Updated: September 16th, 2012

The Idea

imageFor the past month I have been exploring options and building a perfect Home Theater PC for my 50” Vizio plasma. Besides the obvious, it has to play movies, youtube videos, etc, I had a few concrete goals in mind. Here they are:

  • it absolutely had to handle 1080P h264, specifically movies encoded using x264. An average movie size for this format is between 8.5 and 13 GB. There were 2 problems to overcome: the CPU had to be able to handle the decoding (my desktop dual core Conroe barely kept up) and the network had to be fast enough to stream in real time from my storage PC a floor away.
  • I needed to have the easiest

Updated: June 11th, 2015

When I was working in Radioshack 8 years ago, I remember selling the newest craze: gigantic wireless headphones that were awkward and bulky. The only thing you could do with them is pose as the Verizon guy, running around screaming "can you hear me now?" If you stood at the wrong angle to the receiver, the signal cut out, or even worse, terrible interference turned the most patient people into fiery monsters. I suppose the quality and size of wireless headphones improved over time but they're still unusable in real life because they're completely immobile.


Recently Logitech released a bunch of semi-compromises, like these FreePulse loop-around headphones for $79.99 with a questionable rating and OK reviews, mostly due to crappy …