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Home AV Systems in a Closet

May 8, 2008

Ian Dixon blogs about the possibility of setting up a group of Media Center Extenders in a closet so that only speakers, displays and a remote are present in the room where the user is.

I have never understood the attraction of having everything in an equipment closet. It has always seemed to me that having central media storage, but independent networked media players with separate amps, speakers and separates was the way to go. See

That approach simplifies wiring, allows one to fix problems where the media is being used, allows the user to add physical media (e.g. DVDs, CDs, flash memory) where the media is being used, allows the user to see the often informative displays on the devices and allows for flexibility in swapping out and upgrading components without major a major redesign of the system.

For example, I am considering replacing one of our Roku Soundbridges with the Squeezebox Duet. This would never happen with components in a closet. In fact neither of these devices could even be used with such a system.

Friends I know who have such systems have complained that they quickly become outdated and that any change requires a vist (and charge) from the custom installer.

These systems may be useful for people whose budgets significantly exceeds their interest in customizing their media consumption experience, but that group is a pretty small minority.

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