MEDIA CENTER EXTENDERS

 

Now that the house is settled, I can finish those last tasks – specifically finalizing the media configurations in the house. One significant frustration has been broadband access through the house. In the UK, they build houses the old way (our townhouse is 10 years old) – with plaster. The pro to plaster is that the house is sound proof and from room to room you get very little noise. The downside – good luck with wireless.

So I have been futzing around with wireless extenders and various options but my DSL provider does not like if you have a 3rd party router on the system and adding a wireless router attached to the DSL router has been complex to say the least (adding it to the DMZ did not work and on and on).

FINALLY I came across broadband over power. Very cool stuff. Plug the one end into a power adapter and the router, plug the other into the remote device and VOILA we have a network that is running at 200 Mbps and it is very reliable. This is key to me for streaming content from my Windows Vista Ultimate box (Where I keep all media – pictures, videos, etc.) to my living room where the XBOX 360 acts as an extender (Watch the video – it is very funny).

Personally, this is one of the coolest technologies I have. Complete access to my music, pictures and home videos from the living room. We will often sit there with music in the background and our pictures playing on the TV. People are always amazed and want it when they see it.

The next evolution of that is streaming video content which I am ripping to the machine – the problem? No DIVX support. Well – no more … Engadget writes about Media Center support for DivX and XviD here and here. ZUNE software already supports it which means XBOX can’t be far behind and a rumor is that it is before Christmas (wink).

If you are interested in the extender idea, you can read about it on the XBOX site or here. Dead simple and totally cool … and yes, it actually looks like that on my 52" Aquos (smile).

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