Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bose v20 + Sony Blu-Ray + TiVO + Sony TV + Apple Airport = Ultimate Home Theater
After much struggling- i've finally got the home theater/hi-fi thing all sorted. It did take quite a bit of trawling thru anti-Bose internet fora and an email to Bose HQ but it's all worked out in the end. And yes- before anyone gets stuck into me- i KNOW Bose stuff is overpriced!

What i wanted was:
a) a system that was integrated using ONE REMOTE ONLY- preferably without having to buy a separate universal remote!
b) i wanted the remote to work thru walls so i could keep the components hidden.
c) i wanted the minimum number of components... e.g. no separate blu-ray/dvd players
d) wall mounted speakers that the kids couldn't destroy.

I ended up buying the following:
Sony LCD Bravia
Bose V20
Sony Blu-Ray
Apple Airport

The Bose v20 comes with a remote- and yes it is a RF (radiofrequency) remote so there's no problems controlling the unit thru the cabinet. It does, however, also control devices via standard infra-red output.. although i'm pretty sure it is the main unit rather than the remote that emits the infra-red. You just need to tell the Bose unit what components you have- by selecting them in the 'settings menu' , and it'll (probably) work- despite what everyone else on the interweb says!

I connected the Bose v20 via standard HDMI to the Sony TV... and then the TiVo (CAB/SAT input on the Bose) and Blu-Ray (DVD input) via HDMI.

The blue ray control required the 'IR extender' (which comes with the Bose) to be plugged in to the Bose, with the end of it stuck on to the outside of the blu-ray player. This procedure takes 12 seconds.

For the Airport connection i just used a standard 1/8 plug to red/white stereo output cable and plugged this into the AUX input.

You'll need to tell the Bose that you're using a TiVO as an input device- and once this is done, the bose remote works exactly like the TiVO remote- except it works thru walls! We watch TV via the TiVO - so we can pause live TV etc.

Although i couldn't find the control codes of the Sony Blu-Ray (or in fact ANY blu-ray devices) in the Bose settings menu ... if you call it a 'Sony DVD Player' and use the control code of 1516 it works beautifully. Now i can control DVDs/Blu-Rays using the bose remote. The blu-ray upscales DVDs and they look great!

The TV on/off also works as expected using the right control code however (and i don't know why) this function doesn't work thru walls! There's no need to ever switch the TV between inputs- (e.g. Bose unit vs "TV") although that is possible too using the bose remote if you wish.

All my iTunes music is stored on a big 24" white imac- streamed from the next room wirelessly to the Bose via an Airport. It's a simple matter of clicking "airport living room" as the output using iTunes, and then hitting the AUX button on the Bose remote.

For convenience- however, i can access the music in the 'shared folder' from my apple laptop which i keep in the hi-fi room- and use this to stream the data to the Bose when i want to sit down and 'surf' my music collection.

The only downsides with all this (other than cost) are:
  • watching DVD's on a the blu-ray player can be frustrating with regard to fast-forward/scanning which seems ridiculously slow and cumbersome.
  • I've run out of HDMI inputs on the Bose! I would have liked just ONE more HDMI to connect a mac-mini/laptop. This requires an optical audio cable and a Mini-DVI to HDMI converter cable (purchased from the apple store). I've tried this out with my laptop and it works perfectly... converts to Sony into a huge monitor. Great for watching (legal) bittorrented downloads. I could connect the computer to the second HDMI input on the TV, but the sound then wouldn't come thru the TV (or the Bose obviously) as DVI doesn't carry sound- only image.
image below is of the rear of the v20:


  1. Anonymous12:29 PM

    Hi, I just am buying/have bought a similar system. I have a Samsung 58" Plasma HDTV, Bose 321suround sound DVD System, and Moxi HD DVR Box (similar to Tivo but records and plays in 1080P HD) I am considering buying a VUDU box, as I have no real interest in blueray. But I am wondering what purpose does the Apple Airport serve? I have the airport Extreme and will connect my system thru that, does the regular airport apple serve an additional purpose? Have you also considered Apple TV?

  2. Anonymous12:39 AM



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