Computer Help forum

General discussion

Community Newsletter Feedback

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / February 15, 2007 6:38 AM PST

Hi readers,

Typically every week with any given community Q&A topic, we receive anywhere from a few dozen submissions to more than a hundred from our members, but this week it was a bit strange--receiving only a handful of answers to Mike's question of how he can set up his PC to become a multimedia workhorse for his home theater.

So, I'm curious as to why there were so little submissions from you. Was it because the question from Mike was too vague or unclear? Was it a topic some of you folks just weren't interested in or simply a question you didn't have an answer to? I'm always looking to make this newsletter helpful and interesting to you, so if you can tell me what's on your mind, I would really appreciate it!

Thanks everyone!
-Lee Koo
CNET Community

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Community Newsletter Feedback
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Community Newsletter Feedback
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Just to start this off,
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 15, 2007 6:46 PM PST

I read the "Member Question of the week" each week and hope to find a question I feel I can contribute to. With last week's question, since I do not have a home multimedia system I knew I did not have any knowledge that I could talk about, so I left the question alone.


Collapse -
Why I didn't reply
by telya7 / February 18, 2007 4:40 AM PST

I just love reading so I can learn. I am not smart enough to have any answers, just want to learn from others.
I appreciate your column very much.

Thank you.

Collapse -
Home movie
by Savile Burdett / February 15, 2007 6:53 PM PST

The subject was of no interest to me,

Collapse -
Just not interested!
by ddingbat / February 15, 2007 6:55 PM PST

I know it can be done, I know it is what Msoft and others would like us to do, but for me the various separate devices work just fine. On top of that, using the PC as the heart of the thing assumes that everyone in the household would be happy and comfortable working that way. In my case, just not so. My wife is totally indifferent to PCs and computing in general and so making the PC the core of things would actually cut her off from many of the entertainments provided. Not a wise move!
Personally, I suspect this form of integration will continue to be a niche pleasure/need/desire, whatever the various manufacturers may want to think!

Collapse -
workhorse for his home theater.
by aaa11zzz / February 15, 2007 7:03 PM PST
In reply to: Just not interested!

If you are self-building a home theater from scratch, maybe having the computer (you know, it's that bunch of wiring and boxes the family nerd sits at every, and all, night.

However, if you buy a home theater complete, it begs the question (except for nerds and geeks): why bother?


Collapse -
It would just be a conversation piece
by k1dai / February 17, 2007 1:53 AM PST
In reply to: Just not interested!

Plus the fact that that you are operating too many devices at the same time to get one results. While individually you could operate them separately and get several results, Music, TV, Internet, etc. I guess that's what you are saying. Plus the fact that if there is only one individual doing one thing you are consuming too much energy running all these other things when you don't have to.


Collapse -
Sorry, Mike
by rrrgroup / February 15, 2007 7:18 PM PST

If your query would have been how to shovel snow without breaking your back or incurring cardiac arrest, we might have responded.

Who has time to convert a PC for entertainment nowadays, tech slackers?

Rich Reynolds

Collapse -
Shoveling snow
by beddog / February 16, 2007 5:48 AM PST
In reply to: Sorry, Mike

Amen Rich, those of us that have more important things to do with what time we do have do them. Computer with home entertainment system ? I don't think so. Must be someone with lots of time and money on his hands.


Collapse -
Home Media Centre using Mac Computer
by rafiki65 / February 15, 2007 7:25 PM PST

I like the idea of integrating my computer with my home media and do so in my den where I can listen to a wide variety of music, mostly through I-Tunes, and watch the occasional video.
However I would like to set the system up in my living room and enlarge it to include watching television - partly to cater for my wife's tastes. She tends not to use the computer.
I wonder if anyone out there can advise me on the best way forward?
Ideally I would like to buy a new Mac Pro in July when Leopard is due to 'pounce' and connect it to an LCD screen-say 24" or thereabout so that I can use my computer during the day and watch TV in the evenings with the family.
Is there a suitable screen and are there any snags I have not foreseen?

Collapse -
media integration
by Lawr38 / February 15, 2007 7:58 PM PST

I think there is so much fog around this issue that most folks don't know what to ask. I am a member of a PC club and the questions from our membership leads me to belive that the media mess is what it is. Does a house need a server? What is a server? I think I should wait for wireless 11N? What is wireless 11N? How can I develop an evolutionary plan that gets to to where I want to be, when I'm not sure where i want to be? I get good questions like why should I get a new TV to view Mpeg4 and how does this make sense with HDTV. What is the cable companies plan to get me didigtized? Should I get Direct TV?

OK enough, just my thoughts


Collapse -
mulimedia computer
by johannes koedood / February 15, 2007 8:10 PM PST
In reply to: media integration

i work now a wile with my pc doing dj and home partys but it is easy to do it as long you got the good parts like bmp4 home studio then you dont need mutch

Collapse -
There's been a generational shift
by capt36 / February 15, 2007 8:18 PM PST

Who has time to sit and watch mind-numbing content?
I have goals in my life, and being a couch potato with an ever increasing girth isn't one of them.
Too much to see, do, to many places to go see, live, in far too short a life.
I'd rather create my own adventures than watch some fantasy about fictional characters.

Collapse -
Home Theater Media Management
by drvazquez / February 15, 2007 8:18 PM PST

I personally do not have the skill to advise others regarding this matter. I am currently researching the subject and I have made a good start toward the goal of using a PC and home network to organize digital media and distribute the content throughout my home. Perhaps the CNET members who responded that they have no interest in such a project do not understand the utility of using a PC as a multimedia workhorse to run a home theater. Personally, I am drowning in digital media and I can't find the digital media I want easily with CD's, DVD's, jpeg photos and the like on chips, drives and optical media.

I have started the pursuit of this project by installing an 8 port switch in the attic of my 3 floor townhouse. I had my contractor pull a wire bundle from the switch box to any of the rooms where I wished to distribute the media. We pulled two RG6 wires, 2 cat 5e wires, and optical fiber in a bundle wound on a 500 foot spool that I purchased from Smarthome. I had professional help for installation of the switch and the termination at wall outlets. There are two cat 5e outlets in each outlet cluster.

Now that the distribution hub is in place and connected to the internet and a home PC, storage, management, and control of the media distribution comes next. My son handled his home theater by loading Myth TV software onto a Linux box dediated to his home theater. He is quite happy with this solution, but since he is a commercail Unix Administrator by profession. He has a clear advantage over many of us who do not have such talents.

I may use Beyond TV or some similar Windows based software to run a Windows based multimedia server, but I am fearful of the frequent crashes that Windows PC's have experienced. I also use a Mac comptuters, but Mac's appear to be bit behind the other OS's in this arena.

The magnitude of these projects can be daunting, and turn-key solutions such as controllers and systems installed by professional home theater consultants can cost a fortune. Now comes the issue of troubleshooting the system when it inevitably fails. The user better know how to do this or have a big check book balance to pay tech support for this service.

The one thing I know for sure is that I plan to use a dedicated PC for this multimedia purpose so that when it fails, I will experience only a digital media failure but I can still get work done on my other PC.

Collapse -
Home Theater
by vernl / February 15, 2007 8:27 PM PST

I was always afriad of messing things up. I need exact instrutions.

Collapse -
home theater
by jmilb / February 20, 2007 12:22 PM PST
In reply to: Home Theater

I have tried a number of different options to connect my pc to my home theater and non of them worked very well, I was hoping to find some in site into this subject but it sounds like very few people have a good luck with this topic.

Collapse -
PDA phones
by cmpulay / February 15, 2007 8:32 PM PST

I have been trying to keep up with ighest value for PDA phone..from treo750 to blackberry 8800 to htc 8525 to blackjack.

Why cant someone make THE PHONE PDA with the nice screen and ability to use one handed.

Plus the non mainstream OKO and mini PCs seem to be the answer

Your thoughts to let someone buy something that wont look outdated in 2 months

Collapse -
Too broad a topic
by DaveyBoe / February 15, 2007 8:38 PM PST

There are tons of specific choices to make when creating a machine like this. It goes over a lot of heads. When people ask me how I built a machine of my own and what is inside it, they usually fall out of the conversation by the time I describe the power supply. I think most people would want a good entertainment work horse in their homes once they saw what one set up well can do. But the specifics to set up an exsisting machine might be an unreasonable topic to cover. If I had it all over to do again, I'd just opt to buy a new machine already assembled and tested, plus I have someone to complain to if it didn't work. Besides, they are comperatively cheap nowadays.

Collapse -
Homw Entertainment Center
by bluetoad / February 15, 2007 8:39 PM PST

I was hoping to learn from the answers as I have no clue!

Collapse -
Lame and lazy question
by wysocki / February 16, 2007 2:31 AM PST

I agree that the topic was just too broad. It was like asking "how can I use my PC for my business?". There are tons of websites, forums, and software on the web that address this topic. Can you spell "google"?

Collapse -
by tomruffner / February 15, 2007 9:00 PM PST

I have tried several times to simply have my laptop be able to use my Sony 50" TV/Monitor as a monitor. It would seem a simple thing to do but I found that the TV will only allow limited resolution settings from the laptop. So while I have a widescreen toshiba laptop, my TV will only allow it to be viewed in "box mode so the picture does not fill the screen which is what I wanted so I could sit in bed and see the screen from 14' away. It has been very frustrating, I have purchased a few devices that were supposed to be a work around but did not work. So the long answer to your question is that there are simply to many things that need to be compatible to do this.

Collapse -
I have expertise in both fields....
by Watchingtheworldgoround / February 15, 2007 9:04 PM PST

I have a B.A. in Music and an M.M. as well as having been a systems engineer for 11 years. However any substantial knowledge of the fields in combination was lacking or had a large time gap making my advice outdated. Many musicians and audiophiles prefer MAC's to PC's in the musical realm. Unless the system is for a recording studio or professional use I'm not one of them however. I think for an entertainment system PC's will serve better.

Several years ago the idea of a multimedia system was experimental and meant having a clunky PC setup in the living room along with the low definition TV making working and playing two conflicting activities. It ruined interior stylistic aesthetics. Today it's quite possible to have one system that acts like a PC and stays in the office using it for its traditional purpose, while accessing it for it's purely entertainment capacities in the living room or den without sacrificing style. The aforementioned information was clear, but I didn't think I could do justice to the design.

I can give these two bits of advice. All the components necessary to do this have evolved to a advanced state except wireless entertainment units, especially since bandwidth requirements for lossless audio and ultra high definition video need far more than 54 megabits per second. A CAT 6, wired, 1 gig setup would do the trick and at least 100 BaseT. The idea of getting that same quality over the hum and variations of electrical systems is highly unlikely.

With only those two suggestions I couldn't offer much more advice.

Collapse -
Reply for Multimedia question
by barato56 / February 15, 2007 9:07 PM PST

I think problem is most people do not have multimedia computer and are not aware of watching TV using computer. Personally, I think this was for a person who has that kind of computer who knows what to do. I have a regular desktop, which majority of people do, so this kind of question I do not see any interest in.

Collapse -
Multi-Media PC
by murdockcnet / February 15, 2007 9:11 PM PST

I didn't reply to this question because:

1. I don't have a home media system.
2. My PC is used for software development and administrative tasks. If I wanted to have a home media system, I would probably buy a separate PC dedicated to this task.
3. I don't really believe that the PC is the best device for viewing movies and listening to CD's.


Collapse -
about CNET Q&A's
by cotton_candy / February 15, 2007 9:22 PM PST

I usually enjoy the Q&A's and learn a lot from them, but I never see the questiohns whn they are originally asked. Where do I find them?

Collapse -
No answers yet!
by gpetoukhoff / February 15, 2007 9:25 PM PST

Mike's question is on the bleeding edge right now. Don't think we have an answer least not all of it yet.

I just put up a Windows Media PC and upgraded my wireless router to the Wireless-N standard but have not found the last mile (ok 30 feet) solution, so I use the s-video output on my laptop - thanks Toshiba for putting an s-video jack on the front of your HD set. I have tested playing server based files on the laptop using the wireless and the network throughput was great. However I have to run the programs on my laptop so I can not remote control Media Center from the living room only play files on the server hard drive.

What we need is to be able to control the Media Center PC to combine the Tivo like functionality, play media from the hard drive, and be compatible with everything I own (Sounds like a Media Workhorse). HP and Lynksys just started marketing wireless media servers but have confused the marketplace with the O/S requirements, and Vista's release further complicates the matter. So much so the major chains do not even stock them. Reviews have not been great either saying that the media servers on wireless provided choppy playback, and are recommending a dual channel solution Wireless G and Wireless A or hard wired CAT 5 to the media server. How many home owners have pulled CAT-5 through their house?


Collapse -
No one is interested in doing that with their home computer
by Caddobob / February 15, 2007 9:27 PM PST

Microsoft has great plans for us to do so but no one is interested in doing that. Also, Microsoft's XP Multimedia Edition is just another Windows ME = "Microsoft Experiment" and doesn't work well from my experience so I stay away from it like we did with Windows ME (Millenium Edition).

It seems to me that there is enough specialized electronics out there to handle your home theater/multimedia needs that works a whole lot better and a whole lot simpler.

Collapse -
Multimedia no response
by soilwork99 / February 15, 2007 10:07 PM PST

I didn't even know what the question was. I don't know that I would've responded though, because there are so many possibilities for him that it would have taken a long time to type them out.

Collapse -
why no feedback?
by clownlady / February 15, 2007 10:08 PM PST

I didn't respond to this question as it isn't something that I'm even considering at this point in time, so the question wasn't pertinent to me.But thanks anyway...

Collapse -
Response to your question below
by steves145 / February 15, 2007 10:09 PM PST

You are posting a reply to: Community Newsletter Feedback
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) - 2/15/07 5:07 PM

Hi readers,

Typically every week with any given community Q&A topic, we receive anywhere from a few dozen submissions to more than a hundred from our members, but this week it was a bit strange--receiving only a handful of answers to Mike's question of how he can set up his PC to become a multimedia workhorse for his home theater.

So, I'm curious as to why there were so little submissions from you. Was it because the question from Mike was too vague or unclear? Was it a topic some of you folks just weren't interested in or simply a question you didn't have an answer to? I'm always looking to make this newsletter helpful and interesting to you, so if you can tell me what's on your mind, I would really appreciate it!

Thanks everyone!
-Lee Koo
CNET Community

I would like to do this also, but lack the knowledge of how to properly start it off and add the pieces for them to work together for replay etc. I think this is the problem with many of us. We use the pc as a pc and this is a little different. Also with High Def TV etc what twist does this add to this and the recording quality/playback

Collapse -
PC integrated into home theater system?
by Mean Spitfire / February 15, 2007 10:26 PM PST

I have no interest in this. A PC should be available for tasks even while a home theater system is in use. I see no point in a PC being enrolled in this. Like a cell phone is supposed to be used for communication, I really don't see the point of having all kinds of functions built into it, such as a cheap low resolution camera, a tiny low resolution screen for TV viewing, etc... Ditto for PC/home theater integration... unless of course one wants to impress the chicks.

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Help, my PC with Windows 10 won't shut down properly

Since upgrading to Windows 10 my computer won't shut down properly. I use the menu button shutdown and the screen goes blank, but the system does not fully shut down. The only way to get it to shut down is to hold the physical power button down till it shuts down. Any suggestions?