As the days tick on, it seems like our TV’s and Computers are becoming one in the same. BluRay, and now some TV’s will connect directly to the internet, YouTube, NetFlix, and who knows what else!
Computers are now coming with HDMI video outputs and a BluRay players for computers are dropping in price. Hard drive prices are getting to be so cheap it makes me cry to remember what I paid years ago…
Many of us already have “computers” hooked to our TV’s. Our cable boxes allow us to purchase movies and shows, get more information about the shows than we sometimes care to know. Tivo and other DVR systems have also revolutionized the way that TV is watched.
But as with all good revolutions to society, it comes at a price. So what can we do to combat that? Rather than buy a Tivo, and subscribe to NetFlix, and buy all of the accessories that include subscriptions, consider using free options.
There are a few options out there right now that allow you to use your home PC as a DVR. Maybe you want to get a dedicated PC or laptop to keep in your entertainment room, or use what you have already. But check out these softwares that will aid you in creating your own DVR at home that doesn’t require a monthly fee! (*Note: some of these softwares only work with specific hardware, so pay attention to that before you get so excited that you jump out of your pants.)
Windows XP Media Center operating system
If you are looking for computer parts to get this off the ground, you can’t ignore NewEgg. They offer great prices, shipping, and reputation. (*No, this is not a paid plug, I just love this site!!)
At NewEgg you can find computer cases that give you a remote control for your media as well. Now your new PC DVR will be operational from your couch with a remote, just like it was a Tivo.
You can find a lot of videos to watch by checking out sites like YouTube, Hulu, Vimeo, iTunes Podcasts, or downloading content using a free service like BitTorrent. Take and rip your current DVD collection into your new DVR system and you have that on demand without loading discs! You can even network this new PC DVR and share your music over the network so that all computers in your house can be connected. There are even network radios can you could buy that could connect to this and play from your music collection.
But take advantage of your new HDTV and all of the inputs that it offers. We all have enough expenses in life; so why add another one when you can do the same for free! Taking advantage of a little bit of technology and growing it into a full multimedia system is something we should be doing to maximize what we have invested in already!