by Ken Sharp
Windows machine with at least 256MB of RAM (512MB is better), plenty of hard drive space, and a good video card.
TV and receiver presumably from your existing home theater system).
TV card I used a Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-250 card, $149 at hauppauge.com.
PC DVR software I used BeyondTV, which was bundled with the Hauppauge card, but is available from SnapStream separately for $70 at snapstream.com.
WinDVD I already had an old copy of this from my video card, but it's $50 from intervideo.com.
Winamp The standard Windows MP3 player, free at winamp.com.
VNC Remote PC access software, free at realvnc.com
SlimServer Lets your server stream music remotely through the internet, free at slimdevices.com.
Various game emulators Run console game ROMs, many free ones listed at zophar.net.
Playstation or Nintendo game controllers These work much better than PC gamepads for the price, and are available lots of places for $15 and up.
PSX/N64 to USB converter Lets you use console gamepads on the PC, $13 each at lik-sang.com.
Girder Automation software, $20 at promixis.com
Cygwin and server software Linux-like operating system, free at cygwin.com.
Dynamic DNS service Lets you connect to your home server using a fixed domain name if your broadband account allocates your IP address dynamically. I got this from dyndns.org.
The basic sequence of steps is:
Build the PC
Install the TV and receiver
Install the Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-250 card and BeyondTV
Install video, music, and game utilities
Install PSX/N64 to USB converters
Install and configure Girder
Install Cygwin and server software
Set up firewall and dynamic DNS service
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