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Noob needs help with Media PC or Device for my TV?

Last response: in Home Theatre
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March 23, 2011 11:30:20 PM

A few months ago i discovered i could watch netflix on my wii from my router. This was a major breakthrough!

A few months ago i built a couple PCs, 1 amd and 1 intel.

Oh, i also figured out how to backup my DVD collection and how to save them onto my PC so i could stream movies from my PC.

Now i have been listening to some pc tech podcasts, watching techzilla, and dicovering this thing called home theater media centers?

There is tons of info out there and its overwhelming.

Here is my TV http://us.toshiba.com/tv/lcd/40e200u

What are my options? I guess the simplest thing to do is say what id like to do.

I would like to be able to play music from my droid or ipod in this same area by the TV.

I would like to save all my DVDs to a hard drive of some sort and be able to easily find them and stream them onto my TV.

I would like to be able to watch netflix or ANY other online service that has movies or video media.

I saw those little media boxes but they dont seem to have much of an amp to power decent speakers. I want to get some speakers since the TV speaker stinks but I have a comcast cable box and dont care to run it throguh a VCR to get outputs to my old analogue reciever and tv.

So, i was looking at the little micro atx pcs, but really whats the advantage of them? For a few more inches of space isnt an ATX midsize case better?

Do people use hard drives in the PC still to stream media or do they use server bays or something since the media takes up so much space?

I recently got a logitech harmony remote and i love it. Would be cool if it could interact with a media box or pc TV tuner card.

What are all my options?

Thanks

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a b x TV
March 25, 2011 12:15:03 AM

I have a PS3 instead of a Wii, so this info may not be completely applicable to your situation. Anyway, I use the PS3 not only as a Blu-Ray/DVD player but as a streaming media player (Netflix, Hulu, etc over the Internet and your home network, since the PS3 can discover media sources like an HTPC with music & videos & movies stored on it). I have the PS3 connected to an Onkyo AV receiver so that I can get 7.1 surround sound and the scaler in the PS3 is superior to the one in my TV for converting DVDs to 1080p output. Anyway, I have a laptop with family photos and videos connected to my network, another one with about 50 kids movies stored on the hard drive, and a desktop with a bunch of music and other movies stored on it, and the PS3 can access and display content from each one.

The downside is of course that each of the laptops or desktop must be on before the PS3 can see them. In the future, I plan to build a dedicated HTPC with 10+ terabytes storage to hold the bulk of my movie and music and photo collection. And perhaps get a tablet PC (iPad?) to control it and the home theater equipment, instead of having a boatload of remotes lying around. There are apps for the iPad (and I suspect the Droid and Win7 tablets) that'll let you turn your tablet into a giant remote control..
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February 25, 2012 7:57:48 PM

Best answer selected by mousemonkey.
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February 25, 2012 7:57:50 PM

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