|Four Reasons Why You Need a Home Network|
|Home Theater Feature Articles Other|
|Written by Bryan Dailey|
|Thursday, 01 April 2004|
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2. Using Your TiVo As a Media Server
You’re going to be stuck at the office late and, on your way to work, you realize that you forgot to set the TiVo to record Monday Night Football. If you have a new Generation 2 TiVo with the Home Media option and it is hooked up to the Internet, you won’t have to rely on calling your next-door neighbor to go set your TiVo. With TiVo’s Home Media option (a $99 one-time fee), you can log onto your TiVo from any computer that is connected to the Internet and can tell it what shows to record. From the first day I installed a TiVo in my system, I longed for this feature. I knew it was just a matter of time before you’d be able to hook the TiVo up to the Internet and schedule show recording remotely.
TiVo is pretty much a simple computer with a Linux operating system that is hooked up to your television instead of a computer monitor. Computer geeks and TiVo enthusiasts have created an impressive amount of software and hardware to tweak out and modify the device, but even if you don’t feel like taking on the challenge of installing a bigger hard drive or learning how to output the signal of your TiVo so that you can burn DVDs of your favorite show, you can put your TiVo on the Internet and enjoy features that most users fail to utilize. Besides remote scheduling of shows on the Internet, the TiVo Home Media option allows multi-room viewing (requiring more than one Series 2 TiVo unit), gives you the ability to use your TiVo as a jukebox to play your MP3 collection off of your computer and the ability to store and view your digital photos on your TV through the TiVo. There are better ways to accomplish all of these tasks, but not everyone has the money and resources to get a dedicated music server and a dedicated video sever, so the TiVo home media option allows the user to have a multi-media server in the home for a fraction of the price of the high-end systems that you see featured every month in RevolutionHomeTheater.com.
3. Surfing The Net Throughout Your House
If you have a high-speed Internet connection in your home, chances are, you use the Internet more than the average person does. Although most Internet service providers (ISPs) do not technically support splitting your Internet connection to share throughout your home, they realize that it is a popular new consumer phenomenon. The days of people having just one computer in their home are fading, especially with the popularity of laptop computers and wireless Internet capable PDAs. By networking your Internet connection throughout your home, you can enjoy your high-speed connection in as many different rooms as you’d like, as long as you have enough computers, enough ports on your router and additional expansion hubs, if necessary.
If you opt for a wireless connection, you’ll enjoy even more freedom as you tote your laptop around the house with you and plop down on the couch in front of the TV. I didn’t feel the need to have a laptop computer until adding a wireless network to my home. Now I can be anywhere in the house and can check sports scores, download email or make sure the RevolutionHomeTheater.com server is working properly. A major benefit of running a wireless connection in your home in the fact that you won’t have to worry about the expense of tearing open walls or pulling up the carpet to install unsightly cables throughout your home.