You probably heard about multimedia centers, or HTPC. Basically they are (dedicated) pcs connected with a TV that permit you to watch movies, listen to songs, even watch tv channels etc.
I decided to build one by myself, most of all because I wanted to fully personalise it. Here is my configuration:
First of all I set up my network using:
- La Fonera 2.0n wireless router – a great product. It permits you to connect a hard disk to share over you network
- Dlink ADSL modem – cause the wireless router is just a router
- Western Digital Hard Disk – i put there all my mp3s and movies
For the Multimedia Center i just used a normal pc (in my case a laptop that was not used by anybody anymore) on wich I install XBMC, a software that transform any pc in a multimedia center. You can install it on Windows, Mac or Linux, or install it as a Linux distro.
In the XMBC configuration, I select the folders shared by La Fonera in my library.
I didn’t have a ir remote controller, but I needed a way to control my media center from the couch. I found a nice solution: to use my Android smartphone. You can download XBMC remote from the market. This app let you connect over WiFi to XBMC and browse your library or simply navigate over your media center. You can also have notifications for incoming calls or messages on your tv.
This is the way i did it, hope you find it useful.