What Men Want For Christmas 2011, Day 2

Depending on his level of geekability and tinkerability, you can’t go wrong with a Media Center. Media Center’s come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and configurations. But if he’s a true geek and likes to tinker, he’ll want to build his own. And the base of any good Media Center is a big screen tv. I’ve included a picture of my Media Center in it’s current configuration. However, I’m always changing, upgrading and tweaking. That’s part of the fun! It can be a costly hobby, but it doesn’t have too. That old computer that you’ve been thinking about getting rid of can make a very nice hub for your Media Center. As will that old Xbox or Playstation that you’ve recently upgraded to the latest model. Sure, you can throw it up on Ebay and get a few bucks out of it or, you can put it to use in your new Media Center. Some additional costs may also include a Xbox live account and a NetFlix account. It just depends on how far you want to take it. I get asked a lot about building a media center pc at a reasonable price. What are the benefits of having a media center pc and how does it integrate with other equipment. There really is no simple answer and I can assure you that there probably aren’t any two media center setups identical. And as I stated before, it really doesn’t have to be an expensive project either. You’ll just have to take your time and shop around. Since I hardly ever throw anything away that has to do with pc’s or servers, I had most of these parts on shelves and in drawers. So, you can look at my current setup (which is always changing) and maybe it’ll give you some kind of idea of what to do in case you want to build your own media center pc. A lot of money can be saved by going with a Linux distro and media center software for Linux, neither will cost you a dime. I’m a Windows person, so that’s direction I took. I’m using Windows 7 Ultimate and the license isn’t cheap. But once you’re past the cost of the software and the hardware upgrades, a media center will bring months and years of entertainment to any man cave out there! Approximate cost: $100.00 to $2,000.00.

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