This project I'm working on is actually bigger than Celtic Radio but...well....I'll tell the story.
My wife and I have wanted to get cable or satellite for awhile, but with our current budget, and how little free time we have, we have been unable to justify the extra cost. People tell me, you could get a TiVo system! For those that don't know, TiVo is a system that lets you record your favorite TV shows, and then pause and/or rewind live TV. I'm really loving the idea of a TiVo system, but I have some problems with it.
Namely, money. I HATE extra monthly fees. Now, I'm resigned to paying the extra money a month for cable or Satellite. You're getting a big service, and you've got to pay for it. However, TiVo and other related services charge MORE money for their services. Apparently, TiVo feels the need to charge you for access to their programming guide. Now, if you have satellite, you've already got a handy dandy TV-Guide-Like menu, and now you have to pay for TiVo's as well??? It's like $13 a month, which translates into almost $160 a year. Wait a minute, you're paying for the TiVo equipment already, and now it's going to cost you $160 per year MORE? If you use it for 2 years, you've paid $200 for the equipment and $320 for the service for a grand total of $520. Whoa. If that's peanuts for anyone out there, then in the words of Virgil Solozzo, "I tip my hat to you." (Oh, and I realize that many cable/satellite subscribers got their equipment with their cable or satellite package for a small extra fee and get their service for only $5 a month extra, but it's still the principle.)
So do I have another option, I asks myself? Oh yes. I happen to have an extra computer laying around that is speedy enough to play games and handle almost anything I want to put on it. (I built this computer myself, as I'm an IT guy.)
So, says I, I can just add a TV Tuner Card, Remote Control, software, and VOILA! Computer-turned-DVR! (Digital Video Recorder.) The software for recording TV charges nothing for access to their programming guide, so aside from the initial expenditure for the equipment, I pay nothing else. (Aside from my monthly cable/satellite bill.) So what does all this have to do with Celtic Radio? I'm coming to that, my friend.
This weekend, I was listening to CR while doing some programming homework, lamenting the fact that my laptop has horrid speakers for listening to music. So I begin to think to myself, "If only I could get Celtic Radio through my home stereo, which would sound MUCH nicer." All of a sudden, it hits me. I CAN!
I've got the computer all set up on my main TV up front, all ready for me to buy the TV Tuner card, remote, software, etc. I hooked it up and set it up all nice in my entertainment center to see what the video and sound was on my TV/Home Stereo.
In order for this computer to work as a DVR, it needed a connection to the internet to get the programming guide. A $20 Wireless Network card took care of that last weekend, and now I have a fully functioning, Internet-connected computer hooked up to my TV and Stereo. I install iTunes, my preferred CR listening device, and BOOM! Out comes the sound of Gaelic Storm over the much nicer speakers of my home stereo! I turn the TV off, and continue programming on my laptop while listening to my favorite music. WOO!!!
Now if only I could get CR in my car...