[Front Page] I don't watch that much television, but I am a geek. (HTPC Part I)

fly

Osharts 11
Oct 1, 2004
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(This will be the first episode in a multi-part series on setting up your own home theater system with a focus on acquiring and displaying media - on the cheap-ish)

Not sure why, but I find home theatre systems awe inspiring. The name home theatre system can encompass a lot of things. My focus of this series of articles is about how to make 'cutting the cable' as easy as possible. How can we set things up so that we can all transition away from cable TV painlessly? Well, I think I've done a pretty good job of doing just that. And when our FIOS contract runs out, we will be done with cable TV. The only thing we'll miss is all the college football channels, but I can find a bar for that and still save a ton of cash.

Even though I don't watch a ton of TV, the idea that I could watch days of it from my own network makes me drool. It's kind of like the guy who owns a sports car, but never drives it. That guy gets great pleasure just knowing it's there. Yeah, I just compared a sports car to a file downloaded from the internet. Whatever...

Over the years, I've spent many hours and much money perfecting a home theatre solution that is high quality, easy, and most importantly reliable. The pitfalls have been many, as well as the designing, cursing, and drinking. I have an entire closet full of things that seemed like a great idea at the time, but just weren't good enough. I thought I could distill all that down into a series of articles, for newbies and aficionados alike, on what I've learned and how to set it up. Let's see what happens.

Obviously, this will be about my perfect setup (for today, at least) but that doesn't mean it will be yours. There are many options out there to do the same thing. When possible, I will try to discuss alternative options and why I didn't chose them or why I should have chosen them. So feel free to cherry pick the crap you like and skip the rest.

The most important lesson that I have learned over the years is to use FOSS (free and open source software). I started early with Windows based devices and software. Most of them not only cost money, but can be very limiting on their abilities. The tradeoff for FOSS tools is generally your own time. It takes time to figure out how they tick and how to best integrate them into your environment. But remember, I'm a geek and will waste time to use better product.

Over the next few weeks, I plan on releasing a series of articles on how to set things up as I have them. I'll likely cover home servers, home theatre PCs (HTPC), networking, auto downloaders, usenet, remotes, apps, and anything else I can think of ranting about. If you didn't understand any of that last sentence, I hope you will by the time I'm finished with you.

Got an idea for an article of your own that we should hear about? Want free swag? Submit it to [email protected]. If accepted (assuming you didn't copy it and it isn't three sentences on how I lack charisma, it will likely be accepted), you'll receive a free tshirt!
 

Dory Berkowitz-Bukowski

Ready for some Heroin
Oct 15, 2004
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I didn't read up, but DJB can confirm I am so out of the loop with TV things I tried using his at the weekend while he was away and gave up making it work after 20 minutes of button bashing.
 

Rollout

Mothercucker
Apr 8, 2010
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This thread has gotten me interested in a UF T-shirt.

What should I write about that would get me to the Front Page?

My daily quest for Money, Women and Power?
 
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JAXvillain

Curly_Sue
Oct 13, 2004
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I never got a UF t-shirt back in the day and I'm the only one here that still knows spange :mad:
 

JAXvillain

Curly_Sue
Oct 13, 2004
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good for you, dj. golf kicks ass. been playing since around age 3 or 4 with little sawed off clubs.