Media Center Requirements

These are the things I want to get out of my media center. Note that the goals change as time goes on, and with changing requirements comes changing hardware, software, and network.

  • Access to my movie collection: I want to be able to get to all of the movies and TV shows in my collection. I’m not terribly concerned with keeping the menus and extra featrues, but I do want the full audio track and video without noticeably reduced fidelity. It would be nice to be able to access movies from outside my home, but the only firm requirement is internal access.
  • Access to my pictures: I want to be able to see my family photos from a place outside my home office where the computers generally sit. It would be nice to access these from outside my home, but the only firm requirement is internal access.
  • Access to my music: I want to be able to get to all of the music in my collection from any room in the house. It would be nice to be able to access music from outside my home, but the only firm requirement is internal access.
  • Family acceptance factor: I want my wife and daughter to be able to navigate through the system and find what they want to watch or listen to with minimal effort.
  • High device compatibility: When choosing media formats, software, communication protocols, etc., I want things to be compatible with as many devices I own as possible. I have a large number of devices ranging from Xbox 360 to iPad to Android phones.
  • Disaster recovery: I want to be as resilient to disaster as possible. If a hard drive dies, I don’t want to lose data. If my house burns down, I want to minimally save family photos, but additional things backed up is good.

I have specific goals for other things listed on other pages.