Do you ever go around to someone’s house and they have a kind of cool entertainment setup with loads of music and photos and it’s all on a big LCD telly and it’s hooked up to the stereo and you can watch DVDs and Blu Ray discs as well, all from the one setup and from the comfort of the sofas wirelessly? Don’t you just think to yourself “what a total geek, get a life”.

Ummmmm, well I am one of those geeks that like all that stuff and hoards photos and spends copious amounts of time burning (legally) my CD collection so it’s all accessible at the touch of a button.

It’s really easy to do and you may have all the ingredients in your house already.

So, let’s get started.

Recipe:

First off you need to get clearance from the boss (aka wife) for all this gear, unless of course you’re a bachelor in which case you can skip this step. Of course as a bachelor this is an essential skill to have and can be helpful to lure the female of the species when courting by making yourself indispensable.

The Sofa’s form the basis of this recipe so make sure you choose them wisely. Give them a good squeeze to check for ripeness, you don’t want anything to firm as this affects your couch potato posture. To soft and you may find yourself with a back ache.

Don’t skimp on your TV, make the right choice here as this is the most pricey ingredient (potentially). LCD is probably the most economical choice these days with Plasma no longer the clear leader. A Sony Bravia X Series is an excellent choice and make sure it is 1080p preferably with an HDMI connection.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Sofas (one for you and one for the wife/girlfriend/partner)
  • 1 Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard (optional)
  • 1 external hard disk (Optional but 250Gb is a good start)
  • 1 laptop computer
  • 1 LCD or Plasma TV (1080p recommend)
  • 1 Amplifier
  • 2 Speakers
  • 1 copy of Windows 7 (any version will do)

IMG_8050

Next upgrade your laptop (or home computer) to Windows 7 as soon as you can. Do yourself a huge favour. Don’t believe what your Mac mate tells you as he is brainwashed, I mean biased. I will give it to the Mac fanatics, you can never accuse them of being fence sitters, misinformed yes, fence sitters no. If you are purchasing a new computer, try and get one with an HDMI output but VGA or S-Video will do just fine.

Now if you really want to appreciate this fine dish and compliment all the ingredients you have got then get yourself a wireless multimedia keyboard. This one from Microsoft is an excellent choice: Microsoft Entertainment Keyboard 8000

Microsoft Entertainment Keyboard 8000

That way when you are savoring the delights of those carefully selected sofas you can serve up the other ingredients using the power of wireless.

Now for the Amp and Speakers. There are so many varieties to choose from and like a fine wine it really depends on the region you pick them from. Personally I am a big fan of European and you can’t beat a bit of British speaker.

So, you now have all the necessary ingredients. Time to wire it all up.

  1. Plug the Computer in to the TV
  2. Plug the Computer in to the amp
  3. Wire up the speakers to the amp.
  4. Connect the keyboard to the Computer
  5. Burn some of your CDs to Windows Media Player
  6. Start up Windows Media Centre
  7. Place your butt on the sofa.
  8. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Ok, so what is the point of this article you might be asking yourself. Well I really wanted to emphasize, and I am not sure I have done an exceptional job here, that it’s not that hard to do. Check out the resources here for more details on Windows Media Center.

Pukka!

BondiGeek