Friday, 29 October 2010

Television and Music

Our intention is to constantly cruise the network but there will be days when we either can’t or don’t want to move.

We’ve already thought about keeping ourselves amused on wet and miserable days. Many of our favourite books are now in electronic format on our e-Book Reader. All the CD’s have been converted to MP3 format and stored on a hard drive. We’ve also converted all our DVD’s to AVI format and placed them on the same hard drive as the music files. The TV and hard drives will be connected to our Network Media Tank (NMT) which will stream the data on demand.  Our current NMT is a HDium Duo.  It is capable of holding internally a 3.5” SATA hard drive and can be linked to a maximum of two external hard drives.  There are also two internal TV tuner cards allowing us to record two separate TV channels simultaneously.  It has all the usual output sockets including the ability to join a wireless network.  It’s about quarter the size of a shoe box.

We intend to have a satellite dome fitted to the roof of the boat.

Camos 30cm Sat dome

30cm Camos in-motion satellite dome

The satellite dome will feed the TV via a set top box. We are still researching which digital set top box most suits our requirements.

The optimum position for viewing a TV is for the middle of the screen to be at eye height and most viewing is done whilst seated. I’ve calculated that the TV will have to be positioned almost 50/50 above and below the gunwale. A reasonable sized screen is also required to see the detail. Unfortunately in a narrowboat sitting opposite the TV means almost sitting on top of it. So we have decided to mount it on a swivel arm at the bathroom end of the saloon. It will be a 32” LCD flat screen and pull out from the wall at 70-80 degrees for viewing. This does create an obstacle if anyone wants to enter the bathroom. A compromise we will have to live with.

The bedroom will have a 15” ceiling mounted TV. It’s an automotive 12v TV and the screen folds up into the frame. The TV has suitable sockets to connect it to the rest of the entertainment network.  It will play a wide range of media formats which will be essential as we have converted all of our media data to compressed formats.

15 inch Ceiling TV

15” Car TV and DVD player

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