Building Your Home Media Center

This has been planned since five years ago. You waited for the availability of a faster internet connection and better hardware devices. The internet broadband service provider just installed a connection in your home. With all the juice of your connectivity, the company needed to install an SPC fiber box cabinet to keep it secured.

That isn’t the biggest part of the plan. You have thousands of movies, videos, music, pictures, and other images scattered on several computers. You want to keep them in one place and be able to access them from multiple devices. You want to set up your home media center.

Here’s how you might do this.

The Evolution of Home Media Consumption

You buy the VHS tape of our favorite movie, watch them, put them in the library, watch them again, and repeat. Then the discs came—big laser discs then eventually replaced by a digital video disc (DVD). These discs presented greater sound clarity and better image resolution for a genuinely entertaining movie watching at home.

Two problems with this setup: space-consuming and no simultaneous and multiple access. With digital technology, the internet, and the latest hardware devices, the way consume media is far easier today than it was when we first turned on the radio.

Setting Up Your Home Media Center

Files on a computer

The goal is to pack all your movies, videos, music, pictures, etc. in one location, not in the way you would store hundreds of VHS tapes stacked on a six-feet by six-feet wall. Here is what you would need to do:

  1. The NAS. The first thing that you need to do is to create your network-attached storage or NAS. Think of a NAS as a small computer with a hard disk inside, where you store all your media data. Think of the NAS as having two components—a) the housing, and b) the hard drive. Two leading companies that provide NAS housing include Synology and QNAP. While you can use an old PC as your housing, setup is much easier if you buy from these leading providers, if budget is not an issue. The NAS is then connected to your home network. Once this connection is made, multiple devices can access the data from the drive.
  2. The hard drive. Remember, the NAS has two components. You still need to include hard drives in your housing. Your collection will increase over time, so get the necessary size for your hard drive. Get one that’s able to run for a 24/7 operation.
  3. Configuration and Data transfer. Each NAS housing will have its configuration. Follow what the manual says. Once you’re done with the configuration. You can now transfer your files via Bluetooth or USB drive from your scattered hard drives to the NAS hard drive.
  4. Enjoy the show. How do you now access the data on your NAS drive? Leave this to the various apps available on the market or to those that came pre-installed with your HDTV. Turn on your TV, select the app, for example, for watching movies, it could be Plex, and this app can choose and play the movie that you want. QNAP and Synology have their app market as well.

Since the NAS is connected to the network, the wife can watch old movies from the 1980s from the living room TV while you binge watch on 007 films from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig while in the bedroom. Stream it from home while you're away? Ah, yes, but that’s for another piece.

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