Alan's Build Log Episode #6

May 13 2008

I guess a good sign for my build log is that I do not have a whole lot to report :). Everything is working smoothly, especially with the latest firmware update to the ATi digital cable tuners. I have yet to experience a problem.

Since we last spoke, I did dip my toes into the Blu-ray waters by installing a Lite-On Blu-ray drive into an external enclosure. The external enclosure in question has been working great, however, the 40mm fan that is installed makes and awful screeching noise, so I will have to look into replacing that. Functionally it works great, but I can't recommend because the fan failed so soon after purchase. Below is a link to the newegg product page of the external enclosure.

Product Page

On the software end, I added Big Screen Headlines 2 and Arcsoft Total Media Theater. We will have reviews of these products coming out shortly. Arcsoft has done a great job integrating TMT (Total Media Theater) into the Vista Media Center experience. There are no focus issues, the remote works great and as of the latest software release, everything appears to work great for disk based playback (I have yet to rip the movies to a hard drive and try it). The UI is not a perfect match but it emulates a 10' experience nicely.

What are my future plans?

Well I plan on ripping my DVD collection using Video ReDo and converting to DVR-MS for easy streaming. This takes about 15 minutes per disc and are streamable to extenders. I am currently researching what to do for Blu-ray streaming. I am not sure that problem has been solved yet. I may have to wait until that process matures. I would like to go to an extender based setup, but the whole Blu-ray thing is limiting me right now. 

I plan on dipping my toes into the home automation world pretty soon. Chris has done a great job providing some beginner guides that I plan on following :).

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