Table of contents for Building a digital home entertainment network : multimedia in every room / Terry Ulick.


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I PLANNING YOUR HOME ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK
1 Planning the Right Home Entertainment Network for Your Home ............... 9
Making  a  Plan  .... ...      .  .  .  .  .  .   ..  .  .   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   .
Wired Networking: Running into Walls ......... .... ................... . 12
Benefits of a Wired  Network  ......... ..... .......................... .....   13
Running  Cables ......... ......... ...... . . . . .  . .  . . . . .   .  .  .  ... ...... 14
Dealing  with Walls ...  .  . ..... .... ... .....  ... ....................   15
Wireless Networking: Homes Without Walls   ...............................  17
Wireless  Network  Basics  ..... . .  ............... .  .........  .......... . 17
Benefits of a Wireless Network . .  . . . ....... .  ......... . .  .. .  . .... . 18
Dealing with Signal Strength .................. .. ...... ............ .........  19
Overcoming Signal Problems  ....... ... .............. .................  20
Mixing Wired and Wireless Networks .................................... 20
Mixed Network Plan F ...  .. .........  ...... ...... ..... .....  .......... . 2
Making Sure the Network Can Handle Media ................................ 22
Summary ........... . .. ...... ........... ......... .......... ........ . 23
2 Configuring Your PC As an Entertainment Server ............................ 25
Making Sure That Your PC Can Network .................... ............. 26
Adding TV and FM  Tuner Cards .. ........ .............................. 28
"TV  Tuners for Laptops  ........................ ......... ..............   31
FM  Tuners  . ...  .  .   .   .   ... .   . .  ...  ........................ .. 32
DVR  Software ..... .   . . . ..   ... . . .. .  .   ....... .  .   .. . .  ...... . . . . . . 32
Having Enough Storage .. ................  ........................... 33
Choosing  Drive  Size ..  ..   .  ...... ..  . . . . . . . . . . . .  .....   . ............... .  34
Choosing Internal or External Drives  .........  ..... . ...... . .  ...... . . 34
Backing  Up  Important Media Files  ............ ........... .......... ...... 37
Summary ............ . ............................... .. 38
3 Using PCs and TVs As Clients in Your Network ............................. 39
Using a File Sharing Configuration  ... . .... .. ................ .. ......... 40
Understanding Client/Server Networks.................... ................. 41
Using Media Extenders in a Client/Server Network ........................ 42
Using  PCs on a Client/Server Network ................................. . 43
Putting the Right Device in the Right Place  .................. .................. 44
Using PCs When Computing Power Is Needed .............................. 46
Using TVs for Media  Playing  ..................   .   . . . . . . .  . . .. . . . . . . . .  .47
Lowest Cost Media Viewing Solution  ........ ... .... ..... ............... 47
Listening to Music with TVs. ................... .. .  .  . . . ...... ... .....  49
Summary. . . . . . . .............. .  .  . . . .. ...... .............. ... ..  .   . 49
4  Getting the Right Networking Gear....................................... 51
Identifying the Gear That Fits Your Plan  .................................. . 52
Hubs ........................ ....................................  52
Routers  . .... ...  ... ....... ... ... ... ....... ....... ...... .......... 52
Understanding  Network Types ........................................... 54
Wired  Ethernet Network  ............................. ......  ....... .   54
Wireless  Networks  ........... . .   . . .. .. ..  . . . . . . . . ..... .. .. . 55
Power Line  Ethernet Networks  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......... .   .  .  . .  ..... . 56
Using  Other Network Solutions........................................ 58
Understanding Wired Ethernet Networking Hardware ................... 59
Understanding Wireless Networking Hardware ............................. 61
Putting the Plan into Action. ..... .  .  .  ...... .  ..... ........ ........ 67
Summary ............................................................ 67
II INSTALLING THE NETWORK
5 Adding a Network Router to Your Main PC ................................. 71
Getting Ready for Router Installation .............. ................ ....... 72
Identifying Your PC's Ethernet Connection ............. .......... .......  72
Finding an Ethernet Port on a Desktop PC  ................  .. ....... .... 72
Understanding Network interfaces on a Laptop........................... 75
Building a Digital Home Entertainment Network: Multimedia in Every Room
Installing Drivers for Your NIC . . .  ............ . ......... .... .......... .  78
Choosing  Ethernet Cables . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . ...........   . ..... ..   .  .  .......  79
Connecting a Router for the First Time .................................. 81
Using  an  Installation W izard  ........................... ..   ........ . 82
Web-Based Control Router Installation ...................... ........ .. 83
Step 1: Connect the  Router ................. ........ . . . . . . . . .  .  .  .  .   .  .   .  . 84
Step 2: Configuring Your PC to Work with the Router ...................... 86
Step 3: Configuring the Router ................. ................. ... 86
Step 4: Connecting to the Internet ........  .  .  ... . .  . . . .... ....... . . 87
Completing the Installation . ......... . .  . ..  .  . ......... . ...... .. ... ..  89
Working with Dial-up Internet Connections ................ ......... .   89
Adding Other PCs to the Router ...........  ... .. ......  .. .................. 89
Summary. .. .  .. ....................... .. ....  ..... ..... .....   ...... . 90
6 Securing Your PCs. ..... ......... ............................ .. ....... 91
Securing Your PCs ........... ........... .......... ...... .............. 91
Types of Security Threats. .... ...... ........... .  ... . ........... ... . 91
Viruses .......  .   ...   .. .   . ........ ........ .. ..... ....... ...... . . . .  92
Spyware  ..  ....  ........ ............... ... ....... ........ . ....... .  .94
Computer Invasion ........  .........  ................. . . ...... .  .  96
Using Common-Sense Security Measures ................................. . oo
Summary  .......................................... .. . ......... ....... .  o1
7 Securing Your Home Entertainment Network ............................... 103
Understanding Hardware-Based Firewalls ............................... 103
Firewall on Your DSL or Cable Modem. ............................. ..... . 104
Firewalls on Your Broadband Router ..................................... 1o6
Changing  Firewall Settings  ...... ........... .. ... . . ..... .  ...... ... . io8
General Settings for Firewalls  ...........  ..... ... . . . .. .  .. . .  . .....  . . 112
Securing a Wireless Network  ........... .......... ............ ......... . 113
Understanding MAC Filtering ......  .........  ..... .  .....  ..... .... 113
Understanding WEP  . ....  ...... . .. .  ... .. ....... . . . ..   ...... .... . 114
Summary  .   .......... ... ..... .......... . . ...  .............. .....  . ......  115
8  Adding Additional PCs to the Router .........................  . . .. .. .....  117
Connecting PCs to the Network  ........... ............. .... ........... . . 117
Establishing a Wired Connection ..   .  ... .....  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . . 118
Establishing a Wireless Connection ...... . ............... .  ........ ...... 119
Installing Wireless Adapters  . .   .. .   .  . . ..... ... .  .  .  . . . . . .  .. ....... . 120
Installing the Drivers and Software....... ........ .  .......... ....... 120
Adding a Wireless Adapter to a Desktop or Tower PC .................... 122
Adding a Wireless Notebook Adapter to a Laptop PC..................... 124
Adding a Wireless USB Network Adapter to a Laptop or PC ................126
Completing the Installation....... .................. . ....... ........ 129
Using the Wireless Network Utilities......................... .......... . 13o
Improving  Signal Strength  .............................  ........... . 131
Using the Wireless Network Utilities ...................... ......... ... 133
Using Wired and Wireless Connections .......... ...... .. . ... . ........ .135
Summary  ..   ....  .  .  .  .  .... . . . .. ... ... .. ..  .  . . ...  .  .  . ..... . 135
9 Adding TV and Media Extenders to the Network ........................... 137
Adding a TV Tuner Card to Your PC  ..... ... ................... ..... .... .   138
Installation on a Desktop or Tower PC ........... ........ .............  .139
Installation  on  a  Laptop  ....  ....... .. . .......... .. ... ............. .  142
Viewing Video on a TV from Your PC ......................... ............ 143
Making Audio Connections ............... .   .  . ....  .  .  . .  ... ............ 144
Using Media Extenders  ............ . .  .  .   ..... . . . .  ...... .... ..... . 147
Installing a  Media  Extender.. . .  ... . ... ............... ............. .. 149
Playing  Files on a Media  Extender ......................... ............ 151
Using a Media Center Edition Extender....... ....................... . . 153
Using Audio  Extenders ................................................ 155
Summary  ..................... ..................................... 156
to Limitations of Media Extenders on Wired and Wireless Networks ............. 157
Understanding the Different Types of Media Extenders ...................... 157
Bandwidth Issues with Video and Music Files .............................. 158
Using Photos Files with Media Extenders ................................. 161
Building a Digital Home Entertainment Network: Multimedia in Every Room
Comparing a Wired and Wireless Media Extender ......................... 161
Media MVP Wired Media Extender ........ . . . . ... . . ... .   ......... . . .. 162
Media Lounge Wireless or Wired Media Extender ........................ 168
Using Media Extenders Makes Sense .................................... 172
Overcoming the Limitations of Media Extenders ........................... 173
Summary  ....... ...... ..... .............. ....... .  ... ........... . ...174
III MANAGING A HOME ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK
ii  Sharing Files and Adding  Users .......................... .... ........... . 177
Adding Your Computers to the Network ................................... 177
Creating a Workgroup  .......... .. . . . .  ...... .... . . . .............. .  178
Adding Your Computer to the Network .  ........ ..... .................. . 18
Setting Up Wireless Networks ... .  ........  . . . .. .  .   ...... . ........ 181
Setting Up File Sharing on Each Computer ............................... 186
Sharing Drives on the Network .. ......... .....  ...................... . . 186
Sharing Files or Folders on the Network.................  .............  188
Saving Power with a Network Drive  .....  ....... ....... .  ... ..... .. .. o
Assigning Users to Your PCs. .. . ......... .. ......... .......... . .  . . . . .  . 191
Summary  . .  . . . .   . . ... ...... ....... ... .... .......... .  ..  . ........... .  ..194
12  Creating a Media Server Strategy .......................... . ..........  195
Creating a Media Server ...  . . . . .  .. . . . . . . . ....... ....   . . . .  . . 198
Managing Your Media Files and Libraries ................................ . 199
Recording TV  Shows .  .  . . . . . . . .. .. . .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  ..  .  .  .   .  .  .  .  .   . 201
Scheduling TV  Recordings. ................... ............. ... .   ..... .  202
Recording More Than One Show at One Time ......................... . 204
Watching and Recording Shows at the Same Time ....................... 204
Making the Move to Nonlinear TV. . .. ....... .....  ...... ..... .... 205
Deciding Who Can View  Files . . . .. ..................................... 205
Limiting File Access on Media Extenders .  ..... . .. . .. .. .... .. .....  206
Working with User Settings from Windows XP .......................... 207
Summary .. ................ .    ... ........ .......... ................ 207
13 Adding Media Content from the Internet ................ .. ....... .... .29.
Including Internet Access in Your Entertainment Mix ........ .............. 209
PC  Content Displayed  on TVs. ........... ........... ............  ..... 210
Using MSN TV  to Access Internet Sites ........... . ...  .  .  .  .   ........... . 211
Content from the Internet Using Media Extenders ...... ........... ......... 211
Finding Great Internet Media Content ......................... ............ 215
Finding  Music .................  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . .  215
Finding Videos, Rental Movies, and Enhanced TV  ................. ........ . 219
Adding News, Sports, and Weather to the Mix ............................ 222
Sharing Pictures from  the Internet ................. .......... .....  .. . . 222
Using Email on Your Home Entertainment Network ......................... 223
Thinking About Web Access  ................ . .  ......... . . . . .  ..  ...... . . . . 223
Summary  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..  .   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .224
14 Working with Portable Entertainment Devices ............................ 225
Working with Portable Audio Devices on the Network...................... 225
Working with MP3 Players and Hard Drive-Based Players ................. 226
Working with iPods .......... ...................................... . 228
Better Than MP3s: Portable Media Players ............................... 229
Pocket PCs Are Media Players Too....... .. .... . . . . ......  ..... .........   232
Getting Files from Digital Cameras and Camcorders ........................ 234
Moving Pictures from Your Digital Camera to Your PC ..................... 234
Getting Video from  Camcorders  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237
Attaching Network Printers . . . . . . . . .... ....... .  .  .  .  .  .   ... ....   . . . . . .... 239
Summary  .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ......... ......   . ............. . . . . .......... . 241
IV GOING BEYOND THE PC NETWORK
15 TV Sources: Cable, Satellite, Antennas, and DVDs ......................... 245
Deciding  on a TV  Source  . . ..... .....  ....... .  .  ... . .. .  ...........   245
Antenna  Reception. ..  .  .  .  .   . .   . ...  .  .  ...   .  ..   . . .  ...... .............. 245
Using  Cable  Service.   ............  ..... .  .. ............................. 248
The Sky's the Limit with Satellite ...... . . . ........ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..... 249
Building a Digital Home Entertainment Network: Multimedia in Every Room
Connecting a TV Source to a TV Tuner Card  ............................... 253
Making Standard Cable and Antenna Connections ....................... 253
Making Set Top Box Connections  ........ .. . .. .. ...... ... .. .. . . .... 254
Mixing TV  Sources in Your Home ... .. . .  ..............................   257
Managing Set Top Boxes from the Network ............................... 258
DVDs in a Home Entertainment Network ................................. 258
Summary  .  .............  .......  . .  .. ............  . . . . . . . . ......   259
16 Using Game Consoles, DVD Players, and Digital Video Recorders ............. 261
Connecting Game Boxes  . . . . . . ....... . .  .......... ....  ....  ... . . . 262
Sharing  the  TV  ................................... .   . .  .  . . . . . . . . .  .  .  .  .  .   .  263
Sharing  the  Audio  . . . . . . . . . . . . .................  ....................... . ......... 264
Sharing an Internet Connection with a Game Console ........ ............ 265
Xbox Media Center Extender . .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  ... .. .... .  .  .  .............  267
Working with DVRs (Digital Video Recorders) ............................. 269
Wireless and Networked DVD Players .................................... 271
Summary .......................... ..............  ..  .. . .  .. ... .. . 272
17 Programming Your Own Media Network.................................. 273
Planning Your Program  Schedule  .......................................  274
Creating Your Own Video Programs ...... ...................  ........... . 275
Producing  the Video  .. ... .  .  .   ... .  ...............   .. ..... .  .  .  .  ...... 275
Creating Your Own News Pages or Banners .............. .... ............ . 281
Creating Audio Messages and Radio Stations ............................. 283
Organizing Your Media Network ........................................ 284
Summary  ....  .......   .... . .   . ..... . . . . . . .................... .. 286
A  Resources...  .  ....... ........ ....... .............  .... .  ..... . . ... 287
Thoughts About the Digital Home................... ....................   287
Thoughts About Wireless Networks and Network Security ................. 287
Thoughts About Media-Centric PCs . ....  . .. . . .. ..  .  ..   ..... ...... .   288
Industry Standards for Wired and Wireless Networking ................... 288
Networking Hardware Resources ........... ... ......................... 288
Wired and Wireless Networking Hardware ............................. 288
Media Extenders  ............... ..  ........ ..................... . ... 289
TV Tuner Cards ... . . . . . . . . . ................. .............. 290
Networking Software ................... ... .  . .. .. ... ....... . . . ..  290
Firewalls, AntiVirus, Spyware, and Spam Protection .................. ... 290
Network Entertainment Guide Software .... ............................. 291
Electronic Program  Guides  ... ......... . . . ...  ................ .  . ...291
Online Movie Rentals ...................... .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . . . ....... ...292
Online  Music Sites. ......... ........... .... ....... .  ............... 292
Internet Radio Station Portals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ......... .   . . . . . .  . 293



Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Home computer networks Amateurs' manuals, Multimedia systems Amateurs' manuals