Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Monday, January 26, 2009

More on the Media Question...

Here's what I currently have -

1) 46" LCD TV (in den)
1) Xbox 360 (also in den)
1) PS3 (ditto)
1) 500GB external HD (in office next room over)
2) laptop computers, 1 Mac 1 PC, neither one stays on or in one place all the time

I currently come home most days, plug my laptop into a USB hub on my desk which hooks into the external HD, and then when I download stuff from iTunes or bittorrent sites, it's all set up to download to the external HD.

What I'm trying to figure out is the best way to be able to listen to my music in the den using either the PS3 or the Xbox, as well as play back the TV shows and Movies I've downloaded on the big TV. Watching them on the 22" monitor in the office is fine, but I'd like to be able to watch them with Suzy, and seating in the office is limited.

So what I think I should do is this -

1) Get a cheapo PC with Vista Home Premium and a couple gigs of RAM (looks like abuot $3-400)
2) Get a small network switch and run a hard line into the back of the Xbox
3) Put all the stuff that's currently on the external HD into the PC, and set it up as a shared network drive, then set that as my destination download drive for iTunes etc.
4) Use my existing external HD as a backup

Does that make sense? Smells like the whole mess is gonna run me around $400 total, which ain't bad, but it would sure be nice to only do this once.


Mattazuma said...

Two suggestions:

1. Get an AppleTV and install aTV Flash and Boxee on it. aTV FLash plays all of the video formats that the AppleTV won't out of the box and Boxee does internet streaming video from all of the major sites. FYI - Boxee isn't real snappy on the AppleTV.

2. Get a Popcorn Hour A-110 box. It will stream all of your ripped movies, including 1080P HD content. Has a built-in bittorrent client & a bay for a hard drive. Won't play DRMed Apple content.

KenP said...

Still a bit normal state.

You say switch. Do you mean router and not currently owning one?

That'd seem the starting point. You'd probably put it in your office as that is where most machines are and I am guessing the game boxes are set for hardwire and cost involved going wireless. Your newer Apple probably is wireless ready. The PC lap may not but a cheap card fixes that. You can then either hardwire to the desktop in the other room or put a cheap wireless card in it.

Router could easily be one of the older G models. One PC can't saturate it. Several could but that'd take work. N's aren't that much more but probably overkill.

Here's something you might find suits your needs along with the wireless router.

As to routers, I am partial to Netgear. Reliable!

That'd about to about $130 and might be what you're looking for.

VinNay said...

Download medialink for Mac and you can wirelessly stream from Mac to PS3. Once you start the software, got to your ps3 and search for media servers.

Works like a charm. Medialink only stays active for 30 in the trial version, but only costs $20 for full version.

Absinthe said...

Grey-ish market stuff like Tvix is another possibility, especially if you want to run over HDMI.