Entertainment 2.0 Podcasts

Entertainment 2.0-Episode 28: Gotcha Cable Labs!

Ent20logo2 This week’s show focuses a lot on content.  Tools for getting it and breaking the rules.  First off though, we want to thank Greg from the UK for sharing a setup he made for his parents on the Entertainment 2.0 drop.  You can find a picture of the box and Greg’s write up below.  Don’t forget, you can share too!

This week we cover several stories that came out earlier this week.  You can find all the links below:

 

Don’t forget that The DMZ is actively seeking writers and podcasters.  If you have a digital media related topic you’d like to share your thoughts on, you can use the contact link at the top of the page or email [email protected].  We’d love to have you join us!

 

Click here to download Episode 28 or listen below:

 

 

Greg from the UK:

 

imageWell someone has to be first…

Here’s the HTPC I built for my parents last year. The case is the HFX micro, it acts as a huge heatsink (note the fins) which the CPU and GPU are connected to via heat pipes. This makes it completely silent. Only when I put my ear to the case can I hear the hard drive, which itself is in a rubber sleeve.

The prominent VCR underneath is the main reason I built it for them. My Mum had dozens of videos under the TV with the show names written on the back of the boxes. With Media Center, she of course no longer has to shuffle through all the boxes. Also, as most of the TV watching was time-shifted, using the VCR meant nothing was recorded digitally, which seemed a pity. (Not that she minded, she also can’t tell the difference between SD and HD). In 2012 when the analogue signal is switched off (in the UK) the VCR would no longer work, so I had considered buying a PVR for them, but none of them looked that good. I tried Media Center, and wasn’t disappointed.

Recently, my parents Hi-Fi broke and my Dad was considering buying a new one. I showed him the Music library feature of Media Center in case he liked it, he did of course and now is happily riping his CD collection. I set up Windows Media Player on the desktop PC to rip and transfer the music to the HTPC over the network automatically (via homeplugs). The HTPC is connected directly to 2.1 speakers so that the TV can be turned off and music will continue to play.

I installed the excellent (free) LogMeIn remote access software to use when things go wrong, (I live a few hours away on the train) but this has been rare. To begin with my parents would try to use the old TV remote rather than the Media Center remote, so I had to hide it. They have become accustomed to Media Center really well, despite the fact that my Mum refuses to use the normal PC.

Love the show, keep up the great work,

Greg
York, UK

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About the author

Adam Thursby

Adam Thursby is the founder and creator of The Digital Media Zone.

9 Comments

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  • Hi Guys, thanks for featuring my build on the show, that was fantastic!

    I bought the “mCubed HFX Micro M2” case from Quietpc.com, the product page is here: http://www.quietpc.com/gb-en-gbp/products/htpcc

    I looked on the US version of the site, but couldn't find the HFX Micro. On the company's official site (they are located in Germany) there is a list of US vendors:
    http://www.hfx.at/index.php?option=com_wrapper&
    However, I couldn't find the Micro on any of the US sites listed.

    Luckily the UK version of Quietpc.com will deliver to the US, but that would be $558 including delivery (UPS), plus there may be import taxes to pay. As the site notes, you still need to buy an ITX Motherboard, CPU, Memory, Hard Drive etc. and due to the small size of the case I had to use the inevitably more expensive notebook components. But that is the price to pay for silence.

    Also, I discovered due to the heat pipes inside the case, the motherboard must use RAM that lies flat like in a notebook, rather than standing up so that the heat pipes can fit in. Hmmm, now what shall I do with this spare motherboard…

    Greg

  • Since posting this, I found the mcubed online store who sell the case as a bundle:
    http://www.mcubed-store.com/catalog/product_inf
    It includes: “…a heatpipe cooler set for processor and onboard VGA, an 140W external power supply and an internal SD cardreader” for 327 Euros; about US$450. This includes delivery by the Austrian Postal Services to the US.

    Greg

  • I am very interested and like commenting uising Disqus .I’m sure that once you get the complete transfer to DISQUS, you’ll be very happy.

    Colon Cleanse

  • Would someone care to explain the feature, so as to sell it it the other members of WP.com? And don't just give me a link; give me a reason why you like it.
    Colon Cleanse

  • Would someone care to explain the feature, so as to sell it it the other members of WP.com? And don't just give me a link; give me a reason why you like it.
    Colon Cleanse