Having your own personal media center makes it possible to watch videos, movies, view pictures and listen to your favorite music from your HDTV.
1. Decide on a budget.
Set a ceiling amount so that you don't end up overspending.
2. Assess your media center use.
People who set up their personal media centers do so to avoid the hassle of having to go to crowded malls or movie theaters. Assessing the way you will use your media center is crucial. Firstly, it will dictate which peripheral devices to add. If you are fond of computer games, then it would be sensible to set up one that has a gaming capability complete with large screen and surround sound to compound the excitement while playing. If you are a TV nut then it might be good to add a digital receiver with digital video recording capabilities so you can save your favorite television programs on DVDs. If you will be setting up the media center in the living room where your children run around then it might be a sensible idea to acquire speakers that can be mounted to the walls to avoid accidents.
3. Choose the right equipment.
The CPU has to have a speed of at least 2GHz; RAM at 512 MB or more; hard drive memory should be at least 80GB; graphics card memory of at least 128MB; an LCD monitor or LCD TV; an optical drive, if possible buy a DVD writer especially if you'd want to burn TV shows or movies onto DVD discs; a TV tuner card if you plan to watch TV programs from your PC; speakers; receiver; a remote control that is compatible with the Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.
4. Configure the system.
Your personal computer will function as the server of your media center. It will contain most of your media files or serve as a way to gather them from the Internet and will connect to all of the other equipment such as a game console or HDTV. To fulfill this role, a media server software package such as TVersity must be installed in your PC. This software will enable your PC to deliver any media file to any device, create a personally customized line-up of channels, and organize your media files for easy searching, playback or viewing. To complete your media center system, you will also need a wireless or wired networking device. An example of such a device is the D-Link MediaLounge Wireless HD Media Player which can connect your HDTV and PC and is optimized to stream digital high-definition media.
A media center is basically a centralized system of entertainment and media devices.
This is part of the digital home trend wherein homeowners now prefer use consumer networking technologies to interconnect their appliances and centralize their control.