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Media Server – 5 Simple Steps to Convert Your Old PC Into a Media Streamer
Yesterday, while I was hanging out in the attic among all the old stuff, I came across my old computer. This computer has been sitting there for at least the last few years. As I was thinking about properly disposing of it, I started searching the internet for disposal articles. After a few minutes of searching, I found a website with a proposal to turn an old PC into a media server. Having some money to spare and some free time, I decided to go for it.
What is a media server?
First, I’m sure some of you, like me, are initially wondering what a media server is. A media server is a computer system designed to receive and record television programs, play video, and process digital music and photo libraries available in its storage through a television unit connected to it. The main components are a robust storage system with plenty of hard disk space and processing power, and random access memory that is sufficient for smooth HD content playback.
1. Check the performance of your old computer:
Analyzing the old PC, I found that it had a 2.4 GHz Pentium IV processor with 256 MB of RAM. When I checked the minimum specs, I found that it might struggle when trying to play HD 1080 videos, so I decided to upgrade the RAM to 1GB and stick with the same processor to save some money in case I needed to upgrade as well. hard disk.
2. Check the repository; check hard disk capacity and speed:
The storage capacity of an old computer is about 40 GB of IDE drive; which is much less compared to the latest media servers. In general, you should have a 500GB capacity for a media server to have enough space to store the equivalent of 100 DVDs. The speed of hard drives is also a consideration. Fortunately, both of these problems can be fixed with a hard drive raid array.
RAID vs single hard drive:
A RAID array consists of more than one hard disk embedded as a single drive for high capacity and speed than a single hard disk with an external backup. Depending on the configuration of the RAID array, you can also configure the array for backup security. This is another advantage because in the event of a hard drive crash, there will be no data loss.
3. Consider buying a digital TV tuner card:
A digital TV tuner card is an essential part of a media server that is used to receive and record video content from a local cable or satellite system to a local hard drive. This card is very useful because it allows the TV to enter your PC and record your favorite shows. With several companies charging as high as $6 per month for a DVR box, the one-time cost of a TV tuner card can save you quite a bit of money in the long run.
4. Choosing software for your media server:
Windows XP Media Center Edition is a great choice of media server software; however, with a beautiful graphical interface and easy configuration, it is a bit expensive. If you need the money, Linux-based operating systems can be a good choice, as they are completely free and have Myth TV software for media server purposes; but they can be difficult to configure.
5. Connecting the server to the TV:
The last step in this project is to create a connection between the PC and the TV. Now you need to decide whether to connect the media server via wired or wireless connection. Wireless systems can be more convenient and allow you to access your media server from around the house. Furthermore, from the point of view of the location of wireless systems, the server may be hidden from view. The downside of wireless systems is that they can be expensive. If only one TV unit is present, then simply running a cable from the server to the TV may be better in terms of both cost and speed of setup.
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