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Building a Digital Home Entertainment Network: Multimedia in Every Room

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Building a Digital Home Entertainment Network: Multimedia in Every Room

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  • Copyright 2006
  • Edition: 1st
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  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-3318-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-3318-4

Play music in the living room from your PC in your home office. Connect to the Internet on your laptop in any room in your house. It can be done and all by you! Building a Home Entertainment Network: Multimedia in Every Room will show you how to take an Internet connection, digital audio and video equipment, and a PC, and then integrate them into a home entertainment powerhouse. Building a Home Entertainment Network will show you how to exploit your computer and other devices. You'll even learn tips on how to plan for your home entertainment network and how to purchase the best equipment. You have all the pieces, now just learn how to put them all together!

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapters

Using PCs and TVs As Clients in Your Digital Home Entertainment Network

Using PCs and TVs As Clients in Your Network

Table of Contents



1. Planning the Right Home Entertainment Network for Your Home.

    Making a Plan

    Wired Networking: Running into Walls

      Wired Network Basics

      Benefits of a Wired Network

      Running Cables

      Dealing with Walls

    Wireless Networking: Homes Without Walls

      Wireless Network Basics

      Benefits of a Wireless Network

      Dealing with Signal Strength

      Overcoming Signal Problems

    Mixing Wired and Wireless Networks

    Mixed Network Plan

    Making Sure the Network Can Handle Media


2. Configuring Your PC As an Entertainment Server.

    Making Sure That Your PC Can Network

    Adding TV and FM Tuner Cards

      TV Tuners for Laptops

      FM Tuners

      DVR Software

    Having Enough Storage

      Choosing Drive Size

      Choosing Internal or External Drives

    Backing Up Important Media Files


3. Using PCs and TVs As Clients in Your Network.

    Using a File Sharing Configuration

    Understanding Client/Server Networks

      Using Media Extenders in a Client/Server Network

      Using PCs on a Client/Server Network

    Putting the Right Device in the Right Place

    Using PCs When Computing Power Is Needed

    Using TVs for Media Playing

      Lowest Cost Media Viewing Solution

      Listening to Music with TVs


4. Getting the Right Networking Gear.

    Identifying the Gear That Fits Your Plan



    Understanding Network Types

      Wired Ethernet Network

      Wireless Networks

      Power Line Ethernet Networks

      Using Other Network Solutions

      Understanding Wired Ethernet Networking Hardware

    Understanding Wireless Networking Hardware

    Putting the Plan into Action



5. Adding a Network Router to Your Main PC.

    Getting Ready for Router Installation

      Identifying Your PC's Ethernet Connection

      Finding an Ethernet Port on a Desktop PC

      Understanding Network Interfaces on a Laptop

      Installing Drivers for Your NIC

      Choosing Ethernet Cables

    Connecting a Router for the First Time

      Using an Installation Wizard

      Web-Based Control Router Installation

      Step 1: Connect the Router

      Step 2: Configuring Your PC to Work with the Router

      Step 3: Configuring the Router

      Step 4: Connecting to the Internet

      Completing the Installation

      Working with Dial-up Internet Connections

      Adding Other PCs to the Router


6. Securing Your PCs.

    Securing Your PCs

      Types of Security Threats



      Computer Invasion

    Using Common-Sense Security Measures


7. Securing Your Home Entertainment Network.

    Understanding Hardware-Based Firewalls

    Firewall on Your DSL or Cable Modem

    Firewalls on Your Broadband Router

    Changing Firewall Settings

    General Settings for Firewalls

    Securing a Wireless Network

      Understanding MAC Filtering

      Understanding WEP


8. Adding Additional PCs to the Router.

    Connecting PCs to the Network

      Establishing a Wired Connection

    Establishing a Wireless Connection

      Installing Wireless Adapters

      Installing the Drivers and Software

      Adding a Wireless Adapter to a Desktop or Tower PC

      Adding a Wireless Notebook Adapter to a Laptop PC

      Adding a Wireless USB Network Adapter to a Laptop or PC    

      Completing the Installation

    Using the Wireless Network Utilities

      Improving Signal Strength

      Using the Wireless Network Utilities

    Using Wired and Wireless Connections


9. Adding TV and Media Extenders to the Network.

    Adding a TV Tuner Card to Your PC

      Installation on a Desktop or Tower PC

      Installation on a Laptop

    Viewing Video on a TV from Your PC

    Making Audio Connections

    Using Media Extenders

      Installing a Media Extender

      Playing Files on a Media Extender

      Using a Media Center Edition Extender

    Using Audio Extenders


10. Limitations of Media Extenders on Wired and Wireless Networks.

    Understanding the Different Types of Media Extenders

    Bandwidth Issues with Video and Music Files

    Using Photos Files with Media Extenders

    Comparing a Wired and Wireless Media Extender

      Media MVP Wired Media Extender

      Media Lounge Wireless or Wired Media Extender

    Using Media Extenders Makes Sense

    Overcoming the Limitations of Media Extenders



11. Sharing Files and Adding Users.

    Adding Your Computers to the Network

      Creating a Workgroup

      Adding Your Computer to the Network

      Setting Up Wireless Networks

    Setting Up File Sharing on Each Computer

      Sharing Drives on the Network

      Sharing Files or Folders on the Network

      Saving Power with a Network Drive

    Assigning Users to Your PCs


12. Creating a Media Server Strategy.

    Creating a Media Server

    Managing Your Media Files and Libraries

    Recording TV Shows

      Scheduling TV Recordings

      Recording More Than One Show at One Time

      Watching and Recording Shows at the Same Time

      Making the Move to Nonlinear TV

    Deciding Who Can View Files

      Limiting File Access on Media Extenders

      Working with User Settings from Windows XP


13. Adding Media Content from the Internet.

    Including Internet Access in Your Entertainment Mix

      PC Content Displayed on TVs

      Using MSN TV to Access Internet Sites

    Content from the Internet Using Media Extenders

    Finding Great Internet Media Content

      Finding Music

    Finding Videos, Rental Movies, and Enhanced TV

    Adding News, Sports, and Weather to the Mix

    Sharing Pictures from the Internet

    Using Email on Your Home Entertainment Network

    Thinking About Web Access


14. Working with Portable Entertainment Devices.

    Working with Portable Audio Devices on the Network

      Working with MP3 Players and Hard Drive-Based Players

      Working with iPods

    Better Than MP3s: Portable Media Players

    Pocket PCs Are Media Players Too

    Getting Files from Digital Cameras and Camcorders

      Moving Pictures from Your Digital Camera to Your PC

      Getting Video from Camcorders

    Attaching Network Printers



15. TV Sources: Cable, Satellite, Antennas, and DVDs.

    Deciding on a TV Source

      Antenna Reception

      Using Cable Service

      The Sky's the Limit with Satellite

    Connecting a TV Source to a TV Tuner Card

      Making Standard Cable and Antenna Connections

      Making Set Top Box Connections

    Mixing TV Sources in Your Home

    Managing Set Top Boxes from the Network

    DVDs in a Home Entertainment Network


16. Using Game Consoles, DVD Players, and Digital Video Recorders.

    Connecting Game Boxes

      Sharing the TV

      Sharing the Audio

      Sharing an Internet Connection with a Game Console

      Xbox Media Center Extender

    Working with DVRs (Digital Video Recorders)

    Wireless and Networked DVD Players


17. Programming Your Own Media Network.

    Planning Your Program Schedule

    Creating Your Own Video Programs

      Producing the Video

    Creating Your Own News Pages or Banners

    Creating Audio Messages and Radio Stations

    Organizing Your Media Network


A. Resources.

    Thoughts About the Digital Home

      Thoughts About Wireless Networks and Network Security

      Thoughts About Media-Centric PCs

      Industry Standards for Wired and Wireless Networking

    Networking Hardware Resources

      Wired and Wireless Networking Hardware

      Media Extenders

      TV Tuner Cards

    Networking Software

      Firewalls, AntiVirus, Spyware, and Spam Protection

    Network Entertainment Guide Software

      Electronic Program Guides

      Online Movie Rentals

      Online Music Sites

      Internet Radio Station Portals



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