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DIGITAL HOME MEDIA NETWORK
How to build a gigabit ethernet network for streaming video, audio and data without spending your life savings.

 

 

DESIGN & BUILD A HOME MEDIA NETWORK

I wanted a home network that would connect and transport computer data, music and video. The network would be high-speed, flexible and capable of storing lots of digital data - photos, video, music, general backups. The network should include wireless for laptop mobility and Ethernet cable for reliability and speed. Audio networking had to be capable of delivering music to to different parts of the house and allowing the listener to choose the music. The video network would be able to record content (both from cable TV and the internet), play DVD's, TV, internet video, and stream live TV or recorded content to all video screens on the network. After much research and experimentation, I decided on a system based on wired gigabit ethernet, Windows Media Center PC and Windows Xbox.

I designed the network with two main goals: low price and simplicity.

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EQUIPMENT LIST

HP 7490n Media Center PC with
TV tuner, 17" LCD monitor,
Pentium D with two processing cores, 2gb ram,
500 gb hard drive
---------------------$1500

Geforce 7300 GS video card for DVI output -------------------------------------$65

Logitek THX 5.1 speakers -------------$200

DVI-HDMI cable - connect to LCD TV $55

Buffalo Terastation 1TB Network Attached Storage, RAID 5 -------------$600

Samsung LN-S3251-D 32in LCD HDTV w/ATSC tuner ------------------------$1100

Xbox 360 & media extender ---------$400

Netgear Gigabit Ethernet Switch ----$90

Netgear PCI Gigabit adapter card --- $60

Belkin wireless router ----------------$100

Cat 6 ethernet wiring installation ---$700

Total Equipment Cost ---------------$4870

   
     

NETWORK MAP


click on image to see large version

 

 

 

NEWS ABOUT HOME MEDIA


A Media PC That Can Stand Up Next to the Television
(5/3/07)