HOW TO: Build A Great Media Center for Your Home

Posted on September 05, 2010 / Resources

Who Needs Expensive Comcast?

Since Comcast is so expensive and I barely watch TV to justify the costs, I've spent the past few months building a great media center for my place that's been pretty kick ass. I've got all the movies, shows, videos that I can imagine.

Find a Sweet TV

First things first. You need a TV. If you don't have one get one. You can find deals all around, I find stuff on, and more. Look around and you'll find something good, I promise.

Put that TV on the Web with a new (or old) Computer

Next, get a computer to hook that sweet new TV you got. I opted for a Mac Mini. It's not as expensive as a mac and it provides all the power you need, plus a DVD player! Boom! Also, I think XBMC (see below) only works on intel based Macs, but I could be wrong.

Steam Movies with Netflix (legally)

Once you've set up your TV and hooked up your new Mac Mini you can watch anything on your TV through your computer. I'm a fan of Netflix, so I purchased a minimum monthly subscription (approx $9 per month) and now I can steam movies and TV shows straight to my new TV.

Stream Movies and Shows with TVShack (illegally, but eh)

The problem with Netflix, though, is you only get movies that are on video. What about movies currently in the theather and TV shows? That's what is for. Yes, it is a pirate site. But that's acceptable, I think. Anyways, if you already watch TvShack then you'll know that the best movies are hosted on Unfortunately, MegaVideo limits the amount of video you can watch without an account, so I opted to purcahse a 2 year membership for $80. Too expensive? Seriously? It's $80 for two years!! Two years of free shit!

XBMC Takes Your Media Center to a New Level

Now with TVshack you can find the movies or shows you want to watch and you can stream them over MegaVideo's premium servers. That's not where it ends though! XMBC is a media center that makes everything even more kickass! Download the free program, install it and set up your new MegaVideo account in there. Then you can add TvShack as a plugin and watch all the videos and shows through there without the annoying adds of TvShack.

Now with all that setup, you can watch unlimited shows and movies with XMBC and TvShack. Also, XMBC has some great other features, see this article by LifeHackerfor further information