Setup A Streaming Media Network

Thanks to relatively fast internet rates of speed and cheap hard drives we’ve never really had access to so much digital media. However, while the various forms of digital media can all be viewed or played on a PC, few people choose to truly have a PC located in the living room. Microsoft’s persistent vision of the PC as the center of your digital living room has generally didn’t materialize. Although it’s now easier than ever before for connecting a flat-screen digital TV to a PC, few of us want an unsightly actually, noisy and large package inside our living spaces generally.

PCs were never designed as media delivery platforms, and even though they excel at that job now, they are generally within studies and bedrooms. In the event that you do have a PC in your lounge Even, the probabilities are that it’s tucked away in a large part, probably linked to printers and other peripherals, and nowhere near your TV and surround-sound amp.

A couple of years back, before Vista’s surprise cloud darkened the horizon, there is a flurry of excitement for the so-called Home Theatre PC. The essential idea was to consider the Personal computer away of its indigenous environment, and stick it next to your TV, to offer music, films, and TV, and if you were advanced really, use it as a PVR, too. The nagging problem is, no matter how much you may spend on the small-form-factor case, completed in aircraft-grade aluminum with blue LEDs and a VFD display, it’s still essentially a PC, with all the disadvantages that implies.

If you want to utilize it as a PVR, it requires to be left on round the clock, which Windows was never made to do. Unless you it can take an age to startup. On top of that is the noise that most PCs generate, which can wreck the ambience during quiet parts of your preferred film.

In conditions of PVR functionality too. The initial version of Windows XP Media Middle was not without its problems also, even though the version within Vista is a lot improved. Still, would you like to use Vista really, if you don’t have to really? The solution then, is never to put your personal computer next to the TV but get the media files from your PC onto your TV rather, stereo or laptop that’s located in another room of the house.

Although there have been devices round for a couple of years to get this done, many of them have been fairly limited. As the technology has matured, things have improved significantly, and there’s an abundance of media streamers and media extenders to choose from. Most will demand some sort of network connection, but some utilizes internal hard disks or have USB slots to be able to plug within an external drive. We’ll take a look at two means of streaming media, either to your TV or to another laptop or Computer, and the program and hardware you will have to do the job.

When it comes to connecting your PC to your TV or stereo, there are some devices that stream audio just, while others can stream audio, pictures and video. Most of the best ones shall be of an identical form factor to a hi-fi separate, or DVD player, so that they won’t look out of put in place a hi-fi rack, or under your TV.

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One of the first sound loading devices was the Squeezebox, from Slim Devices (now part of Logitech), which used an Ethernet link with stream audio to any hi-fi source. It had a basic remote and display, but just about did the job. Squeezeboxes use 802 now.llg wireless and can stream virtually any music format from your PC, as well as connecting to a true number of internet r / c.

Terratec has the Noxon which does a similar job, though it needs to be said, it not only looks odd, the menu is hard to use pretty, which makes it a bit of a chore to use. The latest streamer from Slim Devices is the Squeezebox Duet, which include a base device, and a handset, complete with color LCD screen.

The base device is connected to your stereo or portable loudspeakers, and the rechargeable handset is then used to control your music, in a very similar way to how you would control an iPod. The handset uses WiFi to regulate the server software, but it’ll work with IMMEDIATE ACCESS Storage space devices also, such as MAS drives with mass media server support, and that means you don’t even need to leave your PC on to utilize it. You are able to control old Squeezebox devices even, if you purchase the handset alone. 370 it’s not exactly cheap, but it does represent the best boy’s toy as it pertains to music control.