NAS media servers are evolving into the heart of the digital home, taking the media experience beyond the PC and allowing consumers to enjoy their personal media any time, in any room of the house - all without having to fire up their PCs.
Today, many of the major smart home technology manufactures, like HAI and Home Seer, are developing software plug-ins for Windows Media Center that allow you to access and control their devices (and others) with Media Center.
The notebook just turns on. The AVerTV Cardbus slides right into the PCMCIA slot (I never knew what this slot was for until I got this tuner) on my notebook while the TV and PVR functions are used by simply clicking the on-screen buttons.
Media server systems are usually comprised of a combination of three components-a server used to distribute the signals, mass storage to house the multimedia files, and any number of clients used to feed the signal to a video display or audio device.
One test we tried just for the heck of it was taking our DivX files and storing them on DVDR. The result? Over six and a half-hours of high quality movies on a single disc.
All-in-one PCs have all the power, storage space and speed you need to integrate your entertainment system into a home network. And they look great doing it.
The SLIMP3 player works great and navigating through my large mp3 directory wasn't a problem because I could jump to a specific letter or compile a play list. Streaming over the power line network has worked out great and I haven't once heard a click or a pause because of a network problem.
Even if you are away from home you can log into your Snapstream.NET account from a PC or a WAP and upload recording settings to your PVR at home. Handy if you forget to set the system to record the game and you're out of town.
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