13 February 2010

Media Hardware

Hopefully the final post in this mini series about my Media PC trials (I’d much rather just be using it!). Most of the hardware in the PC is not particularly important. It’s an old Athlon XP on a micro ATX motherboard in an Antec Aria case if you must know :). The imporant parts are the Hauppage WinTV-NOVA-TD 500 with remote control and a wireless Emprex keyboard with built in trackball (you can get one from Amazon here).

The TV card contains two DVB-T tuners allowing us to record two different Freeview channels at once, plus a remote control which works with the provided software and also with at least MythTV and MediaPortal.

The keyboard includes a small trackball, which allows you to completely control a PC without needing an extra mouse. It runs on 4AA batteries and as a pleasant surprise comes with 4 Duracell batteries rather than the usual generic batteries that often come with electronics. The second pleasant surprise is that plugging in the USB dongle and fitting the batteries was all that was needed to get it working. I guess that the dongle must pretend to be a normal keyboard so the computer doesn’t need any special drivers to make it work. Whilst the trackball isn’t the best in the world it works fine, and given the low price this keyboard is great value for money.

[The links to Amazon on this page won’t cost you anything, but will make me some money if you buy through them]