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PC Based Home Entertainment Systems this was written in 2009, so much is true and still current.

e are in a revolution for home entertainment.

iPods, iplayers, online TV all major changes. Over the next few years you are likely to see even bigger changes in the way you watch television, films and listen to music. Richard Curtis’s last film never saw celluloid and was distributed by the Internet. Analogue television will be switched off leaving only digital. The BBC has taken over where ITV digital failed and in my opinion are doing a splendid job. Most people can now receive digital television.

So where does the PC fit into all this? We all know you can play CD’s and DVD’s did you
know you can receive analogue and digital TV through your computer? Well you can, if you live in a fringe area then digital may not be for you but not for long. If you install a digital TV card into your computer you can watch digital TV and listen to CD quality audio and radio, there are around 40 – 50 free to air TV and radio stations and more will join. Other advantages with some digital cards are the ability to pause live TV and record programmes in MPEG2 – the digital method of viewing moving images as JPEG’s are to still images – obviously this is subject to your systems ability.

We must all know, if not have heard of MP3 the music format. With your PC you can ‘rip’ CD’s to MP3 and then playback from your computer – you must keep the original copy of the CD for copyright reasons – Then you can playback by various methods including random or by artist etc. We offer a service whereby s1b.com can convert your old albums and cassettes to CD's , use the contact us link and request more information.  In addition to this s1b.com can convert Hi 8, Video 8 and VHS to DVD.

Lets take a look at what can be achieved with a PC:

·        Digital video card – Watch, pause and record TV and radio programmes. Some cards will allow you to capture video from VCR’s, standard or Hi 8 camcorders.

·        Display cards with dual heads or TV out – use your computer whilst watching TV on your TV.

·        Surround Sound card – Listen to DVD’s on your computer in glorious surround sound. With the line in facility you could record from mini disc or cassette, with a small pre-amp with what is known as RIAA equalisation you could record all your old albums, even Granny’s old 78’s – if your record deck can spin that fast!

·        Firewire cards – these allow the importing of digital video or DV from digital camcorders.

·        DVD burners – these are often supplied with DVD authoring software so you can easily create your own DVD’s with menus and still pictures. Just the job to send abroad to keep the family up to date. You could also create copies of your favourite TV programmes with your digital TV card, imagine recording all the Formula 1 races through the season, then watching it all again in the closed season. It’s also a very good way of backing up files, photos etc. One thing you will find out with digital pictures and movies is that they don’t half take up a lot of space.

·CD burners – Make your own compilations to listen in the car with you, remember you must have the original and it has to be for personal use. Incidentally DVD burners will burn CD’s. Many in car CD players will now play MP3 files allowing you to store several albums on one CD.

Think about this, your off spring is pestering you for a DVD / TV / Games console / CD player / Computer. Are you really going to buy all those separate items? By investing in a PC with some of the features mentioned above you’ll get much better value for money, admittedly you are limited to the number of things you can do at once but that’s changing and changing fast. The beauty of investing in a PC based system it that the money you save on all those separate components can go towards a fantastic flat screen display! Use the contact link above.