I’m a geek at heart and love “tweaking” my home entertainment system. My family will tell you that I make changes even though there is nothing “wrong” with the existing setup and, to be honest, they would be absolutely right. That said, I am driven to change and am all too happy to oblige.
One of my biggest requirements is the ability to stream media throughout the house. I’ve tried just about anything you can think of from Windows Media Center, Apple’s Front Row, Linux powered Myth TV and more. Along with each of these solutions, I’ve also tried countless frontends to extend them to numerous viewing sources throughout the house.
My latest rig is really quite simple. It consists of a Mac Mini running Snow Leopard Server along with a second Mac Mini in the entertainment center. The Mini that sits in the entertainment center is loaded up with a copy of Snow Leopard and the latest version of the Opensource project called PLEX Media Center which is a fork of the XBMC Media Center project.
Navigating PLEX is fairly straight forward and a joy to use. Once up and running you will find that you now have the ability to stream over 100 online video and image sources directly to your TV. Some of my favorites are Joost, Hulu, Netflix, Youtube and, the most important, my own sound, video and image library.
So here’s how it works. The Mini in the entertainment center streams media from Internet sources directly. The Mini Server is our repository for the media we own such as movies, photos, and our iTunes Library which PLEX has the ability to consume directly.
Some would argue that this is an expensive media solution but I would counter that once one purchases everything they will need with other solutions and then add the time it takes to get their system up and running, you will find that this option is really a bargain.
Geek out and ENJOY!