I have this dream of creating the ultimate digital home theater experience. I am constantly looking for ways put my DVDs on a hard drive so I can stream the files to my projector so I can just sit on the couch and access any movie at any time without having to switch out the disc. (No, that is not lazy.) Not only would I have instant access to my movies but I could put all my DVDs out of site so my home does not look like a mom and pop video rental.
I have had my eye on a couple of products that are out on the market, for example, Sony’s HES-V1000 Home Entertainment Server. When I first saw this product, I was so excited. I mean look at what it has and can do, it has a 200 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Changer with full HD 1080p video output, a 500 GB hard drive, Dolby digital and dts digital outputs -plus so much more.
I had a chance to play with this monster and it looked, felt, sounded amazing. The downfall of this product is that the movies took forever to load (funny how even in the photo it says, ‘LOADING’) and the $4000 price tag. So, before I throw down the cash for this – I am going to wait until the next generation comes out to see the improvements.
Now, I am back to square one – How to make the ULTIMATE digital home theater experience.
Let us flash back to when the Xbox 360 came out. I was excited when I bought mine because of the Media Center and the video streaming options that came with the system. I was let down when I found out that you could only stream certain type of media files and there is no way that I am going to re-encode all my videos, losing sound quality, image quality, etc so I could stream to Xbox.
Then I found something –TVersity– it may not be the Ultimate digital home theater experience but it gets me a step closer. TVersity works very well – I can now stream almost ANY video format to my projector with out loss of sound and image quality. (so far)
The mission statement from TVersity is
Our mission is to empower individuals to organize and personalize their home and Internet multimedia collection (audio, video and images) and have universal access to it anywhere (at the home or on the go) anytime and from any device.
We are developing the following products and services:
• Delivering any media to any device; an extensible platform independent Media Server that can serve any media to any networked device doing all the necessary conversions to overcome the limitations of any given device.
• Personal Entertainment Guide (PEG); An extensible platform independent Media Manager that allows our users to organize their home and Internet media, tag it, and create their Personalized lineup of channels.
• Content Guides; An editorial Entertainment Guide of URLs linking to high quality multimedia content consisting of TV channels (live and on demand), Radio stations, Music Videos, Movie Trailers, Game Trailers, Audio/Video Podcasts/Blogs and more.
• Multimedia Social Networking; A Collaborative meta data sharing community that allows our users to exchange the multimedia URLs they discover and search the URLs discovered by others.
This program streams perfectly to my projector and I think this is going to be the start of how I start building my own digital home entertainment system.
Enough talk about my dreams and hopes – I am going to watch Machine Girl -streamed from my hard drive to my projector.