Okay, so usually we’re not covering the topics of technology but sitting here with my MacBook, iPad Mini and iPhone 5s, hot-desking next to an iMac and listening to Christmas tunes on Spotify, it seems that technology is all around me. So I’m going to hand over to Kathryn Ward who can tell you all about bringing digital TV into your home this year…
In the recent past, computers and home entertainment systems existed as separate entities. But now, thanks to advances in technology, it is possible to connect your PC with every imaginable form of media, into a single, seamless entertainment setup. Providing you have a decent computer, a good broadband connection and a wired or wireless home network, you can discover and enjoy digital TV and a host of other media from the comfort of your own home.
‘Tis the season for giving, so why not treat the family to digital TV available from Virgin Media, as well as films, music and games, all of which can be enjoyed from a single screen backed up with a state-of-the-art surround-sound speaker system.
Did you know that it’s now possible to access over 200 channels, including 51 in HD without having an ugly satellite dish tacked onto the outer wall of your house? From Sky channels to 3D films and live pay-per-view events, digital TV can now be in your home, as if by magic, via fibre optic cables. As a result, there’ll be no more cries of boredom from the kids this winter and, if there are family arguments about what to watch, you can record up to three programmes at any one time while you watch another, thanks to a nifty little box. You can monitor what your children watch by making use of parental control settings – lock channels with a PIN, set age restrictions and block access to over-18 services such as games, gambling and adult channels.
Then add a host of high-end devices to your arsenal – the addition of your PC, digital video recorder, video game system and stereo will enable the family to play high-definition video games, listen to music, use the internet, shop online or chat with friends, taking advantage of superior video and sound.
The setup process is pretty simple. You’ll need to make sure you have a network router because your network is the lynchpin of the operation and if high-definition media is what you’re after, then speed, range and bandwidth are key. A dual-band router provides enough bandwidth for checking email at the same time as streaming high-definition video. If you live in a palace however, you’ll need to extend the range of your network and enhance the wireless signal so that it reaches the remoter areas of the house or garden.
Once your network is configured, consider the media you’re going to be accessing – it’s probably best to use a network-attached storage (NAS) device to store all your files in one place and avoid clogging up your computer’s hard drive. Finally, to deliver entertainment to the whole family, a simple media player can extract content from your network and the internet straight to your TV screen – just connect the box into your HDTV and configure the wireless access. You can also transfer media to the box by plugging in a USB stick or memory card and access programming streamed from the internet.
Create your home entertainment network today and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to access high-quality audio and video media from any device, anywhere in your house.
All images courtesy VW+BS