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Top Components for a Personal Media Network

A Personal Media Network must support modern, high-quality media, be secure, and be flexible. The following components follow the Overall Design of the Personal Media Network.

Media Server

The Media Server should be a standard PC with:
  • 2+ TB hard drive space
  • 1Gbps+ Ethernet Interface
  • pcHDTV HD-3000 Card
Reat the full specifications for the Media Server

HDTV Video Player

The HDTV Video Player should be a Roku PhotoBridge HD (either a HD1000 or HD1500). This device, when loaded with the latest version of CinemaSix, can play back HDTV-quality television shows recorded on the Media Server. It can also play back backed-up DVD VOB files as well as MP3 files.

Also, LiveSpy for the PhotoBridge allows you to watch internet cameras from around the world and is a fun and educational addition to your PhotoBridge.

MP3 Audio Player

Several options are available for MP3 Audio Playback. The one that I have the most experience with is the Roku SoundBridge. It plays back MP3 files from the Media Server and has a great user interface.

Gigabit Switch

Once you have several media players streaming at 20Mbps+ from your media server, you'll need a gigabit switch in order to keep from saturating the link to your media server. I recommend the 16-port Belkin F5D5141-16. It was just $100 when I purchased it, which is an excellent per-port price. It is rack-mountable, only 1U high, and works very well.
Last modified on 29 Mar 2011 by AO

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