Home Media Madness…

I can’t stop thinking about some technological additions to our setup at home. I guess the idle time not working is starting to work on me…anyway here’s what I am thinking…

I’d like to get a used G4 tower to run as a server/media box under our desk. This would become the hub for quite a few things. First it would house the direct firewire connections to some external drives we use for music, video and backups. Second it would also run our SliMP3 server software and another server I use for a private share with friends. But last and most important it would serve as the base for a computer based DVR. I’ve been looking at both the Eyehome as well as the Formac which seems like the leader in my review so far. I found a nice comparison on the Formac site after coming to my own conclusion, but it serves as a nice competitive overview even if it is from one of the companies on the list. Seems that the products listed are not totally current or accurate, but still a good overview.

This would take a nice load off the iMac, which will be nice, but not necessary. I think it will be good to have a dedicated box for the DVR stuff so it does not get in the way of the everyday computing we do. Mostly this is to avoid any conflicts with my wife over why the computer is acting slowly…

My main issue (money aside) is that I will have to add a monitor to my setup in order to support the additional computer. The obvious choice is a flat panel, but they are more expensive than I would want to spend. I have seen some good systems which include 15 or even 17 inch flat panels on craigslist, so I’ll just need to keep on looking as I get closer to thinking about a purchase.

In addition to the capture device, I will also want to add some new cables to enable additional recording from the Time Warner DVR connected to our TV. This is across the room and will require about a 6 meter S-Video Cable (no digital out) and a similar length RCA set-up to get the audio. I’ll probably record different things on them as the TV will still be the main place we watch. It will be nice to edit commercials and digitally archive shows and movies.

I’d love to hear what other people do like this or even just think about this stuff…

1 comment for “Home Media Madness…

  1. 1/25/2004 at 11:54 pm

    It should be theoretically possible to use your media server without having a monitor, since you can administer OS X remotely using either Timbuktu or Apple’s server software–or the command line, if you are especially brave. Of course, you may still need a monitor to do the initial setup, but I would think remote connections would be sufficient for 99% of everything else you’d need to do on the machine.

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