Contemplating a Home Media Center

After getting an HDTV for my birthday, I’ve been wondering how to handle all types of content – hi-def or otherwise. After much consternation, I think I’ve settled on a solution for a home media center:

    • HD Tuner/DVR from Comcast. I was debating whether or not to buy a TiVo with CableCard support, but I’ve decided to continue using this for now. You can’t beat the price, regardless of the crappy software.
    • Upconverting DVD Player. Purchased one this weekend at BestBuy. At times, the difference can be either dramatic or “meh.” It definitely improves the quality, though.
    • Apple TV. Yes, I was debating whether or not to get a Mac mini to use as a DVD player/media server. However, given that I’ve got nearly a terabyte of external firewire storage hanging off the old G4 upstairs, I’ve decided to store it there and encode my DVD’s in a format that’s optimized for the Apple TV.

      At the moment, that’s only 720p. Hopefully that will improve over time, since this sucker’s got 64 mb of dedicated VRAM. Of course, I have to hope that my ‘G’ wi-fi will provide enough bandwidth. If not, I’ve been investigating Powerline Networking gear.

Given that I’ve just made myriad gadget purchases, buying an Apple TV right now will have a very low WAF. I’ll wait a couple of months to improve my score. 😉

1 thought on “Contemplating a Home Media Center”

  1. maybe show the s.o. how some of your friends roll john 😉 yes, we have a similar setup in our den that includes multiple tivo’s, a slingbox, and an apple tv specifically for my wife so she can watch season long shows like desperate housewives and lost on her schedule in hd…i of course get to watch podcasts like rocketboom, tikibar, ask a ninja, scoble, 1938 media and hawaii surf session reports on it from time to time too 😉


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