Archive | How To Articles

Small, Quite and Affordable HTPC Build

Posted on 30 April 2012 by Peter Backx

This component list is a flexible basis for any one.

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Reducing Power Consumption

Posted on 20 April 2012 by Peter Backx

Most PVRs are on 24/7. Most home-built PVRs are full 350W+ electricity guzzling computers.

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DLNA & UPnP Control From Your Mobile

Posted on 26 March 2012 by Peter Backx

Lifehacker’s guide is a great overview of how you can use DLNA and UPnP. It’s as simple as installing the right app on your smartphone and you’ve got full control over your media and playback on all your devices.
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Nintendo Wii Media Center

Posted on 02 January 2007 by

Although it’d be silly in my setup (my Nintendo Wii sits vertically next to my HTPC(s)), if you were one of the lucky folks to snag a Nintendo Wii here’s an article about using Orb and the Wii Opera Browser to stream audio/video to make your Wii behave like a media center. No word yet if there’s a way to gesture angrily with the wiimote to fast forward through commercials :P

hat tip PVRwire

Other links of interest: Another Howto Guide for video on the Wii also see SofaTube for a different Wii Opera browser compatible/optimized way to browse youtube.

UPDATE: Stream itunes to your wii

HowTo: Build Your Own BeyondTV DVR Article

Posted on 01 November 2006 by

ServerGuy posted a Howto build your own DVR using BeyondTV article on his site


A while back I built my own DVR (digital video recorder) and it has occurred to me that others may be interested in doing the same. The whole project was actually quite easy, although I am comfortable building a PC from components, and others may not be as comfortable. As I walk through this please keep in mind that while I was trying to keep costs down the object was to build (as easily as possible) a DVR that was simple to use, took up a minimal amount of space, and would be easy to modify if necessary.

I started with a spare PC I had sitting around unused. I realize most people don’t have a spare computer just sitting around their house. The point I’m trying to make is that the computer you use doesn’t have to be a top of the line system, especially if you are careful about choosing the components you’ll be adding.

hat tip PVRwire

Set up a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device for recorded video

Posted on 09 October 2006 by

PVRwire brings up some good points in the Set up a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device for recorded video blogpost before sending you to this Howto: Setup Network Attached storage article.

It’s amazing how many videos you can soon build up, and how quickly your hard drive space may disappear.

What’s more, if you are anything like me you find it very hard pressing that delete button and just love to hoard all those videos, just in case you want to watch them again.

You’ll soon find yourself with the problem of disappearing hard drive space and video scattered among all the different PCs in the house. What’s the answer? A network attached storage (NAS) device.”

Extend Your BeyondTV HTPC With MediaMVP HowTo Article

Posted on 27 September 2006 by

Check out this Snapstream blog entry on using Hauppauge MediaMVP with a BeyondTV skin/mod to extend your PVR viewing over your network.

“The MediaMVP from Hauppauge is this great little device that lets you get photos, music and videos off of your PC and onto your television. And it’s cheap – only $100. Without any extra work, you can use it to playback recordings made with Beyond TV. All you have to do is just point to the recorded shows directory. The MediaMVP will play your MPEG2 or Divx files. But it’s a less than ideal experience for lots of reasons:

* You can only see titles of the video files and you can’t view information like show description, original airdate, etc.
* You can’t watch live TV
* You can’t delete a show that you’ve already watched
* You can’t schedule new recordings or see which recordings are scheduled

So with these limitations in mind, a team of us decided that we could create a better interface. We created the open source MediaMVP BTV interface project. With our software, you get something closer to the complete Beyond TV experience (plus some extras like weather and Music playlists!), including access to live TV, and the program guide!”

previous coverage of beyondTV & mediamvp and wireless Hauppauge MediaMVP

Hat Tip PVR Wire

Build a $300 HDTV Media Extender

Posted on 15 September 2006 by

ZDNET blog article on building a HDTV media extender for $300 using linux/mythtv as a client.

HDTVs are getting cheaper especially when you’re talking about older close out models that they’re becoming very common in the home. Personal video storage on a home network is also getting very popular but getting that video to the HDTV isn’t easy without paying for an expensive and extremely limited function HD media extender appliance. But with a little spare time and some cheap commodity PC hardware you can build a superior HDTV media extender that can easily be upgraded to a full fledged media center machine for $300.

It’s also the perfect lead in to point out 2n’s thrifty ($200) PVR configuration: pvr150 + MediaMVP + GBPVR

Popular Mechanics: Tech DIY Watch HDTV On Your PC

Posted on 06 September 2006 by

Tech DIY: Watch HDTV On Your PC

If you bought a PC with a flat screen in the past few years, chances are you have HDTV-quality resolution. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get hi-def TV on your computer cheaply while saving up for that big-screen HDTV? Actually, you can.

DIY Linux BareBones HTPC “Kit”

Posted on 31 August 2006 by

planetjay pointed this one out to me (thanks!) DIY Linux home theater PC

LixSystems has introduced a low-cost Linux powered home theater PC (HTPC) packaged in a compact, consumer electronics-style enclosure. The Lx8100-MN, available “barebones” (sans CPU, memory, and hard drive) for around $300, offers quiet operation and is supplied with an easily-installed Fedora 5-based system image on DVD, according to the company.