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Where can I get the answer to my technology dreams?

(36 Posts)
Hathor Fri 02-Jan-09 16:07:38

OK geeky gurus, is this possible?

I would love to get rid of all cluttery stuff like CDs/DVDs/stacks of silver-coloured plastic gadgets / TV/ music players / PC in the house and just have a wall-mounted flat screen that shows TV / PC / photos / videos / plays music / games / broadband / email / records TV programmes / radio / phone / internet phone, etc.

Everything techno in one neat place. The rest of the room an oasis of minimalism.

Am not a techy person, so I need to know how is this possible?
Is it too expensive for a normal person to even think about?

If you don't know the answers, do you know a techy forum where they might?

Hathor Fri 02-Jan-09 16:21:50

I see more people are able to advise on the bidet thread than this one. That is an attractively easy one to have an expert opinion on.
But... any MN techno-philes?

AMumInScotland Fri 02-Jan-09 16:29:56

I don't think anyone has invented a screen with all that built in yet, but you can get flat screens which you could run a laptop through and also display photos on -mine has a slot for a photo card. But you'd still need some separate gadgets.

navyeyelasH Fri 02-Jan-09 16:30:10

you sort of could do it. But on the tv pc front I think you'd need to keep them seperate. How big is your current computer screen? How big is your TV? Where would you put you mouse and keyboard etc.

Would be against seperating computer and tv?

morningpaper Fri 02-Jan-09 16:32:16

you could do it but would need to be an uber-geeky spod to do so

whomovedmychocolate Fri 02-Jan-09 16:32:48

You can get an integrated HD disk which does all that except radio (though it does do internet radio) and it only does skype/internet phone. But they are hideously expensive (£10K ish). Is that the sort of thing you are thinking about?

Hathor Fri 02-Jan-09 16:32:54

I reckon a 32inch TV screen on the wall, with a desk/cabinet in front of it, containing a keyboard, and any extra techno-boxes - players gadgets needed.

Just trying to find out what is possible.

morningpaper Fri 02-Jan-09 16:33:49

Your best bet is probably Sky Plus type thingy with a flat-screen TV

MP3 all your CDs / photos / games and put them on one small laptop

that would do it really

JackieNo Fri 02-Jan-09 16:33:50

How about Windows Media Center? Might that work?

Hathor Fri 02-Jan-09 16:34:40

10K <faints!!>
Am distinctly under-geeky spod.
Was thinking more what can be done for a bit less than the price of a new car.

AMumInScotland Fri 02-Jan-09 16:35:57

We are able to plug a laptop into the TV and attach a cordless mouse and keyboard to control it from the sofa, so that would cover games, internet, email. It could also play DVDs and music CDs through the TV. You wouldn't be able to record TV shows though - you'd still need a Tivo or Sky+ or Virgin box for that.

morningpaper Fri 02-Jan-09 16:36:37

I do have a chum with this sort of arrangement

but he has an entire ROOM of gadgets to power it grin

I would separate the TV stuff - and just get a small laptop for all the music stuff with a compact amp/speaker for moozak

Hathor Fri 02-Jan-09 16:37:06

Could the TV screen also be a PC screen with a kind of docking station for laptop / MP3 players etc?

Could digitise all the CDs/photos/etc
<though would be 5 years work>

whomovedmychocolate Fri 02-Jan-09 16:38:57

Yeah you do need a server room to do it - Morningpaper is right. Suggest false walls and/or a man shed would solve your problem if you are technology agnostic and want to have it all but not see it. Mind you you may not see your partner either if you follow this route wink

Hathor Fri 02-Jan-09 16:39:43

AMum - that sounds interesting - is it neat and reasonably priced and reasonable quality?
Want to minimize the techno-clutter into one area.
MP - TV and laptop also sounds good idea - presumably could plug laptop into TV screen?

RustyBear Fri 02-Jan-09 16:39:55

Problem with that kind of minimalism is that if it goes wrong, you lose everything....

AMumInScotland Fri 02-Jan-09 16:40:24

If you bought a TV with a PC input, you could easily run the laptop through it, with or without a docking station, but you'd still need the cordless mouse/keyboard as the laptop would be too close to the screen to use the ones on it easily.

Hathor Fri 02-Jan-09 16:40:43

Server room?
<faints again!>
Would need larger house.

TheArmadillo Fri 02-Jan-09 16:40:48

you could display everything on one screen - but you'd need all the gadgets seperately, though some would combine.

E.g. pc could be used as a pc but also to display photos, play music and film, broadband, email, radio, internet phone, possible even something even like freeview and recording shows (though you;d have to check on that). You could also play pc games on it - but you'd still need seperate games console, speakers/sound system for the actual sound for music/film, phone would probably be seperate. If you had all hooked up to one screen you would be looking at switching boxes (i.e. like a basic scart switch depending on which you were using) which can be a pain and also storing the gadgets out of sight but somewhere you can still have access to them to switch on/off.

Also consider size of screen - what would be good sized screen for tv/films would prob be too big for word processing documents.

Also you would not get e.g. the best sound or the best tv etc through one system, you would be compromising. Also consider upgrading - the problem with an all in one system is that rather than upgrading the one part you need you will be having to fork out to upgrade an entire system. If something goes wrong you may be looking at replacing the entire system and losing access to everything rather than a single component, or not using one part.

Any all in one system that has been built will probably cost a huge amount of money.

AMumInScotland Fri 02-Jan-09 16:42:28

Our TV was pretty expensive, but it's a 50 inch one.... It's a Panasonic one, I think you can get the PC input on their smaller ones too. The laptop was about £300 from PC World, nothing special. Then about £40 I think for the cordless mouse/keyboard setup.

AMumInScotland Fri 02-Jan-09 16:45:02

In fairness I wouldn't want to use the TV screen for the PC for very long at a time, as I find it hard on the eyes. But if you want to send a quick email or keep an eye on MN it's fine grin

RustyBear Fri 02-Jan-09 16:45:04

Also remember if Mumsnetting on a screen hung on the wall, you will not be able to moan about DP/DH or any DCs that can read withour them seeing...

Hathor Fri 02-Jan-09 16:47:15

OK, so I should keep TV/PC separate - perhaps a TV screen on wall, and (smaller) PC screen on desk nearby.

All media digitised - and backed up on external hard-disk (OK Rusty?). So no need for DVD / CD players.

All gadgets in cabinet below desk. - what exactly? PC hard-drive / games console ?

Speakers on wall somewhere.

Sounds easy in theory.

Hathor Fri 02-Jan-09 16:48:52

DP/DC could go in the server room and serve tea grin

Was thinking more of family type PC activities / email / etc. The PC screen could show home vids and photos couldn't it.

Hathor Fri 02-Jan-09 16:50:26

Oh thanks for all the ideas.
Am becoming an uber-geek I think I will spend this evening googling all your suggestions for prices. smile

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