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Media Server – 5 Simple Steps to Convert Your Old PC Into a Media Streamer
Yesterday I was sitting in my attic among my old stuff and came across my old computer. This computer has been lying there for at least two years. Thinking about how to properly dispose of it, I started searching the internet for disposal articles. After searching for a few minutes, I found a site that offers the idea of converting an old computer into a media server. Having some money and free time, I decided to do it.
Just what is a media server?
First of all, I’m sure some of you are wondering just like me, what exactly is a Media Server? A media server is a computer system designed to receive and record TV programs, play videos, and manage digital music and photo libraries stored on a connected TV unit. The essential components are a reliable storage system with sufficient hard disk space, processing power, and sufficient Random Access Memory for continuous playback of HD content.
1. Check the performance of your old computer:
Analyzing the old computer, I found that it had a 2.4 GHz Pentium IV processor with 256 MB of RAM. While testing the minimum specs, I found that I had trouble trying to play HD 1080 video, so I decided to upgrade the RAM to 1GB and stick with the same processor to save money in case I needed to upgrade. hard disk.
2. Storage check; check the capacity and speed of the hard disk:
The storage capacity of older computers is about 40 GB IDE drives; This is much less than the latest media servers. In general, a media server should have 500GB of storage space to accommodate more than 100 DVDs. Hard disk speed is also taken into account. Fortunately, both of these problems can be fixed with hard disk arrays.
RAID and single hard drive:
A RAID array consists of multiple hard drives installed as a single unit with higher capacity and speed than a single hard drive with external backup. Depending on how the RAID array is configured, you can configure the array for backup security. This is an added advantage as there is no data loss in the event of a hard drive failure.
3. Consider buying a digital TV tuner card:
A digital TV tuner card is a basic component of a media server used to receive and record video content from a local cable or satellite system to a local hard drive. This card is very useful as it allows you to stream TV to your computer and record your favorite shows. Several companies charge a hefty $6 per month per DVR box, so the one-time cost of a TV tuner card can save you a lot in the long run.
4. Choose your media server software:
Windows XP Media Center Edition is a great choice of media server software; It has a beautiful graphical interface and easy configuration, but it is a bit expensive. If you’re willing to shell out the cash, Linux-based operating systems might be a good choice, as they’re completely free and have Myth TV software for media servers; but they can be difficult to set up.
5. Connecting the server to the TV:
The last step in this project is to establish a connection between the computer and the TV. You now need to decide if you want to connect the media server via wired or wireless connection. A wireless system may be more convenient, allowing you to access your media server from anywhere in your home. Furthermore, for the location of the wireless system, the server may be hidden from view. The disadvantage of wireless systems is their high cost. If there is only one TV set, server-to-TV wiring may be better in terms of cost and setup speed.
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