Streaming media files from an on-line source will definitely offer variations of movies, TV shows, just as like media files that can be either rented or even watched for free. You can download these media and then have them saved on your personal computer.
Having media files saved onto your hard disk or a removable disk is a good idea as there might be instances when an on-line service could potentially cease. For instance, if you buy movies from a source that stores the files on-line (or on a cloud-based file storage) and the service unexpectedly stops, you would definitely lose the files that you purchased. However, if the files have been saved to your pc or a usb, then you will always have access to them.
Another good reason why you need to save your media files locally is to lessen the possibility of having your copy streamed by others as well by hackers. In addition to this, if ever your on-line bandwidth drops for some reason and you would like to have a file played, the file will still play at full speed from a local computer or from your hard disk. You can actually download and save files with even higher image and sound quality than can those that can be streamed on-line.
Now, just how do you stream media content from your computers, hard drives, as well as media servers to your home theatre displays and audio systems through your local area network (LAN)?
Have those media files that you have saved on your local computer or an external hard drive (in case your media libraries start to fill up). Your external drive can be discovered on the network when liked to a computer running media-server software. It can also be accessed by creating a shared file folder that links to the media folder on your hard drive. A third way is by connecting the external hard drive to a home router that has the capability of sharing a connected drive.
Once you open a media player that speaks the same language or protocol, it will search your network for computers, drives, as well as media servers it will search for files that can be played using the compatible media player.
There are a number of media players, like the so-called Smart televisions, as well as other devices have teamed up with media-server software developers to make that files will be found at the same time organized for easier access.
Now, the way your devices are connected plays a crucial role in the overall experience. There are a couple of types home networks may be setup—with wired (Ethernet) networks and wireless (Wi-Fi) network.
Usually, a wired network will work most efficiently, however. But if there are several rooms where devices or users need to be at the same time, then the Wi-Fi network is definitely the way to go, without the need of running Ethernet cables to numerous locations within the house.