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Digital Media Player Tips for Finding the Ideal Media Player for Your Home

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Roku 2Buying a Home Media Player for your home can be very challenging. There are a wide variety of formats, and discovering your missing a critical one after buying can be very disappointing. You also need to make sure you have all of the connectors you will need for your home theater system. Nothing is quite as frustrating as getting your home media unit unpacked, and not being able to connect it, or play the movies you want to watch. Here is a list if important things to consider when choosing a HD digital media unit for your home.

1. Make sure your home media player matches your home network. Do you need a wireless media system, or is your home wired with network connections? Your HD digital media system will use the same network you use for sharing the internet with other family members.

2. Are you only going to watch media you store on your home media player? Some newer models will allow you to watch YouTube, NetFlix Movies, and other streaming feeds from the internet. An HD streaming media player gives you more flexibility for your entertainment. A media streamer allows you to watch all of your favorite video streams, without using your PC. Media streaming is also critical for any video on demand systems. You will not be downloading the video, you will be streaming it from their servers.

3. One critical component to any home media player is storage space. Is the storage built in, or will you be using external USB drives? Some digital media systems also work with network attached storage, allowing you to keep you hard drives away from your TV, safely stored in another room. Make sure you have plenty of storage. You will possibly want terabytes of storage, instead of gigabytes.

4. Connections is another critical piece to the puzzle. For your big screen TV you will want to have a HDMI video connector. Look for the SPDIF protocol for the highest quality digital audio for your surround sound system. If you have an older television you want to make sure the home media player includes composite and component outputs.

5. You want to review the different formats you can play on the digital media player. Don’t settle for a limited set of formats, you need a wide range of capability to guarantee your satisfaction. You’ll want support for AVI, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, VOB, H.264, X.264, MOV, and WMV files. If you have any special video needs, make sure to check on them. Your home media system is not only for movies, but also should support photos, and audio. Check for these photo formats, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, and PNG, for the widest support. On audio you will want support for MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, DTS, and possibly a few more.

6. Make sure your home media player is going to seamlessly work with your various pieces of gear. Check to see if you can plug in your camera to transfer pictures. Consider the ease of access from the PC’s in your home. Review the interface for using the digital media system in your entertainment area, to make sure you’ll enjoy working with it.

As you can see, just running to the store and buying the first Home digital media player you see is not a great idea. You need to do a little homework, and make sure to fill all of your important requirements. When you select the right system, you will have years of enjoyment. With the wrong system, you’ll wonder why you ever spent the money. Choose wisely, and enjoy your new entertainment experience with your home media player.

Check out all of our media streaming and Smart TV products in Home System Integration‘s online store

About the Author

Tom AbellPut simply, Tom loves technology! Having been involved in the IT world since leaving the US Navy Submarine Force in 1992, Tom has moved his way up to the top as an IT Systems Engineering. But having spent some time in the Home Automation industry early in his career, he’s never been able to shake his love for creating integrated Home Technology environments and has been running HTPCs and Windows Home Servers for years. With 17 years of IT Systems Engineering experience, Tom's recent OIF 08-09 deployment has rekindled his love for the Connected Home Industry and hence, the website. We hope you like the site, please share it with your friends and follow us on your favorite Social Networks! Read more about Tom on the "About Us" page.View all posts by Tom Abell

  1. Sundog Home Systems
    Sundog Home Systems02-27-2012

    These are great tips to keep in mind when buying a home media system. The biggest issue I see usually is the video or audio format won't play. So, that is probably one of the most important tips. Great post!

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