The Lazy Geek's Guide to a Home Media Center

Apple TV and iTunes let you fulfill the digital entertainment dream, especially if you add an iPad to the mix.
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Credit: Reuters

The digital home media center has arrived

Geeks have long dreamed of digital home entertainment centers, with their music, movies, and more all available at the touch of a button, without the mess of CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes. But the technology hasn't worked well, despite a brief experiment by PC vendors with home media PCs, the rise of network-attached storage, and utilities like Plex. The many pieces typically didn't really fit.

That's changed, thanks to Apple. You can now put together a digital media center with the $99 Apple TV at its heart, with iTunes as the engine that powers your media, and AirPlay as the protocol that brings mobile devices into the action.

P.S. For a great guide to AirPlay and Apple TV, check out Ben Harvell's book "iConnected."

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