Building A Budget Media Box
Most people have a friend with all the expensive entertainment gadgets under the sun, with smart TVs, streaming devices, and loads of other techy products which are the cause of a lot of envy. This sort of setup can often look incredibly futuristic, making watching TV look even easier than it already is. But, there’s no need to spend a fortune to get this sort of tech into your home. Instead, you just need to find the perfect alternative; a regular computer. To help you out with this, this post will be going through a basic guide to help you to build and use your own TV media box.
- The Parts
The basic framework for this sort of job should be another computer. Preferably, the computer you choose will have a standard motherboard and socket, enabling you to swap and upgrade parts in the future. Along with this, having a case with enough space for a modern graphics card could also be very helpful. Most people will want to transplant their media PC into a case which is more suitable for a TV stand than the one it comes in. To do this, you can follow a simple guide which will teach you how to build a PC. Of course, though, you could just keep the old case.
Of course, you can’t just pick any PC from the junk heap and expect it to work well enough to run your media. Instead, you need to do some research. Processors and other components have changed a lot over the last few years. For this reason, it’s best to aim for a system which is less than five years old. A quad-core CPU shouldn’t be too hard to find, along with 8 to 16 GB of DDR3 or higher RAM. Along with this, you could also consider picking up a secondhand low-power GPU, like an Nvidia GTX 750ti or GTX 1050.
- The Software
With a computer ready, you can start to think about the software you’re going to load it up with. To start, you’re going to need an operating system to get your machine running, but Windows will be out of the question for most. Instead of paying the price for Windows 10, you can download and use a wide-range of different Linux distros for free. Modern software will work with most of these operating systems, and there may even be exclusive features you’ll welcome, like the ability to mod and change the OS.
- Using It
Finally, it’s time to find a way to make your media machine match the grand level of luxury you find in modern smart TV systems. To do this, a system like Unified Remote can be used. With apps for most mobile and desktop operating systems, this software gives you the chance to control your computer from your phone, and you just have to be on the same connection. Watching shows like FLCL and Bleach will be nice and easy, as you have access to all of the streaming sites across the web if you use a VPN. This sort of feature is never found on expensive alternatives.
Hopefully, this post will give you an idea of the work you’ll have to do to get yourself set up with a budget media PC. A lot of people don’t bother with this sort of work, thinking that they are better off buying a pre-built product. But, in reality, you won’t get more for your money that way, and you’ll have to spend a lot more to do it.