That wouldn't give you any significant advantage, unless you have very long cable runs or live under powerlines.The V281 has a single ended preamp and only the power stage is balanced. SE input is as good as the XLR.
Selecting an amp to colour the sound is a hit or miss affair. You are pretty much guaranteed not to get the sound signature you really want. If you're lucky you'll get somewhat closer to it, but even that would be difficult.
With headphones this would be a slightly different game, since compared to your speaker amp they have much lower input impedance which in most cases is non-linear. How the amp responds to this characteristic defines it's signature sound. Most amps...
What you would need will depend on the connectivity of your TV. Some form of audio output should be there, but on many modern units the only option is digital (i.e. HDMI or Toslink). In that case you'd need a DAC with a compatible input. If your TV has RCA outs then the DAC is not needed.
The next issue is volume control. As you probably appreciate, using the knobs on the back of the speakers is not practical. For that you will need a pre-amp, unless your DAC has one...
Electronics are fine to work continuously and can do that for years. The damage is usually caused by working outside of the specification parameters or in some situations by switching them on / off.
I would rather worry that by plugging and unplugging the connector you're causing more mechanical wear on the USB port.
HiFi is not only about the frequency range. I'm sure you can still appreciate things like clarity, precise location of instruments, natural sounding attack and decay, low distortions, lack of noise. Besides, most of music still comes in the range covered by your hearing. I'm sure you will appreciate and enjoy your investments.
Before you buy anything try moving the dimmer as far from the amp and the rest of audio setup as possible.
Chances are that you're getting RF interferences from the dimmer and not through the power line.
Great review!Having used Hilo for about a year I tend to agree with most of the statements made. One correction though: Hilo actually contains 3 separate DACs: one driving the headphone amp, one for the line out (XLR) and one for monitor (TRS). The line out DAC consists of 2 chips per channel giving it extra 3dB of dynamic range, compared to the other two.