There are several kinds of media servers available on the market that you can purchase at multiple price points, but why buy something that you may already have the capacity to develop from that old PC that’s sitting in your house right now? Media servers are great to have for a multitude of reasons, including many functions that you may otherwise rely on your cable box for, like recording television programs.
Sound intimidating to you?
It’s not! And we can help.
There are a few basic things that are required in order for your old PC to be turned into your new media server. First, your old computer needs to have at least 2 GB of RAM available and an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 Ghz or better. In other words, it can’t be too old or too full of data to make the conversion. Second, you must have a network connection, which can be either wired or wireless. Third, you have to have something to play your media on after connecting the server. This can be a monitor, a television, or even some mobile devices depending on which type of service you go with. Finally, it really is best if you have some version of Windows running on the computer.
Four basic services exist to choose from when it comes to converting your PC to a media server. The first and the easiest to install is Windows Media Center, which is part of Windows 7 that you may already have installed on your old PC. The essential functions of recording, pausing, and replaying television are easy to use, and Windows Media Center easily interfaces with your existing cable connection. In my opinion, Windows Media Center is the simplest way to use your old PC as a media server.
There is one big drawback to using Windows Media Center as compared to the three other services I will mention: it can only play to your television or PC. The other three server services will all interface with your mobile devices, too. Though these other 3 options all have a bit more of a learning curve, they aren’t so difficult as to count them out altogether. Plex, Pogoplug PC, and PlayOn all will connect with a variety of mobile devices so your media is readily available without having to migrate in front of a larger screen.
Once you transform your old PC to a media server, you won’t want to go back. Let us help you make the process smooth and simple. Soon you’ll be storing and enjoying your media on your old PC and you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.