So apart from playing around with computer and mobile technology, there’s always the issue of getting videos and music to any place possible around the house.

Who really wants to sit in front of a computer screen all the time to watch stuff? Computer chairs are hardly very comfortable and don’t really fit more than one person at a time. You’d be looking at two per viewing using at most if the two of you utilise the third dimension.

My initial attempts at home theatre were admittedly crude. I found a device called the WDTV, which in its first generation was able to take a USB drive and directly read whatever was on it. It could also take Ethernet connections, but since my house wasn’t wired up, a USB drive was the go. Whilst this was a bit clumsy, it was also quite reliable.

The WDTV was great because it could play a great variety of media formats at many different definition standards and was also very cheap. The original unit I bought is still being used today, nearly six years ago! Since then, variants of the device and indeed new, more powerful versions have come to market and many competitors have also joined in.

The next step was using the Wi-fi and a direct network connection to share the computer hard disks to view the files directly. So long as the format was recognized, you could play it. Unfortunately, as wi-fi is hardly the most reliable transmission medium, the streaming would sometimes require pauses to buffer data. As you can imagine, this is hardly ideal.

The conclusion I came to with these methods was that no matter what you wanted to do at home, the connection would need to be hard wired so that the data stream was not subject to the whimsical nature of wi-fi.


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