May 13, 2013
My streaming media setup
This is the setup I have in my spare bedroom 'office' (that's why it's on my chest of drawers)
From left to right:
Acer 24" monitor (with HDMI input)
Samsung HW-E350 soundbar
I received a Roku a few weeks ago as a gift. Originally, I plugged it up to my living room television but since my old receiver doesn't have an HDMI pass through I had to deal with the shitty tv speakers. Listening to those speakers led me to research into the right sound bar. The 'right' sound bar for me would be one that has the features I want and it's cheap. That's hard because I needed the HDMI pass through. Note that I am not an audiophile, I just like a little bit of sound quality.
After some research I came upon the Samsung HW-E350. Well, it did have what I needed, but the price wasn't right, until I dug deep enough and found a refurbished model from Tiger Direct for $89.99
The critical piece was having a monitor with HDMI in. A few months ago I had a project that required 1080p resolution and HDMI input so I bought that monitor. That saved me from buying a television just for my home office.
The quality of the overall setup and the individual components are both great. The Roku is great even though there are only three apps that I use, Netflix, Time Warner and TWiT, which is my favorite of the three. The streaming quality is fantastic. For the record, I am about 25 feet away from my wireless router so it's nice and close. My only issue with the Roku is the lack of analog audio output so I wasn't able to use my old receiver at all with it.