geek and TV professional I wouldn't ever notice. Also displayed in these pics is the TV Stand itself. I love this stand my old stand was basically a squat black box that didn't really do anything for the feel of the room. This one has a nice warm tone to the finish and isn't too glossy. The stand is also quite tall and keeps the screen up higher giving TV watching a more relaxed feel, like being in a theater. The biggest bonus for a game collector when it comes to the stand is that top open air shelf, my DVR, Gamecube and PS3 live up there and the constant airflow keeps both DVR and PS3 pretty cool.

 

 

Here is a closer picture of the systems themselves. Starting with the top shelf and working down;

·       DVR  - This is an absolute essential nowadays and I don't think my wife and I could live without it. The main downside with a DVR is heat production, you do not want to keep this inside a stand because it will cook everything else in there.

·       Gamecube  - I was not a Gamecube fan until well into the new console generation; I originally picked it up so I could play my GameBoy Advance games at home as well as on the go.

·       PS3  - My PS3 really does triple duty as my main game system, my main video player and easy access to my home music library. Coupled with MediaMall's playOn software Sony's latest black monolith is quite the behemoth. Downside is once again heat output. I've had to send my PS3 back to Sony after a fan failed it kept overheating. You'll want to keep your PS3 out in the open and make sure to clean dust out of it regularly,  do not do the power trick! (Also the PSEYE is now on top of my TV. I had to move it up there for the MOVE)

·       Wii  - A wonderful wedding gift my wife gets the most use out of the Wii but I also play a few Virtual Console games and "The Legend of Zelda: the Twilight Princess" seems to be perpetually in my to-play stack.

·       Video Switch  - There is that cheap video switch I've been blabbing about, the NEX, Sega and Gamecube are hooked up through here.

·       Generation NEX  - My default NES stand-in the Generation NEX is the best NES emulator console you can buy. While it only does NES games it will accept Famicom carts and has the highest compatibility rate on the market. And yes that is a copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 in there.

·       Sega Genesis / Sega CD  - Not pictured here is my 32X because it wouldn't fit nicely enough. Always make sure to leave enough slack in the cables so you can pull top-loader systems out while using them, you don't want to have to cram your carts around inside a TV stand.

·       RCA 5.1 Surround Sound Receiver  - This was a system-in-a-box that I got as a gift. I spent awhile researching different models and this one came out on top because unlike other "in-a-box" systems this receiver will take after market speakers from other manufacturers if I ever have the whim for better speakers that will be a plus. The only trade off is that this system did not come with a powered sub-woofer and does not decode DTS audio signals.

So there you have it, my system. Remember when running cable be sure to reduce as mush clutter as possible so you can increase air flow and keep the systems cool. Not pictured our my Atari 2600 and original NES. The NES is on a bookshelf in my guest room and my Atari is in storage at my parents. The Atari has some broken points that need to be re-soddered and I don't think I'll get around it anytime soon.

   (This is once again a re-post of my content from a previous gaming website. I didn't expect the pics to just copy and paste over but they did.)
Posted by GamesWarden

Nice set up, but how do you find that modern widescreen display copes with older consoles? I suppose the TV can letterbox them in the correct 4:3 format? But even in that case, I have tended to prefer playing my older consoles on an older TV. 

Posted by Tordah

I really like that TV stand. It looks a bit tall but having three different shelves to put your equipment on is neat.

Posted by Tally_Pants
@GamesWarden:  personally i play my Retro Twin (Snes & Nes player) on a 32" LCD 720p TV and when a lot is happening on the screen there is a noticeable lag, although i have only noticed this on SNES games (specifically LOZ Link to the Past [rarely happens, and totally manageable when it does] and Super Mario Kart [mario kart looks terrible...the pixels are huge and really janky!]) the NES games all seem fine so far. And yes, it does just crop to the screen into the old 4:3 with black bars on the left/right
Posted by Punk1984
@Tally_Pants: 
The only downside with the Generation NEX I use is that it doesn't play SNES games. I've never ran into anything horribly odd in the emulation. (except maybe some colors being off) It is a sturdier machine than the Retro Duos and it takes the original NES controller ports. 
@Tordah:
My couch sits low and leaned back (kind of like old movie theater seats) so the height of the TV stand ends up being a plus.
@GamesWarden:
As far as playing old games on the new TV it varies game to game some look great stretched to 16:9 some are almost un-playable. The only system that I keep an old TV around for is my Atari 2600 because that thing on an HD TV is seizure inducing. Really a lot of the games look better with the sharpness of an LCD less color bleeding because of a CRT's lack of focus.
Posted by Example1013

I LOVE those old knobs on receivers. I can't stand using clunky buttons to change volume and tune, when knobs like that are just so smooth and functional. The way they design them is pretty snappy too, so I approve of the receiver system. 
 
Is that Charter?

Posted by Punk1984
@example1013: Is what "charter?"
Posted by Example1013
@Punk1984: I have probably that exact same DVR box from my cable company (Charter). Or at least my parents do.
Posted by FesteringNeon

Mine current livingroom is 42 " 1080p LG / HDDVR / VCR / XBOX / PS3 Slim / PS3 Phat / Gray Dreamcast / Genesis / DVD Player/ 2.1 Klipsch  (in my living room)
My bedroom will be getting that setup (swapping the PS3 slim for the PS3 phat)
 
My living room will be at least a 60" 1080p/ HDDVR/ PS3 Slim / Black Dreamcast / Laptop / and hopefully 7.1 if I can find a good deal on a Denon setup. 

Posted by Punk1984
@example1013: 
Oh it is "Time Warner Cable" I think the model is made by Texas Instruments
Posted by Punk1984
@bukkookkub: I really want a Black Dreamcast with matching conrtollers
Posted by Example1013
@Punk1984: Yeah, I couldn't see the logo, which is why I asked. I think you're right, TI made it.
Posted by mfpantst

I like the cleanliness of the setup and breadth of items you have set up- cool.  Not so pleased with your system in a box choice (Onkyo makes high quality receivers that are system-in-a-box for moderately more money than the cheapest and the speaker jacks are universal to all except the highest end speakers, though that has changed from when I got my onkyo sib- so bad on you)  Also poor choice on the placement of the front left and right speakers- they basically are right in the path of the center speaker making it like you don't have surround sound.

Posted by Punk1984
@mfpantst: Yeah I know on those front two speakers the problem is I live with a wonderful beautiful wife who doesn't want Speaker stands everywhere. What you are not seeing is just to the right of the TV stand is an archway that leads to my dinning room. One of these days I'm going to grow up move out of the apartment and buy a home with a finished basement and a wet bar so I can have a proper man cave.
Posted by mfpantst
@Punk1984:  Word then.  Can you screw them into t he wall, or is that part of the 'can't have it messy' thing?
Posted by Punk1984
@mfpantst: no there is a window on one side and a hallway on the other.
Posted by Rockanomics

Why do you have your GameCube there? Can't you just play GC games on your Wii?

Posted by Tally_Pants
@Punk1984:  Using a NES controller is nice, but I still way prefer using my SNES controllers (i didn't keep the 3rd party ones that came with it, but use a set of Nintendo SNES controllers)
Posted by Punk1984
@Rockanomics said:
" Why do you have your GameCube there? Can't you just play GC games on your Wii? "
I have a Gameboy Advance Player stuck on the bottom of Gamecube. You can't play GBA games on a Wii