Welcome to the chronicle of my adventure into the world of digital home entertainment.
- Central server: For all media files, mainly Video, Music, and Pictures
- Set-top boxes: All media accessible to all televisions in the house
- Eliminate cable bill by downloading all television programming
- HDTV over the air with DVR functionality
Linux support for this project provided by my good friend Jason who actually knows this stuff. Coming from a Calssic Mac/Windows XP background, the command line is strange and scary to me.
This project really began when I was laid off from my job this past July. I got to take my test server, with permission, which is an aging PIII/800 with 512 megs of ram. Hey, it was free. I bought a 120 gig drive to start with. Eventully I will add four 250gig drives in a RAID 5 array, giving me 500 gigs of redundant storage.
We went with Linux as an operating system beacuse it’s cheap. Also I’m not a fan of the Windows Media Center software because all of the DRM embedded in it. Jason recommended RedHat Linux (FC4) simply because it would be the easiest for me to work with. I must say, I was impressed. Not a single cryptic command was needed and it booted right into GNOME, which is very classic-mac like. I did manage to hose the OS a few times and, after about a half hour of trying futile commands in the terminal per Jason’s direction, opted to reinstall.