Thursday, August 17, 2006

Where did all of these blinking lights come from?

Part 4: Where did all of these blinking lights come from???

To read Part 1 click here
To read Part 2 click here
To read Part 3 click here

As I began adding music mp3 files, ripped DVD movie files and mpegs with saved TV shows I quickly realized I was going to need some additional hard drive space. I began buying internal hard drives and then even some external hard drives. Both my wife and kid began recording all of their favorite shows and even some that they thought they might be interested in. I’ve had several occasions when people walked into my office where I had the server PC and each of the external drives and asked me “what are all of those blinking lights? It looks like you have some sort of electronic lab in there!” Eventually all of the externals were moved to the basement to make the wife happy though.

It became habit for our family to rarely watch live TV so that we could always skip commercials. In addition, we began to record history related shows so my wife (a high school history teacher) could use them for class. Amazingly, we kept the 250GB hard drive at least half full most of the time.

After using and tweaking Meedio for many months, I began test-driving Snapstream’s HTPC front-end counterpart Beyond Media. I like Meedio and the flexibility it offered, but it seemed to have issues fairly often. I was constantly having to change settings, update versions of plugins etc. to keep it working. In addition, the way Meedio started up BTV for TV watching was less than perfect. Beyond Media was not as powerful and had some issues, but it did work much better with BTV so I decided to make the switch. More on Beyond Media in the next post.