TV 2.0 - "The Big Screen PC"

TV Viewing PLUS complete control of all PC applications from the comfort of your couch. The complete convergence of the PC and TV has arrived.

Media Center, Music Server, Video Server? What do I need?

In this article I try to give you a brief description of the products and then break down the different products and highlight their features.

Media Servers

It seems as if the issues previously holding back production, such as drivers and Vista have been resolved. This year, we are seeing a huge push for media servers from all of the CE manufacturers.

Open Systems Provide Added Flexibility

When all of the components of the system use open standards - you can use one control device to work with all of the systems. You can also add storage to increase the capacity of the music server - without having to go back to the original vendor if you don't want to.

CableCARD - Who Needs It?

We have Windows Media Center under Windows Vista receiving high definition premium cable content without CableCARD. It is so simple, it makes us wonder why no one else thought of it.

Home Media Servers: Savior of HD Audio?

While the rest of the audiophile community struggles to get the last bit of fidelity out of their vinyl or compact disc collection, those of us that have discovered the benefits of new recordings done in HD can abandon optical discs altogether.

HomeToys Interview

Windows Media Center Platform

Interview - Media Servers

Alienware believes that the end user usage model has not been clearly defined in the home theater market and that working with Channel Partners the HD Media Server can begin to define a clear usage model.

Integrating MCE with Video Displays

The big difference between the data signal produced by a computer graphics card and the video signal that most TVs are configured to accept has to do with overscan.

Simplifi 5075D Digital Amplifier

The unit contains not only the amplifier but also the sound card and requires only a USB connection. It's a Creative Sound Blaster Live 24 bit external card. Once you plug it all in, the unit automatically senses that your Media Center is on and turns itself on too.

Creature HTPC Scylla S301 Media Server

Overall the Scylla S301 is a great choice for both a media PC and a high end gaming machine.

The Future of DVR

While TiVo was once appealing to users because installing and upgrading other systems required a high degree of technical knowledge, that is no longer the case.

Digital Media Servers - The Basics

To ensure that the DMS has enough power to perform these many tasks taking time to step back and reviewing everything the unit will be doing is an important aspect before purchasing.

Tips and Tricks for using your Media Center

If you are using Digital cable and watching movies with 5.1 surround sound make sure your MCE has digital audio in. This will allow you to record 5.1 surround sound and play back the movies the way you like. Not even Tivo can do that!

Can Media Centers do HDTV?

The ideal situation is to be able to decode HDTV signal directly into the media center without having to go through a cable or satellite box. Microsoft has promised they will support this capability in the upcoming release of Windows Vista (Fall 2006) and ATI demoed the OCCUR at the 2006 CES in Las Vegas. This new TV tuner card will allow you to receive HD signal directly into your Media Center plus it has built in cable card support (CableCard 1.0).

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Featured Product

MIDLITE® - Power Jumper IC™ HDTV & Sound Bar Power Relocation Kit with Interconnect

MIDLITE® - Power Jumper IC™ HDTV & Sound Bar Power Relocation Kit with Interconnect

The Power Jumper IC™ HDTV & Sound Bar Power Relocation Kit easily conceals power & A/V cables within the wall for a professional appearance. The kit is recessed and features a new low profile in-wall jumper that can be fed through 1" diameter holes. The metal strain relief bracket provides a solid connection for the interconnect. The kit comes prewired and does not require an electrician for installation. The Power Jumper IC™ is available in three options, HDTV, Sound Bar and HDTV & Sound Bar.