This is the concept of centrally storing your homes digital media on a dedicated computer or network hard drive (NAS) and sharing these files across multiple computers both wired, wireless (WiFi) and even the Internet!
This is a fantastic way to work where families may have multiple computers but want to share and backup family photos, videos and files.
This can even extend to the TVs in your house, allowing you to access your digital files from more comfortable locations on bigger screens. A few typical set ups can be found below.
Basic Home Media Server – A network hard drive or NAS (Network Attached Storage) is installed by connection to your broadband Internet modem/router and all desktop PCs, computers, laptops and Macs are configured to store and stream digital media globally and across all other computers. This network location can also be used to backup all computers which are connected. Basic access over the Internet to your files can also be integrated.
Windows Home Server Basic – A more advanced form of NAS, this is a true server and runs on a “headerless” (no monitor, keyboard or mouse) dedicated computer. This can be located in a cupboard somewhere out of sight or next to all your other AV (TV, stereo etc.) equipment and runs 24/7, or as often as you need it, to perform all the tasks of a basic home media server and many more advanced functions.
The main difference is that it can integrate seamlessly with most versions of Windows (XP, Media Center Edition, Vista and Windows 7 are all supported) and can even stream media to Xbox and Xbox 360 games consoles. Additional functionality can also be added through software plugins at a later date.
Windows Home Server & PVR/HTPC – Everything above, but with addition of another dedicated PC to take care of the recording of digital media from live TV sources and playback of physical media (CD/DVD and Blu-Rays).
This functionality can be handled by replacing your DVD/Blu Ray player, Freeview/HD, FreeSat/HD and PVR (Personal Video Recorder) with a simple Home Theater PC or HTPC. This can take care of all your TV viewing and recording as well as playback all your existing DVDs. we can not currently integrate Sky packages directly into HTPCs but we can still set them up to work in conjunction with these systems.
Remote TV Control & Viewing – There is a very elegant solution to the problem of controlling your existing TV equipment like Sky+ boxes or Freeview+ and this comes in the form of a piece of equipment called a “Slingbox”. This allows you to stream your TV from home to a huge array of devices like mobile phones and to any Internet enabled PC or Mac. We can help advise, supply and install these devices so please do get in touch with any questions.
We can also use these sytems to automate various parameters in your house from turning lights on and off, to providing live control over the Internet of your boiler!
Please contact us with your needs and we will be happy to quote you for this highly personalised service.