Power Your Multimedia Room Through One Hub

January 21, 2014 in House and Home by bbadmin

One of the most interesting and exciting uses for a personal computer is as an entertainment device. Personal computers nowadays are capable of being the entertainment center hub for the entire house.

Today, the average home PC can:

  • Play and record music
  • Play music and videos from the Internet
  • Play and record DVDs
  • Play and edit home videos
  • Play and record TV, including HDTV
  • Play and record audio CDs and MP3s
  • Play games from a gaming site locally and online

Harnessing the Power of the PC

Now, it’s important to remember that in order for the PC to power the multimedia room, it has to be configured properly. By examining the cost of using the computer as the primary home entertainment center, it becomes the solution at the cheapest cost. This is especially true after the customer realizes the costs of other consumer electronic devices that do the same things. The homeowner can create the multimedia room of his/her dreams with PCs, televisions, stereos and other devices. If they are put together and combined, they can be the primary home entertainment center, powered by only the PC.

Here are some advantages to having a home entertainment network multimedia room in place:

One PC will be the entertainment server, providing the necessary media content to other devices throughout the room;
All entertainment devices in one area and together as part of the home network;
One internet connection is shared with other computers and devices;
Today’s consumers are learning that TVs and stereo devices can work through the PC. These devices basically become extensions of the computer. However, they also allow full access to all the content media related in the PC. This also includes broadcasting, cable TV or satellite television.

Building the Multimedia Room

As technology costs drop, multimedia rooms are definitely more affordable. Homeowners will turn their basements or dens into multimedia rooms, where they can explore gaming sites to play MMO or simply to watch their favorite NFL football teams. The problem with hiring professionals lies in the cost of planning and building the multimedia room.
First, decide if the multimedia room can be built. Maybe consult a sound specialist;

  • Look at and consider the budget to build the multimedia room;
  • Decide how much space will be used;
  • Insulate the room for sound;
  • Paint the walls;
  • Install comfortable furniture;
  • Use blinds or shades to block out light;

Building the Multimedia Network

Perhaps the best thing about having the multimedia room is using the PC as the ‘hub’. All of the homeowner’s devices may be used to work in the network. The best bet is to have a current PC (think Windows XP on a Pentium), some HD televisions and home stereos and all of the ingredients are there.

  • PC as the Hub – one computer or PC serves as the entertainment center and hosts media files for devices that are sharing the network;
  • Computers – Laptops, iPads and other devices can join the entertainment network;
  • Televisions – any televisions that are already in the home will become new “clients” in the entertainment network, receiving content from the main PC;
  • Stereo – Music can be played through the stereo helping make quality audio a part of the entertainment, whether listening to music or watching TV;
  • All portable devices – Pocket PCs and other media devices can access content online through the home entertainment network;

The multimedia room that is built where music is enjoyed, movies are watched and games are played can provide just as much of a sonic experience as the amplifiers and speakers that are deployed in it. Remember, the walls, floor and ceiling of the room reflects the sound. When listening, that sound emanates from other parts of the room, not just the speakers. So, enjoy the multimedia heaven that you created!

Author Bio:

Terry Ulick is a technologist and author who first created the online digital photo service for America Online, worked as Executive Director of Business Development for Tribune Company Entertainment Products and created Zap2it, one of the first interactive TV services. He wrote one of the first books on digital publishing, and most recently wrote The PC Magazine Guide to Windows XP Media Center PCs (Wiley, 2004)