Tuning in, turning on, and logging outAfter hearing about Flack’s PIVO experiment, and having seen a similar setup of Kent’s working for the past year and a half or so, I’ve decided that we really need something similar here. With all the UK shows that I download, and having sucked all of the music in the house onto my hard drive, this whole business of hauling shiny round things from room to room is a bit of a dinosaur’s game. So I’ve started laying out in my head what I need for the living room media PC:

  • Decent memory overhead
  • Not much of a hard drive – actually, Flack gave me a 30 gig earlier this year that should do just fine
  • A very good video card with NTSC out – this’ll probably be the most expensive part of the whole thing (doesn’t need to be HD, because I am so not there yet.)
  • A wireless networking card
  • A remote mouse & keyboard

Of course, the above perhaps foolishly assumes that I’m going to snag a massive hard drive for Christmas or soon thereafter, which is by no means a certain thing. Onto this hypothetical machine, I’d load the following:

  • Nero Ultra Edition (he said as he looked away from the thing about “license to install on one computer”)
  • WinAmp
  • Paint Shop Pro 8 (see Nero Ultra Edition)
  • Emulators
  • Video codecs out the wazoo

All of the videos, songs, photos, ROMs, etc. would reside on a network drive.

Thing is, I’ve had an epiphany or two lately that’s made it obvious that the DVD’s day is numbered, even with the attempts to shoehorn it into a “next generation” format (or one of several next generation formats, for that matter). Anymore, there are very few DVDs I’m interested in owning or even renting, and oddly enough, they almost all seem to be UK TV-on-DVD releases. And maybe, thinking in the long-term, and thinking back on how much money I’ve blown on DVDs and CDs, there may be an object lesson for young Evan about separating the ownership of the Thing from the ownership of What’s On The Thing. He’s going to be part of a generation that looks at compact discs the way I look at 8-tracks – I remember them, I used to have a few, but they’re fossils now. I can’t do anything about all these old 4:3 cathode ray television sets still in use around the house, but on this other thing, I need to get with it.

Having said all that, by the way, if anyone’s interested in seasons 1-7 of Stargate SG-1 on DVD, gimme a shout. They’re on the block. 😆 (And no, I haven’t ripped them to the hard drive. Gimme a little bit of credit here.) Proceeds will fund…well…probably not the above project. It’ll probably go toward diapers and formula and stuff. But I’m hoping to get the above project going in the new year, if and when I find some gainful at-home-type employment (of which I’m still awaiting word). (Congrats to Ubik on the new gig, by the way. Almost makes me think I might have some hope yet.)

I don’t have iTunes on my machine, so I couldn’t do Gapporin’s recent meme, but I can at least confirm that the total running time of everything on my “nothing left out except audio dramas & spoken word” playlist is over fifteen days. 😆 The podcast idea is getting a little more tempting!

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Earl Green ()

I'm the creator, editor-in-chief and head writer of theLogBook.com.

Website: http://www.theLogBook.com

One Response to “Media monster…or…mobster…or…lobster. Or somethin’.”

  1. The machine I’m using cost me $100 through Craigslist. It has a gig of RAM and had an 80 gig hard drive (I’ve since added a 400 gig). I also added a Hauppauge TV card; total investment, $300.

    I’m curious as to why you want Nero, Paint Shop Pro 8 and some of those other programs installed. I run GBPVR for a front end on mine, which is free. It plays pretty much any video format, plays MP3s, and had a built in photo viewer/slideshow as well. The Hauppauge video card I bought came with a remote control which GBPVR is compatible with so everything I need to do can be handled by the remote.

    I originally considered having a wireless keyboard/mouse but I just enabled Remote Desktop on the PC so if I need to do anything on it, I just remote in from the laptop and do it that way. Much less clutter that way. I don’t run Nero or anything like that on the machine. SInce it’s running Windows, if I want to burn something I’ll either just copy it across the wireless network, or I’ll go stick a USB memory stick into the front of the machine and copy it off that way.

    Two caveats; 1, I’ve had trouble streaming video over wireless with my setup. I suspect 802.11n will handle it better (or 100 megabit network cable). And #2, you’re going to need drive space.

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