First up the obvious. My entire infrastructure is driven by the internet. Where I live right now – my ADSL provider’s bandwidth is, at best average, and at worse painfully slow. Although, touch wood, it’s better lately and i’m averaging between 3.5-5.0 mbps. Far from ideal, and rarely up to the ISP’s claim of 6mb. But I’m stuck with it – so not much I can do.
Piggy backing off a standard ADSL wireless router I currently use an an Apple Express (80211.n) as my main hub for the network. Not essential, but as my ecosystem is Apple dominated – I benefit from shared services such as bonjour.
Central to my home hub is a 50” LG Plasma TV (50PS300). This is really the key , and certainly most noticeable, piece of kit in my setup. The TV itself is standard 1080p with a bunch of ports including 3 x HDMI.
Now this is where it starts to get interesting. Connected through one of the HDMI connections is my AppleTV . Described as a ‘hobby product’ by Steve Jobs himself, I have to say it really is an under-rated gadget. Hooked up to my network, it seamlessly integrates with iTunes content from my all my computers. I also get to enjoy stunning HD content through it. Streaming music and my podcasts through this is awesome . (Particularly as the audio exits through my Sony amp surround sound setup).
I mentioned that my setup is dominated by Apple kit. A net feature that works with the Apple TV is the ability to hook up my iphone(s) as a remote for the media. This also works with iTunes on Apple computers too. It’s great. Basically I get to control Apple TV anyway in the apartment.
Windows (yes I admit it) laptop
The anchor of my hub. Connected through HDMI the Windows 7 based laptop plays the central role in my setup. This provides me with all the benefits of a fully fledged computer connected to a giant screen (I squeeze out a resolution of 1360 x 768). Primarily I use it for the web, but also stream my slingbox client through it. Bandwidth willing, it always amazes me – streaming live UK TV miles from home. I have to also add that playing MS Flight Simulator X on this setup is incredible! But perhaps the most exciting part for me – is to stream twitlive.tv . Geeky I know – but watching my favourite shows in the comfort of my lounge is amazing.
Tell a lie. The most incredible thing about this setup is running Skype through it. Connected via USB, and sitting on the top of the TV is a Microsoft HD webcam Talking, seeing and hearing friends and family on this has to be seen to be believed!
Big deal. Everyone has one right. But it’s pretty fun on a 50”.
Running off the network also worth noting my Macbook Pro 15” and Dell 9 Mini Hackintosh complete the setup….Oh and throw in two iPhones, an HTC Hero and Revo wifi radio….
With growing plans for further podcasts …….I want to build a mini studio. One step at a time…..