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View Full Version : Trying to make sense of what I have read over the last few weeks




xxmarkc
Feb 18, 2011, 02:19 AM
Ok I have read loads of threads, and done much googling. I have not really got a question, I have some observations and have reached some conclusions which I am interested in peoples views of.

Observations:

1) Everything flows from what content you have access to and in what form it is. Therefore you make purchase decsions based on what content you have - not buy and then think about what content you have access to.

2) I live in the UK. Bottom line is that the UK is very very poorly serviced wrt online USA sourced TV content. There seem to be tricks people try to fool the internet to thinking they are in the States - but that route is just a bag of hurt. Without a major change (e.g. netflix coming to the UK) I will get most of my TV content (some HD and some SD) by cable. I watch a load of US TV shows,

3) I have a tiny amout of digital media on my PC, and pile of DVDs and a few BluRays. I need to rip all of this, and start to buy where possible digital in the future - or I will never have local content I can stream.

4) Boxee or XBMC will get me some free media - again very limited since I am in the UK.

5) My telly is already a media center of sorts. It is a LG and LG has netcast, and I have wired it into my broadband. This gives me for example Youtube and BBCiplayer. LG will likely update netcast so it may get better

6) My Xbox360 is also a media center of sorts - but I have to leave my PC on.

7) Apple TV 2 is dirt cheap, and is probably a fun toy to own and play with. The hardware is limited, the software is tied to itunes, a bit of effort will jailbreak it and get XBMC on it.

8) A Boxee box is 2x the cost of an apple tv2, but less of a toy (better hardware), but the software is more flaky. Boxee boxs may not be here in the future. The sortware probably will.

9) A mac mini with a couple of large USB drives (main and backup) would make a top media system, and I could still use an apple tv to stream to say the telly in the bedroom. But in no way is a mini cheap. I have not owned a mac for years - it would seem such a waste not having it in my office as a desktop!

10) Digital media needs large amounts of storage which forces you to stop thinking about what disks are in your PCs and makes you start thinking about NAS or fileserver pcs.

My conclusions:

1) Lack of content in the UK is a killer blow. I can't get rid of cable, and I need to maximise my utilitly from it. It is the only way I am going to be watching shows like Fringe, Bones, 24, The Event etc etc etc. No purchase necessary.

2) Make more use of the netcast on the LG telly.

3) Don't buy a boxee box.

4) Buy an apple TV2 and play with it. Experiment with jailbreaking. Experiment with DVD ripping. It will be fun and it costs the same as 1 pair of shoes for my wife.

5) Stick with existing PC for fileserving for now.

6) Now is not a good time to buy a mac mini. No ones knows where the refresh will be but it could well be before the summer. Resist the temptation to buy one now. But view a mini a the meduim term goal.



margotspop
Feb 18, 2011, 05:59 AM
Your comments seem spot on - digital is king and the sooner you get there the easier things will be for you.

I debated for months as to which media streamer I was going to get (Boxee, WD Live, ASUS, Roku et al) but I never considered the ATV2 until XBMC ported their software. I then realized it was only $99, and really, how wrong a decision could it be? I've been delighted with it.

As to content, I grew up in the UK when there were only three channels so I feel for you! If piracy is not your thing - and I'm not saying it should be - then you're stuck. Best of luck.

KeithJenner
Feb 18, 2011, 08:28 AM
1) Everything flows from what content you have access to and in what form it is. Therefore you make purchase decsions based on what content you have - not buy and then think about what content you have access to.

Absolutely. I'm constantly amazed by the number of people who don't seem to get this.

I'd generally agree with most of your comments. If you have DVD's and a small existing digital library then I'd highly recommend getting an Apple TV and starting ripping the DVD's. It is not a difficult job and the Apple TV is a cheap and simple way of streaming content, as long as you don't mind leaving a computer on.

I would disagree about the Apple TV being a toy. In my opinion, it is a very good media solution.

As long as you don't start buying loads of iTunes content you are also not tying yourself in. The files should play on other platforms anyway so you're fine if you change at a later date.

Finally, I'm in the UK too, and I use EyeTV. If Freeview covers your TV viewing requirements then it is a fairly good way of bringing that into your system as well. If you rely on subscription channels (i.e. Sky) then things are more complicated.

ISO:HELP
Feb 18, 2011, 01:20 PM
my one and only important question for Xmarc XX the original poster of the thread.


Do you bit torrent?

If not pm me..

I can send you in the right direction there....

xxmarkc
Feb 18, 2011, 05:40 PM
Ok agreed the label toy is questionable.

I have thought about torrent but am not keen. I am prepared to pay a fair price but I am frustrated that the content is not available in the UK for to pay for.

I am tempted to take a trip to the apple store over the weekend ...

ISO:HELP
Feb 19, 2011, 05:15 AM
Ok agreed the label toy is questionable.

I have thought about torrent but am not keen. I am prepared to pay a fair price but I am frustrated that the content is not available in the UK for to pay for.

I am tempted to take a trip to the apple store over the weekend ...

Check your pm's....