Wednesday, September 17, 2014

More on Home Theatre PC (HTPC)



This article at Cnet got me thinking...

I already have 2 Home Theatre PC's set up in my house, and it didn't seem to be that big of a deal, but maybe I need to explain the simple setup so anybody can enjoy the benefits of free tv and movies and fully utilize that high speed internet you're paying dearly for.

My focus is watching TV shows and movies, via your computer.

The 3 primary things you will need are a high-speed internet connection (with no usage restrictions), a computer, and a TV.

You might need to check your computer first to make sure it is up to the task.
If you use Windows, your browser for this needs to be Google Chrome. Make sure that Chrome is up to date. You MUST, and I mean ABSOLUTELY MUST install ad-blocking software if you are going to do this. If you don't or won't, then just leave this page now and forget I ever brought this up. I'm serious.

You need Adblock or Adblock Plus.

I've compiled a list here, but for now we are just testing so click here. Now click proceed to video. Push the play button in the center of the screen. Push it again. If the video is slow to load, push the pause button, watch the progress bar (let it get ahead a bit) then push play again. Click the arrows in the lower right hand corner of the player for full screen.

How does it look? Does it play okay?

Is the video choppy? If the video is choppy, this won't work.

You have 2 options:
1) use a computer with a better graphics set up
2) install Linux



Now, look at your inputs on the TV and your outputs on the computer.
HDMI is easy because ONE cable carries your video AND audio signals.
Your TV may also have what I call the "blue plug" which is a standard VGA monitor input (like most computers use). The VGA is video ONLY so you will need to assess your audio options


Media Server

kodi (formerly XBMC)

XBMC Wiki

GOG Games By command line

All Articles at CNET about HTPC

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