Thursday, October 20, 2005


Was reading javajane's blog about BitTorrent and thought I might comment. While BitTorrent works fine for what it is there always seemed like a lot of steps to go thru and there were so many caveats along the way, the spyware/adware at nefarious websites and the like.
But there has been and will continue to be postings of films, music, television shows, and everything else under the sun in the Usenet newsgroups. Not that I advocate downloading copyrighted films etc, however...
Forgot to tape/DVR last night's LOST episode? alt.binaries.multimedia probably has it. With a cable internet connection that puppy can be yours in less than an hour*. Now... how to watch it.
What? Don't have a multimedia PC hooked up to your TV? Stop and consider an HTPC (Home Theater PC) for a moment. For about $600 you can have a PC (rather than that set-top DVR you keep paying for) that records TV, pauses TV and does all that stuff the DVR does, but also browses the web, allows you to listen to streaming audio (Generation 80s naturally..) and even play games on that gigantic screen you've got wasting away in the other room while you mess about on your PC.  One could also download HDTV quality versions of their favorite shows* for when they get that awesome 60" HD plasma.
*keep in mind, however, all of this is still illegal, best just to put the PC together yourself, get HDTV quality cable and record the shows.
I've got an AMD 2100+xp, 512meg RAM, Radeon 7000, with a Happauge WinTV card, running Windows XP Professional and it's recording shows for later viewing. My wife loves to watch Rachael Ray's cooking shows and even... the Brady Bunch.
Here's some links for those interested.
PCAlchemy - the source for HTPC


  1. MBurke, thanks for all the mad props on your site and the suggestions for turning a PC into a complete HDTV multimedia center. I'll have to look into that in the future. I have never used BitTorrent (like you said, seems like a lot of trouble), but I know it's a popular P2P client, so I figured I post an article of interest. I don't think most users realize that BitTorrent doesn't hide your identity at all, so anything you download that needs a license? "They" see you!, hence tying into why Hollywood Loves BitTorrent. Cheers!

  2. Yup... usenet can be anonymous if one uses anonymous servers etc, however folks gotta realize that there's a multitude of ways net connections can be identified. Don't do anything on the net you wouldn't do in person.

  3. Re4med6:24 PM

    I prefer my Tivo recording two shows while I watch one on the television and my kids watch one on the PC being streamed across the network. Do that with your overpriced Windows box :)

    Oh, and bittorrent works quite easily. You install the helper app, click, and it downloads.

  4. You can do that with an overpriced windows box, you simply need an extra capture card... adding about $100 to the price. That said, I like listening to mp3s on my "overpriced windows box" that are stored on another pc in my home connected via wireless networking and occasionally listening my pastor's sermons that are available online.

    Do that on your TiVo.