Are you utilizing all the benefits of a “Smart TV” based home theater?

Do you realize you can save money and still enjoy a plethora of in-home entertainment?

Todd Budde, Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) with ThrottleNet, appeared on TNtv to discuss how you can reduce your monthly payment and still enjoy the home theater experience by using the latest available technology.

Budde said many popular devices exist to first turn most standard televisions into a Smart TV.

These include Amazon Fire TV and Firestick, Android TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Hulu Plus and Roku. They plug in to most TVs.

The devices are necessary for streaming video and subscription based services such as Netflix. Be aware that providers offer exclusive programming proprietary to their own devices. For example, items purchased from the Apple iTunes store can only be played on Apple TV.

The devices are relatively inexpensive. A top of the line Roku setup runs around $99 and Apple TV can run around $69. A PC for home theatre, such as a Dell Optiplex, can run several hundred dollars.

Budde said he has a PC in his living room that is placed in a box to look like audio/visual equipment. An HDMI cable is plugged into this home theater PC or media center, and connects to the television. He controls it with a Logitech wireless keyboard and trackpad that costs around $20.

He also employs a Logitech Harmony 700 Rechargeable remote. It is easy to setup and program and is recommended for anyone with two or more remotes.

Any PC will be sufficient as long as it has the right software. Budde uses Microsoft Windows software and the Windows Media Center to watch movies, listen to music, view photos and watch and record live television. All of these items are stored on a basement server.

To make it all work, Budde utilizes Internet from Charter and uses a cable card that provides basic cable services including live sports. This runs around $20 per month.

The cable card plugs into a device which connects into his home theater network. Budde said he spent $100 on the device. It allows him to watch and record live TV. He can watch and record up to three different programs.

Through this technology Budde was able to eliminate Direct TV, reduce expenses, and still enjoy all the benefits of home entertainment through his PC-based media center.

For additional information contact ThrottleNet at 866-826-5966.


Watch the full episode of TNTv below!