BASICS Step 01: What I Have Now?
“Bottom line is, if you do not use it or need it, it’s clutter, and it needs to go.” – Charisse Ward
You are going to perform a complete inventory of your media content, sources, and hardware. You need to know what you have on hand now to use as the basis for the rest of the process. I understand that you already know what you have but going through this review will get everything sorted out for a solid starting point. Don't panic, it won't take that long, it's simple really.
As you go through this inventory, you may notice that some of the things you would like to have are not on your list. Remember all of this stuff for the next step (What do I want?).
Content means media: Movies, TV Shows, Home Videos, Photos, and more. You know all this stuff right now. However, while you may be a movie buff and you just can't live without movies, you may be paying for a lot of movies that you will never watch. You may have streaming movies from multiple sources when just one source will do.
You have photos, digital photos on your phone, your desktop, and in the cloud. How many do you have? Duplicates? Where are they?
So just review your content and make sure that you really do understand what you have now.
Where do you get all your media and services? How much are you paying for these services? Do you pay for redundant services like cable TV and Satellite TV? Again, take some time to review all of this.
What media hardware do you have? We all have some of this stuff and when you really look at what you have, you may be surprised.
This graphic shows the various parts and pieces of hardware you may have in your home media system. You may not have all this stuff and you only need what it takes to work for your home media.
This "Action Item" is optional.
ACTION ITEM: Rescan Your TV Channels
It only takes a few minutes to rescan your TV channels and you may get some pleasant surprises. If the channel frequency has changed, a rescan will reset your tuner to the new frequency. The channel number will stay the same, Channel 7 will still be Channel 7.
You may discover that you have some "new" digital channels that you haven't seen before. And don't forget, in the next step you will be listing everything that you "want" so keep that in mind.
While there are different commands for different TV's, just use the remote and look under the "Menu" or "Settings" for "Channel Scan or Tuning" and follow the instructions.
This is a great time to set up your "Favorite" channels.
The Deliverables" for this step include a written (printed) inventory of all your content, sources, and hardware. It can be as simple as a handwritten list on a piece of paper. Or it may be as detailed as the form provided in the "Subscriber" section below. The REAL goal here is for you to know what you have and where it is.
This is a very simple list of typical parts and pieces of your media inventory.
Whew! OK, now you know more than you ever wanted to know about the parts and pieces that make up your home network. Good job let's go to the next step.