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I am hoing and humming whether it is worth it as it has to be connected to my cable internet and then through my TV and a price of $700.00 in Aus and you carn`t delete the adds as I heard you can in the U.S. and with the hundreds of DVD`s I have and all the cable and free to air channels I don`t have any time to watch any more after argueing with members on the Ridgid Forum.
So I've had a working DVD juke box for the last couple of weeks and today for the first time I've seen TV on the system using a Firewire connection to my cable box. Some budget overages and lessons learned:
1) You need a keyboard for a computer to be useful. For your living room wireless is much better. Budget overage: $50
2) A remote is much friendlier than a keyboard. Microsoft makes both excellent keyboards and remotes: Budget overage: $30.
2) Buy a Zalman CPU fan, you'll want something quiet. Budget Overage: $50.
3) The DVI interface on my Panasonic 36" Tube TV isn't very good. Solution a VGA to HDTV converter. Budget Overage: $72
4) A Firewire card is a cheaper alternative to a capture card, at least for playing around. Budget overage: $26. UPS actually made just as much as Newegg on this. $10 card, $7 shipping. Darnit. Forgot the cable, $3 + $7 shipping. Still less than 1/2 the price of a local store.
5) There was a buzzing underneath all the sound. $15 better quality mini-> RCA cable makes no difference. $66 for a USB sound card corrects it; but now the mute button on the remote doesn't work.
This gets added to the cost of $410 for the basic system; and works out to $704. The only costs I would like to have done without are $20 for the original CPU fan, $10 for extra SATA cables I didn't need, and $15 for the RCA converter cable. I also would have liked to be more efficient with my shipping charges, but I ended up basically solving the most pressing problem as I ran into it.
The budget for the system was $700, so I didn't do too bad. That budget did include a capture card though, which is about another $100; which I can do later.
My TiVo started acting up (pausing and unpausing on its own) a couple of weeks ago. It is downstairs and my wife only had a receiver in her upstairs sanctuary (we have Directv.) So, I call Direct as I had already been considering an upgrade to 100 recordable hours and hdtv on the downstairs and get one for my wife as well.
After explaining to the customer service they say "Sir, you have been a customer for a long time (6 yrs) so you are eligible to receive a free upgrade for both units. And guess what, it really was free, except for the $40 I paid the tech to run the 2nd cable upstairs since both units have the dual function. They only asked that I keep the service for another year (as if I was going to change.) No problem there, buddy.
The charge per month is only $5 for both units. Same as I was already paying.
"Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain
I think the biggest motivator for the roll-my-own solution is storing my kid's DVDs on the hard disk. After about 6-12 months, most of them become unplayable due to handling by little hands. This way, there are no physical disks to handle and get damaged.