/How to Build an Entertainment Network

How to Build an Entertainment Network

Video: How to Build an Entertainment Network

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Today you can get entertainment; that is to say, movies, music, television, and anything else, no matter where you are. Either sitting at your computer, standing in the kitchen with a mobile device in hand, or, yes, even sitting in front of your TV. It isn't a complicated setup. With a few simple pieces of equipment, you can use your computer network as a next-generation entertainment hub. 
Your network is the centerpiece of the operation, and if you're interested in high definition media, then speed, range, and bandwidth are all crucial. D-Link's DIR-825 is a dual-band 802.

11n router that provides all the bandwidth you need for today's HD movies and television programming. The dual-band feature means the router can simultaneously manage bandwidth-intensive applications on two different frequencies, 2.4GHz and 5GHz. For example, the router can be providing Internet access for checking email on the commonly-used 2.4GHz band at the same time that it serves high-definition video streams on the clearer 5GHz band. We opted to extend the range of our network with the DHP-307AV, it's a PowerLine networking kit that uses the existing electrical lines running through your walls to zip media to other parts of the house. Just plug the adapters into any wall socket and your network is quickly up and running.

It's as simple as that. 
With your network configured, it's time to look at your media itself. You'll be able to access media files stored on any computer, but a better solution is to use a network-attached storage, or NAS, to centrally store all your files in one place. By offloading the storage from your PC, you prevent large media files from filling up your computer's hard drive and also achieve better protection for those files by placing them on a dedicated storage device. D-Link's DNS-325 attaches directly to your router, making it convenient and accessible by multiple devices in the home. 
Finally, to provide entertainment for the whole family, a simple media player, like the Boxee Box by D-Link, in your entertainment cabinet can bring content from your network and the Internet straight to your TV. If using Powerline, plug in your 2nd adapter and connect it to the Boxee Box, and the Boxee Box to your HDTV. Or you could just configure it to use wireless access, as well. Soon, you'll be zipping files from your computers or NAS device straight to the living room with the Boxee Box. Alternately, you can transfer media to the Boxee Box by plugging in an SD card from a digital camera or by using a USB portable storage device.

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As a bonus, you'll be able to access programming streamed from the web, including movies from Netflix and VUDU. A home entertainment network doesn't just send movies and music from your computer to your television. It gives you access to media from any device, anywhere in your house..