Posts tagged: media center

Node Zero 33 1/3 – The Final Install

Node Zero… Every respectable technology enthusiast has one, and so do I. It started all the way back in 2001 when I came across The Automated Home website and it’s associated mailing list. I knew nothing about home automation, audio distribution, video sharing, etc but was keen to learn and introduce at home (often with great resistance from SWMBO ;)).

Node Zero 2002So I build my first node zero to accommodate some of my servers in the garage and distributed the network from there into the living room. Due to the fortunate location of the garage being adjacent to the living room it is the ideal place to put stuff without worrying about the illusive WAF :)
You can’t really call the cupboard a node zero though, but if you closed the doors, at least it hid the cat5 wiring from the switch and modem it housed.

Node Zero 2004Flash forward to 2004 and with an ever increasing gadget count it was time to upgrade node zero. My dad is blessed with the carpentry gene and so with my instructions he set off to partition the garage in two parts where I reserved myself a shelf for the 2nd incarnation of my node zero. On the shelf my two TiVo’s and their satellite receivers were placed, followed soon by a Xbox Media Center, a scart switch and a Kat5 transmitter. The result: spaghetti junction all over again :(

So with an increasing demand on convenience and accessibility, I had to make amends. Bring on 2008 where my dad performs yet another masterpiece and creates a purpose build rack for me. The rack houses all my stuff, and with some space left at the bottom I even have room left for more toys! :D

Node Zero 2008

Find some more pictures in the gallery

Adding infrared to the Xbox

Xbox XIR Easy KitThe original Xbox makes, after a great games console, a fantastic versatile media player with the help of Xbox Media Center, or XBMC. You will need to chip or softmod your Xbox (there are a million guides/opinions on the internet so do some Googling) and a copy of the XBMC application. To fully appreciate XBMC, you also need to buy the DVD playback kit which allows you to control the Xbox using a remote control. The only problem is that Microsoft in its infinite wisdom decided that it doesn’t need the facility to switch the Xbox on remotely. As we are a generation of couch potatoes that is obviously not on!




Various solutions have been invented, but by far the easiest and most elegant one is the XIR Easy Kit, available from www.XIR.us. At $35.65 (£18.68 at today’s rate) it also makes it a bit of a bargain, so there really is no reason to fiddle with anything else.

You can read the pictorial here