Archive for the ‘Home Media Center’ Category

This past weekend I finally managed to find a Nintendo Wii. I have to say that the control scheme is pure genius. Being able to play golf, tennis, bowling, etc. the same way you do in real life is fantastic. The best part about this new system is my wife is totally hooked. Not since bringing home Tivo 6 years ago has she loved one of my tech gadgets so much. And just like when we got Tivo, she may end up being one of the Wii’s biggest advocates.

As I’ve played with the system more, there is one thing I’d love to see Nintendo do. That would be opening up the Wii channels to third-party developers. The Nintendo channels which range from useless, the new voting channel, to fun, the news and weather channels, can be good but it’s unclear if Nintendo will continue to make them better. For example, I’d like to see the weather channel provide more information such hour-by-hour or at least day-afternoon-night forecasts. Does Nintendo plan do make these channel better or do they consider them finished once they are available to all customers? I’d also love to have a media center channel that connected to by NAS (file server). Right now I’m experimenting with using the Wii browser for this but a channel would be more user friendly. The photo channel has potential but is limited by its SD card requirement.

Nintendo has the potential for a huge hit here but I don’t think they can accomplish this on their own. Hopefully they’ll open the system up to third party developers who can make this system really shine.

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Nice comparison of Apple TV vs. Mac Mini. I need a way to get my photos, archived DVDs, home movies, and music to my HDTV from my home network but I’m not convinced the best solution is available just yet. I was hoping the Apple TV would be the answer but I’m back leaning toward a Mac Mini…while hoping that it gets another spec bump to better handle HD recording. For now, I’ll wait and see what comes of the Apple TV. Once the reviews file in and the hackers come out with some enhancements it may make the answer more clear cut.

In the end, it doesn’t have to be Apple, but it has to have slick UI, support multiple file formats (VIDEO_TS,DivX,etc.), and be easy to use. Other nice to haves that may push me toward my final purchase would be HD recording, TV show archiving, and web. Hopefully an affordable solution will present itself in 2007.

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