I decided to bite the bullet and get myself one of these Sony RDR-HX900 hard-disc DVD recorders to replace my ageing DVD player and VCR. So, as you can imagine, this took a great deal of thought about how to reconfigure my home cinema system to accomodate the new component. But eventually I sussed it all out – and I know you’re itching to know the details, so here we go…

My NTL digital set-top box is sending an RGB signal via SCART to the RDR-HX900, which in turn is sending an RGB SCART signal to the widescreen TV. The analogue aerial is looped through the RDR-HX900 to the TV in order to provide a time signal to the clock and to let me watch analogue channels whilst I’m recording digital. A coaxial digital cable is providing Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS to my amplifier, which is hooked up to my nice new KEF speakers. The Xbox is connected directly to the second SCART input on the TV and connected via an optical digital cable into the amp in order to provide in-game 5.1 surround sound. The Gamecube is looped through the second SCART on the NTL set-top box. Finally, the shiny new Roku Soundbridge is sending an optical digital signal to the amplifier.

In addition to all that, my Wireless Netgear router is hidden away round the back of the telly and provides my NTL broadband connection via CAT5 to my computer, the Xbox (for Xbox Live), the Roku Soundbridge and via wireless to Mrs Lacey’s computer and my laptop…

Blimey, it’s like spaghetti junction round the back of the telly – good job no-one can see it round there!

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