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Great application for the Pinnacle ShowCenter 200

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I just setup a Pluto Home system (smarthome + media server, plutohome.com, free open source). It’s really cool. It has a streaming movie server, music server, PVR. Plus it does home automation and controls a/v equipment too. There’s only 1 problem…

You designate 1 PC to be the server; they call it the core. It exposes a network boot image for any other PC in the house, so your PC becomes dual purpose—normal PC, or net boot and it’s a set top box. You control it with Bluetooth mobile phones or web pads. And all the set top boxes in the house work together. Your media even follows you as you move from room to room if you keep the phone on. The problem is I don’t have enough media PCs for all the rooms in my house, and buying a full PC for each room is too expensive. Plus there’s no video cards for the PC that have component video output—which is the only way I can get HDTV into my TV.

The Pinnacle seems perfect as a media director. Right now, you can’t do a lot with it. But if it worked as a media director, it would be part of a whole house solution that did everything. I could even use the Pinnacle’s menu to turn on my sprinklers if I wanted. Plus, since Pluto gives it a network boot image, space is no longer an issue—all the software could be stored on the main server. And the ShowCenter 200 has component video and it’s silent.

Does anybody have an idea if it would be possible to use the ShowCenter 200 as a media director like that, doing a network boot? Then I could just buy a few of the Pinnacles rather than having to buy regular PCs.

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