Thursday, September 3, 2009

When it rains, it pours!

Thanks for coming back! This is Mr. Sister again continuing on with my Media Center journey. Below is a diagram of what our media center will look like:

Ok, so I have everything and ready to set this puppy up! Install capture card. Uh, it doesn’t fit!!! Looking again at the directions in the box, in small mouse print, it says this is a PCI-e card, not compatible with PCI slots. This is BAD! I’ve made this commitment but I can’t even capture the TV input! Well, not being too discouraged, I signed on to the very active SageTV forum. Posted the question and got a suggestion to get an Avery card from Ebay (it uses the PCI slot and records 2 shows at a time – but doesn’t do HD). Oh well, I picked up the only 1 available on Ebay for a few bucks (with massive shipping charges!). And, I bought another PCI card that captures only 1 TV program at a time (bringing me down to 3 shows at a time). Well, I am pretty much at parity with what I have today, but ALL TVs can access the same stored shows so that was a plus! So, my Ebay purchase arrived in the mail and I see this big note on the capture card that states, this was taken from a working machine. There are no guarantees that it will work. What??? I paid that money to have a shot at something not working? I could have kept the other cards and be GUARANTEED they would not work! Oh well, let’s install to see if everything functions. I download the latest drivers and install the card, but without a program to use the card, I don’t know if it actually works.

Not happy with my downgrade, but trudging ahead, I run into my next obstacle (boy this steeple chase is getting rough). My hard drive was only 30 gigs. I need at least 500 gigs to be able to store SOME of the many shows the son, formerly known as Munchie Boy (from now on he wants to be called Awesome Dude! No ego problem there!) will be recording. So, I get on to my favorite online store and order a 1 TB hard drive (that is 1 terabyte! 1,000 gigabytes!). After installing the drive (I won’t even get into the changes in hard drive standards from IDE to SATA! Luckily, my server accepted both drives – but at the old speed of 1.5 gps as opposed to 3.0 gps) and everything is running, I’m feeling much better!

So, days are progressing. I’m telling my family what this thing can do (according to the manual and some forum postings). It can watch Youtube videos, It can watch and navigate Netflix on demand, during CES, SageTV announced that they were going to access Hulu (Score!!!). At this time, I’m getting more excited about the prospects. The HTM (Happy Tech Meter) was blazing! There’s more! I can watch ripped DVDs, we can access and listen to radio. We can even access the programs and live TV on the internet! Heck the only thing it didn’t claim to do was cure cancer (which was in Beta!)! Even more, it can automatically skip commercials on regular TV! My family was happy and I’m thinking that I’m the greatest Husband and Father EVER!

Stay tuned for tomorrows episode … entitled “Cloud 9” or “I’m falling and I can’t get up!”


5thsister said...

I'm reserving commentary until I can see if this thing really works!

Pelican Joe said...

Ye of little faith! It's been like a roller coaster ride. ...And you know roller coasters... you can't get off if you don't like the first hill!

Willoughby said...

Wow! My head is spinning with all of that! I hope it works for you!


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