The home network connection is

Even though there is entertainment everywhere – on your TV, on your PC, on your smartphone – people still go to movies.

It’s escape from reality.

There’s always a happy ending or at least good triumphs over evil.

The same is true when Jobs, Gates/Ballmer, Otellini and others take the stage.

About 80 per cent of the time the demos work…flawlessly.

The other 20 per cent of the time?

Guys who set up the demos didn’t want to work there anyway!

We always wanted the same for our modest home.

But unlike the movie version of a home PC/entertainment solution it doesn’t just suddenly appear…it evolves.

It’s a waste of hard earned dollars for every computer user in the house to have his/her own printer…their own internet connection.

Home networks have gotten easier over the years. We still have some wires running along the baseboard but the wireless hub finally set us free.

Kids can work in their room, by the pool, wherever.

Of course we don’t talk anymore. We email (that’s old-fashioned but we’ve mastered it), text, IM.

The kids abandon the TV.

Don’t need it.

Everything is on the Web. Doesn’t take long to find that you’ve got to add more hardware.

You download everything – just in case.

A cute dog trick here.

A great music video there.

Sports highlights.

On The Lot and American Inventor shows.

Before long you’re out of space and need more flash, more CDs/DVDs, bigger HDs.

“And by the time it gets down to nickel bags, it will be worth at lest thirty-two million.” – Sal Boca.

Breaking the individual storage upgrade habit is pretty easy and damn cheap!

For us the logic was upgrading one of the PCs (logically ours) and adding a network attached storage device. With a 1TB NAS you swear to gawd you can control the world.

After all our first HD was 5MB and we had no idea how we would fill it.

Today with Vista bloat (Leopard isn’t a lot better) and the world at your fingertips.

Tellywood is firmly convincing the law that with all that power, all that capacity, all that sneaky will you’re going to spend 80% of your time stealing their stuff.

Or as Sal Boca warned… ‘I’m telling you, they’ll split if we don’t move! This guy’s got ’em like that, he’s everything they say he is!” Not on our systems.

Not on most folks storage devices. Unless you’re a Doom9er Tellywood’s “prize jewels” are way down on your priority list of important stuff you have on your system.Yeah we know. Doesn’t stop them from acting like Walt Simonson… “Buddy, here’s the warrant. The court order’s in there for the wiretap, the judge gave you sixty days on it. Tell Doyle that Mulderig and Klein will sit in for the Feds.”.

The home computer network has become “almost” plug ‘n play.

All you need is a good friend or neighbor who happens to be very technically inclined!

He plugs…you play.

Unfortunately when it comes to the home entertainment network.

We believed Otellini at IDF (Intel Developers Forum) two years ago. Believed Gates at CES.

All we wanted to do is get in on the fun, the action. You know: stream videos, download videos, share videos, record TV on the PC, watch videos on portables – phone, PMP, whatever, and grab a couple of good movies on the PC.

Just all the neat things they did so easily!

You can complain about blue differences holding back brilliant home movie viewing but it’s a street punk compared to home entertainment network turf wars. Every acronym group has the right answer.

Our home solution wasn’t installed…it evolved!

Only in the movies and Home Theater and Architectural Digest do people build their entertainment around an automated, controlled-environment room!

TV is in one room. Stereo is in another. PCs are everywhere.

Bringing them together to talk/play is…fun.

First generation was to use Pinnacle’s ShowCenter seemed like a great alternative to MS “sure fire” Media Center enabled PCs that folks wanted you to buy.

After a little effort it worked ok. A lot better than an earlier attempt to connect our PC to a big screen LCD using the DVI outputs and connecting to the HDMI inputs on the panel.

Display resolution configuration is so much fun.

But the ShowCenter did allow us to move content (photos and video) from one PC to another and even to the big screen.

Even got to master the PVR and timeshift shows…now all we need is viewing time.

Once you’ve done that you’ll want to placeshift shows and events.

Back to the big box store for a WiFi solution that handles both standard and highdef content.

Between the techie friend and techie son we were able to figure out how to use PCTV To Go HD Wireless and even configure our notebook so we could use it on the road.

Of course kids have everyone else’s content – music, video – on their smartphone and PMP in no time.

Our home media network “almost” looks like the stuff Gates, Jobs, Otellini talk about… almost.

Can mere mortals install these things?

Following the “easy to install” instructions ain’t that easy!

But selling the dream?


That’s where the new generation service guy comes in.

We know folks who tried it with their cable guy.


We know people who tried it with their phone person.


That’s why PC/CE network installation/service contracts are going to be huge!

We’ll attend the next keynote and press presentation and get excited. We’ll also walk behind the stage and look at the poor techies sweating bullets and crossing their fingers. If content doesn’t fly everywhere? There are always support jobs in New Delhi! You’ll buy the new sweets the boys are pushing. Just remember what Walt Simonson said, “Brooklyn is loaded with guys that own candy stores, two cars, and like to go to nightclubs!” Don’t worry…the service guy will show up.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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