Movie night no longer means a trip to the theater, the video store, or even the mailbox. Hollywood blockbusters from Netflix, Top Forty hits from Pandora and more can be delivered directly to every room of the house. The trick is getting the network that connects your laptops and desktops to the Internet to do double-duty as an entertainment delivery service.
A home entertainment network frees you from dependence on discs. It lets you organize all your media in one place and enjoy it from anywhere. With an entertainment network, you’ll be able to use your existing equipment—from TVs to PCs to mobile phones—within the network, and your media will tag along with you wherever you go. It all starts with a media streamer like the Boxee Box by D-Link.
The Boxee Box joins your network wirelessly, and acts as a bridge between your TV and the Internet – not to mention all of your locally stored content. That means when you connect a Boxee Box to your HDTV, you’ve got instant big-screen access to all the best stuff on the Internet – from Netflix to VUDU to Pandora – as well as all the media files stored your networked computers and hard drives.
HD Media Router
A wireless router is essential for connecting the Boxee Box to your home network and, from there, to the Internet. Most routers of recent vintage will work, but if you want to stream hi-def video throughout your house — not just to the TV, but to all your computers and mobile devices — you’ll get the best results with a media router like the D-Link‘s HD Media Router 1000 (DIR-657). This unit delivers plenty of performance for streaming media throughout your home.
Of course, a wireless router may not reach every corner of your castle. You may want to expand your network if you have lots of square footage, or if you want to enjoy media outdoors. The Amplifi Access Point/Media Bridge (DAP-1525) can extend a wireless network to reach every corner of your house, and then some. And for wired networks, there’s PowerLine technology, which routes network traffic through your building’s electrical wiring. D-Link makes a range of PowerLine adapters, such as the PowerLine AV 500 Adapter Starter Kit (DHP-501AV) that extend your network to any power outlet in the house.
Network Attached Storage
Finally, to get the most out of your entertainment network, you’ll want a dedicated data storage solution that can organize and protect your collection of media files. Consider a network-attached storage (NAS) device — an external hard drive with its own network address. With network attached storage, any device on your network, including the Boxee Box, can have instant access to all of your saved music, movies and photos. The D-Link ShareCenter® 2-Bay Network Storage (DNS-325) is a great option.
Home entertainment networking is high-end technology, but setting it up is simple. With a few affordable, easy-to-set-up components, you’ll soon be streaming media from your PC or the Internet direct to every screen in the house. Don’t touch that dial!