New revelations and new opportunities!

Posted: 2009.11.23 in Freecycled, General
Tags: , ,

While I am still working on getting one of my laptops to work, and making the others as functional as possible, I have been graced by many with other used computers and parts. Many thanks go out to the couple in one of my previous posts, who provided me with two full-size computers, as I have taken on another project with the parts…

I am building a Home Theatre PC, all from freecycled equipment!

“What is a Home Theatre PC?” you ask? Well, let me tell you. It is a computer where you can store all of your media – movies, pictures and music – and then connect it into both your home network and your television for a completely integrated solution.  After doing some online research, I found that you can download Media Centre software (a la Windows Media Centre) which has similar functionality and is 100% free!

I know what you might be thinking – “If it’s free, there’s no way it’s functional/attractive/good…”

Oh, my friends, this is where you’re wrong!  There are many programs out there which permit you the ability to store and organize all of your media in one place, making it accessible to your home theatre and your other computers, all while having a very, very attractive and functional menu system.

XBMC Aeon Skin

Taken from the very popular XBMC (X-Box Media Centre) and the skin named “Aeon“, the screenshot above illustrates how beautiful and customizable that this program is.  Without going into too much detail (I could go on for hours) there is a menu system allowing you to access various types of media (pictures, movies, TV shows and videos) and show them in a very attractive format.  Check out the background from the movie “Watchmen”.  It is an example of some of the user downloadable content which you can customize your viewing experience.

I am currently putting together a P4 system with integrated video/TV card, including Ubuntu Linux as well as XBMC, which I hope to have configured and attached to my 42″ Plasma screen within the next couple of weeks.  I’ll keep you updated on my progress, and there should be some very interesting posts coming up.  There are simply so many ways to configure your HTPC, and I hope to include many of them here.

Stay tuned!

The DurhamDev Signature


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