Getting Started on my Quest

Quest Begins

OK Start of the Media Center/TV Top Box/NAS Drive/Wireless-N quest

So I am starting to look at the different solutions out there to stream both your home AV library and those cool stuff streaming from the internet.

Lets start out by saying, that as of this moment there isn’t one box to rule them all solution. There are different possible solutions depending on your requirements.

Do you have a requirement to stream BluRay ISOs?
Do you have to have loss-less audio streaming?
Do you have a Wireless-N Router already? Or do you just have Wireless-G
Do you have a USB 2.0 External Hard Drive with your music and video?
Do you have a NAS Drive where the HD is visible to anywhere on the network
Do you own a Game Console like PS3 or XBox360?
Do you own a Tivo HD?

What UI do you like the best? This is what will be displayed on your TV to allow you to select movies, music, photos, etc.

There are a number of different UI’s to control your new living room. Here is a list of some of them. Some are just from the device itself, like the Tivo UI

  • Tivo U
  • PS3 UI
  • XBox360 UI
  • Boxee (My personal favorite at the moment)
  • Plex (Mac OS Based)
  • Windows Media Center
  • XBMC (Xbox Media Center, which I believe was the start of Boxee)
  • Google Media Server
  • Myth TV (Yeah, this still exists)
  • and many more.

The different “set-top” boxes that are out. Note, that my definition is any box, for any purpose that you might have attached to your TV or AVR that will display/server or do anything with your media and display it on the TV

  • WD HD TV
  • Apple TV
  • Dune 3.0
  • Mac Mini/Windows/Linux boxes. Basically any Home Theater PC or HTPC.
  • Popcorn Hour
  • ASUS O!Play
  • and many more

Media Player comparison grid at AVSForum.com
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1160835

So here is my current setup

  • 52” LCD TV – Toshiba
  • Onkyo AVR, only one HDMI out to my TV, everything is hooked up through the AVR to get to the TV
  • PS3
  • Tivo HD
  • MacBook Laptop which I can hookup to my TV, which has Boxee installed.
  • External USB/FireWire 1TB HD. Right now hooked up to my Windows box in my office, so right now it is not being streamed to my TV. (One of the things I need to figure out)

I promise in the next posts I will post pictures.

With this setup, I now embark on my quest. Stay Tuned.

Mark

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My first WordPress Blog and post

Welcome to the MediaServerBlog, or On a Quest for a Media Server blog.

You could probably guess by the name that this blog is about Media Servers.

Well, yes it is, but when we talk about Media Servers, this also includes any set-top box, wireless router, Networked Hard Drives and some other AV devices that can be used to stream your media content from your “local” storage or form the internet. And this means any content from audio and video to photos and maybe games.

I am on a quest to find just the perfect setup for my home to stream everything. Well, maybe not everything right away, and maybe you only want to stream your iTunes music, or you don’t have a lot to spend. I am kind of on the fence right now, hence all my research I am doing. And I am going to reduce all that research down to the must know information for you and I to make a well informed decision.

This will be the welcome page and as I add new blog posts I will also assimilate them here so that you can simply click the “track” that you are going down and be able to skip posts that might not mean anything for your dream setup.

Mark