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easy/best/fast/cheap way to set up a media station

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posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 08:49 PM
so i have been wanting to set up a media station type deal for lack of a better word.
i have been reading through threads and i do get confused but i think i have the basics down.

i basically want my tv as the center but i want to be able to access all my movies/music/pics through the tv....
what is the most efficient way to do this?

someone said they run rasberry pi with xmbc an thats hooked up to the tv...
its basically things like that.

i am getting ready to get 2 new laptops at the end of next month. so, i will have new gear to start with.
i have more than 100 gigs of music... triple that in movies. thousands of pictures. i want to be able to access all this easily through my tv. i would like to create playlists on the tv or be able to access whatever program i play music on the comp with...

here is how i do it now. if we want to look at pics of our daughter i have to put them on a usb flash drive and then into the usb on the tv and then we can look.
if i want to watch a movie that is on my comp i put it on a usb flash drive and then into my blue ray and then watch on tv.

this is not exactly hard to do but i find myself adding and deleting stuff off this stick all the time.
i want to be able to access my entire library of media.

i was also going to get a portable hard drive when i get the new laptops so i can have a backup of all my files. i add to my collection every day.
i say a 1 terabyte cloud drive or something like that. i dont want to or care to use the cloud or upload anything to any server or on the net. i want all my files either streamed from the computer or on a flash/portable drive.

the thing about this cloud drive was it plugged right into my router so then i could at least share from comp to comp. thought that was cool but i would still have to go from comp to tv.

how would you do it? i dont have unlimited funds for this but i am not broke either. i am looking for a fair balance of cost/easy of setup/easy of use/functionality.

i dont think i want to do rasberry pi cause i am still very much a novice.

would it be effective to take on of the new laptops i get, load it with all my media, load it with xmbc or plex and then just go from the laptop to the tv with hdmi? then i would still have to navigate from the computer though.

it would be great if i could be sitting on the couch using the remote to access all my media thats on the laptop on the tv.
what is the best way to achieve that?

thank you all
edit on 18-9-2014 by CardiffGiant because: spelled ass accidentally

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 09:12 PM
I built this shoebox HTPC abot 5 years ago for about $250 from parts at newegg and it still performs well. I used a small mini ATX board (very inexpensive) with a HDMI output so it would hook up to any new tv.

Oh and I wanted to kick back myself so I bought this wireless mouse and keyboard. The mouse works on any table even on the sofa cushions.

edit on 9/18/14 by proob4 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 09:16 PM
I would recommend you to download Plex Media Server here to set up your media library. Plex will automatically scan your media folders and download metadata and keep your files organized. For playing your media on your TV, I recommend you to buy a Google Chromecast which is compatible with Plex. Basically you plug the Chromecast on a HDMI port on your TV and you'll be able to play anything, wirelessly, on your HDTV.

Plex is free, and the Chromecast is about 40$.

I tried various combinations of hardware and software to achieve a good media experience and, for me, this one is the best yet.

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 09:36 PM
eBay ?

CS918 Quad Core Android 4.4 Smart TV Box XBMC WiFi Full 1080P Media Player 8G
edit on 18-9-2014 by VictorVonDoom because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 11:52 PM
a reply to: VictorVonDoom

oh yeah.... that will be real nice.

i was looking on amazon and newegg as well. lots to pick from

i think that will do the job

posted on Sep, 19 2014 @ 05:55 AM
something like this ayer r

^^^^says it plays media from usb or micro sd cards.... thats kind of what im doing now so whats the benefit?

since its wifi do i connect it to my network and then just 'share' all the media on my computer with the network? that way i can access the media from all devices?

posted on Sep, 19 2014 @ 05:57 AM
i can think of other ways to do this but it may not be the best or easiest. about a year ago we had other windows computers and we had a ps3 for a little while. we used to stream our music and tv shows from the computer to the tv through the ps3.

i guess all of this kind of accomplishes the same results. just figured one was easier and/or more reliable.....

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