Monday, March 28, 2005

Media Boy

One of the entertaining little side projects I've been doing is trying to spread media (meaning mostly broadcast TV) around the house as much as possible, and do it on the cheap. It's been kind of a challenge for me. Anyhow, right now my media distribution systems consists of the following components:

  • TiVO Series 2, hooked up to our HD set downstairs

  • An ElGato EyeTV (USB) attached to my iMac

  • 2 standalone DVD players, and one on each Mac in the house

  • Cheap Soundworks 5.1 surround system ($200)

  • One Linux (ClarkConnect) server in the basement

  • The TiVo and all the Macs are networked together. I recently took advantage of my Microsoft Partner status and the Action Pack subscription that I have for work to take an existing PC and convert it to run Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE). I'm running the '04 version on it right now, and after a long wait for a cheap tuner card I'd ordered back in January it finally arrived late last week - giving me an excuse to work on setting it all up.

    Now, for the cheap plug part - A few weeks ago I created a second blog. The users' group I serve on the board of used to have a print publication called the LANtern. Originally a photocopied letter-size newsletter, when I ran the group it morphed into a full-size tabloid newspaper that we printed at a convenient web press. We used to have pretty wide distribution, too. But as the Internet became huge the demand for a printed newsletter vanished, and the LANtern has been in mothballs for around five years or so.

    Well, we just brought it back as a technology blog, rather than as a traditional newsletter. Faster, simpler, and there's a bunch of board members with posting privileges, so we'll be tossing up content pretty regularly. So far, there's not much, just a few postings by jours truly, but I'm writing an MCE review that I'll post this week in the hopes of really getting things jump-started. So again, to see the cool things I've done with MCE, check out The LANtern Online in a day or so and you'll get to read it.

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