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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Image courtesy 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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